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But it was Color-coded and Laminated!

I like scheduling, and I like lists. I’ve always loved scheduling and inventory making. List and schedules. Schedules and lists. I needed to know what is going on! This almost sounds like someone that wants likes to be in control. Hmmm, it couldn’t be me.

When we began homeschooling, I decided we would need a Weekly Schedule. Of course, we needed one! So, I made one. 
It was a thing of great beauty.
It was color-coded, and I had used four different fonts. (Eight if you count Regular and Bold.)
It listed, hourly, every subject we would do each day. Because of course, we would do every subject, every day!
It was laminated, and it was framed. Seriously.
Did I mention that it was color-coded?
There were several copies. Because you never know when a  burglar will steal your homeschool schedule.
My son’s copy was on his wall, safely stored in a page protector to “protect it from dirt and spills”!
I know what you’re thinking….”Crazy Lady.”

I had the opportunity to present my fabulous schedule to a few veteran homeschool mom friends. Ta-Da! They just smiled weakly, the way you smile at a sad little lost puppy. They looked at me like they knew something I did not. I told myself that they must be jealous of my organizational talent. Sure, that must be it.

The schedule…. lasted….one…week.

Have you ever had a week when you were sure that The Lord had added hours to each day? That it took 30 hours for the sun to go down again? That was this long week. That was this “huffing and puffing, little engine going up the hill but not going to make it” week. But why? What was wrong?

What my fantastic masterpiece of Excel technology didn’t include were breaks. It didn’t allow time to spend extra time discussing a fascinating subject. I had left no time to take the school to the park, go on a spur-of-the-moment field trip, sleep in or do any of the things that were why we had decided to homeschool in the first place. Most of all, it did not leave time for all those interruptions occurring naturally daily.  When we missed something, I became stressed and feared falling behind. The schedule ruled us without space, margin, or a bit of downtime. My son wasn’t happy, and I was displeased. Change was needed. What had I missed?

It was GRACE.
One of the Biblical definitions of Grace is “the peace of God given to the restless.”
Restless? We could not have been more restless. Peace? Bring it on!
Grace is God’s assurance to us that “He’s got this!”
Grace made our homeschool relaxed. I could forgive myself if we didn’t get to everything each day, and by allowing God’s grace, we often noticed the unexpected but beautiful things that seemed to happen each day.
We took breaks between subjects.
We took the morning for our Prayer, Church Latin & Daily Bible Readings.
We took the school to the park or the back patio whenever we wanted.
We used “loops” and did not do every subject every day.
We talked more; we shared more.
The schedule does not rule us.
We were calmer and happier.
I found that by scheduling less, we got more completed. Go figure.

Don’t get me wrong; this rhythm did not make our homeschool perfect. No, not at all. There were still bad days, door slamming over Math, frustrations with some subjects, getting up much too late, boring curriculum, and me sometimes just feeling overwhelmed and perhaps having a meltdown. There were days when absolutely nothing, no matter how hard we tried, nothing, zip, zero, zilch, was accomplished.  But when I tried, and trust me, it was difficult for a control freak planner like me to open up and receive God’s grace, even the hard stuff seemed normal. Grace told me that normal is ok.
So I present for your consideration…Grace. Allow yourself grace in whatever method of homeschooling fits you. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow days when nothing gets accomplished. Allow those days when you talk about one subject for hours. Don’t let a schedule rule you. God’s got this, and it will all get completed. Allow “normal.”

And if you are curious, I still have the original schedule packed away. It was a work of art, after all.

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