These past few weeks my spare time has been filled with planning and reporting for the HEU. One son’s report and plan is due in early December and it’s creeping up quickly on me.
No, it doesn’t take weeks and hours to do it but I like to space the work out over a period, doing just a little each weekend. One weekend I might choose to plan our Art and Music for the coming year. Over that weekend I’ll pull out our art books, prowl through my favourite art blogs, purchase some ‘must have’ books, and check the art galleries and theatres we frequent for upcoming events. I let it all swirl around in my mind, pondering and planning, then pull all my ideas together at the end of the weekend and capture the plan on paper. I don’t like to rush this process and just throw a few ideas on paper.
I know time is a reason many don’t utilise the HEU, preferring instead to sign up for school with a distance ed unit. But I don’t begrudge the little bit of time it takes to create the yearly plan the HEU requires. Planning is the key to a great year ahead, whether it’s for the HEU or not. And it doesn’t mean that housework is ignored and family has to compete for attention, while I’m in the ‘zone’. I come and go from the computer all day, doing this and that around the house, with thoughts and notions percolating in my mind. I draw the rest of the family into the process as well, calling them to come and see what I’ve found, gauging their interest, and talking about what they’d like to do in the coming year.
I’m not the kind of planner that sits down with a textbook, counting the page numbers and dividing it by the number of school days. No, not me. I’m a hunting and gathering type planner, always looks for opportunities and resources that will inspire us. This takes a bit of time and thought so I spread it over the term before my HEU paperwork is due. Quite honestly, I’d have no idea how long I actually spend in the process….as long as a piece of string perhaps. But that time is the difference between a poor year and a fantastic one for us.
It’s an exciting process, preparing for the year ahead. It’s like planning where you’ll visit on a holiday. Sure some people like to take packaged tours, for the security and knowledge that all the important bases are covered. But then there are others of us, who, like kids in a candy store, want to make our own exciting selections and choosing is part of the thrill.
Planning isn’t a burden and, if it was, I’d have to question whether homeschooling was the right choice for me. Planning should invigorate and motivate and make you want to dash into the coming year with books and pens in your grasp ready to uncover new treasures. Of course there’s the high probability that you’ll sit down to start work with your supposed-to-be-enthused students to find that they’ve planned their own mutiny…but that’s a whole other post and one we don’t need to think about until January.
Until then, we can enjoy the dream of a perfect school year as we plan to our heart’s content.