Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan, Meet Resistance

I’m a big planner. My wife shares my affinity for planning. We like making a list of tasks to complete, designing a schedule for when we will tackle each item, and then putting our noses to the grindstone and working our plan hard. Conventional wisdom holds that the more time you put toward developing your plan, the better your final product will be in the end and the smoother sailing the job will be to accomplish the work. This is especially true with big projects.

I can’t think of too many projects much bigger or more important than homeschooling. The homeschool adventure often requires long-term planning for the years ahead, weekly planning for the immediate future, and daily planning for what to do right now. For example, I highly recommend you put together a four-year plan prior to your student’s high school years. This will define the target for both of you and will help you focus only on coursework that is valuable to your overall goals.

But how many homeschool plans work out exactly as expected? Probably none. And there’s a reason why this happens. You plan your work, and then you start working your plan. But you also need to factor in a pesky critter called Resistance.

You know the story. Mom spends Sunday night planning for the homeschool week. She fills in the assignment sheets, organizes the schoolroom, tidies up her desk, and goes to bed feeling pretty good about the week ahead. Then Monday morning comes early. The kids don’t jump out of bed right away, though they do respond to some loving encouragement. Everyone sits together for breakfast, and Mom is feeling pretty good so far. After a healthy meal, she reminds the oldest child to clean the kitchen while she gets started with the youngest. Then Resistance shows up.

The oldest doesn’t want to clean up. “I always have to do it,” she whines. The time it takes to get that child back on track allows the younger sibling to wander off somewhere. Mom goes off to find the lost lamb and corral him back to the table to recite his numbers and letters. When the older child shows up after kitchen duty, Mom is ready to take everyone to the couch for reading time. As Mom begins the story, a small tiff breaks out over the seating arrangements. Mom tries to gently keep everyone on track, but she is already feeling stressed because her well-thought-out day seems to be slowly falling apart.

Mom is now behind schedule but pushes forward as best she can. After a hurried lunch, she puts the kids down for a nap. Mom knows the kids need a nap before attempting the schoolwork that she would like them to complete that afternoon. But nap time goes longer than planned, mainly because the kids fought the urge to close their eyes and rest.

As the afternoon session begins, both children seem to have forgotten everything they ever learned and simply can’t concentrate on the work. The kids are resisting at every turn. Mom tempts them with visions of playing outdoors after they finish, but no one is cooperating. Eventually she gives up and sends the kids outside to run around and expend some energy.

Finally, evening rolls around, with several unfinished assignments to show for Mom’s efforts. But she knows better than to try and make something happen at this point. So Mom and Dad play with the kids after dinner, give them baths and brush their teeth, read a story, and tuck them into bed. But do the kids stay put? Of course not. Eventually, Mom falls into bed exhausted.

So what can Mom do better tomorrow? She tried following her plan, but she hadn’t counted on all the resistance she would encounter.

My suggestion? Keep planning your work, keep working your plan, and know that you will meet up with your old nemesis, Resistance. Hang tough, but don’t fight him too hard, because he will show up again next week. Just know that you are accomplishing some big and important parts of your plan, such as relationship building, responsibility training, and trusting God in all things. For this you can be thankful.

What kind of resistance did you meet this week?

Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!

Davis Signature

 

© 2015 Davis Carman

homeschoolcastles.com

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