September 17, 2012

Checking Off Our To-Do's & Making Our School Curriculum Work for Us

So, I've been told I have a Type A Personality, and it's probably true. Ever since I can remember, I've been writing checklists for myself, and my oldest daughter is already showing signs of inheriting my Type A traits. She loves writing lists.... Is it actually the list-writing that's important to us? Having our "ducks-in-a-row" so to speak? Or the sense of accomplishment we feel when we put another check-mark next to another completed job.

My desire along this homeschool journey is to help instill a love for life-long learning into each of my children's hearts. Afterall, once we've graduated from school, and university, we are still students of the Bible, students of our Heavenly Father called to live like Jesus.

It's easy for me to look at our nicely planned out day and become anxious when something is taking longer than I planned, or someone just isn't understanding the concept quick enough, or what-have-you. My "Checklist" beckons me on the table out of the corner of my eye. We still have all of those things to check off today! I am tempted to rush through the assignment, perhaps not giving it our best; skip over reading a section; forego this science experiment, even though my daughter would probably love it.... does this happen in more houses than mine?!

I have become more and more aware of how my anxiety over the "Checklist" is an area that I must lavish some grace. The idea here isn't about accomplishing A, B, and C in what I think is an acceptable time-frame. The idea is learning to love learning! And if it means skipping half of the day's agenda to spend more time on something within the curriculum that really sparked interest, or if a concept just isn't being understood and needs to be taught a different way, I must spend some more time there. Have some flexibility. I am learning that while having a schedule and routine is essential, discerning when to deviate from, add to, or eliminate is also necessary.

Starting the new school year with a great "idea" of how our day should go is wonderful, inspiring, and exciting. But with that, there must be openness to change. There will be things that won't work. Change them. Give yourself some grace.

The school curriculum I use is simply that.. a curriculum. I am teaching real kids, with real interests and strengths and weaknesses that are all individual.

Make the curriculum work for you! Don't work for your curriculum.

If something needs to be skipped, skip it. Don't do it, just so you can "check it off". If something  needs to be expanded on, find extra resources.

As you find your groove this school year, my prayer is that God gives us mothers wisdom to know how to discern such things as these. That He would tell us what's really important and of eternal value, and that we would be willing to sacrifice our "check-marks" rather to be obedient to Him for His glory.


  1. Oh, grace is such a good thing :). Bless you in this homeschool journey. It is a tremendous task and responsibility. I pray you feel the leading of the Holy Spirit in each lesson. That He might grant you peace when the lesson strays from the curriculum. Much love.

  2. Yes, much grace is needed when it comes to schooling our children at home. I'm a list keeper, too, but have learned to be flexible. Thank you for sweet reminder and for linking up at WJIM. Blessings.