For years I planned our homeschool year down to the minute detail. I knew what day we would start, what we would cover each of the 175 days we homeschooled, what field trips coordinated with what subject, which days off we would take throughout the homeschool year and what exact day we would end. Nothing could or would stand in the way of my homeschool schedule. Nothing.
I love to plan in detail, that’s part of my OCD nature. I enjoy planning out an entire homeschool year at once. I find that it gives me the freedom that I need to ensure that I can add other things to my schedule throughout the year because I know exactly what each day holds for us. I loved how I used to plan our homeschool, it fit me perfectly.
Did you notice the important phrase in that last sentence? I used to… It’s past tense. I don’t plan our homeschool year in advance anymore. Not because it didn’t work for me, no I loved it. I needed it. That wasn’t enough though. My kids and my husband needed more freedom than my homeschool year plan allowed. They did not thrive on having each day planned from sunup to sundown. I needed to have a list to check off for each day, but my family desired the ability to change the plans of the day. I couldn’t do that, I had to have a detailed daily schedule in order to ensure I stayed on track throughout my day. Without a detailed plan I knew that I would not be able to touch every area that I should. Somewhere along the way I knew that I would drop the ball in housekeeping, homeschooling or my marriage. I needed consistency in order to balance all of the plates that I am carrying.
After five years of homeschooling my children, I knew that our homeschool schedule had to change. My husband wanted to be able to take the family out for the day if he had a day off due to bad weather (as a commercial fisherman, his schedule depends on the weather), yet the way I had our homeschool planned out in advance, this was impossible. I longed to be able to spend more time together as a family, but I knew our homeschool schedule wouldn’t allow it. So, I decided to revamp our homeschool schedule and embrace the entire calendar year. That was the most freeing decision I’d made up to that point, it was life changing.
I let go of my yearly homeschool schedule and began planning out our homeschool on a monthly basis without the OCD, over the top details that I thrived on. I no longer included a daily schedule, instead I began planning out what we needed to cover for each subject in that month. We moved to taking days off when my husband was home and working through the month’s homeschool outline when he was working. The amount of time we began having together as a family was wonderful and I was happy that I had made the decision to let go of my OCD, over the top planning nature.
This process was not easy, letting go of everything that made my life easier was extremely difficult. Yet, I knew that all the planning in the world wasn’t worth giving up the time I had gained with my husband and children, together as a family. We went on many adventures that never would have been possible if I hadn’t been willing to let go of my yearly homeschool planning.
After two years of learning to live life without a plan for our entire homeschool year, I’m finding my way back into planning again since we are following a child led homeschooling method. When my children pick a subject or topic they want to study about, I’m thrilled because it allows me to scour the internet looking for resources for my children to use.
By not having a firm homeschool schedule, I’m also able to pay closer attention to signs that my children have reached their limit for the day. When I had a daily checklist in front of me, I felt like a failure when I didn’t complete everything on it. Now, I can simply put the books away if the frustration is just too much to continue on homeschooling for the day. This has by far been the best part of learning to let go of my OCD, over the top planning.
I’m thankful that God showed me that my husband and my children needed more freedom than our yearly homeschool schedule has allowed. Our homeschool journey has been much more enjoyable since we began having more time together as a family and having more relaxed homeschool days.
There are times that I miss my OCD, over the top planning days, but having this corner of the blog world allows me to do that all the time! For that I am also grateful!
Are you an OCD, over the top planning homeschool mom? Are you recovering from being one? I’d love to hear your stories, meet me in the comments to share?