I am an affiliate of Home Educating Family Publishing and received a free planner to review. All opinions are entirely my own.
With everything that goes on around here, is it any wonder that I sometimes can’t remember what day of the week it is?
Seems like we are on the go more than ever, and I find myself losing track of what’s what or even worse completely forgetting to do the cool project I thought of, because I didn’t write it down!
I know and admire people who are completely spontaneous but folks, that ain’t me! I’ve tried all kinds of ways to keep myself organized. Weekly To-DO list printables, Monthly menus, job charts, job cards, all kinds of lesson plan books and forms, a carefully organized household binder….if it promises to keep me organized I’ll try it.
So far nothing has worked, although some things have worked better than others. I’ve learned a lot about my working style though and these are the two most important points:
So what to do?
Last year at the HEAV Convention I had looked at the Well-Planned Day Planner and almost bought one. I was still trying to fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants though and the planner seemed ….well…bossy!
A planner that wants you to do things like write down strengths and weaknesses for each child? Annual goals? A Scripture reading schedule printed on the monthly calendar? Weekly menus and priorities? Do I really have to do all that?
Umm…let me tell you about our schooling: We are making progress, no doubt about it. Buggle reads at a seventh or eighth grade level at this point and Mouse isn’t far behind. Bull and Jack are learning every day. We do school most days and it generally goes well.
BUT (all caps as it’s a big BUT)
I’m not doing the cool enriching stuff I’d like to do. I’m not having much time for personal creativity, nor am I really giving the children enough time and space for that either. We almost always have a point in the week where someone has to go look in the clean but unfolded laundry to find something essential like underwear, and we don’t use our library anywhere near as well as I’d like us to.
Here’s why (I’m 90% sure): I need to think some things through about once a year like goals and strengths and weaknesses. Come up with a plan, write it down and then stop thinking about it and agonizing over it and just DO THE PLAN. Maybe review in six months or once a quarter, but not reinvent the wheel every six weeks!
I don’t have the personal discipline or temperament or something (too easily distracted like Jack with a shiny toy?) to give myself the freedom of not having a plan. I know this- any week that I sit down on Sunday and plan out goes better (and the laundry even gets done), but I’m realizing that I need to have that Sunday afternoon planning period be about specific implementation for the week ahead, not figuring out what we’re going to do.
Enter a bossy planner! I need one that makes me do all that planning ahead of time, that makes me think about Advent in July, so that when Advent comes around I can actually do the cool devotional things I’ve been dreaming about for three years. The Well-Planned Day is (I think) exactly the kind of bossy planner I need. I’ve already written in a lot of things about the children and what I want them to learn in the next year (surprisingly less than half of it has any direct connection to schooling). I’m planning to spend a good portion of June writing in everything I can and then starting July 1 (The planner runs from July to June) I’m going to stop making a master plan and just work the plan I have! I’m excited. I know no planner is going to do my thinking for me, not can it impose discipline on me, but perhaps it will help me to both think things through and discipline myself.