Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 6 in Review: Reaping the Results of Poor Planning!

Picture this...I'm sitting here at the computer with black stubble for hair (due to it having caught fire at various points in the week), circles under my eyes, and a black bubble over my head that says "HEADACHE."  I don't even need to tell you what has befallen me.  If you are a woman you already know.  If you're a guy, you're thinking, "Wow, busy week."  Part of it is part of the natural cycle of life, and part of this stems from the fact that last weekend was a busy four-day weekend which did not permit me time to properly plan for the school week that was to come.  The result was that the week went exactly the way I planned.

It's week 6.  I haven't one of those weeks yet that cause me to think "I'll really be glad when this week is over," until now.  I need to follow the advice that I've been giving myself for a couple of years now.

Stress is like pain.  When there is pain it is the body telling the brain, "Something is wrong, please send help."  Stress is like that, as well.  "Something is wrong...please send help!"

So let me look at this critically--what is wrong?  Can it be helped?  Well, I have some commitments that fall on this weekend, so that can't really be helped.  In what time is not committed I will plan the following week strategically so that I can try to make up for some of the time lost this past week.  A little extra sleep this weekend could help the problem, which mostly feels like extreme disorganization and a fair amount of exhaustion.

You may remember from a previous post that I tend to like to "play school" and have things go my way.  I've been working on letting go of the picture-perfect week but this was beyond that.  There is no blame to be placed for the circumstances really--we were tired, we were a bit busier than normal, and Dad was home (and we certainly aren't going to give up time with Dad when we have the chance to have him around!)  In fact, he was the best part of the week--he worked on math with Matty and got more accomplished with him in an hour than I felt like we did all week!  BUT...This is my lesson for the week:  Everything worked out according to plan.  That is, I didn't have one, so that's exactly what the week looked like.

So I spent some time with myself this evening re-working my plan sheets for myself and the kids.  In particular, I am trying to get Matty to be responsible for meeting the goals we set each week.  I've been a bit slack in having him do this the last couple of weeks, so I refreshed the goal sheet that goes in his "to do" folder, and here it is.  It's a landscape format page that can only be displayed this way on the screen.  Hope you don't strain your neck to read it!  The bottom three subjects are not divided into days because they are goal-based.  I allow him to finish when he has completed a certain number of pages, and he rarely does one subject in one sitting.  He will usually divide them up a little each day, but even so he has the option, and will just check them off when he is done.

I have learned from "winging it" that this does not work for me or my family.  Even so, I am not one of these people who can plan an entire school year and then just merrily work through the curriculum...I am a "tweaker," always changing things up a tad here and there, so such a plan wouldn't work for me.  I like to have a week-by-week plan. I have found that having something to fill out at the beginning of the week and refer to as we go helps me keep on track, even if I don't follow it to a tee.  It's more of an accountability for myself than anything.  Matty does extremely well if he can see a plan on paper and know when the work is done.  He experiences much less stress that way.

This basic plan has been working for me for a while, and this week I learned not to abandon it!


  1. ((HUGS)) to you! Sounds like a rough week, but at least you have some ideas of how to fix it! I'm a flexible planner too... one thing that helps me is to use a modified filing system (I file 6 weeks at a time) and I don't write anything in my plans until the week that we're on. That way I can write what we actually do and don't feel like I'm "behind". Most of my curriculum is "do the next thing" though... so it works. Filing only 6 weeks out helps me make adjustments if necessary.... hope you are able to find some time to plan this weekend! Prayers for a better week next week! :-)

  2. Oh I think I'd a bald one with my hair completely singed off. The stress and pain of homeschooling is the plan vs. reality. Even after 15 years I have not mastered this. I do think the plan helps reduce stress because when life interrupts school, the "plan" helps put everyone back on track. Some kids really like checking things off their plan.
    Until next week....have a good one.

  3. Shouldn't this be week 6 for you?? :)
    Unfortunately, I really can relate to what you said about things going according to plan when you don't have one...sigh. I have a similar chart for my kids, keeps us all moving forward!
    PS May next week truly be according to plan! Yours and God's! :)

  4. Well, yes, Bright Sky Mom, it's been that kind of week. ;-) Thanks for pointing that out. I'd have gone a whole week extra in the summertime! GOD FORBID! (Will edit now...)


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