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l have been known to rearrange the contents of all the kitchen cabinets in the name of better work flow. A weekly conversation in our house goes something like this.
“HONEY, where is my charger? The charger that is supposed to be in the desk drawer, that charger.”
“It’s in the kitchen.”
“I moved it.”
“You kept asking me where it was and I kept getting it out of the office, but you use it in the kitchen. So I thought it would be helpful if I moved it to the kitchen.”
I move everything. I like to call it re-homing. That’s not what my husband calls it. He was trained in culinary school to have everything “mes en place”, which translates to “a place for everything and everything in it’s place.” Which I whole heartedly agree with in theory, but we are a house in flux.
I like to think I missed my calling as an efficiency expert. I like to minimize steps to every task and I like to test my work by changing the proximity of supplies. (Which mostly means that I make it impossible to find the soap refill jugs, the tape and paper towels on a very regular basis)
Changes can make people a little on edge.
Have you ever held on to a curriculum for too long. Have you stayed with a co-op or play group weeks after you knew it was not a good fit for you? We have all been there. I don’t think that flexibility gets enough positive publicity. Homeschooling is an ever-changing gig. Grades change, you add kids, your time and space needs shift. Your curriculum needs change from year to year. If you are inflexible you can get stuck.
If the dents in the carpet under your couch are never coming out, you might be having a harder time with this reality than us “pantsters”. Those of us who fly by the seat of our pants feel pain in other areas. I am sure I will cover in another article. The one area we are blessed is in our ability to let go of our current structure and embrace change. Those changes are extremely hard in homeschooling. Some changes hurt our pride. Others cost us a lot of money, but holding on to make them will cost us time and we have little to spare.
We use one curriculum, always have. It worked for me and has fit all of my kids, but one. Change was the last thing I wanted, especially with a large family. We chose our curriculum because of the way it was adapted for big families. I love it and was reluctant to change. But a literature based program for a struggling reader, in a house where I am already reading a great deal was just bad math. There was the expense of adding another program. I knew we could not afford a full scale boxed on-line curriculum and was terrified that we would purchasing one and my son would hate that too.
We avoided switching one more year. I thought I could get him to conform. We increased his discipline hoping that if he gained more self control he would fall in. By sixth grade I was puling out my hair with this one kid for 50% of every school day. It took the worst school year ever for me to step back and see that what we were doing was not working. We took the summer to do some research and some real evaluating of my sons needs.
In seventh grade we made the switch to DiscoveryK-12 online school. Can I just say, I was an absolute fool to have waited for so long. Even for all my “flexibility” I failed to make the change that needed to be made to help my son for years. Don’t be a fool, we don’t have that kind of time. My son, he is doing great this year. I am positive he will be caught up this year. I am also positive that it is my fault, he fell behind.
Being flexible is a great asset as school wraps up. It is time to reevaluate the things that worked well for your family and the things that did not help you to be successful. Being flexible will make it much easier to make the small adjustments and major changes that are inevitable as you grow as students and teachers.
Are there some things you need to change as you evaluate your school year. Have you survived or floated long enough. I encourage you to take a look at your year and see if there is something that needs to move.