I have a confession to make… I am a disorganized, undisciplined homeschool mom. Strike that. Make it, I WAS a disorganized, undisciplined homeschool mom. That was my natural bent. To put it bluntly, I am scatter-brained. I get great ideas then I get board and move on to another great idea. I love, not like, LOVE, homeschooling, computers, painting, drawing, photography, listening to music, playing music, cooking, baking, creating recipes, cross-stitch, crochet, embroidery, sewing, reading, writing, science AND math! There are probably even more things that I love to do that I’m leaving out at the moment.
I have told you all this to point out how difficult it is to stay focused. You will notice that cleaning, laundry, shopping and planning were not on my list of most loved activities. I also don’t care for correcting schoolwork, filling out records for documentation of homeschooling, paying bills or filling out tax returns. These all MUST be done. Some of these things are more important than the things I love to do. To some people in my life they all are.
All this to say I need to find motivation to do the right thing. Early in my homeschooling experience I realized that not only was my child not completing his work on schedule, I didn’t even KNOW what it would take for him to be on schedule. We would do what seemed like a days worth of work then move on to something we enjoyed. That’s when I gave birth to “July is Prep Month.”
Each year I keep a record of what is taught in a computer file. The file is modified yearly. This has made it easier to plan for each successive student. Some time in the month of July, I pull out the class file; a calendar of the entire school year with dates marked for beginning to school, end of school, vacation days and holidays; book being used; and class schedules for outside classes. I begin by counting days or weeks in the available school schedule. Then I count assignments or subjects in each book. Then I divide everything up and write it down.
My younger students have enjoyed a calendar with a bright cover and daily assignments. I have a Daytimer software package which has done a tremendous job of tracking school assignments for years. Remember I love computers…so this was another great excuse for using one. My students like to open their calendar in the morning and turn to the current month and be able to see exactly what is expected of them on that particular day. They can check off their work when completed and we have a complete record of work finished for the day, week or even school year.
By the time my children are in High School I use a different method. We make assignments based on months not days. They can be more responsible now and it also prepares them for the college years when nobody is making sure that they keep on schedule; but High School planning is another blog.
I’m not here to tell you how to prepare for the coming year, although if anybody needs help with that I would happy to do what I can. I am trying to encourage you. If you get anything from this post, please be encouraged. It doesn’t matter how disorganized you feel. It doesn’t matter how flaky or scatter-brained you think you are. You can do this.
I call July “Prep Month” so that I have August to finish the prep work. I need both months because I get bored or distracted and move on to something else OFTEN before the project is finished. (By often I mean it happens frequently each year not just most years.)
Today is a prime example. I need to modify my science class schedules to allow for a trip I forgot about; I need to finish a set of assignments for a computer class we’re doing this year; I need to type up my Middle Schoolers math and bible study schedules; and I need to finish rewriting a section of a text book we are trying to publish; I also need to wash laundry and cook dinner at some point. So far I have gone swimming (1 hour of laps); made and eaten a gourmet salad with “Slobber Chicken” on top (recipe follows); written this blog and promised to take my four children +some to the pool to swim (where I might read). When I get home I will work on all of the above listed projects (or maybe just some of them). What I do know is that my family will have clean clothes to wear, dinner to eat and eventually, before September, the assignments will be scheduled and I won’t have to worry about plans any more, for another year.
(My boys named it this because I “slobber tons of spices on it”.)
1 boneless breast of chicken, cut into 1″ chunks
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili pepper, divided
1/2 tsp. basil, divided
1/2 tsp. oregano, divided
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/2 tsp. onion powder, divided
1/2 tsp. cumin, divided
Pour olive oil in warm skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle 1/2 of each of the seasonings into the warm olive oil. Place chicken in the skillet and top with remaining seasonings. Saute until no longer pink.
I looks blackened. It taste Mexican and very delicious.
I put it on salad and top with red wine vinaigrette dressing or I serve it with sour cream salsa and mexican rice.
Be blessed and be encouraged, and if you try my recipe, be ready for your family to want more!!