One of my New Year’s resolutions was to discover what most needs to be done and then to do it. I planned to do it by month, and that works well for me. The Pantry Challenge was January’s big home project. Last week, as I finished the Pantry Challenge, I wondered, “What’s up for February?”
I thought it would be another home project, but what most needs to be done this month is related to homeschooling:
- I need to finish Mr. 17’s comprehensive records for his university application. It would not be a big deal if we simply bought courses and followed them, but we don’t always do that. For certain subjects I just keep track of everything we’ve done. Later when I know we won’t head down any more rabbit trails, I try to organize it all into courses that university admissions officers will understand. So here I am with 3 ½ years’ worth of work in each of the areas of English/world literature/great ideas books; history/economics/political science; and Bible/theology/church history. This week I want to get it all sorted out: Was there enough work for a half credit on Tolkein, or would a full credit on The Inklings make more sense? Or is it (Modern) British Literature? Do I call untold hours of reading and discussions Political Science, or Economics, or Topics in Modern History? And so on. It’s like a giant puzzle, and I like puzzles. I really want to finish enough of it this week for the university application to be submitted.
- Of course, homeschooling itself goes on. Because of the harvest, illness, and other good reasons, my teens have fallen far behind where we expected to be, so we’ve relabeled this week as week 18 and we’re trying to maximize the next half year. What really needs to be done? What can be skipped? How much time is there now for each chapter of science or math? So I’m reworking their weekly to-do lists to reflect all these ideas, and I’m determined to make the lists reasonable.
- Keeping up with our homeschool work despite anticipated distractions is another major goal for February.
- Finally, I need to skim through my teens’ Omnibus readings. There are two major objections to that goal: On the one hand, there is a good answer key and I could squeak by without looking through the books at all if necessary. I’ve actually done that in the past. On the other hand, skimming is not good enough; I should study the books carefully to give my kids the best education possible. But I just don’t have the time or energy for that. So I’ll skim most books, read a few, and just do my best.
- Of course, life always needs one home-related goal. This month I will skim through my to-do binder where I scribble many important notes and will put them someplace sensible—into an address book, onto the homeschool ideas list, onto my goals sheet, onto the calendar, or wherever. If there is no place for an idea, I’ll make a new computer file or a new page in my to-do book.
It sounds like a busy month, and it will be. But I’ve almost completed Mr. 17’s final 18 weekly homeschool goal lists (just have to make lesson plans for Life of Fred Calculus yet), and Miss 15’s lists are tomorrow’s work. So goal #2 should be finished by tomorrow evening.
And I have here beside me a stack of papers, booklists, old weekly homeschool lists, tests, and more, all ready to begin the huge English/History/Bible transcript puzzle. So all the prep work for goal #1 is finished.
And I love reading, so #4 will fill up odd moments.
It feels good to have a list of what needs to be done this month. Now when I have that aimless, wandering feeling, I’ll just be able to look at my list and get to work. When I plan my days, I’ll know what I’m focussing on. And our homeschool will function just a little bit better. I hope.