As most of us sit down to make our homeschool plans for the upcoming year, I am reminding myself of the importance of having a long-range plan. My husband and I do this for big family-life decisions, finances and with work planning; but often I become so focused on the next week, the following semester, or planning the next year that I forget to think about where this homeschooling journey might take us over the course of the next five years or so.
A wise friend encouraged me to plan for where I will be in five years and I found it extremely helpful to include my homeschool plans. Personally, I will have an eleventh grader, a tenth grader and a third grader in five years. (What in the world??? *Take deep breaths, self*!!) Bravely thinking through what that might look like helps to know how to plan right now.
Short term planning—whether that’s daily, weekly, by semester, or yearly—is a necessary thing. We need to pay attention to today and what our kids are doing RIGHT NOW. But, unless we are also thinking about a long-range plan, we might get caught off guard when we arrive at significant life stages.
Consider those that are homeschooling upper middle and high school kids right now. You might be in that category of people. Have you thought about what you will do with your time when your children graduate? After a long vacation and a much-needed massage, I bet there are things you would like to do, goals you would like to accomplish, or another field of study you might like to learn about and work in. Without a plan, there is often an abrupt adjustment to a new normal.
Perhaps you are in the trenches of glitter glue and cutting skills. You can’t even imagine what a school table will look like without all the crafting mess! But there will come a day when the crayons are replaced with research books and expensive microscopes. Are you preparing yourself, your children and your agenda to be ready when those days come?
I know some of us (myself included) struggle with planning dinner each day and the idea of planning so far down the road seems daunting. Personally, I am still working on my school list for our upcoming year—which starts in two weeks! Feelings of inadequacy creep up. Long range planning doesn’t require all the tiny details to be nailed down; it simply means that you have larger, sweeping ideas thought through. You can fill in the smaller details later.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Are you prepared to homeschool all the way through high school?
- What are some alternative education plans you can make?
- Do you want your child to have a particular skill set upon graduating?
- What can you start now to make that learning come at a natural pace?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with focusing on today and keeping the immediate task at the forefront of your mind. Stop and smell the roses, please. But also, take a little while to mentally picture life in five years. Ask your spouse or close friend to help you process where you might be in life and what your days could look like!
Need help with homeschool planning?
Global Student Network has an affordable Homeschool Academic Advisor.
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.