Like many homeschool moms at this time of year I am currently consumed with planning for next year. As this school year winds down, I am scrambling to get things set for next fall so I can relax and enjoy the summer fun that is just around the corner. With three elementary children to plan for, I am having a difficult time keeping everything straight. Our curriculum of choice (Ambleside Online) is requiring some adjustment on my behalf to work in Canadian history. The rearranging and digging for quality books and stories to replace what I am removing is a time-consuming task that somehow never feels quite settled or complete in my mind. AO’s book lists, as they are, just seem so “tried and true” to me that I am constantly second guessing any adjustments I make for our Canadian context. Also, not knowing a lot of my country’s history myself, I feel very inadequate in this department.
On top of the schedule and book changes that need to be made, I find it hard to picture that my three girls will actually be ready to tackle the material in each of their respective years come fall. After all, I am planning for next year, planning for the unknown…NOT for where we are in the here and now (with the skills and abilities I witness on a daily basis)! I am learning there is a certain amount of faith in preparing for a subsequent homeschool year. Our children grow and change and mature so gradually that it is difficult to imagine that six year old will comprehend some of those year one readings come September. But I plan, I trust the glowing reports of others who had doubts entering year one, and I forge ahead, knowing that for a young child three months can mean a host of changes in their capabilities and comprehension.
Sometimes I think I underestimate my children. Their understanding, the connections that they make, and the way they express their thoughts constantly surprise me. So as I plan for next year some of those books seem out of reach, some of those copywork passages seem a bit lengthy, that Latin course feels a little daunting, those math concepts so foreign…but I will choose to plan in faith. Exactly where each of my girls will be academically by the fall is a big unknown, and there is a certain amount of guess work involved in laying out their studies for the following year. All I can do is pray for wisdom and keep pressing ahead. I will also pray for a flexible attitude for any adjustments that need to be made if I set that bar a bit too high. But you know what? That hasn’t happened yet. Because as time goes by, my kids keep growing and learning and surprising me. So I will plan. I will pray. And I will look forward to how that planning finally intersects with where each of them are come fall. I might be planning for the unknown, but let’s not call it the “unexpected”…because I am choosing to expect great things from God, from myself, and from my children!