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How to not stress about being behind (schedule not academic)?


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Every year I stress about getting behind in my schedule. Every year we finish way earlier than I plan. So why do I always worry when life gets in the way?

 

Last year I had pneumonia. Out of commission for two weeks 1/2 commission for another two weeks. My daughter had a concussion. Another week of caring for her. Then the week after that my son spent 8 days in the hospital after having an appendectomy. Then spent another week at home. All that we finished in late April, although I didn't get as ahead in math as I had planned but I was ok with it.

 

This year we won't finish early for various reasons, but we are t really behind either. I have to fly out for my grandfathers funeral. I'll only be gone two school days but then my son woke up sick today and now I'm stressing be use we won't get the bare minimum finished that I wanted before I go.

 

Why can't I just let it go? This is my 7th year homeschooling. You'd think I'd be able to go with the flow by now!

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Our oldest son, 31, suffered a traumatic Brain injury in March of last year, was in the ICU in Seattle (across the country from where we live in VA) for months and unexpectedly died in June. Our 12 year olds homeschooling came to a screeching halt, but thank goodness we homeschool because we were able to take him with us to Seattle. He did read some, but there wasn't any accountability or worry about education. We also didn't get it done over the summer because we were just surviving. My point is that we have to test yearly for the state and I was worried. He did fine. He didn't progress as much as he would have if it hadn't happened but we had a strong base and life experiences also do teach. I am not an unschooler, but I now know without a doubt that kids can and do learn even without curriculum and it will be okay if plans change. It absolutely wasn't my plan but he spent a lot of time on Minecraft, in hospitals, becoming independent, learning patience, empathy, compassion. He learned to occupy himself while left alone in the apartment we rented a 5 minute walk from the hospital. He did get some trips with family to the bay, museums, parks, seeing a dormant volcano out his window, learning about mass transportation, and rode a small private medical plane home where the crew let him sit in the cockpit and ask lots of questions. Life happens, death happens, and learning happens all the time.

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It sounds like you are a planner, as am I.   And when things don't go according to plan, even when you know, intellectually, that the plan you created gave you plenty of wiggle room, it can be difficult to allow yourself to trust that things will be OK.

 

I've had similar experiences - emergency surgery followed by 6 weeks of recovery and zero formal schoolwork done during that period.  Not part of the plan.  But yet, we still managed to get things done that I had hoped to get done by the end of the year.  In fact, as it turns out, DS was so incredibly bored by my absolute inability to function that he essentially took what little phonics training we had done and taught himself to read while I lay supine on the couch sleeping for 18 to 20 hours a day and unable to concentrate on anything more detailed than FB status updates.  He actually took that 6 weeks and probably accomplished more - on his own - than we would have accomplished had I been able to stick to the plan.

 

Since then I have taken a looser approach to planning - I still have an idea for what I want to finish and when but how we get there?  Well, I don't actually plan further than 5 weeks ahead because then if I need to readjust (either because we have done way more than anticipated or way less than anticipated), it's not nearly as stressful as having to replan an entire year.

 

Not sure if that is helpful or not.  Mostly just commiserating with the stressing out about schedules.

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It sounds like you are a planner, as am I.   And when things don't go according to plan, even when you know, intellectually, that the plan you created gave you plenty of wiggle room, it can be difficult to allow yourself to trust that things will be OK.

 

I've had similar experiences - emergency surgery followed by 6 weeks of recovery and zero formal schoolwork done during that period.  Not part of the plan.  But yet, we still managed to get things done that I had hoped to get done by the end of the year.  In fact, as it turns out, DS was so incredibly bored by my absolute inability to function that he essentially took what little phonics training we had done and taught himself to read while I lay supine on the couch sleeping for 18 to 20 hours a day and unable to concentrate on anything more detailed than FB status updates.  He actually took that 6 weeks and probably accomplished more - on his own - than we would have accomplished had I been able to stick to the plan.

 

Since then I have taken a looser approach to planning - I still have an idea for what I want to finish and when but how we get there?  Well, I don't actually plan further than 5 weeks ahead because then if I need to readjust (either because we have done way more than anticipated or way less than anticipated), it's not nearly as stressful as having to replan an entire year.

 

Not sure if that is helpful or not.  Mostly just commiserating with the stressing out about schedules.

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I am a planner. I try not to worry and I've gotten better over the years. I am totally trying to relax and have more fun vs sticking to the schedule but it's so hard for me! Academically he is fine. Last year we tested him for gifted classes and he took the ITBS one grad ahead and he scored 99th in reading and 97th in math. So I logically know I could probably totally unschool this year and be fine but I feel like I must finish all the pages in every book. We've had a hard time finding a math that we both enjoy so I feel behind there but he is blowing thru Sungapore so I'm sure we will finish the book "on time" if not early.

 

Ugh. I think structure and naming is just in my blood.

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We've always had difficult, difficult years homeschooling. Really ever since my oldest was 5 (he's in college now). One year a family member had three out-of-state surgeries, a local surgery, and countless office visits in between. We normally meet our insurance medical deductible early in January and are perpetually drowning in medical bills.

 

On top of that, I usually end up with the long distance eldercare and estate issues on both sides of the family. Call me caregiver supreme.

 

Frankly you just keep going and do what you can. Some years we didn't finish the school year until mid-August, took a week off, and then started up again. It's gotten easier now with one in college and an 11th grader because they mostly do their own thing, but the guilt over my lack of attention remains. My 10th grader had significant math problems last year that I overlooked amid all of the turmoil, and she's paying the price for that but is nearly caught up.

Edited by G5052
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