Ten days or so before starting our new school year (I want to get it over with earlier in the spring), I've finished a major task: my main record and planning book.
Oscar provided me with the plate-billed mountain toucan on the cover. On the back is another South American bird, the El Oro conure, and a slip with my name and phone number and an impassioned plea to Call If Found.
Once I have The Notebook finished, I feel ready to start the year. I have always been energized by new office supplies. A trait that I find is common among homeschooling parents.
I have to be careful not to mistake my lovely notebook for real organization and real control. For one thing, after Monday morning August 6, it will never look this tidy again. It will start to accumulate cross-outs and reschedulings and notations and records of how things really went.
I write this to remind myself. Flexibility is not a natural virtue of mine. I get very tense when my plans are changed for me. Three children are starting to cure me of that, slowly and painfully.
No, you can't paint today. I don't want to deal with the mess. No, we can't go to the park right now. We have to finish math. No, I can't read you another story. I have to make dinner. Maybe tomorrow.
I'm going to try to say those things a little less often this year.
Mark joked last night that if it's more flexibility and freedom I want, I need to schedule it in. Spontaneity from nine-thirty to twelve o'clock on Wednesdays! He thought that was funny -- I think it's exactly what I need to do.