One problem with living by pithy aphorisms and proverbs: they aren't one-size fits all.
This ought to be obvious considering how many of them are diametrically opposed. Consider "many hands make light work" and "too many cooks spoil the broth," for instance.
Anyway, one of my current besetting character flaws could be characterized by an excessive adherence to "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today."
Or at least a selectively excessive adherence to it. I had better not pretend a fake character flaw, the kind that people spout in job interviews when the interviewer says, "Tell me about one of your worst traits" and they say things like "Aw gee, it's embarrassing but sometimes I'm a perfectionist." Because it's not like my problem is lack of procrastination.
Just ask my mother-in-law, who recently cleaned out my cupboards for me.
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Here's one of the things about homeschooling. At least when you are in the middle of it, as I am --
-- no wait, I'm not in the middle of it yet -- I'm nine years in and I have at least eighteen to go, unless I quit --
-- I mean we -- or they -- whatever -- point taken --
-- OK, at least when you are in the thick of it, as I am, it seems to stretch on forever into a boundless foggy future. But you can see a while down the road, maybe a couple of years out, and... you've got to be ready for it, right?
Especially if you're like me and you kind of hate winging it. You need a Plan.
So you look out there and you think...
...my oldest will be starting high school in a couple of years, I need to get ready to set up a portfolio and a record system.
And my second-grader just isn't clicking well with the same history program that her brother did, she needs something different or at least a break, maybe a geography program, I should look into those for next year.
And I wonder what books I should have my kids read in high school for American Literature, I know it's several years off but it would be nice to have something in mind, should we do it in historical order or organize it by region, or maybe even some genre stuff , or how about the theme of how American literature fits into a world-literature canon, I almost don't care as long as we don't have to do The Scarlet Letter. I should make a list now.
And next month we're going to do some science labs that could use it, it's about time I start shopping around for a good used microscope.
And I really hate making those spelling worksheets that I started on this year, but they're working so well and I'm seeing real results, I should just sit down and crank out as many as possible so I won't have to do them again for a while. And I should and I should and I should and I should....
It doesn't ever have to stop, if you don't want it to. You can spend your entire weekend, in the nice weather, if the kids are occupied, researching curriculum and churning out worksheets and syllabi. Particularly if you kind of miss doing work at a computer, sitting down, the way you used to. And which is even better in 2013 with Reddit just a click away whenever you get bored.
And all of which is more fun than cleaning out the cupboards, and easier in many ways than actually interacting with one's children.
(I know. Many of you have the opposite problem. You play and enjoy your kids and your home and the outdoors, but then you never get around to any planning or school-prep, because that's not the and so you feel really disorganized when it's time to sit down and do schoolwork. I understand. We are not all the same. Except that everyone has something they wish was better about themselves.)
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Anyway, I decided I work too damn much, so I resolved last week (while I was walking around the lake with Mark, on a gorgeous autumn Sunday during which my in-laws were watching the kids while we escaped for a few minutes) to set some time limits and stick to them. I can do advance school planning on Wednesday evenings while the kids are at religious ed and Mark is grocery shopping, and on Saturday mornings at the coffee shop during Erin's Weekend Sanity Hours O'Solitude And Breakfast, and in the leftover time on Sunday evenings -- if I have some after I've done my get-ready-for-THIS-week stuff.
That's like six hours in total. I'm tempted to write "...and that ought to be enough," except that it probably isn't and won't feel like it and it will feel like I am leaving ten thousand things undone that, if only I would do them in advance, would make everything run so much more smoothly.
But I have to shut off the damn computer and come to bed sometimes, you know? Whether I've done "enough" or not. Truth is, I'll never do "enough" because I could always do "more." In all the areas of my life. It's time to do Not Enough on purpose in this one.