Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links.  Read the full disclosure here.

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faithWhat is the race set before me?  Well, at this season of my life, my chief “race” or calling is that of homeschooling the 5 children I have left at home.  I have other, secondary races: blogger, homemaker/wife, ebay reseller, women’s ministry leader, youth leader, Sparks (Awana) leader; however, God has called me, first and foremost, to be the primary educator of my children.  And I must run the school year with endurance!

The new school year has begun and, with it, the anticipation and excitement of the new year as well as the joy of a fresh start on things we may have failed at last year.  Old books have been put away or sold and new books are at the kids desks along with fresh notebooks, pencils, crayons among other school supplies.  The initial library trip has already been made where we picked out books to go with the era of history we are studying.  Homeschool co-op classes have been signed up for and our daily/weekly school schedule has been made.  We are ready!

Oh, did you hear me say, “fresh start on things we failed at last year”?  Ummm, yeah, failure is a big part of our homeschool.  {oh the horror!!!}  Not failure in grades, I make sure my kids have an understanding of a subject before they move on; no, our failure comes by way of stick-to-it’edness.  The ability to stick with, or persist, in the plans I have made for our homeschool.  The first several days or even weeks the kids are careful to get out of bed at the prescribed time in the morning and get themselves ready for school.  They eat, read their bibles, and are in their places by 8:30 ready to learn.  We bounce through our subjects in a timely manner and come to the end of the day having  done everything we were supposed to do.  But history tells me that that won’t last long.  Reality catches up with my ideal schedule and throws it for a loop – and I get caught in the whirlwind.  Fringe courses get dropped.  Schedules get loosened – maybe a little too much. And my kids follow suit.   It happens.  Every.  Year.

My oldest son (who is in college now) came home from his job and saw the new school schedule we had made.  His only response was to laugh and shake his head, I had high hopes and he knows all to well my shortcomings.  I told him this year would be different; he’s not holding his breath.

Let us run this race with endurance!

I am tired of ending the school year in survival mode.  Tired of scrambling to make sure the core classes get finished and leaving the others by the wayside.  This year I want to persevere through the school year and finish everything we set out to do!  But how???

Limit outside obligations

The biggest threat to our homeschool every year has been interruptions from the outside.  Errands, carpooling, appointments, not to mention the inevitable emergency of the day (or week if I’m lucky).  In past years I’ve had to take a kid to therapy at 9am several times a week or drive my son, who was sharing my car, to the local community college.  We’ve had dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments, ballet classes, you name it.  Then there is the necessary grocery shopping trip!  And while these things weren’t everyday, they were scattered in our schedule just often enough to make consistency impossible.  Knowing this is a problem is half the battle and I have determined not to let these things interfere with my schedule this year — to the best of my ability anyway (remember those emergencies?!?).  I made sure my son would be able to buy a car this summer to relieve me from carpooling duties, and we joined a ballet company that is down the street from us and has evening classes (the daytime “homeschool” classes just don’t work for us).  Because mornings are the time we do the majority of our school, I do my best to schedule all appointments and do my grocery shopping in the afternoon.

Our area has a decently large homeschool population, thus there are innumerable good opportunities for us each day.  Library homeschool programs, weekly PE programs, and classes at the local art museum just to name a few.  I could be part of several different homeschool groups and go on all kinds of field trips.  I was just talking to a friend last week and saying that even though I really wanted to do the weekly PE program, I was having a difficult time making it work with our schedule.  In the end I had to decide against the commitment to be somewhere every Tuesday morning.  Another friend talks up the local library program, but I have yet to go because I know that it would be just another thing.  I have had to learn to take the good, better, best approach to decision-making and have come to the conclusion that minimal obligations are best for us right now.  We have co-op classes we attend twice a month, throw that in with ballet, cross country, and church and we have a full schedule.

I do want to add that my strict limitations are not what is best for every family.  I currently have 3 high-schoolers, one middle-schooler, and one elementary student.  It takes everything I have to keep all those different needs afloat.  When I start dividing our attentions elsewhere, I sabotage our success.  My advice is this: know yourself, know your family, and know the time constraints of your chosen curriculum.  Then do what is best.

Realistic Schedule

First, I normally made the schedule mostly by myself.  There is a lot to consider: What subjects were we going to do when and how would we divide the two computers amongst the 5 students who needed them at various times throughout the day.  I have to coordinate independent work with group work and the best way to stretch my availability.  Scheduling all the in’s and out’s wrack my brain for all it’s worth.

Homeschool Schedule  This rime I brought in my my 12th, 10th, and 9th graders to help me schedule the day/week.  We sat down with the list of subjects we had to accomplish each week and a white board with time grids drawn on it. With their help I was able to put together a good schedule that considered everyone’s computer, individual and group needs.  This is something that, in the past, would have taken all my brain power and still would have come up short.

I am also doing things differently regarding my personal daily to-do’s.  Remeber that multi-faceted list of “hats” up there, my secondary races?  In the past I have scheduled my kids days and hoped to be able to accomplish those things in the midst of it all. I have fantasized sitting beside them with my computer open and all of us working independently side by side.  HA!  Rarely did it ever work out that way.  When I tried to focus on myself and my projects, I couldn’t focus on them.  And when I tried to focus on them, I couldn’t focus on my other projects.  And since I wasn’t focusing on any one thing at a time, I didn’t excel at any of it.  So this year I’ve divided the two.  My focus will be purely on school in the morning.  They will get my full attention.  Then I have designated 2 hours in the afternoon just for blogging and after that ebay, church, and other homemaking obligations.

I bought a good calendar for myself to keep my day organized in.  I get frustrated with calendars that are geared toward a specific thing (i.e. homeschool or blogging) because, while they excel at that, they leave no room for my other priorities.  I found this calendar by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less and it is a good fit for me.  I love it because it uses the time block system and it has space before each month for me to brainstorm the projects I want to tackle that month.

Putting all these standards in place doesn’t necessarily ensure success, but it does make it easier.  My constant prayer is that, this year, I will succeed in finishing strong!


How do you feel about your homeschool?  Do you have any measures in place to help you persevere through the inevitable rough patches?  I’d love to hear about them.


How I plan to persevere this school year

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Overwhelmed by life? Need to pray but don't have the words? Subscribe for my list and bookmark of go-to psalms to pray.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This