The Best Laid Plans

 Posted by on March 7, 2013  2 Responses »
Mar 072013

Attractive young female rodent In the classic Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie, two migrant farm workers, dream of “living off the fat of the land”. They dream of buying a farm of their own, living off the land’s resources, and being completely self-sufficient. George doesn’t want to take orders from anyone ever again. He is smart and capable.

Lennie’s big dream is to own rabbits. A large and clumsy man, he is a bit mentally challenged and doesn’t know his own strength. His inability to control his strength and his reaction to fear causes great trouble for the pair.

In the end, the plans George has for their future do not turn out like he desires because Lennie isn’t capable of sticking to the them. Because of Lennie’s mistakes, his (Lennie) life ends and he does not get to be a part of their big dream.

Although our homeschools hopefully will not end in tragedy like Of Mice and Men, they often mimic the line from To a Mouse by Robert Burns, from where the book gets its title, which states:

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men

Gang aft agley.”

(The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry).

By my calculations, there’s about sixty days left in this homeschooling year. You’re almost at Spring Break time and then the end of May will be here before you know it. One more year of homeschooling under your belt. Ahhh, such a feeling of satisfaction. Right? HPIM8435

For some of you, this may not be the time of year that you feel satisfaction. In fact, you may be panicking because you’re only a little over halfway done with your curriculum. Your 180-day plan has somehow fallen by the wayside.

Job 17:11-12 — My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near.

Why do plans go awry?

Usually plans go awry because we get distracted. This may be by things beyond our control or things that we simply allow to take precedence in our lives.

While it is important to make a plan and try to stick with it so you can reach your goal and enjoy a leisurely summer break, it’s equally as important (and emotionally healthy) to be flexible.

If you’ve got sixty days left this year but you’ve got ninety days of schoolwork, this would be the time to readjust the plan. Scrap what isn’t working. Tighten the belt where it needs to be tightened. Dig deep into your books and see what can be condensed a little. It’s also the time to admit that some subjects may need to be worked on over the summer.

Conceptual sign of sucess in business and life Plans, like those of an architect, are not set in stone. They are written on paper or entered into a computer program. So the good news is: plans can be adapted to fit where you are right now.

Psalm 20:4 — May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

The most vital thing to remember this time of year is that you are not a failure as a homeschooling parent. Resist the urge to compare yourself to other moms. Take just a little bit of time to sip a nice hot cup of something delicious and mull over your planner. I bet you’ll be amazed at how you can adjust things and keep your plans from going awry!

Sherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, social media junkie, and a former homeschooling mom who loves to share God with others, while sharing her life experiences with them. She is a member of the ACFW and a graduate from the Christian Writers Guild writing course. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in general–good, clean romance, that is. She is passionate about purity and sexual integrity. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara). She is polishing her novels To Laugh Once More and After the Raging Storm

Photo credits:,,

Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett: Your Passport to Learning Adventures!

Flexible Homeschool Planner

 Posted by on July 19, 2012  4 Responses »
Jul 192012

When it comes to planning for the school year, I have tried just about everything. There are so many different options, I was bound to find one that works for my family. I have spent hours printing, writing lesson plans, printing, entering lesson plans on the computer, printing, researching products, did I mention printing? While each system, product and printable planner has great features and may be the best choice for another family, they did not work for my family.

After years of looking and trying out new products, last year I decided to pick up a school planner from the local office supply store and it has been a perfect fit for my family! Here is how it works for me…

The planner has a three year reference calendar in the front to help with long-term planning. It is dated from July to June, perfect for our school year which begins in late July and ends in June. Each month has tabs and a monthly calendar at the beginning. This is where I pencil in our events, field trips, sports practice, classes, lessons, etc.

After the monthly calendar is a two page per week calendar. It is dated and lined, but there are no times listed (you can purchase one with times). This is where I pencil in lesson plans, one month at a time. Each day is broken into 13 sections, I have a different child/subject on each one. I use a highlighter to separate each of the boys. If you click on the image to the right, you can view a larger image and see the details.

Notice I said “pencil in”…I am what most like to call a “free spirit”, so I like to be able to change things up a bit as we go. This planner is flexible enough for me and keeps me in line with our planning at the same time! And the best part…I get a planner for the entire year for about 20 bucks, even less if you have a coupon!

~By Heidi, Heidi’s Miscellany