Oh, February. How do you manage to be the shortest month on the calendar and yet the longest month of my homeschooling year?
You know what I mean. February is the funkiest month (not in a good way). I’ve heard it’s the time homeschoolers are most likely to want to give up, and I believe it. You are far enough into the school year that you are committed to finishing, yet “finishing" is still so far off as to seem unattainable. It’s pretty much lose-lose.
For many folks it’s also cold and snowy and icy and going outside is not happening. This year at least we’re not dealing with weather blahs (thank you, southern California) but we’ve BTDT and it’s no bueno.
Another thing that always hits me in February is a strong desire to plan the following school year. Which is a fine idea—I love a good plan—but it distracts me from what we’re actually supposed to be doing this year. Then of course my potential agenda starts looking so much cooler than my current agenda and so I start to feel resentful of the fact that I need to complete what seemed like a good idea last summer before I move on to what will obviously be a much better curriculum with clearly superior educational choices and why didn’t I see that before?
In sum, February makes me question everything. That’s not a bad thing . . . reflection is necessary and anticipation is exciting. But not if it overwhelms you. What helps me is taking things one step at a time, and writing it all down.
So right now I’m going through everything we have done (and are doing) in each subject and figuring out exactly where we will be at the end of the school year. In most cases I’m pleasantly surprised at how much we’ve accomplished. Looking back at everything we’ve covered and planning our end game for each subject is encouraging me to slow down and appreciate the work we’ve done and how the Agents have grown since we started.
Once I finish that, I will move on to evaluating the good and bad for the year. This is not as painful as it sounds. I kind of like seeing what works and what doesn’t; it’s liberating to let go of ideas that simply were not useful, and knowing we got at least some things right makes me optimistic for the days ahead.
What kind of relationship do you have with February? How is the school year feeling right now? What changes will you make going forward?