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Monday, August 8, 2011

No More Nightmares!!

I have a recurring nightmare.
I find myself, in my dream, suddenly asked to come forward in church and sing with the rest of the family. (That's not the nightmare part) As I mount the platform, I look down at my feet and notice, to my great fear and dread, that I HAVE NO SHOES ON!! To my complete horror, I look out on a sea of faces – all of whom are now looking at my bare feet as well – and I'm frozen with one singular thought. How do I get out of here?!? My thundering heart jolts my body alert.
Another horrifying dream I have brings back the old marching band days.
For some odd reason, I find myself suddenly on the field with the rest of the band, standing at attention ready to start the show. Show?!? What show??!!? My mind shrieks. Two seconds later, the drum majorette is clapping and yelling, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I jerk awake in a cold sweat.
I have yet another frequent dream which troubles me.
With no warning whatsoever, I find myself standing in the hall at East Pennsboro High School, students jostling here, there, everywhere. I'm standing stock still in the middle of the mayhem, with a paper in my hand. It's my class schedule. I find myself back at high school, and It's time to go to the next class. I look down at the schedule, and it's too blurry to read. I squint, turn my head from side to side, and even try holding the little paper farther away, but with no success. I can't read the dumb thing, and I'm going to be late for class.
All of these dreams scream one thing: I hate being caught unprepared. Unfortunately, it has happened to me time and again, hence the dreams.
I determined that this school year will not catch me unprepared.
Having seven children, it's easy to go into a school year completely unprepared. There have been a few years when I would look at the calendar and, realizing with horror that it was mid-August, I would announce, "Oh, no! we've got to start school TOMORROW!!" I remember frantically digging through the pile of books, still in the same place as I left them a few months before, looking for this year's books, wondering if there was anything I should have ordered but didn't.
There have even been a few times that one of my children didn't start school with the others, much to my own shame.

Hopefully, this school year will not catch you unprepared. Here are some last-minute organization tips for busy homeschoolers:
  1. First, you need to take some time out of your busy summer schedule to check on each of your childrens' books for the next year. Do you have everything you need? Should you order something? If so, getting to it right away will really reduce the stress load later.
  2. Make a list, with each student's name at the top, and subjects along the left hand side. Then list the books you have already, and notice what blanks you have. Put a star next to those, and pray about how to fill those blanks. Spend some time looking through catalogs, researching online, or simply talking with your husband to see what would be best for your student and your family. Then, place your orders!
  3. Next, work on a school schedule. First, you need to schedule your time, then you may want to make a schedule for your kids' time. Making a chore schedule will help around the house, too. You can schedule your chores and your kids' chores.
  4. Then, pray about and decide on your school starting date & your target ending date (understand that it probably won't happen that way, but it may give you something to shoot for).
  5. You will also want to take some time to become familiar with the subject matter your kids are going to be learning this year. Look at each child's teacher's manuals, write down things which you may need to gather, print, or collect. Then, set aside a time to gather, print, or collect the necessary items.
  6. Take just a few minutes to check on your supplies. You may need crayons, glue, paper, notebooks, rulers, calculators, etc. etc. etc. etc.
  7. Finally, it would be a good idea to organize each student's space, or better yet, allow them to get their own space ready. Make sure each child has an appropriate container for his books, dvds, etc. Of course, this may go without saying, but it's a good idea to make sure last year's mess is cleaned up first!
Homeschooling does not have to be a nightmare. Even if you're just starting your preparation now (you're in good company – I have some things I need to order tonight, if possible), you can still be ready in time, and start your school year relaxed, prepared, and joyful. With prayer, preparation, and a lot of grace, you will be ready to start your next school year!

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