I can’t help it, really I can’t. Once the end of our learning year seems to be in sight, I am already starting to think of what comes next. I don’t wait for the year to finish, I don’t wait for summer time; I start planning the minute the urge takes over. It looks like this year is no different. We haven’t even finished our third quarter and I am already two steps ahead.
While this method might not work for everyone, there are several logical reasons I do this.
By nature, I tend to be an overly organized person. I also tend to obsess over things and continually think over them until I’ve made myself crazy. When I consider what next year might bring, it helps to start writing things out and narrowing down those decisions. This gives me plenty of time to thoroughly inspect new ideas or activities and test out some concepts to see if they work practically. It also helps in being able to do some research, if some of our new interests require a financial investment or a great deal of time. Plus, once ideas are written down, I don’t have to worry about forgetting a truly awesome idea or keeping information in my head; it’s down on paper and I have plenty of time to get to it.
I also tend to write down thoughts on how our routine is currently working. Is our day running smoothly? Will our day need to be adjusted next year to accommodate our children’s needs or household schedules? What is working really well this year that I don’t want to change? What is not working and needs to be revamped? Which things need a complete replacement?
Planning ahead has also helped me in mapping out our children’s educational futures. By looking in the direction our children are headed, I have a better idea of how their learning should be planned out now. If my child wants to be a zoologist, I don’t want to wait until her junior year of high school to start bumping up her science courses; that is something we need to start looking at in junior high.
The only downside I see to being two steps ahead (or three, or four), is that I get anxious to start. I become excited over new projects, new school books, new routines, and new opportunities to learn. While I understand the current year needs to be completed, I’m chopping at the bit to move on.
Above all else, I am continually praying for our coming year. No matter what new changes (and there are going to be some awesome ones) come our way, I want to make sure we are following the path He has laid before us. If I do this on my own, I know I am going to fail. With Him, this next year looks to be an excellent one!
When do you begin looking at next year’s routine?