Thursday, June 7, 2012

Failing to Plan, Planning to Fail, Part 2

(See Part 1 here)

I have to admit I don't like the title of these posts so much anymore.  They sound pretty legalistic!  I want to remind you that failing to plan is not the same as failing in the task that God has given you to do in homeschooling.  If you have never planned your homeschooling year, or if every plan you ever made seemed to fall apart, your faithfulness to the task and most importantly, your acceptance before God is NOT dependant on how well your plan did or didn't turn out.  It is easy to make faithfulness to a PLAN the same as faithfulness to GOD, which is NOT the gospel!  Here is what the difference between planning and gospel-centered planning sounds like in my head...

"We are floundering so much right now, we always seem to be constantly behind, I wonder if my kids could even pass a standardized test if they had to take it this year!  I hate having to hear what all those other moms are doing at our homeschooling support group, they all seem like they accomplish so much more than me.  If I was just more disciplined!  I made that great plan at the beginning of the year, but I can't seem to stick to it.  Why am I so undisciplined and unfaithful?  How can God use someone like me to teach my kids?"


"Wow, I feel so behind right now, I don't think we've done science in 6 weeks!  I don't know what happened to that plan I made at the beginning of the year.  Even though I am tempted to compare myself to all the other moms who seem to be doing more than me, I know that my acceptance with God doesn't depend on how well I stick to my homeschooling schedule.  Since I am confident in his acceptance of me, I can admit where I need help - maybe even ask one of those moms to look at my plan and help me identify where I can get back on track or if I am doing too much.  I am weak and unfaithful at times, but Christ was never weak and unfaithful with me - and he desires to be my strength when I am weak!  Thank you Lord for keeping me from a pity party by turning my eyes to you!"

See the difference?  Planning is a tool, but it is not our salvation or our righteousness or our guarantee of happiness or success.  When we fail to plan or our plan fails, we still have an advocate before the Father and a strong helper in the Holy Spirit.  And let's not forget that we can't plan for everything...

Come now, you who say, 'We will enter (and win) the spelling bee, create beautiful dioramas, be fluent in Latin and graduate high school at sixteen'- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'
James 4:13-15 (H.S.V. - Homeschoolers Version)
I don't know where I got that version of the bible, probably a homeshool convention or something.  Maybe it is a little over the top.  But as ridiulous as it is, are your plans yours or are they God's?  What if God chooses to change school year plan (or even your life trajectory) by serious illness or loss?  Remember that all your plans are subject to the Lord's will and should be God-centered, not Man-centered, Child-centered, Family-centered, or any other centered!

Finally, one more verse... this time I will use my good old ESV...

Commit your work to the LORD and your plans will be established.  Proverbs 16:3

Happy Planning Season!

This post is part of my Homeschooling 101 series, (now moved to Thursdays). 


  1. I've failed to plan most of my years of homeschooling. I've always had a plan in my head and since the most of the curriculum I use is laid out pretty well to get through it in a year, I've done ok. This year though, I decided it was time to really sit down and get it all on paper. What I found most helpful in the process is having a plan for what to cover in our morning time. I've planned out the hymns we will learn, the catechism questions per week, the poems I want to memorize. Having it on paper and then getting it all printed and ready to go is going to make life much easier. In planning I've also discovered ways to fit it all in, yet make it simple. However, even the years I didn't have it in writing, God has blessed our work. We may not stick to the plan, but it helps things to be more clear in my head.

    1. Thanks for that, Sarah. Planning is definitely something that has developed and gotten better over the years for me, too.