Last night, DJ and I planned out next year’s school.
I like how that sentence looks. It gives the impression that we sat down together with piles of catalogues and curriculum guides, each with an open notebook and a sharpened pencil. Discussion, debate, and laughter filled the room as we custom-created our children’s educational plan for next year.
I almost hate to clarify.
Yesterday, DJ took the day off work and camped out at the library with catalogues, booklists, and a thrift-store notebook that has the name “Mark Frazier” written on the front of it. Four and a half hours later, he came home with a complete academic plan for each of our three older kids.
That evening, we went out together, and he went over his ideas with me while I drank two chocolate martinis. Because the fact is, I’m not a detail-oriented, planner-type person. But I spent six years doing all the kids’ lesson plans and overseeing every bit of their schooling, until I burned out, hit a wall, gave up, and buried myself in distractions. The only reason our kids had a good education this past year is because DJ took over most of the school planning and at least half of the teaching.
Now we’re ready to step out of survival mode and back into living life. Last night, DJ handed me his plan, and I liked it. I tweaked it to add white space for breathing, and wiggle room for creativity. We both acknowledged the line that was typed in bold at the top of each child’s paper: We can’t do it all.
The thing about homeschooling is that it takes a lot out of you. When one of you has to handle it all on your own, it can become a heavy burden. Not every couple needs to have The Man plan everything out, and The Woman handle the implementation. But every couple has a different set of strengths, and things work best if you figure out how to fuse your strengths and work together.
Come to think of it, that’s also the thing about parenting. Or marriage. If there are two of you involved, it’s a team sport, not a solo quest.
So DJ and I have our plan. We’ll see what happens when it comes to actually teaching our actual children. But for now, DJ is excited about the possibilities that the new school year holds.
I’m just glad this one is nearly over. I’ll drink to that.