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My son is making goals. It gives him a lot of satisfaction to think and plan about the goals he wants to set. It almost makes one feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something, doesn’t it?—just to dream and plan about it.

But planning to do something is not doing it! It is just thinking about doing it!

So often, this can be the case with homeschool. A malady can set it for homeschool mothers—the “I-Need-to-Plan-First” sickness. Now, I don’t think there is a thing wrong with planning. Things go very well when there is pre-planning. But if the need for planning is delaying actually getting started doing something, then I would advise you to just “jump in”!

Jumping right in and doing something is somehow magic. Just taking action has power. And when we jump in and do something, the desire to do it well sets in and replaces inertia and procrastination.

I wanted to teach Louisa real art. She loves art and I thought that ceramics, sculpting, watercolor painting and working with other media would be exciting to her. I bought some clay and mentally planned to do a unit on ceramics. I could see the outline and lesson plans in my mind. First, we’ll learn about the origin of clay. Then we’ll do a simple pinch pot. Then a coil pot, then slabwork, then sculpture. . . . As usual, it can get pretty grandiose in my plans!

Well, as it turned out, I was still in my nightgown when Louisa got the clay out and showed a lot of interest in opening it and making something. I wanted to say (and probably did), “No, no, no! Not now. I haven’t got it planned out yet!” She was eager and what ended up happening was that the clay got opened, and we ended up making slab pots (still in my nightgown). This was not how I wanted it to happen, but it was really fun. And doing the more advanced slab work first helped me to be realistic, simplify and mentally organize. Spontaneity is a good thing. Procrastination and inertia are our enemies.

Don’t let the desire to “do it right” keep you from acting. Weeks and months fly by and looking at it now, a slab pot made without any planning is a lot better than no pot at all! Besides, we got hooked and made pinch pots soon after. Now we are planning to paint octopi on them, like the Minoans did. Louisa carefully looks at our history book photos of artifacts and sighs with new-found understanding, “How did they make those pots so big and good?” Glad inertia didn’t stop us!

(Ancient Minoan ceramic pot)

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Diane

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