‘Twas the Night Before School Started (A Back to School Ode to Homeschoolers Everywhere)

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Here's a fun and humorous look at back to school. You have to admit, it sounds pretty familiar! Happy Back to School, Everyone!

Twas the night before school started, and all through the house

Not a child was stirring, not even the one snuggling with the Mouse.

The schoolbooks were stacked on the kids’ desks with care,

Knowing that the morning would come and school would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of science experiments danced in their heads.

And daddy with his iPad and me with my laptop

Had just plugged in our devices for their overnight rest stop.


When deep in my heart there began such a clatter,

I ran to the schoolroom to see what was the matter.

For I knew it dealt with anxiousness and fear

Those two yucky feelings I’d lived with last school year.

I found a piece of paper and began to write,

My heart full of emotions and my chest feeling tight:


“What will this year be like? What if I can’t do it again?

All those crafts and read-alouds and fill-the-blanks-in?

What if I just don’t have it in me to teach?

To model, to grow, to help my kids reach

for their bright future? And what about all those mistakes I made

last year when I thought I was so confident and brave?

I don’t want to be a stressed-out mess

Angry and frustrated when things don’t turn out “best.”’


And then I picked up my pen and started to write

Not caring if the words sounded strange or if they might

come back to haunt me on some dark day

when I’d chose to critique myself and make myself pay.


My words weren’t perfect but flowed from my pen

With the steadfastness of an honest heart deep within:


“How do I want to live out this year?

I do have a choice, even when my heart is not of good cheer,

To be flexible with all the changes that will come

(even if they are hard or I believe they are dumb).

I can choose to celebrate the successes, no matter how small

I can treasure them! I can store up them all

in my heart-of-hearts, ready to enjoy straightaway

When times are hard and I feel that I’ve lost my way.

What if I chose not to emphasize and stress over the tiny issues of curriculum,

Of tasks that “must” be completed, of pages that “must” be done.


What if I made this my burning,

My teaching focus, my heart’s bid:

To lighten up and enjoy this all-too-fleeting time with my kids?


Now this wouldn’t mean that I’d be closing

All those lovely notebooks and books I’d so carefully chosen.

There would still be a plan, lots of deep rich learning time,

Quality study and hills of knowledge to climb.

But I’d do it from a restful heart, you see

Because I was also pledging to take care of me.


I’d learned a lot about the importance of rest

And how the lack of it did not leave me at my best.

I remembered the days when I’d pushed myself too far,

Feeling I didn’t deserve it because I’d simply missed the bar

On what “should” get done for the day. So I pushed myself more—

my heart left empty and my soul feeling sore.


But that’s all in the past. I’m learning new ways

To give myself grace and to let all my days

Be seasoned with intentional shifts—

Small movements toward good, tiny expressions of lift

That bring freedom and wholeness to this fragile mom’s heart—

A joy and an expression: look what I’m becoming! A work of art!


This is how I will approach this year.

This is how I will live each moment not full of fear

Of the despicable “what-ifs,” the ungrateful “why can’t we’s,” and the unforgiving “shoulds.”

All the nasty joy-stealers—those rotten discontentments—that possibly could

Derail me from all this homeschooling life has to give!

I will stand strong, and I will confidently live

This precious calling that’s been given to me

The incredible privilege to simply grow, enjoy and to be

With my wonderful children day after day,

Embracing together the good and the bad that comes our way.


So my dear homeschooling friends, it’s my pleasure to write

(my heart feeling so much better, my soul feeling light):

Have a wonderful school year—one focused on love and grace;

Of sweet moments of discovery, of laughter and of a slower pace

Where less is more and fear takes flight.

Happy school year to all, and to all a good night!”


Want a Better Homeschool Year with Your Kids?

Plan to Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your FamilyPlan to Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family

P.S. If you'd like to experience a happier homeschool year as a mom too (with a flexible, realistic homeschool rhythm) check out my book Plan to Be Flexible.

Discover how to create a doable homeschool rhythm for your family that changes with your family's needs.

Have a wonderful start to the homeschool year with Plan to Be Flexible!

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