Gratituesday: Perfectly Imperfect

We took our traditional school shopping trip last Friday.  I gave up on making them pose for a picture and just snapped one when I had the chance. Here’s a post with all of our past shopping trips through the years.


Today was our first day of school for the year. It’s easy to have grand ambitions about what all we’ll get done, about how we’ll be so much better about XYorZ this year, and most of all, about how we’ll stick to our schedule and it will work flawlessly.

Y’all, I didn’t even make a schedule this year. (And apparently, suddenly I’m southern.)

I came to the conclusion that thoroughly praying over our school year was more important than thoroughly organizing it. This year we have an 11th grader, an 8th grader, a 6th grader, and a 3rd grader. I knew that attempting to schedule our day on paper wouldn’t have worked, and in fact, this year, I didn’t even have time to get all the books organized on the shelves. We woke up anticipating our “perfect 1st day of school” with piles of books scattered in the living room, unfolded (but clean) baskets of laundry in the unvacuumed hallway, and plenty of unsharpened pencils. None of us had found the time to upload software to computers so that Math and Spanish lessons could be started right on schedule. Oh wait – there was no schedule. Well then.

This isn’t my ideal – or at least it didn’t used to be my ideal when I first started homeschooling twelve years ago. I had preferred to begin our school year with the house perfectly clean, the school books and lists perfectly organized, the meals in the fridge ready to cook themselves, and me – perfectly put together with children who were awake and grinning at the table at precisely when the schedule said they would/should be. And then when something when wrong, because it always did, I’d feel like I’d failed.

Y’all, I’m over it. (Figured since I said it once, I should say it twice.)

There is no perfect homeschool day – except for the perfectly imperfect ones like we experienced today. Today, we got a decent start, but took too long discussing the first chapter of the book of Acts – which was not on the schedule that I didn’t write but isn’t that grand because why put down the Bible for a Math lesson? We had trouble getting Spanish to work correctly on the computer, couldn’t find the Typing CD, and forgot to thaw meat for dinner.

Not to worry, Dad got Spanish working, Justus found the Typing CD, and I made tomorrow night’s Salmon Patties for dinner tonight.

At the end of the day, all of our boys are now engrossed in a great new book they started today, they are standing taller because they accomplished so much, and they feel good about tomorrow since we worked out so many kinks today. Everyone is relaxed, unexpected interruptions didn’t ruin the day, we all had some good laughs (you can’t help it in the Coppinger household), and you’d better believe, we will all sleep well tonight.

Today was my favorite kind of day. Here’s to a perfectly imperfect school year.

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  1. says

    Asa has gotten SO tall. I remember when he was just a little guy. My how time flies. My gratituesday is already up for tomorrow. It is a story of my precious daughter and the woman she has become.
    Love you Laura


  2. Michelle says

    Thank you for sharing. I really needed to read this today.
    I pray you have a wonderful “perfectly imperfect school year.”


  3. says

    Thank you! I had so many plans today and got next to none of them done. You reminded me to take a different approach and think of all the better things I did.


  4. Ann Marie says

    Happy First Day! Hope it is a great year. And thanks for the reminder that things don’t have to be perfect to be great!


  5. says

    This spoke straight to my heart. We haven’t ‘officially’ started yet and I was beating myself up. BUT I don’t need everything here to start on something. Thank you!


  6. Tiffani says

    Laura, sometimes you’re reading my mail! I think there is a beauty that comes with experience. This will be our 14th year of homeschooling and my attitude is pretty much like yours. Glad you all (y’all) had a good day. And, welcome to the South :)


  7. says

    Being born and raised in the south….I love the “y’all”….and you spelled it correctly! Sounds like an awesome first day. And pushing Math back for a lively discussion in ACTS sounds appropriate to me! Have a wonderfully awesome year….y’all!


  8. Teresa says

    Our school year is starting differently this year with Mom in another state waiting patiently for a new granddaughter to be born (I get to be there!!). Dad is the one assisting the “last” student get her year started (9th grade), and the graduated one is busy looking for a job and assisting her dad with the things Mom would have been doing. I had purchased your new “Oh, For Real” cookbook for the two girls to use to manage the mealtimes. It has been interesting, but I’m sure it will be a great time of learning (without Mom’s help), too.


  9. Crystal says

    Laura, thank you for sharing. I too get so wrapped up in my plans that I feel like such a failure when things don’t work out. I think this year, I will just take your approach and completely pray over our year and not stress over it. I know God can do a much better job than I ever could! Thanks again.


  10. Angie says

    Wow! Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I was just looking at my teacher’s guide for the coming school year and was feeling overwhelmed. So I switched gears and checked my email and there I find your great blog post. I needed your words so much. It’s time for me to get praying!


  11. Shannon says

    What a wonderful post. You are a breath of fresh air for me each morning. I love the honesty and humor. With so much school planning left to do for the upcoming school year, maybe I will take your approach and not stress it. It will all get accomplished, plans or not. May your school year be blessed and fruitful.


  12. JJohnson says

    Here’s to it! My favorite kind of day too…life, real life, with my beautiful family.

    Blessings to you and yours…


  13. Birdie says

    Hi Laura. I’m full of gratitude for my dc wanting to homeschool!! I have to put my one page educational goals together for the school board by the 15th but I completely forgot to order science for my dc! My book supplier is very good at getting things to me quickly. I’m grateful for hs lawyers that protect our rights to be free from tyranny.


  14. says

    Love it!

    Anxious to go back-to-homeschool shopping with my kiddos. We now have two homeschoolers in the house! Exciting stuff. :)


  15. says

    Thank you Laura for this reminder. I have been stressing over my schedule and to-do list and making sure I have EVERY book it says we could possibly read. It feels much better to just let go and let God!


  16. Jennifer says

    We started homeschooling on Monday and my goal this year is to be less overbearing and more laid back. So our schedule has a start time for the morning and afternoon and then a list of the morning subjects and afternoon subjects. Plus, my boys mark off their completed lessons themselves. So far, it’s working well. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes. :-)


  17. Julie says

    Thank you. I’m having trouble wanting to homeschool at all anymore after 12 years. I’m so tired. It helps to know I’m not alone.


    Birdie Reply:

    Hi Julie. I understand your weariness so much (9 years for us)! I hope that you accept your feelings as perfectly acceptable and normal, 8-) Almost everyone of us go through this, often through most of our journey, 8->


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