We just got home from a camping trip. We had to come home a few days early because of some pretty intense thunderstorms. We slept in a tent that we borrowed from my sister and her husband. The trip was a lot of fun – especially for our boys. But it was nothing like we had planned.

I’m sure you’ve been on trips like this – where your best laid plans are torn asunder by everything from rocky soil that makes it hard to stake down the tent – to curious raccoons who plunder your campsite – to having your sons walk back to camp covered in mud and with broken eggs running down their sweatshirts. In other words, we had a typical camping adventure.

Throughout our trip, I kept thinking about how much camping is like homeschooling. Before you get started with either adventure you plan, you make checklists and you get all of the equipment prepared. The feelings of excitement are high as you dream of what it will be like.

Then you actually get started camping/homeschooling and things don’t always go the way you had planned. The weather gets soggy, the ground is rocky, the math is too hard for your child, your favorite book of all time is boring to them…

In these situations, we need to decide whether we’re going to stick to our original plan or if we’re going to come up with a plan B. Find something to do inside for part of a day, move your tent to a better location, switch curriculum to something that will work better with your child’s learning style, go to the library and help your son pick a different book to read that HE will enjoy.

Camping, like homeschooling (and life), will not necessarily go the way you had initially planned and will not necessarily turn out the way you had dreamed. We need to be willing to re-evaluate and be flexible.