We started “summer holidays” a couple of weeks ago. After a week and a half I decided I would go ahead and insist on half an hour of schoolwork every day. It isn’t so much time as to interfere with the sense of summer holidays, but it gives me a chance to work with the kids on some of the mom-intensive lesson plans that were too challenging for me earlier.
Homeschooling can be exhausting. I’ve written about that before. I’m appreciating having this break where I’m doing summer things with the kids and trying to put pieces of my own life in order. I’ve reorganized my bookshelves. I’ve sorted my craft cupboards and am working on cleaning up other areas of my house. I bought a piano bench and am trying to practice piano more.
I’m looking at the schoolwork I want to do with my kids next year, and trying to write out some plans. Some subjects are harder to plan than others. I know approximately how long it will take to work through certain textbooks, but others are a mystery. I want to leave lots of flexibility, but at the same time I think we could use a bit more organization than I’ve had other years, so I am trying to have monthly goals written out, and I’m going to try to stick closer to them.
I’m also taking time right now to do more reading. I have to keep reading, and keep learning, so that I have more to share with the children. There are lots of stories that have not yet been made into good children’s books (or at least not children’s books I can find) and if I take the time to read the adult books on the topics I can share the stories with my children.
Stopping schoolwork doesn’t stop the learning. It never will. My kids have been busy reading science books, watching science videos on youtube and continuing their normal exploration of life. They love insects and plants, bike riding and making crafts. They’ve got an interest in radioactivity and were pleased to inform a store clerk selling helium balloons about the radioactive origins of helium.
Yesterday the lessons where on customer service in doing a lemonade stand. The most embarrassing, awkward moment for me was when my six year old started to try to tell one customer that other customers had been generous and tipped him. I tried to intervene. I tried to stop him. The customer took it well, laughing and saying that its nice they were generous but that she isn’t. She’s a mother with young children so I’m sure she understood my embarrassment – but oh, the fun challenges teaching children to behave!
(I watched Ontario election results the other night, and at some point a leader started to refer to a child whom I think had just wandered up onstage, and while the leader was talking about how they do politics because of children, and for their children’s future, I turned to my husband and laughed that somewhere in that room there’s a very embarrassed parent cringing about her child being made center of attention.)
We need this rest… this summer time, a chance to change pace and rethink our plans.