It is a good day. Yesterday was a good day.
Good days are not taken for granted around here.
The boys have somehow gotten all into puzzles lately. And are doing every last one they can find in the house, (hello, puzzle pieces from beyond that we know not whence you came) and are ready and hungry for bigger puzzles with more pieces. I’m puzzled about this fascination that’s coming about at the end of May? But who cares? Who says puzzles are for winter anyhow? All I care about is the intensity and excitement and eagerness they had in putting them together and showing me what they made and the fact that they worked on it for hours and how everyone was all smiles and sunlight.
I commented about this good day to my husband and he gently reminded me that I was super relaxed and that we had an off day from school/accomplishing anything around here. Hmm. I then had a lightbulb moment.
It is May.
We have been doing school since last August. We have breaks occasionally. (No, I do not plan them, we just work hard some days and we take breaks other days.) We took a big break at Christmas, another break when my parents were here in March, and occasional days off the rest of the year. I typically do school until I/the kids are ready to quit, which has been somewhere in May or June. We sometimes finish schoolbooks at that point and sometimes we don’t, and just start them up when we begin school again. The way it has worked in the past is that we just do less and less school up until the middle of June and then we come to a full stop while garden stuff is coming in.
Mr. E is finished with his math book. We have been doing lots of audiobooks and morning time (math drills, history or science read-aloud, a poem or three, and sometimes geography — they get a blank map of the US, look for awhile at a map with states written on it, then label all the ones they can remember. Simple. They think it’s a fun game.)
So we have been transitioning into more of a relaxed routine anyways… a typical school day would include morning time, math, copywork and reading…. and I’m thinking that we are going to majorly scale back. To a more shortened morning time a few days a week (if we feel like it?).
I’m thinking it’s time for summer.
I like for my kids to still have a routine of some sort, but I also want them to experience lots of free time building forts/playing/riding bikes/whatever sounds like fun. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to follow the example of another homeschool mom who says her kids have free days during the summer, but if they are driving her crazy and bored then she guides them into a read aloud or math drill on the computer or something like that to keep their minds occupied.
I’ve also been keeping a stack of books on a small table beside our couch, and switching them out occasionally. I want to provide a feast for them… and it’s amazing what they will get excited about. This is how I want to homeschool…. giving them the opportunity to discover things on their own, then ask questions about it, digging deeper. There are things I introduce, things that they need to learn. But there are lots of things that if presented to them as a feast, to choose what they would enjoy, will lead to a greater interest than if I were to read dry facts to them from a textbook.
So, we had a good day yesterday. And I think it’s because it’s time for a break. Time for summer. Time for lazy days and lemonade and bare feet and playing in the creek. And it’s time for me to breathe a little, and destress.
It’s time for summer for me, too.