I asked some fellow homeschool Mommy’s to share with me the highs and lows of their lives as mothers/teachers/wives and all of that good stuff! Up first is Rebecca who blogs at Raventhreads. Thank you Rebecca!
When you start homeschooling, you often start saying yes to a schedule that is not in any way similar to the schedule that children in public schools have. Most of the time it’s a wonderful thing. As time has gone by, I’ve become more convinced that homeschooling through the summer is perfect for our often interest-led family routine. However, it’s not without its pitfalls. So, today, I’m here to share with you some of the highs and lows of our summer so far.
1. Everybody, from my children’s friends to my own parents, asks us when we’re going on summer break…and we’ve been homeschooling year round for three years.
2. After being quizzed by friends and grandparents multiple times, my children starting asking me, “When do we get summer break?” My grumpy response? “When your father gets a summer break from work.”
3. Somewhere around the beginning of June I realize that my children are sleeping until 10:30-11 am every day. No wonder I’m not fitting our regular read-aloud time into our day!
4. I make all these school plans for summer, and then realize that my children have Vacation Bible School, a beach vacation and possibly a summer camp that they’ll be at over the course of three weeks of summer. I begin to wonder how much of my plan I’ll get done.
5. I realize that the children see the beach a lot more than I do. (Then, I remember that I’ve got an appointment with the dermatologist to look at suspicious moles, and realize it might be better for me not to have so many beach days!)
6. The Georgia heat is driving the spiders, scorpions and flies inside. My three year old is deathly terrified of each bug and suddenly needs me to accompany her to each room she enters to chase away the flies because she says “they might eat” her. This happens every fifteen minutes.
1. One day, as I’m bemoaning all the interruptions to my schedule and my goals I make the mistake of picking up a devotional book. Jesus Calling reminds me that if I keep trying to make things go my way when the Lord is obviously leading me in a different way, then I’m making an idol of my desires. I quickly write all the scripture references from that day of the devotional on index cards to memorize (I Peter 5:6-7 & I Thessalonians 5:16-18) and to remind myself of my commitment to be Spirit-led in our homeschooling. I needed to spend some time in prayer and contemplation, reminding myself that when God leads your homeschool, there is nothing for you to fear. I had let some fear (and my need for them to perform to my blogging goals) creep in and it was beginning to show in the way our home operated.
2. Having a regular schedule to our day, remembering that when we are home we will be “working” on something during the day helps us to have fun and keep a relaxed schedule where our days form a predictable rhythm. This is important to a couple of my children because they want to have rhythm to their days all year.
3. We dissected owl pellets! We spent three days pulling the bones off and the fur off the bones. We peroxided the bones and even tried to glue them into a pattern! We also started working on a history program that the children love. They love the Bible curriculum we picked out for the summer. They’re also getting to take some online piano lessons this summer. We’re having a great time. I just didn’t see it because all my issues and fears were in the way!
4. Bible school ended up being a great week to remember what love is and the children learned a lot about love and how you show it. I was proud to realize how they’re growing as people.
5. The older two children got to spend a whole week at the beach with the grandparents! This was great time for them to make memories with my Mom and Dad as well as get to feel the sand between their toes, the water lapping on their feet and collect new shells for the collection Rose began last year.
6. Owlet may be afraid of bugs, but at least she’s potty trained and happy with all her ponies and her princess dolls. I also got the pest control guy to spray inside our house to keep some of those bugs out of the house!
I have recommitted to remembering that our lives aren’t going to look like those of school kids in the summer or in the winter. I have remembered that their education is a partnership between them and me, and that while I’m the guide, they are in the driver’s seat with what we do. I have remembered that whether it’s summer or winter that I’m not going to let fear of being different or on a different path from others sway us from our path. Slowly, I’m struggling to learn just as much as the children are learning. After all, just because you’re schooling in the summer, it doesn’t mean that you no longer have fun or that you suddenly can’t ever see the pool or the beach because you’ve got “schoolwork” to do.
Rebecca is a fun-loving, Christ-serving Mom to four children under the age of 10. They homeschool in a very relaxed-interest led fashion and Rebecca writes about it all over at Raventhreads. When given some spare time, Rebecca also enjoys cross-stitching, football and just about any kind of craft that she can find. You can connect with Rebecca on her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.