Monday, August 15, 2016

Mom Confessional, or Why We Took 2 Days Off on Our 2nd Week of School

I mentioned on the blog's Facebook page that even though we are officially back to school, we were taking two days off for summertime activities.  Years ago, when we began homeschooling, we decided that we wanted to take advantage of Brian's time off in the winter to wind down from the busy-ness of Christmas and enjoy some family time by putting the school books aside for a month. The caveat was that we had to begin school in August to make up for the lost month in the middle of the year.

From the very beginning, our school year has run August through December and then February through May.  Because most of our friends are still fully immersed in summer, we let our August schedule be flexible.  We hit the books but also allow plenty of wiggle room for the fun opportunities and invitations that arise.  

We started the school year mid-week, on August 3, easing into our subjects one at a time.  Then dawned week two of school. Over the weekend, we were asked to come to a Monday evening picnic dinner.  This didn't affect our school day, other than provide great motivation for everyone to finish their work in time for the fun.  We arrived early so the kids could play.  They filled the time outside with pirates, hide-and-seek, and sardines, and guzzled lots of water, even though it was cooler and breezier than the weather on the proceeding days. Our meal was classic summer: hamburgers on the grill, potato salad, fresh tomatoes, and watermelon.  The kids ate on the dock, while the adults (and Macie) sat at the picnic table.  

The men tinkered with a lawn mower after dinner, but when Macie started to get sleepy, we gathered our things to go. The kids led a campaign to all spend the night together.  (I remember doing that as a kid and not understanding why my parents rarely said yes!) Alas, we took our own kids home for showers, bedtime, and a new school day on Tuesday.  

So far, so good, right?  We managed to do school and have fun with our friends.  We even had time to lay around-- drooling, smiling, and playing with a ring stacker, too.  ~wink~  

Over the weekend, though, Gavin, Maddie, and Owen had received another invitation, this time to spend Wednesday at the water park.  My mom and sisters take them every year and it's an annual tradition so I was not about to be the mean mom who said no. The school books were gladly shelved, but we counted their day as P. E. (Really!)

I had the youngest three home with me so we went out for ice cream.  (Since I'm still dairy-free, it was sorbet for Macie and me.)  We also read books together.  Ben and I took turns reading out loud and no one even cared that they were technically history books and counted as school!  It was fun to read together without the distraction or noise of the older kids.  Then I let them indulge in some shared Wii time while Macie napped.

On Thursday, we continued the streak and took off from school again.  We went to the library to turn in our final lists for the summer reading program.

I guess we could have waited to go in the afternoon, but we wanted to see the magic show the library was hosting in the morning.

I guess we could have done school in the afternoon when we got home, but we decided to consider the library school for the day in order to spend the afternoon reading (school?) and cleaning the house for Owen's birthday party (life skills!).  Plus, that day was my 15th wedding anniversary so I declared it a family holiday.

And speaking of parties, this full week was sandwiched between two weekends of birthday parties. First we celebrated my dad's 60th with a surprise party.

Dad with all 10 of his grandchildren
Macie took the dinner roll right off of my plate!

Then this weekend we celebrated Owen's 10th on Saturday with a "dress as a movie character" party...

...and on Sunday, we had a family dinner to celebrate the collection of August birthdays, It reminds me of the summer I was pregnant with Alaine...the summer of too many cakes.

I had a friend tell me recently that she plans to start school this week but is only committing to three days a week until after Labor Day.  I like her plan!

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly what we do! August is a great month for flexibility, and we use it to the full! I am always surprised by the end of the month how much school we did get done!


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