Tuesday, April 26, 2011

homeschooling year round

Since the beginning of our home education journey, we have pretty much been year round homeschoolers.

The first summer we homeschooled, the girls completed public school in mid-June, and by the end of July, we were schooling at home. The next summer we took five or six weeks off, and I can remember sitting in the driveway with Brian, discussing how 'crazy' the kids seemed, and that it was probably due to all the free time. We decided that a few weeks was more than likely enough time off from school, in order to keep everyone in good spirits. So, last summer we took about three weeks off. And it was perfect.

Now, please don't assume that we school five days per week, fifty-two weeks per year. Not at all. We school when we can, and take days and weeks off as needed. If Daddy's off, we're most likely off. If company comes down to visit, we're visiting, not schooling. If there are doctor's appointments and a trip to the grocery store all in one day...you can bet we only got half of our schooling complete. Or none. Nutcracker = no school. Easter Week, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Week, Christmas and New Year's Weeks = no school. And many other days that just POP up (life).

I feel that learning (school) is just a part of life. And I know that my children completely thrive on routine, and knowing what to expect out of a day. If I were to shelve all our books come the end of May until the beginning of September, life would be crazy, and no one would know what to do next.


I'm feeling that urge. I want to shelve it all. I want to sleep in. I want to play in the pool all day. Or swing on the swings at the park all afternoon.

But I know, that even if we do proclaim Summer Vacation, that those things will not happen. We are a Large Family. We have an 18 month old all the way to a fourteen year old, and most ages in between. It takes a METHOD to keep all those different ages and stages content, happy, going! My boys have never slept in a day in almost nine years. We can play in the pool like no body's business...for about forty-five minutes. And we can swing on the swings...until someone has to go potty, or falls and gets hurt, or needs a drink!

There is just no way I can put the learning part of our family on the shelf. It would be like halving our life. Every day there would be something missing. Like routine. And brain exercise.

And then I would spend September through May panicking, as I struggled to complete this or that by a certain date.

So...learn, we will. Every day. Because learning is a part of our life. (Almost) the best part. And it gives us the freedom to take February 17th off, to watch movies on the family room floor by the fire, as the snow piles up. Or May 6th off, to meet friends at the park in the spring sunshine. Or October 23rd off, to carve pumpkin moon shines on the sunporch as the leaves fall. Because that's part of life too. (Almost) the best part.

:: Happy Learning (every day)! ::