So, I'm starting to ask myself when I stop calling our unintentionally long break from regular school our "Spring Break," and when I should start calling it "Summer Vacation"? I have been so caught up in so many things since -- well, let's face it -- forever, that proactively teaching the younger four kids in our family has nearly become a distant memory.
We have really been on our spring break for about four weeks now. It started when things got really busy around here and a lot of plans were being made for graduation and everything else. But this week, as I continue recovering from our two-party weekend, I am verging on actual laziness, I think.
I did finally get all the party decorations taken down yesterday and today, I actually thought about taking down the guest bed that Mom slept in when she was here, but ... it's still sitting there behind me, fully made and inflated. When the bed is up, there is no room for the school table, so it gives me another reason to procrastinate.
I know (and you other homeschooling parents' know) that we can't limit our children's desire and potential for learning stuff just because the table is not set up. In fact, we probably increase their ability to be educated by removing the focus of the table and doing a whole lot more hands-on activities.
Maybe it's just me and how I've come to feel like it's not truly school going on if there are no books and copy work and handwriting practice and so on. At least some of the time! As much as I love adventuring, I still do love the basics of reading and writing stuff down as a method of learning. I still love gathering around the table for our devotions and math lessons.
Without the (proverbial) structure that the table brings to our schooling, our days seem a little more chaotic than I'd like. Sure, there is learning going on in spite of me and I am fine having some freelance time, but after awhile, I feel like there is a little less motivation for them to seek out learning opportunities and more times for them to vegetate in front of the television because I have not assigned them any specific work. They stop caring as much about learning and instead start wasting their days away doing not much of anything.
That is unacceptable.
They have definitely racked up a bunch of Home Ec credits and plenty of P.E. during this free-schooling time and we did go to the zoo on Monday, so there is that. But can I really say that they have been educated this past month? Hmm.
The good news is that even when we end our school year -- typically around Memorial Day -- we never truly stop schooling. Through the summer, we keep up on reading and math skills (and Bible!) fairly rigidly so they don't slip backwards before we start our new school year around Labor Day. So for New Mexico officials skulking around this blog wanting to point out that we're not going to fit in our 180 days, I will say that since we move kids up a grade right after the end of school year and then they did school stuff all summer, we've probably fulfilled our 180 already.
But we're not done. I refuse to stagger through May as we have this month of April. We shall finish the 2012-13 year strong. What I have ahead of us is a science fair project for the older boys and something good for the younger two. I don't know yet. That's what the rest of April is for! Planning out May. On top of that, we'll keep going in math and the other subjects, too. And plenty of field trips, because that's just the way I do things around here.
I'm not sure I have a point to this post, but for all you other homeschool families out there with some Spring Fever on their hands, know that you are not alone. As homeschoolers, we are blessed to have such flexibility and so, personally, I never want to take that for granted. That's why I'm putting it out there what my intentions are for May so that my readers can hold me accountable. Back on the horse!!
(The same holds true for diet, exercise, everything -- I've been a real slacker this month!)
Thanks for continuing to follow our journey.