Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why Our Summer is Jam Packed with Activities

I remember when the boys were in traditional school and summer vacation was a huge deal. It was a break from the driving, waking up, strict bedtimes, lunch-making, homework-fighting, over-scheduled SCHEDULE. It was freedom and I embraced it fully. We would do a few activities and a vacation or two, but mostly it was unfettered freedom. Summer back then was days and weeks of nothing but popsicles and bicycles, cardboard box forts and sidewalk chalk.

Now that my kids are older and have been homeschooled for 5 years, our summers are more scheduled than before, but it is offset by the fact that the rest of our lives are NOT so rigidly partitioned out. I am going to try and remind myself of this difference so that I will stop complaining about being overly scheduled this summer. Every single activity or class or camp or vacation is desperately desired, and we do still have down time here and there, but this summer will not be remembered as "free and breezy", like the summers of our past used to be. My children don't need to make the most of the summer and having endless days of making cardboard box forts outside in July, because they do that on a regular basis throughout the school year!

Despite the multi-colored Google calendar that buzzes with reminders every day, we have already had plenty of popsicles and s'mores in the backyard. We have managed to relax at the pool several times and have even spent hours and hours watching the stars. I've gardened every day and when it rains, we have played board/card games for an entire afternoon. Not because it was on a manifesto, but because that's kind of what we naturally do.

It's been busy, for sure, but being busy isn't a horrible thing for us. My kids' entire existence is full of free time to build and create and play and bike. 3 months of a slightly hectic schedule of fun activities isn't going to kill them. I understand the draw to the Summer of Nothing. I totally get it! That's part of why we homeschool, to be honest; more time to do Nothing. In the space of Nothing is where the creative processes of our minds have room to breathe, room to grow, room to create.
I love that summertime inspires people to live with more space between the to-do lists. Honestly, it's how we live most of the months of the year. And while I am enjoying the scheduled activities that can only take place in the summertime, I will actually be excited around August when all of the neighborhood kids go back to school and my household can slow down a little bit again. My kids will be able to just work and play and hang and learn at the chilled pace we're accustomed to.

Until then, we'll stick to our schedule and live the lives of making sack lunches and planning outfits every day. It's kind of a novelty to us. 
This is actually a school day picture. We call it P.E.

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