Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to [home]School

We started early this time.

Well, earlier than last year, anyway. I just don’t want to feel rushed this year and I definitely want more time for field trips and family days and even lazy, hot-chocolate, go-out-and-play-in-the-snow days.

For one thing, I want to be poised to savor the Christmas holidays—I’m depositing school time into the “knowledge bank” so that I have time for baking cookies, caroling, and making old-fashioned Christmas cards this year instead of worrying that I’ll never get through lesson 120 by spring if we don’t hurry up. I want to double up on assignments less often, and instead take a surprise day off to visit the science museum or some random exhibit that tickles our collective fancy a little more often.

I want to be more like the ant and less like the grasshopper.*

It does mean we’re cutting into summer, though; I’m trying to be sensitive about that. I want my kids to go out and enjoy the sunshine while it’s around, because much too soon these sunny days will be a distant memory that blows away with the autumn leaves only to be replaced by the chill of the very, very long New England winter.

So, the compromise is that we’re easing into homeschooling this year. Still doing the serious stuff, but trying not to over-do it. I’m keeping the school days as efficient as possible so there's time for the pool, a bike ride, or a leisurely daydream out on the swing set.

I’m actually enjoying the relative quiet that August has to offer. Not yet time for ballet, or soccer, or music lessons, or karate, or scouts. Nowhere to run off to at 3:30 because we’re going to be late again. The days are just long enough to do some learning and still go out for a bike ride or to the pool in the afternoon. We can eat our meals late or early or whatever and everything still works out perfectly.

I’m working hard to not work too hard: trying not to take the schedule too seriously. Goin’ with the flow and remembering that if an irresistible invitation to go to the beach comes our way, I have permission to be flexible. There is ample time for all of it.

“That’s why I homeschool,” I keep reminding myself. I’m the boss of the schedule; not the other way around.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Sometimes I wish we could just cut out all the extras and just homeschool leisurely without the fear of falling behind or being late to someplace. Let's enjoy it now all we can. Soon, by 3pm we'll turn into a pumpkin and drive around town like crazy mamas on taxi duty!