Apologies that I haven’t posted yet this week – we’re on a home education camp with limited internet but lots of fun, food for thought, and that all-important socialisation that we apparently miss by not being in school.
I’m loving the old-time village atmosphere, where the kids roam free together and come home when they are hungry, you don’t have to lock your door, the young people are respectful and helpful, and there’s a strong sense of community.
I’m loving the teaching, and the conversations with people. They are fun, and deep, and inspiring.
I’m loving the rest from preparing lessons and supervising writing and maths, even though I am still washing and cooking and doing dishes.
I’ve made blackberry crumble from berries my kids foraged for me. I’ve watched my kids do country dancing, and run off hand in hand with new friends, and find the courage to look an adult in the eye and thank them (a big step for us).
I’ve stayed up way too late chatting with old and new friends, and wrestled my kids into bed when they really just want to keep playing.
It’s great, and I will post again when it’s done and normal life hits. For now, I need to sleep and get some energy for tomorrow. And see if I can find somewhere with enough internet to post this….
There has been a much longer gap than I intended between posts. It’s partly my fault – I had a little incident with a cup of tea and my computer. But it is also because despite our plan to school through summer, these August days we have found it soooo hard to stay in routine.
Some of that is the weather. We have had some lovely sunshine and it’s hard to sit at home with books open when we could be outside, catching up with friends and watching Rosebud explore the great outdoors. She had her first taste of sand and her first taste of grass this summer.
Some of that is a sleep deprived Mama. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in living memory, and it is starting to get to me just a little bit. Our mornings have been derailed by me sleeping in and then struggling to hit the ground running.
Some of it is, I think, that the kids know that all their school friends are on holidays. There is a bit of a holiday atmosphere in the air, and it’s permeated its way into our household.
Some of it is that my school planning has been in a state of flux. Buttercup is hitting compulsory school age now, and so although we started our school year in January, I kind of feel like we are having a mini start to the year in September. The back to school sales and all the pictures online of people starting school haven’t helped.
Whatever the cause, our summer days have been lazy. Which is good, I think. It’s nice to take a month to slow down, do a little less, and breathe, reflect and plan. We’ve had shorter weeks, and I am loving it. I’m hoping it will give us the stamina to carry on till the end of the year.
Along the way, I’m remembering how much learning actually happens when we don’t let education get in the way. I’ve watched the kids playing for hours in the backyard, reinventing their own version of Swallows and Amazons. I’ve seen epic Lego masterpieces, and elaborate cardboard sweet factories being built. I’ve seen loads of children snuggled in various places and positions with books, and overheard them reading poetry to each other. I have seen one learn to be generous to and care for a sister she was struggling to relate to, and I have seen them learn valuable life lessons in decluttering and saying goodbye to things.
Our family life has been quite busy, and it won’t settle down for another month or so yet. But I think, on reflection, it has been a good summer. Today it’s cold and wet and it feels like summer is ending. All our normal activities will be starting up again soon. I’m trying to work out how to tweak our days to run more smoothly, so that we can finish the year well. There’s a bit more tweaking to do still, so watch this space – I’ll let you know how we go.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. How has your summer gone (if it’s summer in your part of the world)? Are you feeling ready and energised for the months ahead, or are you hiding under a blanket hoping that no one will notice?