Last week I took a few days off from posting to focus on getting ready to start school up again. I entered lesson plans for most of the year into to computer, made reading lists, and am still trying to figure out where to put all the books in my book case-less house.
We start back July 27. This should allow us to finish by the end of April or first week of May. Chandler and Ellie have been asking to do school since we finished last year’s work in April. And even Grace and Emma have been making veiled comments about being ready to start again. I wish I was. This summer has been good, but not as slow as I like them to be. Four weeks of being somewhere every day at 9 a.m. has, I think, made it feel less restful. As I type this we are savoring a day of doing nothing. We are all still in pajamas (if you know me well, you know this almost never happens at our house). I have been working on the computer most of the morning. The girls are enjoying romping around, making houses and forts on the mess of furniture that is presently strung throughout the first floor. I have promised them a trip to the park (or a movie if it starts to rain) later. I made it clear that they would need to get dressed if we go to the park. 🙂
I don’t have any overly-lofty expectations for myself or our school this year. I have accepted my limits and my nature and have learned to stretch but not overwhelm myself. I won’t say we are going to do an amazing science project every week because that is setting myself up to fail. But we are studying human anatomy this year (my absolute favorite subject) and so I do look forward to doing some fun stuff. We will never study botany because I am a plant killer. They don’t stand a chance in my house. Ask my husband who has bought me many beautiful plants that end up dead within a month. Or ask my dad who has tried to save said plants. We will work through as much of Story of the World Volume 2 as we can. I don’t know that we will get through all of it. Why those books are arranged into 42 chapters instead of the 36 that would make for very easy school year scheduling I don’t understand. We will read some great books. We will move forward in math and grammar and a dozen other subjects it seems. And we will address heart issues and character issues and (hopefully) draw each of us closer to God.
In my heart this is why I home school. We have a great education. Our kids are bright and have done well on their standarized tests. I want them to excel and work hard and find success in whatever their passion and calling are later in life. But more than anything, I want them to learn to love God well, to follow hard after their Savior, to learn to forgive and show mercy and to make hard choices. To be holy even at the expense of being happy. I don’t feel like we could do these things if our children were in school every day. Other families can. Some don’t have any other choice. For me, it takes the day-in-day-out exposure to all of our strengths and weaknesses, assets and faults to get to the heart of each child. I am thankful for that privilege.
So in a few short days, it’s back to school we go. Because we home school there will still be time for the pool or the swimming beach or the park or the zoo. But the routine will return, followed soon by ballet and Friday classes and everything that comes with the school year. And it will be a good thing because those months of diligently working through hard things make us appreciate the freedom that summer brings that much more.
Here’s to an amazing school year!