It's here! Today starts our summer vacation...the longest break we've EVER taken from homeschooling (ok, so I've only been doing this for 4 years. But still.) We had adopted a year-round school model when we moved to AZ, because it's crazy-hot here in the summer and what else are we going to do when it's 115 out? But then there was this year.
This year was....hard, homeschooling-wise. We learned a lot (yes, we as in I AND the kids), we did a lot, we read a lot (a lot a lot) but it was HARD. Especially once January hit. I've made some modifications to the way we do things and weeded things out that aren't essentials (I may be a little ambitious in my homeschool dreams vs. what we can actually handle. Maybe.) and things have smoothed out reasonably in the past couple of months. But Pax and I still need a break. Blythe, she's one who could (and would, if we'd let her) continue on with school every day all year long. But she needs a break, too, whether she knows it or not. And not just any break, but an extended break this time--6 (or maybe even 8!) whole weeks of playing and friends and traveling and swimming and reading and baking...learning, yes, always, but doing it in a much less structured, more creative and interest-led way.
I have a booklist of my own for the summer; and, yes, plans to do some organizing and cleaning out. Plans to sew and to take my "real" camera with me more places and slow down and enjoy the beauty we stumble across. Plans to spend time doing what the kids want to do, whatever they want to do... plans to write, even (gasp!) to blog; and to spend hours with good friends laughing deeply and talking even more deeply and re-setting.
You see, if I've learned anything during this year, it's that I can't do it all. WE can't do it all. So I've been leaning in and seeking my "why" for this season; which has meant weeding out a lot of other things are wrestling with my ambitions and, yes, my pride. In homeschooling, in photography, in worship, in chicken-farming, and in every other part of our life-because this is where we're at. Defining our "why" makes it SO much easier to say "no" to good things that come along, and leave way for the best things. Because Adam is almost done with school, and there are some huge decisions facing him right now. He'll graduate in August, take his boards, and then start practicing medicine. But the question right now is where and how he'll be doing that....so really, this break comes at the perfect time. For reflecting, for digging in, and for solidifying our "why" as we move forward as a family. For being less distracted by my lists and more open to listening.