Thursday, 21 July 2016

Summer Break?

We have reached the summer break - a huge relief for all of us. We've worked hard, and looking back I can see that all the children have made progress over the last year. There have been plenty of hard days along the way, and I know God has sustained me through it all.

And now, the day to day, week by week planning, teaching and general chivying through work is over for this year. Furthermore, the church evening groups that meet in our home are pausing over the summer. For me, the summer period is by far the quietest season of the year, and a chance to rest a little, and get some jobs done around the house.

So, what will the summer break mean for me, a home educating parent?

1) Children. Although I'm not setting them work, they still need to be fed, watered, and generally supervised. We'll still have trips out and visits from friends; there will be games to play and craft projects to assist with; they will still need to be read to and encouraged and disciplined.

2) Cleaning. Boring, but necessary. I have a list of jobs that will only realistically be tackled during this quiet spot of the year. Top of the list is cleaning the oven.

Lots of Lists

3) Decorating. This is the first house we've lived in that we are able to decorate ourselves, so this is novel, and quite fun. We've decided to aim for about one room a year. Last summer, we decorated our bedroom, this year we are painting the boys' room.

This was last year's project:


...and after.
I also gained a chair and a table, so I have somewhere to sit and read, or to work in peace, during the day. The fantastic view is an added blessing.

4) Home Ed. Planning. This has been in my head for weeks already, but I'm now beginning the process of serious planning for next year. Then I will purchase any curriculum we need, and make sure that we are ready to go again in September. The planning for the group that I co-lead has already begun too, and will require quite a bit of thought over the next few weeks.

5) Home Ed. Supplies. I will make sure that we have pens that work, and sufficient pencils and art materials and exercise books for the year ahead. My craft cupboard needs to be tidied thoroughly too.

6) Summer Reading. We have a reading challenge for the whole family. I usually have a book or two on the go, but aiming to read 8 books over the summer brings a bit of focus. I'm not feeling that enthused at the moment - and I usually love to read - so I think I am tired. It has taken me a week to get a sticker on my chart, and my eldest has already read 10 books!

7) Holiday Club. This will be our third holiday club that we have run here, and the last two have been encouraging. My husband will be running it, but I will help in the preparations and be leading a group of children during the sessions.

8) Keswick Convention. We have been attending this with our children for a number of years now, and we are very much looking forward to going again a week tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a week in God's Word, time with friends, paddling in the lake, and (hopefully) a chance to climb another mountain with the children.

A change of pace and a change of focus for a few weeks is very much needed, and appreciated. I still have plenty to keep me productively occupied, but it is a welcome break from the more relentless busyness of term time.

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