Standing on the doorstep of this last week of summer, my head is spinning, wondering both how summer went by so quickly and how come we are at the end of summer and our boys are still in Haiti. Crazy times.
Our initial intention was to begin school earlier in August, but after some serious discussions and a hard look at the 2008/2009 calendar, Cliff and I decided to take "the plunge" and begin year-round schooling. Many home school families do this, and I wonder if when they began it was as big of a deal to them as it is to us. Something we have long wanted to do, I still found it was a difficult decision to make.
I don't think a consecutive 3 month break from schooling is a wise thing for any child. My kids worked hard last year, and so did I. I've never met a teacher who doesn't gripe at how the have to spend the first third of the year, wasting time 'reviewing' what was learned last year but forgotten over the summer. How wise was it to take such a long break and forget so much? Not very, I think.
What I find difficult is the constant, "you're going to school in July?" comments. I'm still always surprised by the people who don't realize that homeschooling is a commitment, not something that I can just fit in whenever. I need to take a lesson from the Mister, who has perfected the "Who gives a flying f--- about what others think" mindset.
That said, the thought of schooling in summer months makes me a bit nervous. It will take a lot of discipline to school when everyone else is off and my garden is calling my name. But 'halfway' schooling. . .where we intend to do some school a bit each week in summer. . .never seems to happen because we get busy. Full commitment to a late Spring/early Summer term will give me the structure and discipline to get it done.
We'll be schooling 3 months on/1 month off. So Sept/Oct/Nov, with the full month of December off. Jan/Feb/Mar, with April off. May/June/July, with all of August off. We need 180 days of school, and that schedule gives us 10 extra days to take off throughout our 'on' months. We can use them when the boys come home, or we can just go a full week in December to make up whatever time we take off for them. The flexibility is ours. We've always wanted to travel to 'supplement' our schooling, and now with month-long breaks we'll have an easier opportunity.
I'm tying to figure out how to balance this week between preparing for next week and plain old having fun. All I want to do is pack up with kids and take them up to the trailer, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by not being fully prepared or having the house adequately organized.
The weather forecast showed a few towns up north from us registering temps in the 30s this morning. That's cold! My thoughts instantly went to my tomatoes, which are still not even half harvested. I intend to put up some jars of salsa and spaghetti sauce this week, so I need Mother Nature to hold those cold temps at bay for at least 3 more weeks. Preferably more, but I'm not greedy nor that unrealistic. I saw that the Farmer's Almanac predicts lower than normal winter temps, which reminds me that I should at least plan on ordering our firewood supply this week. Maybe find a couple of sweater patterns to "intend" on knitting, but knowing full well I'll never get to. Now that's some optimism for you.. . .