Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Break!

I think it is especially beneficial to any homeschool mom to take the first week of Christmas break and simply refuse to think about school. The first semester is over! Semester exams for the high schoolers are graded and in the books, the youngers kids are done with their projects... it's time for a breather.

It is tempting to view a holiday as a time to "catch up" on all the things that have fallen by the wayside, but that is dangerous. Dangerous because it takes your mind off the beauty of the season. The Incarnation of Christ is the most immense, amazing, gorgeous event in all of history. Let's just take a week to dwell on that. Meditate and ponder. Discuss with your kids and use your imagination. Let it sink in.

Then, sleep late. Have a cup of hot cocoa on the couch at ten in the morning. Take the kids to the park. Star gaze until midnight and count the falling stars. Sit in the dark living room and stare at the lit Christmas tree with your youngest. It's ok. Their eduction will not suffer because you took a week off.

Your mind will empty, your heart will calm and your priorities will scoot back into line.

After a week, go back to the goals you listed before the school year started. Assess, re-evaluate, tweak. Decide what is working and what isn't. Look for blind spots. (once, I started a great elective and somehow forgot it by Christmas. yowza.) Then rewrite your goals for the rest of the year.

The week off will help you so much more than powering through and pushing yourself to catch up. With the added benefit of being emotionally present for your family...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Hobbit

My three oldest kids and I recently read The Hobbit. Not together, per se, but at the same time. They had to read certain chapters at a time and answer questions, explore the text and compare it to other works of literature.

They created their own riddles, explored fables and myths, and even learned the six characteristics of a quest story. We had a really good time together and with our reading group.

Tonight is the big night. The Hobbit opens tonight at 12:01 am. I've taken the two olders to midnight shows before, but this is Gracie's first one. She is super excited. My sister and nephew are coming, as well as some of our homeschool friends. It should be quite the festive event.

Tonight is one big reason that I love homeschooling. We can dedicate time to a subject and then follow it up with something fun. One thing I've found to be true and have seen proven over and over is that a fun excursion means so much more to my kids when we've studied it ahead of time. This was true when we went to the Space Center and when we snorkled over a coral reef. It was evident when we saw Big Ben and when we walked on a Roman Wall. Tonight it will be fun to watch them watch a movie based on a book we just studied. I can't wait!

I feel very blessed that God has given me the grace to enjoy where he has placed me. It's not so much homeschooling as it is just deliberately enjoying my life. And you don't have to homeschool to do that.