SummaryIf you close the books all summer, won’t the kids forget what they’ve learned? Amy Pawlusiak considers the unexpected benefits of taking a summer break.
You finally sent in that book report. The one your beautiful child spent days putting off, with you nagging the whole time.
The grades are all in. The books have finally been completed and put away. In the morning you take your coffee to the couch instead of the homeschool classroom, and sigh.
Yes, Mom. You completed another year.
You deserve a break.
Taking a Homeschooling Summer Break is Okay
I know… your friends are all talking about how important it is to “keep the learning going” all summer. They have their kids’ summer books and classes all lined up. And for some families, that is truly important. They enjoy and need to keep the routine.
But for many of us, it’s time to do something that most other families’ moms enjoy the entire year through. Just being a mom. Not a teacher, not a social networking whiz, not the organizer of field trips or homeschooling events.
It’s time to let go for a bit. And that’s okay.
Don’t Feel Guilty
I used to feel as if I should also be jumping on the bandwagon of summer enrichment. I didn’t want my kids to forget how to do their multiplication tables, or how to write a decent paragraph!
But… I learned that the first week back at school they somehow remembered these things with just a bit of prompting and practice.
They didn’t forget. It just got put on the backburner for a few weeks. So, if you’re a bit burned out at the end of the school year, and doing one more assignment makes you want to cry, then by all means stop. Just stop.
The Kids Need a Break Too
We forget sometimes that the kids also need to stop and take a break from the routine of school. In summer, they get to shed the “we’re out during the day because we’re homeschooled” mantra and can just be part of the crowd. All the summer activities and camps are now places to meet new friends.
The kids in the neighborhood are all out of school, and they can have some fun with whoever pops by. It’s a golden time of book reading, trips to the pool, and laziness with Mom. It’s a great time to hang out with their siblings without worrying about getting “back to work.”
Putting aside the books also gives them time to try new things. My daughter loves to sew and is looking forward to summer to finally learn how to use the sewing machine she got for Christmas.
My older sons actually learned how to fish in the little pond at the end of the street and are catching some bass. And my youngest son, just a toddler, can be taken to the children’s museum or to the library reading time without me worrying if the schoolwork is getting done at home.
Even though homeschooling does allow for greater freedom for the kids, the freedom of not having schoolwork allows them to truly explore an interest or hobby to its fullest. Good times and great memories abound!
Time to Amp Up the Prayer Life
When you can spend your summer days without worrying about getting the work done and keeping all the kids on track, you can now spend some much needed time in prayer. I find that going through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in a journal has opened new avenues for graces.
Meeting with a spiritual director or speaking with friends about the Gospel can renew and rededicate us to our mission as mothers and homeschoolers.
It’s also a lot easier to look at the spiritual side of homeschooling when you are not in the middle of it. You can think about the spiritual development of your family and decide on new ways to incorporate the Faith into your daily life for the coming year.
Having the time to pray and think is so important. This is a unique opportunity.
Being a homeschool mom is amazing. It’s wonderful to see the kids grow every day, learning and being together as a family. It’s also difficult at times, and can often be exhausting. We do all the work of taking care of the home while also working as full-time teachers.
We need to give ourselves permission to just relax sometimes. And summer is when our family does it. Take that coffee outside, sit on the porch and enjoy God’s beautiful creation!
You deserve it Mom.
You had a great year!