SummaryIt’s easy for moms to miss the joys of summer in the midst of busy lives. However, Jennifer Elia shares practical tips for making summer vacation a reality!
1. School’s Out!
School aged children across the country look forward to summer vacation, but they aren’t the only ones. Homeschooling moms (and dads if they are the primary teachers) also need some downtime and a little taste of simple pleasures.
2. Sweet Summertime
Do you remember looking forward to summer as a child? It seems that in this fast paced world, the art of simply enjoying doing nothing is often lost. However, we need a chance to take a deep breath and thank God for His wondrous creation.
Taking time to linger in the sunshine, spend a day at the beach, and just enjoy the gentle breeze on your face is essential for homeschool teachers who wear many hats and sacrifice greatly on a daily basis for their families.
Basking in the glories of summer is not lazy; it really is a chance to step back and remind ourselves how glorious and beautiful our world is. God brought out the sunshine after the cold, dark days of winter to renew us and show His glory.
3. Unpaid Leave
Moms don’t get days off, but teachers do. Give yourself the freedom to step out of the classroom and lay down your educational responsibility. As a homeschool mother, it is difficult to get any time where there isn’t a pile of work to be done. If we aren’t teaching and tutoring, we are cleaning and cooking.
However, no matter what our hands are busy doing, our minds are always focused on how we can improve the educational experience for our children and what they still need to learn. There are checklists, calendars, and curriculum to complete.
All of this is a large responsibility and requires a great deal of energy. Brick and mortar schools give summer off to prevent teacher burn out, as much as to give children a chance to be children. While the thinking and planning never really stops, stepping away from the daily duty of instruction frees up time, energy, and space to recover from all the constant busyness of the school year.
4. Recharge, Renew, Explore!
Use summer to catch up on reading that isn’t for school assignments, to grow in your faith, and to learn something new.
Summer is the perfect time to put down your plan book and pick up that novel you have been wanting to read. With small children running around, it may take all summer to finish one book, but think how exciting it would be to read something for yourself with no projects, tests, or follow up questions required.
While it takes a great deal of prayer and faith to make it through the school year, we also need time to grow in our faith, not just practice it. Without spiritual nourishment, our faith life becomes stale and lacking.
Finding a short study, reading through the entire Gospels, or picking up a religious book will refresh our souls and bring us closer to our Lord. With God all things are possible, so getting to know Him better should be a top priority.
Do you have a hobby or interest that always gets put on the back burner so that you can make it through reading, writing, and religion, or run five children to seven different activities? Try setting aside a bit of time to practice your hobby, or even try a new one.
We always encourage our children to learn something new; doing so expands their brain power and makes them more well rounded individuals. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander; moms need a little brain exercise, too.
Take a break from the class schedule to rest your soul and gather your thoughts for what you need to do differently to improve your school for next year. Patience, strength, energy, and motivation are some of the hallmarks of a great teacher. All of these virtues need practice to hone.
However, they also require time to replenish your stores. By giving yourself a short break from trying to do it all, even if it is only one month, you will have the chance to let your mind, body, and soul rest. Then you can return to the classroom ready to tackle the next year’s challenges and victories.
Truly, what we do as homeschooling mothers is nothing short of amazing. A well rested teacher is an effective teacher, and rest requires time away from responsibilities great and small. While summer break will never be the same carefree adventure it was as a child, it can still be a useful and enjoyable tool for every hardworking, dedicated, homeschool teacher-parent.
How will you spend your summer?