I have to tell you, as a Type-A personality and somewhat diligent homeschooling mother, this year marks only the third time our family has taken an "official" spring break. The first year we took a week off while my husband spent a week in the hospital to repair his severly broken femur and to ensure he no longer had a terrible staph infection that threatened his life the summer previous. Our second spring break was taken in February of last year - we traveled to Arizona following my grandfather's death. Although it certainly wasn't a typical spring break, it was a needed break during a very emotional time. And just this past week our family enjoyed a spring break that coordinated with the local school district - my kids played outside with their friends and enjoyed the wonderful weather...which changed back to winter weather and snow on the ground at the end of the week :(
During this week's break from homeschool I enjoyed working on some projects around the house, spending a day antique store shopping with my girls, NOT planning any homeschool lessons BUT INSTEAD looking over all of the curriculum we've been using this school year & making decisions about next year, and getting some much needed dr. appointments out of the way. There were fun birthday parties to attend, play dates and movie outings, shopping trips to the mall (and online shopping, too!), a visit to Grandma's house, and even a house full of teenage boys enjoying their version "the perfect day"...I'd say the week was relaxing while still accomplishing some important tasks. The kids wardrobes are ready for Easter and a friend's upcoming wedding; the homeschool cabinet is tidy and organized; homeschool catalogs have been pored over and choices made for next year; and I am continuing to learn more and more about hypothyroidism and my long-term health! I'm pretty happy with this year's spring break, and I'm also ready to get back to work next week.
Spring brings with it a unique set of feelings for most homeschool moms that I know. We are ready to open the windows, greet the sunshine each morning, and knock out the last of the year's school work. I find the new growth outside, the sunshine, the warm breeze and the "longer" days great motivators as I work to finish up the year. March is the month when we begin to "send down the books". As we finish up with something, the book (or resource of any media type) is moved downstairs where the homeschool curriculum is kept. When we finish with something, we set it near the stairs and "send it down". Our days become lighter as we have less book work to do ~ the kids and I look forward to spending time outside in the afternoons and taking more field trips. We don't finish up every subject as quickly as we possibly can, because we have learned from past experience what it feels like to be "bored" by the time late May rolls around...now we stretch things out a little more over March/April/May and take the time to do more art projects, read more good books, try something new, do a little baking or spend time visiting an older family member.
I'm really glad we took this week off - and I'm really glad that today is the first day of Spring, even if the view out my window is all white :) And I would encourage all homeschool moms to consider taking a spring break - or a winter break - or a fall break - some kind of break at some point during the year to pause and regroup. You may find everyone ready to jump back into their school work after some time off, and you might get a few things taken care of that have been pushed to the back burner. Of course, most homeschooling moms already know how and when to take a break during the course of their school year, so I'm not telling them anything they don't already know! I guess the end of the matter for me is that I was able to enjoy my children in a non-academic way for one whole week, and that is the primary reason I am grateful for taking a spring break.
Happy First Day of Spring!
Day 23 done :)
Jan L. Burt