I took my 5 wonderful kiddos on a super-fun trip to Orlando. With some awesome military appreciation deals & a long but fun drive to and from Florida from Kansas, we were able to pull off a really great vacation on short notice for minimal cost. The real bummer was that my hubby wasn't able to come with us; he began a new position at work the day we left to drive South & he just couldn't get away at this time. We missed him terribly!
This trip was, for me, something of a "start the good-byes" vacation. This year is the 13th year of homeschooling for me. My oldest is 17 & is taking all of his courses at Friends University during his senior year, in addition to studying like mad for his SAT II subject tests coming up this fall. Next summer he will leave for college (somewhere in the Northeast, most likely). My next oldest child turns 16 in a few weeks - she will get a car soon & starts her new job next week; she's a sophomore in high school this year & will soon be a junior & then a senior. It's amazing how quickly high school comes and then goes for a homeschooling family. It really does fly right by!
My 3 younger daughters are in 8th, 7th and 5th grade this fall. Two high schoolers, two middle schoolers, and one grade school student make for a busy homeschool year. Add in Christian Youth Theater, youth group, piano classes, choir, college classes for our oldest, work schedules for the 17 and 15 year olds, the fall football season (my son is playing for a local private Christian school), SAT's & ACT's & college applications, etc. - well, you can clearly see it is going to be a very busy fall around the Burt house. I intend to be plugged in and enjoy every bit of it!
Having my kids so close together in age is a real blessing to me; I wouldn't do it any other way. But it also comes with the sad truth that once they begin to leave home, they will all leave in a row. It will be a whirlwind and then it will be over - and I will look back and wonder where the days went. So this trip to Florida was a real gift from the Lord - I was able to have one fun filled trip with my children doing what we love to do together before the chaos of this school year began. We made some great memories and just had an all around super time. And I'm also a realist - I have always worked to raise my children to be adults by the time they leave home. I don't plan to manipulate and tweak things in order to squeeze a little bit more out of them than is functional and healthy; I'll take everything I get gratefully from the hand of the Lord, but I won't try to work things to my advantage and guilt my children into being "kids" again for my sake after they have already left home and become "adults". So this vacation was a great time for me as a homeschool mom. The right trip at the right time for the right price - God's timing is always best and I'm glad I let Him take care of this rather than working to figure something out on my own. It's always better that way, isn't it?
Now we're back at home, catching up on laundry and prepping for the school year. I'm rested and recharged, totally ready to get going on this busy fall. It's going to be a wonderful year & I'm going to enjoy every minute of it - even ordering my son's graduation announcements & mailing off college applications. When we make the most of every moment, we can face the bittersweet moments without regret. Homeschooling is a great adventure - enjoy it, fellow moms!
Ready to start the 2010-2011 year with a BANG!
Jan L. Burt
Day 37 done :)