I am not so sure we are doing this year-round schooling thing right? I planned for us to tackle some elective type subjects; geography, the 50 states in alphabetical order, word games, lots of reading together, wacky science experiments, etc. A sweet few weeks of extra goodies in our homeschool year.
But it’s summer in Texas. So much fun to be had, so little time! And if summer school was an ice cream cone, it keeps melting faster and faster and some of it is escaping and getting covered in fire ants! We’re catching most of the creamy middle, but other good intentions are dripping away as the summer broils on. This is our first summer to do “school.” Except, there’s all this stuff starting and stopping and interrupting and making me sweat with uncertainty, literally and figuratively.
- Vacation bible school. We didn’t do school that week because they were going to a place with “School” in the title, right?Though the twin Ds only went for 2 days because…gasp!…they were being treated like rowdy kids and corralled with…horror!… actual rowdy kids! But lil D made it the entire week and came home with crafts, silly anecdotes, and a head cold.
- A week of Snot. So the following week we trudged thru some studies. Of course the head cold made its way to the twins even though they put up fingers in the shape of the cross every time their little brother sneezed within 50ft of them. They just don’t listen when I warn them they can use as much hand sanitizer as they want, but until you all stop using the kitchen dish rag as a personal face towel after every meal, well….Aa….Aa…Achoo!
- Broadway. Okay it isn’t broadway. But community theater is way better. Tickets are cheaper. You don’t need a plane ticket or hotel stay. And your children can star in the summer musical! And they can rehearse 6 nights a week and completely screw up their sleeping and dietary habits. Though maybe having dinner at 11pm is just getting them prepared for college life? That and learning choreography, public speaking, singing in time, unison and on key. Okay, this total passes as school.
- Personal Electronic Devices from the underworld. I’ve pretty much decided that Minecraft, though creative and somewhat educational, is cocaine in digital form and therefore the spawn of hell. Of course, it doubles as a reliable babysitter when you just need quiet. Never mind that your child has become a cube craving zombie that will chew your face off when you call time on a 3 hour binge. Just wait. When they’ve shut it down and finally quit growling, they’re now going to talk you into your own zombie stupor. Play by play, red stone by pick axe, your sanity will waiver. That’s the plan. Just to make it stop you’ll let them log back on to the babysitter. See we’re all addicted. Digital Narcotics, I tell ya.
- Other peoples kids. All these happy-go-lucky public school vacationers are undermining my vision! The Ds find it absolutely discriminating and abusive that they are forced to learn while all the kids of the world are eating snow-cones and riding around in ski boats. Just about every fun filled lesson I arrange begins with the protests of their unjust treatment. It matters not if we will take a vacation the second public school is back in session, or that we take off the entire month of December, and maybe April or May. They live in the right now. And right now the fair ain’t in town!
- The Heat. Today I think it was 99 degrees with a heat index of 107,967. If you walk out on the baking pan that is our driveway just to get the mail, neurons begin to misfire. The energy and IQ is literally evaporating from your body. By the time I grapple for the front door I’m in desperate need of an ice tea, ceiling fan, and a nap. We can’t be walking upstairs to the classroom in this kind of climate. Movement of any kind is counter productive.
- Ninjas. I completely lost my mind and signed the boys up for a camp called “Ninja Warrior Camp.” As I drove them to their first day this week, it suddenly occurred to me what nonsense I had committed. I actually paid for someone to teach them how to fight amongst each other more effectively. It’s like signing toddlers up for splatter painting lessons and then trusting them to feed themselves spaghetti marinara. When I picked them up that day they told me how they learned to cut open a watermelon with a machete. Great. Money well spent. They have learned some great tips on dealing with bullies, which is awesome. But 3 hours climbing trees, body slamming bullies, and Samurai fruit salads and we’re back to #6.
- Exhaustion. See all of the above.
Despite all that, we’ve accomplished tons of other stuff. We’re to the M’s in our alphabetized 50 states and can sing them all to the tune of Turkey in the Straw. No autographs, please. We’ve studied all kinds of maps and played pin the tail on the country. We’re finishing up the last weekend of Seussical the Musical performances this week. The boys can now determine when the bully they’ve just assaulted has breathing trouble and can administer first aid. We’ve gotten a jump on a few lessons in next years math. We’re reading The Swiss Family Robinson together at night , well, when we aren’t fighting about video game time or the unfairness of having parents with great expectations for their children.
We probably won’t get to the end of our vocabulary books before the leaves begin to change. We could be doing more math. And I’m going to have to put the proverbial foot down on the tablet gaming before we lose our religion and brain cells. Are we doing this summer schooling thing right? Right is relative. Some of our ice cream is dripping away, but we’re enjoying trying to lick it all up before the summer melts away. But there’s more to summer than ice cream. And there’s more to learning than school.