Have you ever watched a group of interest led homeschoolers when they are asked if they are on summer vacation? They look so confused. Yes, no, sort of, does it matter?
We are on summer “schedule”. We’re learning and reading and having fun. The only thing really different about summer schedule is grammar lessons are completely set aside and we take time to enjoy the company of friends who only have summers off. We also take advantage of good weather and summer camp opportunities.
So what have we being doing with our summer freedom?
We hosted a birthday party. I love having older kids who are capable of planning and executing a large part of the party. E designed his own invitations and the boys planned out what games they wanted to play. Mostly it was just about water guns, water balloons, and jumping on the trampoline. We also pulled out the “rocket launcher” which is a device that sends 2 liter bottles 30 feet in the air. The boys all had a great time. Boys don’t require fancy decorations, they just want to play.
We attended the Unschoolers Waterpark Gathering (UWG). One of the things my kids missed when we switched to homeschool was having Field Day. UWG is sort of like a Field Week. The organizers do a terrific job creating fun events like Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag, Nerf Guns Wars, and Minecraft Fun Shops. The Skill Toys Fun Shop was really cool. There were demos of unicycles and jumping stilts, as well as lessons in juggling and lessons with juggling sticks and diabolo juggling yoyos. One afternoon there was a Kids’ Marketplace. The kids were encouraged to bring items to sell, no outside vendors. My boys sold some old Star Wars toys and purchased toy bows and arrows and jousting sticks made from duct tape, pool noodles, and pvc. The creativity on display at the Marketplace was amazing! There are some very talented young artists out there. The night of the talent show we saw some amazing performances. There were discussion panels for parents. Mostly I enjoyed hanging out with the other parents. The thing that made the biggest impression on me during the week was how much trust existed between parents and kids. It is hard to describe, but it was so enjoyable to be around a group of parents and kids who are confident about who they are.
We made our yearly summer trip to visit family. My niece recently visited the now closed Missouri State Penitentiary and wanted to share the experience with her cousins. My mom’s husband spent many years working maintenance at the prison and my husband’s cousin and her mom were guards there. It was an interesting and sobering experience. We did some landscaping for my mom, attended a high school graduation party for my nephew, and spent a day playing with cousins at the waterpark. Waterpark day was chilly. It ended up warming up in the afternoon, but we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
We visited Blue Rock Station which is a homestead dedicated to environmentally friendly living. Several building techniques are employed in the outbuildings while the main house is an earth-ship design constructed from recycled tires. It was a great lesson in sustainability.
Cleveland Hopkins Airport – We visited the Fire Department. It was interesting to see the specialized firetrucks and meet the bomb sniffing dog. We also visited the operations tower. We were a little disappointed we didn’t get to visit baggage sorting but such is life.
We took some pottery lessons and would like to add more of those to our fall schedule. The boys also did an archery camp. It was a big hit and we are hoping to find a way to work some more bow time into our schedule.
In our “free time” we’ve had time to visit with friends, go swimming, play in creeks, and play computer games. Our car time has been consumed with listening to the Eragon series.
While I’m excited about all the good stuff fall will bring, I’m glad we took time to relax and enjoy summer.