I’m Back

This weekend was my “Me Time Extravaganza.”  Well…it wasn’t that grand, but I had a whole weekend to myself.  I was house-sitting and did absolutely nothing and it was wonderful!!  I didn’t have to cook, clean, answer any questions, or talk to anybody, I didn’t even talk to myself!!  I went to my favorite hot dog joint for dinner one night, went to my favorite bakery and bought sprinkle cookies, which I didn’t have to share, and a chocolate chip coffee cake that was delicious, which I ended up sharing, because I forgot to bring it home with me.  I know my house-sitting hosts are enjoying it.  I watched TV, mostly home design shows, I love Flip This House.  I watched one of my favorite movies, Head Over Heals with Freddie Prince, Jr., it’s one of those movies that it’s just silly and far fetched but funny.  I also actually worked on a cross-stitch project that I started over three years ago.  I love to cross-stitch, it’s very relaxing to me.  The reason I know I started it over three years ago, is because it’s a baby blanket for my baby who just turned 3!!  I did this for all my kids.  When I found out I was pregnant with each of them, I started a blanket.  Believe it or not, I actually finished the twins’ blanket before they were born.  But I did have help on the second one, which was a joint effort with my mom and niece.  I did finish one all by myself.  For Elijah’s, my middle guy, that one was done shortly after he was born.  So the big joke is that Benji will have his done in time for his Kindergarten graduation.  I hope not.  My daughter showed it to him one day, and he just hugged it and didn’t want to put it away.  So then he began to pressure me to get it done.  Anniehow… I did get some work done on it.  It was so nice not to have to do anything, and I didn’t worry or feel guilty that I wasn’t doing anything.  I realized I need to do this more often.  When I came home, the house was clean, and everyone was exited to have me back.  My husband looked even more attractive to me, I did miss them all.

Now I’m trying to get back to life.  We have a couple of weeks left before we start school, and we are trying to have as much fun as we can.  My sister-in-law and her husband were in town from California, so we visited with them.  Today, the twins have their friends over, so that makes a total of 7 kids.  You think it would be chaos around here, but it’s not, the girls are in their room and the boys are in the boys’ room.  These friends are their “homeschool friends” since they are homeschooled too.  We try to get together as much as we can with them, last year we did a couple of field trips.  When we all get together there is a total of 9 kids, so it’s like a little class.

It’s nice to have a couple more days left to plan some fun.  My husband and I would like to take the kids miniature golfing and also take a trip downtown to see the fountain.  Something to look forward to before we have to hit the books again.

Thought for the Day

For the last couple of days, when I sign in on the Internet I see that the Yahoo page comes up with school supplies all around its logo. I usually enjoy their little graphics for the different seasons and holidays, but I must say I’m not quite ready for school supplies. As I write this I am sitting in my backyard enjoying the nice weather, there’s a slight breeze that is making it very pleasant. Recently the days have been so hot we spend our time out in the early evening. The little guys play in the sandbox while my husband and the twins shoot some hoop, or we’ll take a ride on our bikes. The long days are nice, but as I look at the calendar, I know the beginning of school is fast approaching, so I must begin preparing.

The first thing I do is make my list of what books I need to purchase. We always start our school year the day after Labor Day, and those four days are spent on reviewing things from last year, and just getting back into the routine. So I can usually wait to purchase my books at the end of August. I also make a list of school supplies they’ll need and start picking them up here and there as they go on sale. One thing nice about homeschooling is that we don’t have those extensive school supply list I hear so many parents complaining about. Every year at Wal-Mart, I see a couple of parents with their lists in hand and a frustrated look on their face discussing products on the list compared to what is on the shelf. I secretly envy them, a school supply scavenger hunt sounds like the most fun. But then again, I’ve never had to do it.

The next thing I do is create my calendar for the year. For our State in Illinois, the required days of instruction are 176 days. This is not mandatory for private or home schools, but I use this as my guide in planning my days off and breaks. I pretty much follow the traditional school calendar, having Christmas and spring breaks. I decide which federal or state holidays we observe, sometimes on that day. “It’s Casimir Pulaski Day, hey we’re Polish, let’s take the day off!!” Having a guide for the year like this helps me alter it easily. We can take an unscheduled day off if we want to visit with relatives from out of town, or if my husband has a day off during the week and we want to do something. Then what we can do is have school on one of the planned Federal Holidays like Columbus Day or President’s Day. The kids will get a copy of the calendar on the first day of school. The first thing they do is count how many days until their first day off.

I have read articles from other homeschool Mom’s who will go away for a weekend by themselves before the school year starts. I have done this once before, and I used some of the time to go over lesson plans, and review curriculum. I usually take a semester break in January or February and just stay at a hotel and do nothing but enjoy the time by myself. I do have an opportunity to get away for a weekend in a couple of weeks, which I am taking full advantage of. I haven’t always taken these breaks, I used to think wanting to get away was selfish, and a sign that I was a bad mother and wife. I would feel guilty wanting to leave the kids with my husband for a whole weekend. But I have felt the benefits of time away to re-charge my batteries. It doesn’t have to be fancy or far away, unless your budget allows it and you want to go to Hawaii. I just know how good it feels to get away and I highly recommend it.

Being that August just started, I do have some time left to enjoy the summer and that’s what I plan to do.

  

I know that different areas of the country may start their school year at different times. If you could have it your way, would you have school start before or after Labor Day?  You can add your opinion below.