My oldest child is leaving us in 2 weeks to go off to college. So I wanted to make this the best summer yet! I wanted his younger siblings (ages 4, 5, 8 & 13) to remember him having fun with us. I wanted them to remember him!
I wanted him to remember having fun with us.
So everybody is home this summer. No summer camps to separate us. No special trip for this one or “friends’ houses for the week” for that one. Not even a little get away for me and hubby.
I want us all together, having fun.
Now this is a little crazy because we’re homeschoolers which means that we are ALL always together; but I wanted to be conscious about creating “fun” time. Because we’re ALL always together it’s not necessary to structure our time. It’s not necessary to create “family” time and “teaching moments” and “stimulate” conversation. It’s happening 70-80% of the day. But it is necessary to create fun.
I’ll never forget when a Pastor friend of ours was visiting a few years ago. He sat down to eat with the kids, but they were quieter than normal because adults were in the room and they were trying to be polite by “keeping down the noise.”
After a few minutes of quietness my Pastor friend said, “well aren’t you kids going to discuss your day?” Looking at my oldest kid he said, “Don’t you think your brothers are interested in what happened to you today?” Looking at the others he said, “Aren’t you guys interested in each other’s day?”
That was such a weird concept for my kids that they all looked around the table at each other a bit stupefied to which my friend started a little sermon about the need to “care for each other” and “talk to each other” and “taking time out to be there for one another….and don’t you want to know your brother better and hear about each others’ day?”
My 2nd born son who was just 8 at the time piped up and said, “I already know about his day, we did everything together. We do everything together everyday. He doesn’t have to tell me about it, I was there.”
It was the first time that I consciously realized the power of homeschooling. We don’t have to create artificial conversations to discover each other and “share” our philosophies, it’s ingrained in our daily activities.
However, we do have to create fun…let me rephrase that….I have to create fun. They have fun together 24hours a day! Even as I type this my 17yb and 13yb are at the movies together, while my 8yb, 5yb and 4yg are in the boys’ room screaming in laughter. It’s 11:30pm.
They know how to have fun. I am always working or cleaning, planning or organizing.
Well, I wanted this summer to be a summer of conscious fun, so we’ve been to the movies once a week. The library once a week. Completed the library’s’ summer book club requirement weeks in advance. We’ve hit the water park a few times. The playground on heat-tolerable nights. Shopped together at the mall 4 times (which is extremely rare, because I hate shopping and I especially hate the mall!). And had a couple of quick stay-cations. My mother has been here. My sister, niece and nephew have also come here visit, my 2nd born son & I are working together as volunteers on The Generous Garden Project and we have helped a friend move.
Because my oldest is a musician (classical pianist, Christian rapper and actor) this summer, his last opportunity before college, he was focused on producing music and creating videos. This means that 50% of the summer I’ve had 2-5 guys spending nights and days here as they camped out in the make-shift studio. And although I’ve enjoyed the piano and guitar playing, singing and laughing coming through the walls, it has kept me on pins and needles trying to keep them all fed and full.
I’m one stressed out momma. After you get a certain age creating fun becomes WORK WORK WORK!
It’s a good thing that I enjoy my job, it doesn’t stress me at all. But not being able to work because I’m creating fun for them IS stressing me out, TO THE MAX.
As much as I have loved this summer I’ll be glad to see it end…then I’ll start the stress of homeschooling.
What has your summer been like?