Today was Monday after nice a nice long week off.I hate to say I dreaded this Monday. But, I dreaded it. I wasn’t ready to resume “the struggle” of the previous week.
(I usually love Mondays. I’m weird like that.)
The week before our break was horrid. I seriously considered sending my two less compliant children back to public school. Shoo. Gone. I daydreamed about what I would do with my spare time and bushels of patience left over at the end of each day.
The week before that while not horrible was less pleasant than I’d like to admit. It was a trend. A downward spiral that we were all experiencing; not just me, not just one child.
As a unit we were going down the homeschool pooper.
A conveniently timed holiday meant we had a short week coming up. I made an executive decision to throw our homeschool calendar to the wind. We needed a break! Our short week turned into a week off. Add in weekends and we had ourselves a healthy break that we all desperately needed.
Why be a slave to our homeschool calendar?
We loosely follow our local school district’s calendar. My kids are involved in sports and still have public school friends so it just works for us. We work 36 weeks (albeit four day weeks) of school with math and science never stopping through the summer months. Working during the summer allows us some beautiful flexibility during the school year.
At the beginning of each year I divide up all the work we need to get done for year into quarters and then into weekly chunks. Without too much weekly planning I know what must be done each week. We stick to the schedule. No. Matter. What.
I’m a recovering planner.
But……that little voice in the back of my head does still whisper to me. And it’s a sneaky son of a gun.
“Why take off a cloudy day in November when you could take a sunny day in March?”
“If we do one less lesson this week that’s one more next week!”
“Wouldn’t it be better to work really hard now, just keep pushing so we can relax later?”
Sometimes you can’t just keep pushing, and you shouldn’t.
Obviously on paper it’s easy to say that the well being of my family is more important than checking off boxes on our to do list. But in the day to day shuffle it can be hard to sort it all out.
Doing more can be easier than doing less.
My family and I both needed a break. Not necessarily a break from each other (That wouldn’t hurt either, haha.) but a break from our daily routine and expectations. We just needed a plain old vacation.
What an amazing freedom to be able to decide when we need a break! Coming from years of public school I can barely wrap my head around that kind of freedom. Maybe that’s why I’m so hesitant to take advantage of it. We make our own rules!
During our extended break I marveled at all the learning my kids did while filling their time. Reading, games, youTube science experiments, writing books and letters; these are all things that they chose themselves. They hung out with cousins and grandparents. We had movie nights.
It was good.
Sunday night rolled around and I really felt a little pit in my stomach. I didn’t want to start back where we were. We didn’t (Fist pump!) School was good and easy; a comfortable routine.
Taking a break is healthy.
When my kids hit a wall with a new concept or idea I sometimes suggest lets put it up for today. Things always look brighter and easier after a breather. Why is that advice so hard to take myself?
How do you know when its time to take a break?
How do you incorporate breaks into your homeschool calendar?