When I worked in public schools, and when my kids were in school, this was a crazy time of year. You could see the light at the end of the tunnel and yet it felt so far away. The list of to-dos was longer than the remaining school days. The last six weeks were a whirlwind, and while some days were fun-filled, you were mostly waiting for a certain Friday in June.
How many more Fridays?
With homeschooling, I feel the opposite. As spring comes to an end, things feel lighter. We’ve made it through another year. And, as I assemble the kids’ portfolios, I am taken by everything we managed to accomplish in one year.
I consider our family to be year round homeschoolers. My children thrive when they have a routine in place and so we continue to learn throughout the summer months, but the learning is … different.
There is less urgency, less tracking and checking off boxes. I feel more present and sure of myself.
You could say we measure our days differently this time of year.
How Do You Measure Success?
As homeschoolers, we are not required to keep track of these summer months. We are free and we can choose to measure our days any way we wish.
1. Smiles and laughter
In our homeschool, spring is such a happy time. After months of gray skies and snow underfoot, we shed our jackets and head outdoors. We take our learning to the patio or beyond and we eat our meals outside. We spend more time embracing nature and art and good books because we have fewer to-dos. Everyone’s spirits are lighter, and there is more laughter.
2. Stacks of good books read
We enjoy fantastic books throughout the year, but we read with wild abandon in the summer… self-included! We will often take a stack of books and read them in the backyard on a picnic blanket. Or, we’ll each grab our current obsession and read silently together.
A photo posted by MyLittlePoppies (@my_little_poppies) on
3. Mental snapshots
Because everything feels lighter this time of the year, I feel more present. I wish I could hang onto this feeling all year long! I’m trying to savor every drop of this mindfulness in hopes it can stick around through next February!
4. Sediment in the tub
Do you know that ring around the tub that appears this time of year? That is a measure of success over here. The sediment in the tub at the end of the day is proof of outdoor learning. Forts, and climbing, and hiking, and fairy houses. The play of childhood is important work and I remember this as I attempt to scrub off the grime left in our bathtub.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: How do you measure success this time of the year? Do you love this time of year in your homeschool? Why or why not? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram