When I was working in the schools, I loved professional development days. And, no, I’m not talking about the snoozer professional development sessions that often seemed thrown together and eighty gazillion times longer than a typical day. I’m talking about the legitimate learning experiences that left you feeling rejuvenated and inspired. I’m a sucker for a conference.
Alas, I am in a different season. No one is paying for me to attend a conference in the city.
When it comes to professional development right now, in this season, I am most decidedly on my own. And, like anything, this comes with pros and cons.
And today, I’m sharing a definite perk to this new season: poolside professional development.
Because we homeschoolin’ mamas must plan for the upcoming school year. We have to decide upon our routines, choose curriculum, and all that good stuff. And, in my world, the best place to do that is near water.
Poolside Professional Development
This summer, the majority of my professional development happened poolside.
But it also happened in the morning sun, on the patio…
… and on the beach …
… and up north, in the mountains, on the deck…
… and sometimes even river side…
And, let’s be honest here: it looks more peaceful than it often was because I am the parent of three boisterous little poppies. You are seeing the edited, silent version of my professional development.
My professional development was noisy and there were near-constant interruptions much of the time.
Sometimes, these interruptions were the best possible ones: giggles, play, and fantastic questions. But it was also interrupted in those all-too-familiar ways: “Mum! Watch THIS!”, goggle adjustments, and “Muuuum, he just [insert grievance here]!!!” it was outside, with my favorite people, near water.
But, I was outside. I was with my favorite people. I had a book in hand. And I was near water. So, it’s all good.
And, besides, I also read after those noisy poppies were in bed:
Poolside Professional Development, Summer 2016:
So, what did I read for my professional development? I tackled some of the towering stack that you see here…
… I re-read some of my favorites…
… and I even tried something completely new to me. I am hoping this something will make our homeschool (and dinner!) routine easier this year.
Here’s the full list of my delicious summer 2016 poolside professional development:
- A bunch of my favorite John Holt books
- Addition & Subtraction: Math Games for Elementary Students (Math You Can Play) by Denise Gaskins
- Counting & Number Bonds: Math Games for Early Learners (Math You Can Play) by Denise Gaskins
- Dr. Wright’s Kitchen Table Math (series)
- Everything by Shawna Niequist (Seriously. I read them all.)
- Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin
- Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
- Let’s Play Math: How Families Can Learn Math Together and Enjoy It by Denise Gaskins
- Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life by Merissa A. Alink
- Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison
- One World School House: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan
- Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne
- The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon by David Elkind
- The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Liber
- Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Approach to Reading, Spelling, and Literacy by Denise Eide
- Vegan Under Pressure: Perfect Vegan Meals Made Quick and Easy in Your Pressure Cooker by Jill Nussinow
It’s refreshing to take a moment for oneself
As homeschool moms, we spend so much time planning for the year. I know I personally work incredibly hard to read high-quality books to my children every day. In fact, I was having so much trouble with bedtime reading that I started a new family routine so that we were sure to have quality read alouds daily. (I call this tradition Coffee and Books and I’m talking about it in-depth over at Simple Homeschool today. Please join me!)
So, we put all this effort in for our children and that is absolutely wonderful… but shouldn’t we take some time for ourselves?
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Do you take the time to read for fun? Do you participate in poolside professional development, too? What did you read this summer? 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