It’s a while since I last logged our day to day doings. Despite not teaching the children during holiday times, I still seem to fill my days.
Coming home from Italy was a bit surreal. Just two hours in a plane and all was familiar again. As we usually journey via our trusty van, the length of time taken to get home allows us to adjust both emotionally and geographically. Back in England, all the landscape generally so loved looked slightly dull. We had a truly special time away, and HWH and I felt properly rested by the end of it, something we, like most parents I’m sure, haven’t experienced for a long while!
While we were away, whenever I thought of our home (which is fab and a huge blessing to us all), the words which kept leaping into my mind were “cluttered” and “messy”! There was truth in this. The summer holidays are usually the time when I make space to sort cupboards, restock art supplies and curriculum books and investigate those small corners of accumulated “necessary materials” which have laid dormant collecting dust for months. This is a satisfying procedure. And, as it happened, as I logged on to Sally Clarkson’s most recent podcast, she was speaking about this very subject! (sallyclarkson.com/podcast Bringing order and cultivating home life #181).So, I had some inspiration to go alongside my annual clear-out.
The hot weather continues and the grass is brown. However, due to its dryness, Lanky Dude was able to cut the overgrown “savannah” which is our field, and I strimmed the orchard and around our sapling Christmas trees so it’s looking a little less neglected now. The early apples are ready for picking, generally a fun team job, but one which seemed to fuel grumbling and squabbling this time!
The bees are still alive and buzzing and I put a wasp guard over the entrance to enable them to guard the hive more easily, and a pot of water just outside to provide extra fluid in the heat.
I have tried to put some boundaries around our time; I need space during the holidays to catch up with all the jobs I don’t usually have time for, to tidy, to clear out and reorganise, to read and be re-inspired. Alongside this, I’ve often found that because friends are also off during the holidays our social calendar fills up, and it’s lovely to spend time with others. We had a specially good time visiting homeschool friends up in the Big City…bar b q for the girls, campfire for the boys, and some soul restoring conversations for me.
Lanky Dude has been working on his robot again, using a grinder which looked pretty scary. It’s such a gift having this extended holiday time…very grateful for college timetables! The year was so intense for him, and we realised he never had a whole week off in nine months (must put that right in future). So, I felt he needed the first few weeks just to wind down. However, he also needs to make best use of the time, and has got into a rhythm on our home days which means he gets some work done, does some exercise and viola practice and even some reading!
On that subject, we’ve had a couple of trips to the library, one to a bookstore, and I made an order to the Book People. They do discount books, and are especially good for whole series. We can also sometimes get vastly reduced audio book CD’s. We are listening to “Round the World in 80 days” by Jules Verne on audible. I thought this would go well alongside our recent travels.
We had a wonderful day at our new church’s camp. It was held on a farm, and the kids rode the ponies, swam and kayaked in the river, made pizzas in the pizza oven and sang and roasted marsh mallows round the campfire. It was very relaxing and lovely to get to know some of the other families a bit more.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, one of my favourite summer activities is lying under our gazebo with a cup of tea and a book. I’ve not done as much of this as I would have liked, but when I have squeezed moments in, it’s been bliss!
We all had book tokens to spend, and so had a fun day visiting our local bookstore and then some beautiful gardens in the grounds of a medieval building, a favourite haunt of ours when the boys were younger. We ate yummy pasties, had fun exploring and journeyed down memory lane. It was so peaceful. It prompted me to remember how home schooling was before IGCSE’s. We had such fun! Lots of outings and kinaesthetic learning. I’m so grateful I’ve been able to spend these teen years with the boys while they have worked on IGCSE’s, but we had a lot of freedom in the early years….to learn for the joy of learning. To be truly creative. It re-inspired me as I enter this new season with the girls’ learning.