Now that it’s back to school season again for us and the rest of the traditional schools here, it made me ask myself: Which do I prefer, homeschooling for 10-11 months of the year or being on 2-month summer break? School or summer?
I, of course, LOOOVE taking a break and hitting the beach or travelling to some new place, during the months of March, April or May (or anytime of the year, for that matter!). By this time of the year, I am already feeling the need to drop all our books. Get away. Have fun. Simply breathe. But this past summer has been unusually tiring for me. Even if we were able to spend a good 4 days at a beach resort in Palawan, I was immediately back to house chores after that. I had to do a major summer cleaning. The girls went for the first time, on a marine and wildlife camp in Bacolod (a province in the next major island), which also turned out to be a semi-vacation, semi-chaperoning for me and Mike. I spent extra hours planning and preparing for this schoolyear. I had to figure out (well, just like every year in the previous years) what kind of routine and schedules we would follow, moreso now that our girls are in high school. And I also had to take my sister to different places while she’s in town for a few weeks.
Yes, summer can mean less structure, less boundaries, no set bedtimes and no alarm clocks (at least, for most of the days) and more opportunities to go to new places. You have activities left and right only available for the kids, tweens, and teens during the summer which we try to take advantage of. That means having to deal with a change of set-up, logistics, and dynamics within the family. In our case, I notice that it resulted to being a bit more lax in discipline areas which I focus on during our homeschool months. And that brought about a bit of tension (disappointment and frustration on my part) in the home and in our relationships.
On the other hand, officially homeschooling for a schoolyear calls for a whole new set of routines and disciplines. The areas which require focus and full attention are different. There are more details and requirements to work on since we are learning multiple and different subject matters in our homeschool. Days are much, much longer and can be more structured and rigid for us but at the same time, it can spell out a better or smoother flow of activities. Hence, it is more predictable.
So, which do I like better? School or summer? The flexibility of homeschooling for 10 months or taking a summer breather for 2 months? Predictability or spontaniety? Structure or anything goes?
After giving it much thought, I have to say that I am really a left-brain kind of person to help me get things done. I work best with schedules and lists (even when we plan for our vacations or trips). I need organization and systems in place. BUT, BUT, BUT!!! I do have the right-brain side of me which I cannot and must not ignore and need to be taken care of. I do need to feed my artsy self by doing something creative, working with my hands, or simply being in a more relaxed, more flexible, and leisure state.
I guess what I have to keep in mind really is to learn how to put the different areas of my life in balance. There is a time for everything as Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 says. After all, that is the beauty and blessing of this lifestyle we’ve chosen. Homeschooling. We manage and are in control of our time and we are actually learning how to be good stewards of our time, resources, and even our physical bodies which enable us to work and have fun 🙂 Something to be really thankful for!