how to do summer break: summer projects, summer camps, and why less is more

There are always too many activities I could sign up for during the summer.

Somehow spring cleaning turned into summer cleaning (and I suspect might turn into September cleaning if I don’t hurry up before the next study season begins).

The kitchen light has been shed of all spider webs, the picture frames taken off the wall, but I’m pretty sure the daily waterfall of bread crumbs under the toaster will be plentiful enough to make Thanksgiving stuffing this year.


how to do summer break in a homeschool

This white picket fence was glued together with three inch nails, though the boards are only an inch and a half thick.

That’ll need to get taken care of. The backyard white fence appears to be dipped in chocolate. It’ll need to get scrubbed and bring out the whitewashing. Perhaps we’ll need to switch from reading Secret Garden to Huck Finn to learn from his painting techniques….oh wait, I think he lied himself out of that work. I’m not so lucky.

The garden hose, the poor garden hose, bursting out a side seem and not the actual hose…everyone wants me to just chuck the thing, but I’m too frugal. No eco-green suggestions coming from the family. Just buy a new one, I’m told. I’ll hold out and hope that I can manoeuvre three lengths of hose in one hand and the sprayer in the other, so I can simultaneously spray three parts of the garden at the same time.

These projects could keep my summer busy alone. The other half of the summer could be consumed by kids’ summer camps.

For at least this week, I’ll forgo summer camps and programs. I have to push against the cultural trend to find lots of activities during the leisurely summer months. You might have been plenty busy until the very end of June, but why not continue the pattern right into summer, and hope for a vacation from the summer vacation before school starts? (I’m tired just thinking about it.)

There really are great camps out there though: horse camps, overnight camps, art and music camps, every kind of sports camp. We’ve taken full advantage of everything from cooking and writing classes to guitar and drawing lessons. There is so much to learn from others in the community.

But sometimes more is not more.

There will always be cleaning and there will always be one more activity. Capturing the fleeting moments of summer, by slowing down and being IN the moments make for the most restfulness, allowing us to re-create ourselves and arrive refreshed to the busyness of fall.

Teresa Wiedrick, author of Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer

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Homeschool Mama Self-Care: nurturing the nurturer