family life

top 5 summer activities for the homeschool family

I have a wonderland out my back door.

Perhaps one day I’ll want to take a summer vacation, but I can’t fathom I’ll need it. I’ve built a home on a mini-provincial park, tent, firepit, and river right next to my fully stocked home.

I’ve got leisurely mornings with my cup of coffee and books. I’ve got yummy lunches to prepare with my girls. I’ve got a canoe, new hikes to discover, and a garden rake and shovel to hardscape my mountain homestead.

Here’s what I’ve got on my summer to-do list: 

Raising meat chicks. Turns out, raising meat chickens is not much different than raising laying hens. At two weeks old anyway. (I might reserve my opinion of raising them after they’re processed.)

Building woodshed and chicken fence. We have more trees than a lifetime of wood burning fireplace would require and it has to go somewhere.

Building goat shelter and electric fence. After the woodshed comes the goat house. Very similar in structure, I’ll be tucking this shelter into the hilly area of our homestead, then searching for two new little friends to accompany our Great Pyr, Violet.

Vegetable and fruit gardening. Strawberries need picking as I write. I couldn’t be more thrilled that the soil I brought in, layered and supplemented is bearing vegetables I can pick every day. Though I can’t share this with bed and breakfast guests this summer, I still enjoy wandering through the garden before breakfast to prepare a pretty omelet plate. And you can guarantee the doors will open to my bed and breakfast as soon as they are able.

Firepits & tenting. My standard tenting bribe geared to the kids: pop tarts and mini cereal boxes. Though a foam mattress pad isn’t super comfortable for this middle aged body, I love going to sleep with the stars and waking with the rooster. 

Playing with the kids. Finagling plastic string on long bamboo poles and learning to fish off the neighbourhood island. Raising painted butterflies. Jumping on the trampoline and reading a chapter of Calpurnia or Asterix books. Bouncing a tennis ball on a racket. Floating down the Kootenay River on a blue plastic dolphin. Finishing the river raft, finally, and spending many afternoons on the beach with new beach towels and books and soaking in the sun.

Not doing studies. It’s time to put studies away. Mama, you need a break. 

Laying under the stars. Studying constellations and catching the Pleides when they zoom into focus, perfect summer evening fun. And laying in the back of the pickup truck while we catch a drive-in movie theatre pic: love it. 

Watching my girl in the Zoom Room at her ballet school. Though our nearly grown daughter couldn’t fly off to eastern Canada this summer, she’s still joining the Ballet Jorgen in ballet summer school with a few dozen other kids across Canada. 

Playing with new drinks and meal repertoires. Put away the hearty hot soups and toe-warming gin. I’m trying my hand at sugar-free margaritas and sangrias. Freedom from schedules to experiment with a diet I wouldn’t normally think to consider: the keto. 

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Sometimes simple summers are the best. What are you up to this summer?

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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Teresa Wiedrick
Teresa Wiedrick

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