I love our breaks! I really, really need time to re-group and get refreshed for another semester. This is probably as important a part of our homeschooling life as when we are going full-tilt with science experiments and history projects!
Right now I’m spending a lot of time taking care of myself (reading!!), tackling the house (getting up to my elbows re-organizing and cleaning) and working on the yard (weeding and mulching are consuming hours and hours of my week at the moment!). Oh yes, and the kids are of course still around too! Don’t forget them! Lol! They need to be carted to camps, play dates, have to be watched at the pool, and need arbitration from time to time. (Arbitration is their new vocabulary word this summer… as in… “This is a dispute that I don’t want to arbitrate. I think you can work it out.”) Plus, I’m still a part of their projects/plans/play but I won’t talk about any of that today!
So back my three Rs… relaxing/regrouping first… I’ve read a whole bunch of books that have nothing to do with science or homeschooling or language arts! I finished the entire (12 book) Comet Clement series — which despite all the typos, I really, really loved!! And I’m enjoying another series called Apocalypsis.
I read a wonderful book about adolescent girls called Reviving Ophelia that I highly recommend (thanks for the recommendation J!!). It is about the challenges girls face as they enter junior high and high school and their drive to be perfect. I like the concept (she invents/names?) of “lookism” and can see that I’ll have some meaty conversations to have with my friend as soon as we can clear our schedules. It delves into the lives and motives of specific girls and examines the choices they made to delve into alcohol, eating problems, promiscuity. The book also examines some girls that managed to steer clear of the pressures and stay strong. The book was written in the mid-90s so it doesn’t tackle some issues of today (like facebook, texting, sexting, etc.), but I still found it insightful and know it’ll foster from great conversations with my friends.
I read another book on bullying called Sticks and Stones, but I’m not sure I came out with many concrete things from this book. She tried to be unbiased and show both sides bully/victim in her three case studies. The stories she researched and shared were tragic, but I didn’t feel like she offered much in the way of solutions. I’m glad I read it because the issue of bullying is a tough one, but it felt more like I was reading compelling/sad stories. I didn’t walk away with much that was tangible.
I’m also reading a book I heard about a while back called Mommy Wars. The essays make for light, interesting reading. I think my Mom (who was a professor and worked full time when my sister and I were growing up) felt the divide (between stay-at-home Moms and working Moms) more than I personally have. I’m not sure whether that’s because our family lived overseas when the kids were born/little or because of my circle of friends or because we homeschool or because I’ve spent a lot of their lives working part time. I think I spend more time talking and thinking about the difficult balance of “doing it all” … trying to keep the house (reasonably) picked up/clean, schooling, letting the kids be creative (ie dealing with the messes they make with their crafts/games/etc.), balancing my own work/hobbies/me-time, meals, yard work, time with hubby and actually think all parents have their own paths and struggle with their own life-work-child-meal balance.
Changing the subject… I’ve spent hours and hours re-organizing again. When we first moved back to the States we had very, very little furniture. Our housing overseas was provided for us. What we had left in storage was mostly random stuff from our college days. We had to buy living room and dining room furniture, beds, bookshelves and on and on. We never really tackled the stuff in our bedroom and just kept the door shut! Last week I went out and got a couple of cubicle shelving and managed to get all of the mess (not clothes but random other stuff) off the floor for the first time since we moved in! About time, huh?!! I’m slowly going through the kids’ rooms too… trying to weed out unused/unloved toys and clothes they’ve outgrown.
Despite the tone of this post, I’m also working behind the scenes getting ready for this next school year, but I’ll save some of that for other posts!
Well, Hubby is about to come back with the kids (he left me to have some alone time and took them bowling!). Thanks Hubby! I’d better bring this to a close! I hope you’re having a good summer too!