School is officially out--yay! For Patrick that is. :) We have a busy summer ahead.
Mitch decided to take a part-time job this summer working at Northcrest Gymnastics. He has worked there several summers in the past. They run a summer camp for school-aged children. It will be good to have the extra income, even though it means I'm running the show at home by myself. If the summer goes well, then he will probably do some substitute teaching during the school year to continue supplementing our income that way. We love the flexibility of his hours at Northcrest. He will only be gone for a portion of the days, and we were able to request needed days off throughout the summer to continue our own summer plans and activities. What a blessing!
The kids are going to continue their schoolwork throughout the summer, with planned days/weeks off and also the flexibility to take days off on impulse. I could have never been able to be at home doing daycare AND homeschooling with Mitch gone, but with S.O.S. that has become possible. I'm so thankful for the blessing that it has been to our family. Yes, we have issues--laziness still pervades what the kids do, and I sometimes question if they are really mastering what they are learning--but those are heart issues and will be present no matter what learning method we use. I am convinced that even if I could duplicate myself and spend 1-on-1 time with each child poring over each subject that they would still not be working at their peak potential. Sigh. S.O.S. has been a wonderful tool for us! My goal for the summer is to pace ourselves well, use boring days for schoolwork yet be flexible enough to have fun days of no school. When September comes, we will once again focus on a more serious schedule, completing their grade levels during the winter and moving straight on into the next grade level. One reason that we have chosen to keep doing school throughout the summer is to fight summer boredom. My children get bored quickly, lose interest in playing outside (let's be honest--our small yard and neighborhood has little to offer school-agers), and as a result end up constantly whining for screen time. Ugh. Also we believe that after a long summer vacation it is harder for children to get their minds going again--they forget some skills that they learned the previous year and must re-learn them--so by continuing school consistently (especially math), even at a reduced pace, we will keep their minds somewhat "in the game".
In June we are planning a whirlwind trip out East to see Washington, DC, the Atlantic Ocean, and my family in the Southwest Virginia area. I'm SO excited. This will be our first time home as a whole family in 6 years, and my first time home in 4 years. There are 2 children that my parents haven't even met yet--not counting Patrick. :) And I'm SO glad they will get the blessing of meeting Patrick face to face. :) This trip only became possible when we were able to purchase a 15-passenger van. We will be camping nearly the entire time, so we are praying for decent weather and safe travels. We are having fun researching and planning stops along the way, especially in DC. It's incredible all the information we can gather from the internet--it makes planning so much smoother.
July will bring Independence Day, Micah's birthday, and Mitch and Patrick are going to the Sonshine Festival. And that's about as far out as I want to talk about our summer right now.
I have more pictures from this past weekend to post and share...they're coming later, but since this is Mitch's first day on the job, I've got considerably less free time. It's crazy how you take it for granted until it's gone. ;)