I love a good change of pace. I’ve been a borderline burnout for a while now, but moving the boat this summer temporarily cured me. And now I have this wonderful opportunity to get out of the house (can’t go home even if I want to), so of course that’s where I want to be. The grass is always greener, right? The five kids and I have been gone about a week now, spending two or three nights in each place. We’ve visited grandparents, old friends, uncles, aunts and cousins, and now we’re staying in a beach condo for the weekend with Jay.
The kids don’t mind relaxing the routine a bit, especially if it means putting home school on the back burner, but Rachel really likes her schedule. To try to keep nap and bed times consistent, I have a porta-crib. So everywhere we go, I set it up, put her familiar objects inside and show it to her, saying, “Look, Rachel! It’s your bed!” She isn’t buying it. She knows that this is not home, and wakes up a few times each night calling my name just to make sure I’m still there, but she does go to sleep and it is providing some stability. Luckily, she has also been able to sleep in the car, so I plan drive times so that they overlap a nap. So far, so good.
The coolest thing about home schooling is this flexibility to come and go as we please. In fact, all the people with whom we are staying happen to be home schooling, too, so they can make time and space for our visit. This is very accommodating of them, since I know we are quite a distraction. My brother has six kids (with another on the way) so my sister-in-law has to plan meals for 14—and boy can she cook! An army of children is no match for her. I try to help out with dishes, cleaning, and meal prep, but she outshines me any day.
My friends Kristen and Howard also are home schooling their three girls (brilliant little cuties they are, too), and they made space for six more for a couple of days. They are unused to the rambunctiousness of my three boys, but are very gracious. Kristen, if I may boast for a moment, started home schooling at least in part because of contact with our family, but she has far surpassed me in her ambitions as a home school mom. Her website, www.teachingstars.com chronicles her homeschool journey and provides helpful information on all sorts of home school topics and curricula. She is inspiring another generation of moms to give their children a great education at home.
Next week, we’re headed to the keys to visit our favorite place, Curry Hammock State Park (www.floridastateparks.org/curryhammock), and our home school friends, Park Ranger, Ken, his wife, Amy, and their three fabulous kids. Hopefully, we’ll do a little snorkeling, fishing, and playing in the sand, and maybe some reading, writing and arithmetic on the side.