First Week of Summer

If I had it to do all over again, I would have taken last week off completely from school and then begin on tomorrow after the holiday.    I can always tell when my mind is spinning, and the product of that level of angst and confusion usually isn’t good.    Yet, I was so determined to not waste our summer by sleeping late and staying plugged in all day until I had the kids in books the next day after our official school year “ended.”    The result was that neither the kids nor I felt as if we’d truly ended anything, and the youngest, with all the boldness of a child’s unbridled tongue, let me know it.   “When do we get a break??!!”   

This is sooooo not the way that I want to school during our summer downtime.     So I began explaining that school wouldn’t look exactly as it did during the year, but the true proof in the proverbial pudding was when I began to relax and not pressure them with getting up at a certain time, getting this and that done, and taking away from the fun of life (like time with Dad) in order to complete said page.    Lesson learned.    Moreover, once I did relax, I was able to think through what I wanted the kids to accomplish during the summer–more on that later.

When we weren’t around the table, we were unusually busy for almost the whole week.   It went by in such a blur until I almost can’t remember it.    I spent 2-3 days washing and pressing hair in preparation for team pictures on this past Friday.   I’m hoping against all hope to make the flat-ironing last until time for the dance recital on next weekend.    That process of straightening the girls’ hair is so labor-intensive for me until I almost dread doing it.    I think the ill feelings were compounded once I began to embrace our natural hair; I now fully realize what I’m doing to their tresses by applying that much heat.

I found out Thursday that a dear friend went home to be with the Lord after an extended battle with breast cancer that eventually spread throughout her body.   She was a mentor to our oldest daughter and to me, truth be told; we “adopted” the grandsons she parented as the brothers our son never had.    I know she’s in a better place, and cancer-free with the Lord, but I sure do miss her. 

Saturday we spent at a wedding during the day.   A dear friend married a 2nd time after a long and prayerful season of waiting on a Godly man.    The season was more stressful due to a teenage daughter that, at least from the natural eye, seemed to turn away from everything she was destined by God to be.   It’d been a tough road for this woman of God, and my heart rejoiced to see her happy and radiantly in love.

Saturday evening we were blessed with a rich Word from Bishop T.D. Jakes while he was in town.     Luke 15: 1-8 leaped off the page for me as the Bishop delivered a life-changing message about recession, resurgence, and remaining.   Wow.

My husband loved me enough to give me a much-needed break on Sunday morning, and he taught our Sunday School class by himself, bless his heart.   I felt bad about leaving him with a class that is still establishing its personality with us (ha ha), partly because I wanted to see the lesson!     He performed a couple of magic tricks as a lead-in to the story of Simon the magician, and how we, like Simon, can crave the power of the Holy Spirit (or just church presence) for all the wrong reasons.   The class was small, but well engaged in the lesson, from what I’m told.     This group of kids is markedly different from previous classes we’ve had because of their candor.   There’s one thing I can say about them: right or wrong, you never have to guess what they’re thinking. 

Somewhat well rested, I hussled to get everyone ready for an evening event put on by the local chapter of the NAACP.    During April, the oldest competed in their academic olympic event (ACT-SO) in Earth Science, and Sunday evening was the presentation of awards.     She had returned from April’s competition with a message of doom and gloom about how she fared with the judges, so I had no reason to believe that she would place.     That said, man!    Was I overjoyed when she was announced as the silver (2nd place) award winner!     We couldn’t have been more proud.

Incidentally, it’s odd to see myself with my “poofy” braid-out–a combination of hair that needed washing and the Texas humidity.   Who is that woman with my daughter?!   (But, let’s not make this about me–smile).    Here she is with Dad, and then with friends who also participated in this year’s competition. 

Today, Memorial Day, was a day of semi-rest once again after having a well-traveled, eventful weekend.   Whew!    My in-laws joined us for Cajun fare–crawfish boudin and blackened tilapia.    Good times with family and great food.

Believe it or not, I actually did, somewhere in the midst of all this activity, get to settle my mind and think about what I want to do with the kids this summer.   In short:

  • We will work on 3 days/ week.
  • The youngest: read together and work  on math and handwriting all 3 days, with grammar added on one day and science on another.
  • Our son: read together, make sure he continues with “free” reading times, and complete math on all 3 days.
  • The oldest: help her adjust to college English, read together, and complete math on 3 days.

I will not get in the way of informal studies masterly inactivity, as Miss Mason would say, with my own agenda.

I will not plan the fun out of summer for the sake of completing academic work.

I will get some things done (like scrapbooking and sewing) that I’ve wanted to complete for forever.   That means I will relax.

Pray for me, saints.   God bless.

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2 comments on “First Week of Summer

  1. Homeschooldaddy says:

    I too,cousin, am trying to perfect “masterly inactivity”, but I’m afraid it usually masters me. 🙂 It is definitely a transition every year when we have to decide when enough is enough, but you’ve shown that a little structure helps the mind rest in the down times. Good advice for this home as well. God bless you guys and congrats to Halle!

  2. Dawn says:

    Wow! What a first week of summer. Congrats to your dd. I do hope you get some time to relax. I need to remember to do some of that too. However, we are about to leave town on the most exhausting vacation we have ever been on. It is on the bucket list and the kids are the right age.

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