Growing up, every Summer or Winter vacation I used to say, “that my vagación was coming”. Vagación not Vacación. Vagación is not really a Spanish word, but this “made up” word came from vagancia that means laziness, idleness. Get it? Vacation time meant laziness time for me, or at least that is what I hoped for. However, my plans were sabotage by my full-time working mother who always found a Summer camp or Winter class to spend our free time. Among the classes we took I can remember, cooking, painting, baking, sawing. poetry and sports.
After thirty years and in another reality, I found myself homeschooling and doing exactly the same thing my mom used to do, “sabotaging my children vacation”. But, how does a homeschool family takes vacation time? How can I sabotage my own free time? To tell you the truth, having a routine works the best for homeschoolers. Sometimes the clock is not as significant as the routine. Without the routine element in our lives we could not homeschool. I cannot take time off without a Summer routine, the kids simply would go wild!
- Instead of Grammar, we have written our own books. I let them develop their own stories. One of my boys chose my husband and I as their main topic. It was fun to see us in my son’s eyes. We will make that book bilingual, to make it more special yet.
- Instead of Math, we have played math games, cards and drills. Everybody loves Canasta! And boy, it really enhances addition skills.
- Science is our favorite! Gardening is a perfect excuse to explore life in animals and plants. Poor frogs, they have been part of too many experiments. Scarabs have been trapped and even daddy long legs have been put under scrutiny. Everyday brings its own blessing. Kids just need to explore a little at a time.
- We explored a bit of the world with the world cup. I guess we will go back to our geography studies very soon.
- We have been reading lots. When I am not able to read to them, the older ones read to the younger ones. They do not even now, but they are practicing their reading aloud skills.
- Baking, cooking and grocery shopping are great ways of teaching them math and wisdom.
- I have been letting them use my camera and take pictures of interesting stuff. I am so happy they can take many without depending on a roll. Hurray for digital cameras!.
- I let them get bored now and then. Boredom brings new ideas and before I know it they are creating something.
- And of course we go out more often and with less stress. Bowling, park, picnicking, and visits to the library have become our favorites.
- I am trying to speak Spanish most of the time, and they like it!
As for me, they are teaching me more than I really teach them. Little ones have simplicity in their hearts, they do not need electronics or expensive stuff. They need to be nurtured and loved, that’s all.
I confess, I am a better person without stress. I love Summer! I love to be able to relax with my kids. I love to enjoy learning for the joy of learning!
How is your Summer going?