18 August 2014

It's that time of year. I can't read books by sunlight at 10 pm anymore. Our summer trips have come and gone. There are leaves littered across my driveway. The end of summer is near.

Now, I live in Canada so I don't want to think about the inevitable season of snow and frigid temperatures a moment before I have to, but there's something delicious about autumn. Maybe it's the death of the all the evil little mosquitoes. Maybe it's the spread of stationery aisles that have popped up in stores. Maybe it's the approaching fall fashion season where you can do things like wearing layers and cozy hoodies instead of just pulling out whatever will leave you the least soaked in summer sweat.

Whatever the reason - or wondrous combination of reasons - I'm rooting for an autumn that stretches on from August until November. (Hey, an Albertan can dream about a non-white Halloween can't she?)

Partly because of my excitement for fall, and partly because I'm avoiding the mosquito-pocalypse that is my yard right now, I've been getting prepped for our coming school year and getting our home more organized.

For our family, stepping into the school year looks a little bit different than it does for most. Because we homeschool, there's no school supply list and no shopping for back to school clothing. I actually sort of wish there was a homeschool supply list so I could justify buying all sorts of new books and papers each year. Ah, the pretties. (Yes, I do usually buy some new supplies even if we don't strictly need them. But I get to wait until everything is on sale so it's totally justified. Right? Right.)

As an unschooling mom, I also don't do the curriculum prep that many homeschooling parents do. Some families will head into the school year with their curriculum for the year mapped out before them. The part of me that loves organization and is in a serious relationship with her Filofax sort of wishes that our homeschooling approach lent itself to neat charts and predictable progress. I know, though, that my children learn best when they have the space to pursue their interests in the manner and depth that calls to them. (Let me tell you about the 20 or so Garfield books we have checked out from the library right now. I don't actually see my big kids' faces anymore. I see the backs of Garfield books.)

Our home is a very go with the flow type of place, but I'm starting to recognize that my stress level goes down when there is some level of predictability and routine. This year, all three kids are technically school-aged (I'm still a bit in denial about my baby being old enough for kindergarten so let's not dwell on this) so we're well out of the season of "Oh my God I can't plan anything because the baby ate my brain by not letting me sleep and wrecked my plans for the day by pooping on everything I own".

My goal this year is to build in more routine and structure, while delegating more personal and household responsibilities to the kids. All while respecting and supporting their endeavours in their educational journeys and fostering their development into well-rounded individuals. Because, hey, if you're going to pick a goal aim high right? I've got some tools I've started using to help me meet this goal and I'm working on getting some more in place in the upcoming weeks. But that, as they say, is a blog post for another night.


Liam said...

There's something about the first couple days after a heat wave where every breeze is bliss.

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