Seven Quick Takes on Summer

1. We went on a Big Trip.

My mom and I took the kids to Williamsburg and Jamestown, which was fun and educational since we had just finished studying the 1700s in school.  We also went up to Princeton for Reunions, which was an exercise in disappointment for me, but fun for the kids so I suppose it was worth it.  On the way back we stopped to visit my great aunt and cousins and my grandmother.  Then we hung out at my parents’ lake house for a bit.

I find that once you’ve made a big drive of over 11 hours alone with kids, you might as well stay a long time and really get the benefit of a perspective shift.

2. We also went to the beach.

I find water relaxing.  So the fact that my parents live right on a lake now is fabulous, and our family trip to the beach was likewise restorative.

Something about being out of our regular milieu and routine is so helpful and promotes clarity.  I made a lot of notes and pondered a lot of things, and I read a ridiculous number of books.  I know, you’re shocked about that last bit.

3. Summer is Guinea Pig Time.

No, we did not get an actual guinea pig.  What do you take me for?!?!  But while we’re on summer break, I have more time to try out new things, like rotating chores (working!), regular morning routines (not working!), and other shake-ups that wouldn’t normally fly while we’re doing school.


4. I’m thinking about who’s at my table.

I recently read that most people explain their lives internally to a small audience.  It’s like you have a dinner party going on in your mind, and you’re constantly interpreting and justifying your choices and actions to a small group of people.  The question is not so much DO you do this, but WHO is at your table and do you really want them there.  Some of the people at my imaginary table are good for me, prompting me to ask if I’m doing my best, choosing worthwhile things, reminding me not to take myself so seriously.  Others are occupying chairs for no good reason, and I’m thinking of ways to give them the boot.  It’s a pretty interesting concept once you start thinking about it.

5. I found a great place to buy and sell curriculum.

I decided to pare down our school shelves to make room for next year’s books, and in so doing decided to let go of some curriculum that just isn’t working for us, is extra, or involves cassette tapes.  🙂  Once I got started, I realized that I had quite a lot of things on hand that we don’t really need.  Enter Homeschool Classifieds.  I have sold nearly everything I listed, quickly, for good prices.  In fact, I have now sold enough things to fully pay for our entire next school year!  I also used the site to buy some curriculum for about half what I would have spent on it new.  It’s a great site, and far more lucrative than selling on Amazon or eBay.

6. I’m thinking about planning.

I’m always thinking about planning!  And planning about thinking!  Schedules and ideas and big picture goals are my brain candy.  Anyway, I’m really enjoying this series on planning from Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things.  In particular, I’m putting some thought into organizing our year into terms, designating some sort of time for “everyday learning,” and pondering what it would look like to teach from a state of rest.

7. I feel a burning need for a Big Project.

Periodically I start to feel antsy to embark on a Big Huge Thing.  So I take on a huge thing and either learn it until it’s easy and I get bored, or decide it’s not my thing and jettison it, or move on to the next thing on the list.  I’m at that point in the cycle where I need a new idea.  Should I learn Spanish?  Write a book?  Move to Morocco?  Take over the world?  I’m accepting ideas.

What have you been up to so far this summer?


For more 7 Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary


4 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes on Summer

  1. Taking over the world is cool, but it might be a good idea to learn a language first. I have been brushing up on my old high school french with Duolingo, which is a free app. What kinds of hand crafts do you know? Do you like to sew, crochet, knit? What about making soaps or candles?
    I am getting ready to start planning here. I wrapped up the paperwork I need to send to the state yesterday. I am taking one last weekend to chill then hopefully will begin in earnest on Monday. I might take a few days to read some stuff online b/c I am not quite happy with my current planning.

  2. The idea about who is at your table is very intriguing and is resonating with me. Where did you read that? I would love to read the book or article. Thanks!

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