Jun 032014
A new project underway in our garden.

A new project underway in our garden.

My mom called the other day in alarm that there had not been a Ruly post in over a week! She wanted to make sure I was OK. Yes, all is well! We have just been extremely busy with a ballet recital last week. Between our homeschooling efforts, the extra practices and rehearsals and the performance itself, it just got a bit much to add blogging to the mix as well.

So, it’s June! We are now halfway through the year and everyone is transitioning into summer schedules. It seems that this is a stressful time for many. Just as you have just about nailed your schoolyear schedule and activities, it all changes up for the summer and you start again finding a new rhythm to your life—only to change it back again in a few months for the fall.

In general, I don’t mind changing around my daily routines but I have to say that once several children enter the picture, the prospect gets more and more overwhelming. There is just so much more to manage when you have more people in the mix.

My biggest (literally) organizational challenge of late is how to manage all the watermelon we want to eat.

My biggest (literally) organizational challenge of late is how to manage all the watermelon we want to eat.

Solution: Clear a bit spot in the fridge for watermelon, cut it up and keep it ready for snacks.  Yum!  Cold watermelon is the best.

Solution: Clear a bit spot in the fridge for watermelon, cut it up and keep it ready for snacks. Yum! Cold watermelon is the best.

It also doesn’t help when all your best plans seem to fall through. I thought I had my summer plan in place but when I went to register my children for their intended activities, we learned they were all full! While I could have scrambled around to find other activities, we instead decided to take this as a sign that maybe this summer is the one to take things a bit easier. I already had plenty of fun homeschool activities planned in subjects like art and music as well as some exercise activities with the kids and reading lots of great books from the library. We are going to be self-taught learners this summer. We will go on our own field trips and local excursions and we have another epic road trip planned as well.

I came across this chart in my summer reading and loved it!

I came across this chart in my summer reading and loved it!

For me, it was important to take a moment to visualize what I wanted to have done by the end of the summer. I realized that it was important that there were activities in there that constituted a “rest” or a treat for me. I didn’t want to go into fall feeling exhausted. Summer should be a time of rejuvenation and enjoyment.

Summer is a busy time for everyone.  I came across this busy spider in my garden toting its egg sac.

Summer is a busy time for everyone. I came across this busy spider in my garden toting its egg sac.

One of my treats to myself was reviving one of my favorite childhood summer reading memories. Every summer our local library had great summer reading programs. My favorite was the year you registered at the beginning of summer for a sort of reading board game/treasure map. Each square had a suggestion for something to read. It wasn’t a mandated book but rather a general category, like “Read a book about animals.” or “Read a biography.” You had to know how to research to find the book you needed, know where to go to find it in the library and then you had the great pleasure of choosing which book on the subject you want. If you completed all the assignments, you received some sort of prize (a free book, I think). It gave you the satisfaction that you had “earned” it.

Our local library does great summer reading programs too but I have never seen the board game style that I so fondly remembered. So, I created my own version. For my children, my husband and I came up with a list of topics for them to read. For myself, I just left it blank. I fill it in as I read through the huge list of books I have waiting to be read on my bookshelf at home. I have read two books already! In case you want your own summer reading adventure, you can download my blank form here.

For summer on my blog, I have decided to let things get a bit random. I have a few more posts for you in mind about homeschooling. I have a few updates on my diet and exercise program and there will be another road trip series as well. In between, perhaps I will share gems from my summer reading with you.

I hope you also have some grand (or restful) summer plans and that you take a moment to treat yourself. You’ve earned it!

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4 Comments to “Summer (Un)Scheduling”

  1. avatar diadia says:

    This was my first view of a spider w/egg sack in tow. As Joseph Campbell
    might say, “Yes, Indiras all.”

  2. avatar ruth says:

    This is the first time in years our oldest has been interested in offered camps. So he’s not completely booked but he has stuff scheduled. Excited for him!

  3. avatar Auntie Mir says:

    Aryanna is spending the summer with her dad and me. She is signed up for swim lessons. I did it way in advance. She also want to take “hip hop” classes. they start in July. We are going to Yosemite for 2 nights next week. Love you blog.

  4. avatar Mary says:

    I have forgotten what a treat reading can be! We started a very small vegetable garden this year for the first time in decades and it has instilled a new reading passion in me! I’ve been reading everything from children’s books on garden activities and planting to learning more about our local growing conditions and how to attract natural wildlife while reducing resource use. (This may be boring to some, but is fascinating to me!) Milora has enlisted in our local summer reading program and I just downloaded your map, so I’ll play along, too! Happy Reading to all!

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