Home for the Summer
I am amazed every year around May/June by how my social media blows up with parents who are freaking out about something I deal with everyday—Having my children home. I see they are fretting over what to do with them. I mean, they are your kids, right? This should not be the beginning of a horror movie. For 9 months or so, they head off to school and for less than 3 months they are in your care during the day, and we act as if the world is ending. I know that I chose to homeschool and that every now and again it is nice to have a break from them, but I enjoy having them home. I read a post where a mom was lamenting that she had to “babysit” her kids for the summer. I don’t babysit my kids, I raise them. I educate them, have fun with them, discipline them when needed, and yes, sometimes breathe sighs of relief when they are in bed for the night. Summer is just another season to a homeschool mom. We change things up every season and do different things but the one constant is our kids. We like to explore the world with our kids or just be lazy around the house with them. When you see yourself as just a babysitter for your kids, what does that say about your end goal for your children?
The other thing that makes me shake my head a little is how parents feel the need to do so much for their kids during the summer, they end up exhausted by August and practically singing “Oh Happy Day” when they go to school in September. A lot of these kids are so busy all school year with classes, homework, sports, and other activities that maybe in the summer they would like to just relax and be a little lazy. Now, vacations and day trips are awesome and a great way to connect with our kids, but it almost seems like some parents are afraid to just “be” with their kids. Is it so bad to just hang out with them, read a book, watch a movie on the couch with a bag of popcorn? But no, we need to plan out every moment, so maybe the time will go fast and we can just go, go, go until we can wave goodbye as they get on the school bus.
Even the media and advertising has jumped on board. I saw a liquor store billboard, and the picture was the kids running ahead throwing off their backpacks like school was done. Behind them is a couple of moms looking forlorn, and the one mom has her phone out showing the others the liquor store website. Then fast forward to August and you walk into a store and see large photos of moms and dads, dancing and jumping for joy. There are commercials where parents are joyfully dancing down the aisles throwing school supplies into their carts while the kids look so sad. I admit to chuckling at times seeing these ads, but it sends a message that we are not happy to have our kids around and that going back to school is a bad thing.
All kids should enjoy learning all year long, through many avenues. Not just through written curriculum but through field trips, hanging out with other families, and just living. The summertime can open doors for life learning that some may not be exposed to during the regular school year.
I am sure many of you enjoy your kids. If you start to have these feelings about your kids, just remember that they are not young forever. We have so little time in our busy lives to just enjoy our children and let them enjoy us. Let summer be a time that we shout for joy that we get time with our kids without school pressures. Let’s enjoy just hanging out with them and let them know that you do not see summer as a 3 month sentence, but that you want to be with them. So instead of singing “Bye, Bye, Bye”, you will be singing “Please Don’t Go Girl” or boy!