Thursday, July 22, 2010
High 70s, low 80s. My favorite summer weather has prevailed for several days now--coolish mornings and sunny, not-too-hot afternoons. The kids have been away for a few days with friends and El Professor and I have been enjoying a schedule-less, projecting frenzy. No specific mealtimes, no permission sought or given, just time, time, time to get some things done. We've been resting, really.
The past two years, specifically summers, have been filled with urgencies that pushed nest cleaning off the schedule, while the detritus of life took over the garage/cupboards/every drawer/desktop. Two summers ago, El Professor was suddenly given the assignment of adding an endorsement to his teaching license with this alarming statement--'or we will most likely have to lay you off half time'. He had about six weeks to learn linguistics and to cram for one of the scheduled tests administered at the University. Last summer he fell and broke a few ribs which put a quick end to most of the summer 'honey do' list. In the midst of this, other life things were going on...good things, hard things, things. Two years ago we joined the Classical Conversations group that was being founded here and experienced a sudden (but wonderful, challenging) homeschool course change. The first months were like this. It was a great experience, so last year I agreed teach the grammar and writing course for 4th-6th graders. (Prior to this, I had never studied grammar.) I spent much of that spring/summer/fall/winter studying/cramming/thinking/planning lessons. I loved every minute of it, it was challenging, and it was worth the effort. Having said that, though, this summer we are resting. Resting from studying and cramming. Resting from a sense of urgency.
Life is good, but hard. My dad survived the septic crash his body experienced this spring and has been growing stronger. He spent seven weeks in the hospital. My dearest, loveliest aunt is fighting colon cancer. My sister's sweet mother-in-law is dying of a sudden, acute leukemia. Life is fragile and precious. In the midst of all of this, we are resting from the urgent push we have experienced over the past two years. We are continuing our course with Classical Conversations, knowing that the pace will be ramped up this year with both kids in the rigorous middle and high school programs. I will be teaching the same grammar and writing course this year, so I've been picking away at planning/thinking/studying, but I'm not cramming. Instead, we've been painting bedrooms, scrubbing mold, priming, trolling Craig's List, organizing, organizing, organizing, oiling the furniture, breathing deeply, and cleaning our nest. We have been helping the kids finish their math books and El Professor and I plan to study/review the Institute For Excellence In Writing seminar, and to help the kids do some preparation for the upcoming school year. Still, we are enjoying the break from urgency, the opportunity to take care of ourselves and our home, and are relishing falling-into-bed-exhausted from hard work.