Labor day is behind us, and these is a slight chill in the air. There’s no denying that summer is over and its time to “Begin Again.” Here are 7 Quick Takes on what I am about to begin again.
I am so happy to be back in a school routine. I crave routine. I don’t know if it’s my “architect” INTJ personality, or my aversion to uncertainty. But I love my plans for the upcoming days and weeks have pattern an predictability. Even if those plans are just a fantasy and never actually work out how I think they will. Routine is like momentum, propelling me out of bed in the morning to begin my day pretty much the same way I began the day before, and the day before that. A little bit of auto-pilot until the coffee kicks in. It helps.
Can I get an “Amen” for back to school time. Even for us homeschoolers, who don’t get to say good-bye to the kiddos in the morning and breathe a sigh of relief into an empty house … even for us, school is a good thing. Structure. Learning. Personal growth. And I hear it’s good for the children, too.
Our regular homeschool co-op started last week. I am teaching a home-grown middle-grade curriculum on logic skills again this year. I have twelve (12!) kids in my class and they are awesome. Most of them are returning from the inaugural class of the same curriculum last year, so I guess I didn’t scar them too badly. It’s great to be back – I missed the class. I also realized this summer, or perhaps reconfirmed, that our co-op really is the social nexus of our little homeschooling world. Without co-op, summer can be quite isolating. For the kids and the moms.
Care Packaging and Letter Writing
The eldest headed back to college in the hinter-land last week. She’s already been sent her first care package, a mix of candy and practical things. I also sent her a card as well. I enjoy the mini-project aspect of routinely combing the Target Dollar Spot and check-out candy display of things that will make her smile, gathering them together, and sending them off. I think she appreciates them, too, though more for the novelty and surprise than what is actually inside them. The biggest hit last year was a $5 Lego set … she said she and her friends sat in the student union for quite a while, putting it together and taking it apart. Something sweet and sentimental about that.
Scouts and Stuff
Even homeschoolers have extra-curriculars. Maybe especially homeschoolers. This year I have made a concerted effort to add more outings and “extras” to our weekly schedule, and plan to make up the missed school time in the evenings as needed. Although I am perfectly happy to stay home most days with my books and my podcasts, I recognize that not everyone in my house feels the same way. Being social, hanging out with friends, learning new things that are not in books … these are important things. So we are returning to American Heritage Girls and a weekly homeschool PE class, and catechism class, and we’re adding a semi-monthly book club, youth group, Little Flowers, and some regularly scheduled “friend time” (I don’t think I’m allowed to call them “play dates” anymore.)
I love “living liturgically” and incorporating the feasts and seasons of the Church into our family life. But in the summer, when one week is so different from the next, all that seems to fly out the window. Which is a shame, because there are some awesome saint’s days in the summer. St. Benedict, for example. But with the beginning of school, followed closely each year by the Feast of the Nativity of Mary (which is today!!), it gets a lot easier for me to get into a rhythm of celebrating alongside the Church. The Nativity of Mary, and then All Saints and All Souls days, then Advent, the Immaculate Conception, the whole of the Christmas season, and then on into Lent, the Triduum and the Easter Season. That’s a lot of liturgical living … and that’s not even counting the saints’ days. So much fun.
Now that it is no longer 98 degrees and 98% humidity at 5am, I am inspired to get back into a regular walking-stretching-exercise routine. Any by inspired, I mean I no longer have a good excuse not to. (Not that I ever had a good excuse to begin with.) The sad truth of the matter is that I am feeling my lack of strenuous activity, and more and more I do not feel the strength or every to do everything I want to do in the course of a day. I know how to fix this … it’s simple. Eat better, move more, stress and stretch my body in gentle, healthy ways, and do all that consistently. Simple. But not easy.
So pray for me, my friend, as I begin all this again. I will be praying for you as well.
Once again, I am linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum. Lots of other cool bloggers hang out over there. You should check it out.