Why Homeschoolers Take the Summer Off, Like Everyone Else

Last year I pondered why do homeschoolers take the summer off, like everyone else. The intelligent thing to do, it seemed to me, would be to have school during the summer when everyone else is packing the vacation spots and prices are high.

This year, I discovered why: it’s nearly impossible to get any schoolwork done, with the beach calling, non-homeschool friends eagerly dropping by to play, valuable enrichment summer camps available, camping trips, and the drama of the Comic-Con.

I knew it would be busy, so I deliberately made a light schedule, sometimes with lessons only planned for twice a week, and even that went awry. I think we managed to get in all of three weeks in lessons concurrent with the local school district’s break, and even those days had to be cut short more often than not.

Just as the summer started, we had Neil attending a Maya camp at Stanford. It’s 45 minutes to Stanford from here each way, so instead of giving Kelly lessons, we made it a day out more often than not, with a trip to Oakland Fairyland one day, and a hike at a nearby preserve another day.

July was even crazier. Kelly had a sleepover with her friend Haley, who introduced her to Vacation Bible Camp, which turned out to be quite an acceptable-to-me introduction to Christian concepts. We spent a day in Santa Cruz; we joined our homeschool group at a play; and Neil packed for scout camp. Then, Neil went away for an entire week, and shortly after he returned, he and Peter went off the mayhem of the San Diego Comic-Con. In between, we all became horribly sick. Oh, and I got hired on for a fabulous, well-paying job I can do at home…except that it’s nearly full-time, and I already don’t have time to spare!

When Neil and Peter returned, I had Kelly signed on for a week of Vacation Bible School at one church, and due a friend’s tip, had her at another Vacation Bible School the next week. This was a good thing, since I’d suddenly plunged into PowerPoint hell, which consumed my life completely. And as soon as that was done, we were packing up and driving to Albuquerque, where our Comic-Con booth was on a stage, as part of a movie set, with us in it.

And that’s not to mention that Neil’s neighborhood friends often came by (and were welcome) to play in the pool. I abandoned our last motley plans for summer lessons when Neil and his friend Brandon decided to spend the entire day trying to play each and every song in Rock Band. They almost succeeded, but Neil was in physical pain from the effort for 2 days afterwards. I’m usually a beach bum during the summer, but this year, we only managed to get to it once, and I think our museum count for the summer consists of a single trip to the Childrens’ Discovery Museum.

The local school has started, but our summer’s not over (and the homeschool group activities don’t restart until after Labor Day). We’ve got the State Fair and a trip to Legoland planned for this month, and at some point, I have to figure out how I can work 40 hours a week and homeschool my children.

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