We homeschool, so I, being the All-Powerful Mom/Teacher/Principal/Etc., get to decide when we take Spring Break, and for how long. I decided this morning that vacation starts (drum-roll please) this morning!
This way, we can combine the traditional Spring Break with the even-more-traditional Easter Vacation. We’re taking two weeks. Ish. Maybe two and a half.
We work hard during the school year specifically so that we can take long breaks for Christmas and Easter. We take a shorter break around Thanksgiving, and we have over three months — June, July, and August, plus some of September — for Summer Vacation.
I think the breaks a kid gets from school are more important in many ways than school itself. This is especially true for Summer Vacation, where the kid gets three months or so to veg out, learn how to self-entertain, and experience all sorts of unstructured learning by doing things like going fishing for crawdads in the local ditch or mud pond, digging holes in the yard, climbing fences and chatting with the neighbors, and lying down on the grass and staring up at the big blue sky.
Sometimes I think that all of childhood should be like that. An unstructured, go where you want, self-entertaining, self-educating childhood sounds pretty darn healthy to me, especially when compared to the prison-like standard schooling system in this country.
Thinking back to my childhood . . . I was homeschooled, too, and even though I had more free time and play time than public- or private- school kids did, I still wish I’d had more.
I think the local library would’ve run out of books, if I’d been able to do what I wanted with all my time as a kid. And the local park would’ve run out of dandelions, and the drainage ditch would’ve run out of tadpoles. I would’ve worn through the soles on my sneakers and the tires on my old bike. I would’ve learned earlier and quicker how to be a responsible, safe, self-sufficient adult if I’d been on my own more as a kid.
So I take it as part of my parenting responsibilities that I make sure the Geeklets have plenty of free time: all afternoon during the school year, and all freakin’ day during vacations.
Currently, Geeklet #1 is reading Calivin & Hobbes; Geeklets #2, 3, 5, and 6 are building and role-playing with Mega Bloks; and Geeklet #4 is eating Cheerios. (I think that one is in for a growth spurt soon.)
And I’m sure that every single one of them, even the Cheerios-eater, is learning something important — at the very least, the value and deliciousness of free time.