Updates have been scattered lately. We've been so busy having fun in the sun and hanging out with friends that I rarely have a chance to sit at my computer these days.
Our last day of school was May 30. We celebrated by wrapping up lessons early and heading out to Jamba Juice for smoothies. Then we headed to the park for a playdate with friends. We're done with schedules and lessons for the next two months.
This was my first "real" homeschooling year. We've had a lot of unexpected breaks and unplanned days off, which left me feeling like I didn't fit in everything I intended. But as I packed up used readers, math workbooks, handwriting samples, and artwork from the past year, I realized that we actually accomplished a lot, and by some miracle actually managed to squeeze in the required amount of days (thanks to doing work on some weekends).
Some time ago I heard the advice to make a photo book at the end of each year, to chronicle what you've done. I decided to do this, mostly so the kids would have something to look back on and remember what they did each year. During the process of sifting through the past year's photos, I was overwhelmed at all of the wonderful memories we'd made together in the past year. There were so many warm pictures of the kids learning how to cook, playing with friends, doing lessons at the kitchen table (or in the living room in front of a fire), going on trips as a family, and simply hanging out around the house. It made me realize that we've done so much more than get through the 1st grade math book or learn to read fluently. We learned how to live together as a family, get along, help each other, and enjoy just being with each other.
Now that summer break is here, we are trying to fit as much fun as we can before school officially starts again. Last year I felt guilty because we mostly stuck close to home all summer. We had our foster baby (Baby B), and going anywhere with three kids felt overwhelming. Now I'm an old pro, and we go to fun places several times a week, like playdates with friends or the beach.
As you can see, the kids still have a lot of fun at home. With huge amounts of free time, they find lots of things to, usually involving water!