We finished school.
I'm proud of us. Last year we crashed and burned at the end of June with a month left. We had lost too much time moving, and when DOB's mysterious malady (let's be alliterative if we can't get a diagnosis) struck again in May without warning, it all just got to be too much.
So to finish this year, to *finish* the work we set out to do, on top of starting a business and all the rest of life ongoing, well, that's really something. And considering that this year saw the twins doing formal lessons for the first time, thus doubling the student body, that's really, really something. In a dramatic denouement, my red planning binder collapsed under the strain on the next to last day.
I am neither in the all-life-is-learning camp, nor in the just-school-all-year-round camp. I like to have a goal, and then I like to take a break. (Sure, all of life is learning, but there are days in life when one binge-reads fantasy novels or lies on the grass by the lake, and I don't intend to try to quantify what exactly is being learned.) I might take breaks through the year if I lived in a different climate, but the Pacific Northwest was crafted for the specific purpose of having summer break.
Some days I've probably pushed too hard at getting done for getting done's sake, but I think most of the time we've managed to stay in the moment and learning. Some days we cut our losses. The twins didn't get a lot of math this year, but I'm rather ambivalent about formal math that young. Some days we didn't do a lot of writing, but we always did some. We read some great books together.
One principle I am coming to believe in is that, if you don't have a lot of time and energy, focus what you do have on something challenging. It's better to do two tough books than five easy books. I hope to keep that in mind planning for next year.
I'm especially proud of the way Duchess and Deux have stepped up to doing their own work on their own steam. And I'm enjoying the way Dot and Dash revel in the stories we've read together.
DOB is doing a little better this summer--the whatever-it-is is still lurking in the shadows, but a careful balance of rest, exercise, air conditioning and protein seems to be keeping it at bay. He hasn't had to give up driving yet, at least. I'm hoping to pick up the pace at work a bit--I haven't quite been making the 15 hours I hope to work yet, although I'm finally increasing my billable hours as we get things better organized and more handed off to our assistants. As usual, there is way too much to cram into summer vacation.
And, of course, it's time to start planning for next year . . .