Monday, May 17, 2010

Winding Down

Our school year is coming to a close.  Officially we have three and a half days left.  Unofficially, I'm as terrified of the end as I was of the beginning.  What am I going to do with the time that won't be consumed with the focused effort of school work?  How am I going to convince them that all the fun, educational activities I've planned for the summer aren't really "school"?  What is summer going to be like for us?

I have dreams of the five of us learning to make pasta, pastries and all kinds of bread.  I picture us lounging on the hammock, reading Shakespeare aloud and listening to classical music.  I fantasize about learning to navigate using the stars and making our own maps using what we learn during our night time observations.  And then I take a deep breathe, open my eyes and look at  my real children and my real life.

Who knows what this summer will bring?  What I do know is that we have all been structured long enough and it's time to relax.  Yes, I have some plans and I'll follow through, but not for a bit and not in a militant way. I've spent much of this school year marching the kids toward the goals we'd set.  Completing the assignment, the curriculum, the designated number of days.  The learning was valuable but the attitude was sometimes frustrating (and frustrated).

 I hope to learn how to shepherd my children this summer, not march them.  My desire is to make plans that include them and then follow through in a way that proves enriching for all of us. I intend to invite them to set out with me and see where we go.  I can't wait to learn more about the stars and Shakespeare.  I am anxious to see where their interests will take them this summer.  Will they share my interest in astronomy and Shakespeare or set out on their own?  Will our activities follow a new and uncharted path between my ideas and theirs?  I have no idea what our time this summer will look like.  I do know that whatever we do, we will be spending time doing it together and that is what makes the time worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a great summer! We've made attending the local Shakespeare festival a summer tradition so we just "find out more about the play" before we go each year. Same with the Light Opera. Funny, my daughter came up to me yesterday and said, "Mom, we're learning to make pasta this summer!"