While I've been looking forward to some of the 'stress relief' that will be provided by not homeschooling next year, it's becoming apparent that there's quite a bit of ground to cover between now and the start of school in the fall.
While I'm looking forward to a busy, but fun, summer, there's lots of things that have been changed up with this change of educational plans. The main thing being our family vacation. The past few years we have been able to take a week in Ocean City, NJ because of the HUGE rate decreases for those with the flexibility to go after Labor Day. Which, thanks to homeschooling, we did. However, since our course change, we had to cancel our reservation and I am now scrambling to find an alternative plan.
This time away is a pretty big deal for our family. It's basically the only extended, unscheduled family time that we get in a year. (Yes, for us a week is actually very extended!) The kids look forward to it, and start planning for next year from the moment we leave our vacation house. Luke asked in March if we could start packing. The kids all just about cried when we said we wouldn't be able to go and begged to put off school for another year just so we could have our vacation. And the funny thing is (and what lets me know how much they crave this family time) is that we really don't do anything spectactular. We go to the beach most days, to a small zoo about a half an hour away for one day, and to the boardwalk every night. But we don't spend much money there - no amusement park rides or anything -just an occasional night at the arcarde (with a set amount of money for each) and an ice cream cone or funnel cake. We do all our meals at the house, except for one. But I think it's just the time, attention all on them, and the fact that it was becoming our tradition. One night out of the week, the 'boys' would all watch football on TV, while Kate and I watched a movie in the bedroom. One afternoon, while the little ones were napping, Todd would play a game with the boys while Kate and I giggled over the movie "Emma" while doing our nails. Nothing spectacular, but still very special.
So, one of the many new items on my to-do list, is to try to find an alternative vacation. This is no small task, since it is now peak season that we are looking at, and also, very last-minute as far as reservations go. We are praying that God opens up the right thing, at the right price, with the right elements for our family. We'd appreciate your prayers and are open to any ideas or suggestions!!!