I have this lofty idea in my mind every year around the holidays. This idea is related to scheduling, specifically our school schedule and when we are going to take our Christmas break. I always plan to have the kids work throughout December, but it never, ever works out that way.
This year because the twins are in high school my idea was for them to work until the week of Thanksgiving, take a week off, and then to continue until the third week of December. Part of this plan was dictated by their online classes because they their own schedule and part of this was dictated by arbitrary deadlines that I have in my mind. I must confess that most of these arbitrary deadlines are made from mother’s guilt.
Mother’s guilt is the worst kind of guilt. It pops up at very inconvenient times, and it is such a killjoy. This year, like every year, I wanted to just take off from Thanksgiving to New Years, and I wanted to enjoy this special time of year with all my children. Then the guilt crept in. I thought about how the twins are in high school now and can’t afford to take too much time off. I worried that they would fall behind their peers and that they would fall behind our own schedule. I felt there was no way we could take off that much time.
Then Thanksgiving came, and we had a wonderful break. Towards the end of our weekend though the first thing happened that got in the way of my school plans, the kids all got sick. And when I say sick I mean sick, as in can’t get out of bed for days, sick. It is hard to do school when you have kids who are that sick. The next thing that happened? I also got sick as in I can’t teach at all sick.
Then the kids started feeling better, and the activities started to pop up. Teens, I am learning, can have a lot going on. First there was a night out at the opera. Then the next night there was Evensong at church, and tonight they had a Yule Ball. Next week they have two Christmas parties and a night out caroling. In between this they want to get together with a few friends and I have to get us ready for a trip to visit family for the holidays.
School is naturally falling to the way side during this time. We are all too busy with other things, and as I take a moment to reflect on this, I have to admit I am happy. I am happy to be forced to let go of academics. I am thankful that we are all spending time together even if we were sick for part of that time. I am delighted that the twins are enjoying the season with family, friends, and activities. And I am pleased to let the schedule fall to the side. Yes they still have to do their online classes, but everything else is on hold until January. After all we are homeschoolers and being able to set our own schedule is one of the greatest benefits.
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