School Starts Today, and Here's the Thing...



Remember that post about things I do to make summer fun?

Yea -- well, I wrote that two weeks after summer vacation started -- and we did those fun learning activities a grand total of 2 days the whole summer.

Here's the thing:

In just a few hours my son will be walking in the door from his first day of 3rd grade.

And I am wondering where in the world summer 2019 went.

Summer 2019 will go down in the books as the least productive summer vacation since I began doing home learning with my kids -- 6 years ago.

Or will it?

I had a very interesting conversation the other day with a childhood friend who homeschooled her two kids who are now in their 20's.

(Um yes, it's not lost on me that friends I grew up with are grandparents or potential grandparents and my kids are still in single digits.)

She shared with me about her son who was high energy, and she said that following a few hours of school in the morning she'd let him play.

She gave him a lot of unstructured play time.

And while I know in theory this is the right approach, I've had a hard time putting it into practice.

But one thing after another came up this summer and my home business work load was a lot heavier than I thought it would be.

In the end, my kids had a lot of playtime, and admittedly more screen time than I'm usually comfortable with.

And as the end of summer was nearing, I felt more and more anxious....and guilty.

What kind of mom am I?


  • I didn't do all of the projects with my kids I'd planned. 
  • They'd only read maybe 2-3 books the whole summer
  • We didn't practice math until the final week - to make sure we'd not forgotten too much

And then I began to sit back and observe my kids a little closer!

My youngest son - who still struggles with forming sentences - was using a lot of new words.

He would begin a sentence and get stuck (much like a CD with a scratch) and with a bit of gentle prodding could finish his sentence.

A lot of times he completed a sentence without hesitation or getting stuck.

This is something new for us!

My oldest the other day was telling me about a dream he had. He started and went on....and on......and on.....for about 15 minutes without stopping.

He used a lot of new vocabulary - but the fact that he described his dream in such minute detail absolutely dumbfounded me.

This time 2 years ago he couldn't form a complete sentence and now you can barely shut him up!

And as for the math? 

Well, 2 days of review took care of that. So, we're good.

Here's what I learned from having a summer of no structure and all fun.

IT WAS A GOOD THING!

Yes - it was so good for them! It gave their brain a break and allowed it to process all of the stuff they learned over the past school year.

They not only forgot very little of what they learned, they learned a lot of new things.

They had a lot of time to socialize with other kids in an unstructured and free environment.

I think I'll call summer 2019 a big, big win!!

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