Yesterday was a turning point for me in my homeschooling career. A medium size one.
I have been simplifying our routines and tweaking our daily schedule and transitions ever since we started. Yesterday, I continued in the same direction by deciding we will not be doing the Junior Ranger Program this year at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Also, I decided to cut out the Summer Reading Program at the Sevierville Library. We will still do the SRP at the Gatlinburg Library, but only two seminars out of four. (For the life of me, I can’t remember why I thought doing two Summer Reading Programs would be good.)
After we spent the morning at home, I took the kids to the Gatlinburg Trail in the National Park. We experienced 90 blissful minutes wading in the river, chasing butterflies, listening to the river, and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. That’s what summer should feel like.
In that particular spot, I even have cell coverage. So if I needed help or wanted to quickly check emails, I could. We will definitely play there again.
I took pictures of some funny trees. I have passed by these trees so, so many times.
But it was only yesterday that I actually saw their funny shape. It’s only after we open our eyes wide, i.e. to the things that matter, that we notice certain details around us.
My kids chased this one butterfly that kept coming back to play with them. They called it Mashi (think Japanese spelling if you don’t know how to pronounce it) and thought it was a girl because of its color – lavender. When a second identical butterfly flew by and allowed them to chase it, they decided it was Mashi’s twin sister and called it Mangsten.
This morning, as we came out of the house, a lavender butterfly fluttered in the yard. They started yelling, “Mashi came home to be with us.” That’s the kind of stuff I want my summers to be made of. Not rushing from activity to activity.
Here’s to a beautiful, relaxed, intentional parenting kind of summer!