Catch some spring fever
With the warm weather and longer days, spring fever has reached epidemic status in our homeschool. It arrived on schedule right alongside a first hatch of mosquitoes and a solid dose of seasonal allergies. We are all having a real hard time getting excited about taking care of our responsibilities these days.
And who can think about book learning when there is so much fun to be had?
It is the time of year when even an already flexible schedule needs a little extra wiggle room. We have had several farm tours here, and the kids have done a great job in their hosting duties. A herd of homeschoolers came through a couple weeks ago, and we enjoyed spending our morning with them.
For family time, the evenings are particularly inviting. The other night, the kids put on some music and danced for an hour. Years of ballet recitals have left us with a great source of costumes that can double as impromptu ballroom wear.
Max and Atticus are left out of the frequent costume changes, and Max complains bitterly that he really needs a tuxedo and some shiny shoes to go with it. Since his job as a ring bearer last summer, he has been trying to convince me to upgrade his threads.
The boys put a certain spin on things at dancing time by introducing sword play into the mix. At some point, the karaoke machine always makes an appearance, and dance class really gets interesting. These are the moments with my children that I want to tattoo on my brain so I will remember them forever.
Every now and then, the nagging parent who lives in a small corner of my brain gets a word in. She reminds me that there is more to life than dancing, swordplay and karaoke with the kids. Too often, I listen to her ranting and set out to do things the proper way. Whatever that is.
This year, I thought I might vaccinate us against spring fever by ordering a round of new curriculum. I was also trying to save a buck. The computer programs we use for a portion of our formal curriculum go on sale in the spring. I thought I could save some money, and maybe, if the schoolwork arrived when we were sick of the old stuff, it might be enough of a draw that we'd stick to the schedule and dive right in.
Of course, that didn't work. I did have the kids get started, but it has been slow going. For the most part, that is all right with me. We continue our lessons through the summer because I am, obviously, the meanest mom ever. We have tried every calendar configuration we can think of, but I find that spacing out the textbook time helps us to get through more of it in a year's time. Plus, as I always say, busy kids are happy kids. Keeping a little bit of our learning time going keeps everyone occupied in a constructive fashion.
And in between the new curriculum, the dancing and the farm chores, there are card games to play, books to read, cookies to bake and art projects to be created. Spring fever is the excuse to indulge a little more often in the pastimes that bring joy into our lives.
Take some time this spring to catch the fever. Once you get a solid case, you'll be glad to know that time spent having fun is the only cure.
Rose Godfrey is a speech pathologist and homeschooling mom in Meridian. Her homeschool blog can be found on the Appeal-Democrat website at appealdemocrat.com.