Saturday, September 25, 2010

time to breathe

It's the end of term in these parts.

Ahhh, the end of term. I love it.

Funny, someone once said to me, "Oh, but you wouldn't notice the holidays, because you're always on holiday!"


I guess our life must look like holidays to some…because we're happy so much of the time. And yes, we're able to go most places anytime, if the sun is up and the beach calls or if there's an impromptu excursion to go on, or some exploring to do. We get to live the spirit of the holidays, anytime we choose.

But we also have a lot of commitments—every week there are places we need to be, things we've agreed to do—art classes, music lessons, music rehearsals, tennis lessons, homeschool group, playgroup, writers workshop, and the most recent addition: First Lego League.

We have to be out every day, usually around lunchtime, to get to wherever we need to be. We have two days where we don't have to be somewhere until after 3, and those days feel lazy, indulgent. But they're also filled with a sense of all the things we want to get done. Projects, Science experiments and history days…plus going to the library, walking the dog, and visiting people we mightn't otherwise get to see.

Our days during term are packed full. In fact, kind of overflowing!

(And on a side-note, it now cracks me up inside, when people say they send their kids to school for the socialisation, or ask, "What about socialisation?" We are more busy and sociable now than we ever were in 4.5 years of public schooling)

But in the holidays…

the busyness pauses.

All classes stop, even homeschool groups take a break. In this time, we breathe.

We sleep in.

We read books for hours.

We play without any sense that we "should" stop, be somewhere else, be doing something "important."

We take stock.

And we don't have to be anywhere at any time for anyone, day after day after day.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I am not complaining!

I love our life, the projects we do, the commitments we've made. Because each thing we do brings us joy. Like, real joy, connection to self joy, making a future joy, building a life joy.

And I know that in the holidays we do a lot of the same things that we do during term. Play, visit friends, hike, bike, walk, read, make, do, experiment, learn, be.

And to an outsider it might seem it's business as usual. The holiday you have when you're already on holiday.

But we always feel a change when the term ends. We notice the shift. The release. The lightness.

And I relish both the doing and the NOT doing.

The sense of lightness I feel every single time the holidays arrive tells me that while, yes, we are learning all the time, naturally and co-operatively, and while we are loving that journey, it is also simply good to take a break.

To pause, breathe, and have the only "learning" or "doing" be the kind that slips in, unnoticed, undocumented, and entirely unscheduled.


My boy playing in the end of term Jazz Showcase with his Combo

My girl and her friends playing after the last Writers Workshop of the term


  1. I like holidays because I get to be just 'Mum' and not the 'Homeschool-Mum', if that makes any sense! You know, no chasing the kids around the house with a maths book ( I don't really do that).

  2. Happy Holiday Helena. I just love the way you write. I am so enjoying reading your blog.

    The socialization issue always makes me laugh too. :)

  3. Thanks, Louise! I'd say, "You too," but I know you guys have just finished your holidays and have an awesome Rainforest Unit up and running! V. cool.

    I totally know what you mean, Melissa. My running shoes have been put away too…no chasing for me for two weeks…(and I definitely don't really do that, either!)

    And thanks, Karen, for your kind comment! I'm really glad you're enjoying my blog—same back at you :-)

  4. "And I relish both the doing and the NOT doing."

    Me too- I know exactly where you're coming from!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.