Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Are You Out of Gas?

After I left the used curriculum sale today, I noticed in the middle of an intersection a car stalled out. It's owner was on the side of the road texting. Apparently, she had run out of gas. She wasn't the first out of gas driver I have seen lately. With fill-ups costing $40 to $60, it's easy to postpone the dreaded trip to the gas station.

Empty by Kristel-rae Barton
I thought about our used curriculum sale. There were so many great resources available. It was like a gourmet meal. The tables were filled with so many expensive, excellent resources priced fairly. It was a tightwad homeschooling mom's dream. Yet, not many were partaking. Why?

I thought about my homeschooling experience. When the spring of 2011 approached, I ran out of gas. I was in need of a major tune-up, an over haul and basic maintenance. But that cancer, a job, outside commitments and life had a way of keeping me from filling up. I was like the girl on the side of the road. I waited too long to refuel.

I thought about the things I chose to do to keep my engine running. It was one of the main reasons I passed by those bargains on the tables today. I have to be picky about spending my homeschooling fuel. There isn't as much in my time budget as there used to be. I need to spend and travel wisely.

Thankfully due to these few changes, my engine will keep running.
  • I enrolled Random in Monarch from Alpha Omega. The tracking of his progress and accountability has already re-energized both of us.
  • I have planned Paperboy's school year with classes that involve less of me. 
  • For the first time ever, we will be doing school over the summer. This will free up time for unexpected non-school days and keep us ahead of schedule. It will also give paperboy more time for his electrical apprenticeship. This is a radical change because I live for beach days
  • We will be doing literature based history over the summer. Using Truthquest guides and Read for the Heart, our whole family will study American History together.
  • Plants Grown Up and For Instructions in Righteousness will be our summer devotionals. Balancing the Sword and Apologia will be shelved for the summer.
  • Growing Healthy Homes will be a family affair. The summer fruits and vegetables available makes it the perfect time to cover this in depth.
Are you schooling this summer? Have you experienced running out of gas lately? I'd love to hear how you deal with it. 

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Stef said...

GREAT POST - we have never taken off for a summer vacation (except during VBS) and we're 7 days into and I want to scream. We'll be starting up soon than I had planned for us to both remain sane!

Joy said...

This is an awesome post! We have taken the summer off in the past, but will continue doing a little school work through this summer. We take regular breaks throughout the year so we all don't feel burned out!

Unknown said...

My kids go to school but I try to get them to learn things not in the school syllabus. I guess you could say I'm doing "part time homeschooling". It is warm all year round, so we don't have long summer breaks like you. But during their school holidays, I do encourage them to pursue their interest more diligently and engage in creative play.
Thanks for sharing about your "out of gas" experience. I think I am the say way: I always have plans to do more with the kids but then somehow fizzle out. It's great that you have a plan to overcome it. Good luck.

LJS said...

Last year my oldest daughter just withdrew from 4th grade. There was no way work was being done over "vacation". This year it is a bit different and we plan to take a break from history (we just finished Story of the World book 1) and will take about a month off from Apologia science (need about a month to finish Botany). But we will keep reading, writing and doing math year round. We also do project based learning in this summer. My oldest is doing some weather lapbooks and my youngest is writing a recipe book for smoothies that she creates. I love this time of year because the while the learning never stops, my fuel tank is once again full.

Debbie said...

After 13 years of homeschooling and graduating my oldest this month, I have definitely run out of gas!! But....I attended a homeschool conference last weekend and was renewed!! Just sitting in the workshops and listening to others who are still running on fuel, energized me a bit.
One of the workshops was Nutrition 101: Choose Life, which was so great! We are doing that this year and a few other new things, so I'm actually excited again!

Sennie said...

I hope Monarch works as well for you as for us. We'll use mostly Monarch next year too. There's a yahoo group for Monarch users I highly recommend - a huge help & support.

Unknown said...

We are also schooling some over the summer. Of course my daughter doesn't realize it, we call it learning opportunities. Mostly reading, fun science kits, summer activities at the library, finishing up some loose ends from the academic subjects, etc. I have found it also to keep the boredom away.