Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Summer Schedule? Ha!

"So, Carol, what is your summer schedule right now?"

This was a question posed to me by Michismusings at our homeschool co-op yesterday. And it is also the subject of today's post. Because I needed one.

I didn't know how to answer Michi because I wasn't even sure what day it was. Because it is summer. And summer is a blur. A hot blur.

Yes, folks, it is VERY hot here. Extremely hot. Unbelievably, uncomfortably, unmistakably HOT. It is reaching 105 pretty much every day. As a matter of fact, Jeff just returned home from the tractor parts store where he heard the official tractor parts store weather forecast from tractor parts store guys and they said it is the hottest it has ever been in July for this many consecutive days. As in Ever In The History of Texas. Now, granted, this news came from the tractor parts store but I'm bettin' these fellas are right. It is crazy hot. And this is making me crazy because it is making my kids crazy that they cannot play outside for several hours a day like they're used to doing and like they absolutely NEED to do. Jasper is actually showing signs of clinical insanity. Truly, you should see him. Or hear him. The kid is going whacko. He is getting some outdoor time, though. When he gets really awful he is placed on the front porch. He immediately steps off of the front porch and walks around to the back porch and comes back in the house. This ritual only provides us with about 40 seconds of silence but if you do it enough times throughout the day it adds up.

Anyway, back to my schedule. I don't have one.

The closest thing I have to a schedule is our Friday co-op which is meeting on the Fridays that nobody is on vacation or at camp or work. And even then, when we do meet (like yesterday) we kind of all sit around chatting and sipping and taking turns putting Jasper on the porch.

During the school year (and I use that term lightly) we are more structured with our co-op. But this is summer, right? Yesterday the small-sized students took off (probably running from Jasper) to play, the medium-sized boys immediately plugged themselves in to some mind-altering game, and the big-sized kids (all being of the somewhat serious firstborn variety) began checking their biology homework. This gave the teachers time to begin a conversation about sexuality. I don't remember how it came about, who brought it up first, etc....but it was a great discussion. It might have started because one of our friends has been talking a lot about spirituality in sexuality....her church is going to be conversing about this topic. There are apparently a lot of books written that connect religion/spirituality/Christianity to sex.....most of which I find fairly icky but some of which are quite lovely.

Anyway, after that I did a little science with the small ones - talking about molecules and atoms. And let me just say that the book series I'm using with this group is simply fantastic. I love Little Scientists Hands-On Activities! The lessons are short and the experiments are simple and THEY WORK! Those of you who homeschool know how exciting (and rare) this is. We finished the book on physics and have just started chemistry.

Then I unplugged the medium-sized boys and we moved on into the Viking age. Boys love Vikings. Vikings are cool. Sorta like pirates only colder. We use The Story of the World series. They don't delve into much detail, so Joel usually learns quite a bit more from other resources (history is one of his thangs), but they are really good at getting the main point across in an engaging way. These books are written for little guys - but I have found it is more effective to use them with older kids (utilizing the Internet and other books for more detail). The activities in the activities book are way beneath I wish I hadn't bought the activity books, except that the maps are pretty good - and we do use those. We mostly use the globe and I am continually amazed at how this group of kids can just spin that ball and find exactly what they're looking for in a matter of a couple of seconds. I didn't know my way around a globe until I was an adult. Yes, I know enough to be embarrassed by this fact. But this group of mostly unschooled kids seems to know so much about geography and history and I honestly don't know why.

Anyway, with the high schoolers I usually do the Great Books discussions but we adults had spent too much time talking about sex for me to get to that. Which was fine. Because it is summer and all that.

We have been having and attending lots of parties. We postponed Father's Day and had it last weekend, immediately following our 4th of July party - and we also did my sister's birthday that weekend. It was kind of like Festivus (Seinfeld reference, there). Jeff was happy to get a Pearl Jam CD and to cook his own Father's Day dinner because he likes to cook and that is what he does on all holidays - he grilled some of our grass-fed beef and baked some potatoes and buttered up some corn from our now crunchy brown garden. Our annual 4th of July party the night before had been fun - but hot. Most of the crowd stayed inside our house instead of relaxing under the shade trees like they usually do - so it was different than it has been in years past. But we did, of course, sacrifice a Lego Man. This is a tradition begun by Joel and Friends.

We do not know why we sacrifice a Lego-Man on the 4th of July. We do not know why we throw pumpkins over the side of a bridge into the San Antonio River on Thanksgiving. These are just things we do that have no meaning whatsoever but are very important to us and therefore must have some sort of meaning that we have not yet identified. Here is Lego-Man, bravely taped to some kind of a rocket to boldly go where several Lego-Men have gone, before.

Well, that's about it for me and my lack of a summer schedule. I might go to the grocery store today - but only if I plan on cooking dinner. Otherwise, maybe it will be a trip to The Cove for some great food that is all locally produced and some great music by our friends, Lewis and Clark. Well, I think I just talked myself into that one.

Happy Blistering Summer/ Natural Warming Trend!

Signing off as Your Highly Unstructured and Under-Scheduled Sardine Mama


  1. Hey! we don't even attempt a summer schedule. Everyone here is working in the heat and then coming home to watch movies and sleep. It is so sad, really. Kudos for trying to keep anything in motion this summer!

  2. darnit - i wish i would have been their to hear your comments about sexuality!!! im sooo bummed!! :)

  3. Please tell me you did not go to The Cove without telling me. I could not find ANYONE to go, so stayed home. I am going to be really, really bummed if you went.