Another Unschooling Holiday

Last night I said to the girls, “Tomorrow is the last day of
the school term.” Sophie and Gemma-Rose groaned. 
Years ago we used to count down the days to the holidays. We’d
limp through the last week of term desperate for a break. Sometimes I’d call a
halt early. “That’s enough,” I’d declare. Everyone would cheer. No more school
work for several weeks.
But these days things are different. We enjoy our days
together very much. We don’t yearn for a break like we used to. Of course
holidays are good and the girls will enjoy the next two weeks, but in a
different way from term time.
Our routine will change. For a start, Andy will be home from
work. Our days will be more relaxed because he won’t be rushing out the
door every morning. We’ll be able to linger over breakfast and go at a slower
pace. We’ll want to spend time with Andy and maybe go on a few outings
together. We might go to the movies and a museum or two, have a picnic and
visit friends. 
I probably won’t do much reading aloud for the next couple of weeks. (That was the reason the
girls groaned! But perhaps they can persuade Andy to read to them.) I won’t
be looking for interesting things to strew in front of the girls. Instead I’ll
be taking some time to work on my own projects, and so the girls will concentrate
on those individual interests that don’t need my involvement… Yes, holidays are
different.
So in a few minutes’ time, I will fill in the records book
(which I am required to keep) for the last time this term, and then we will
officially be on holiday. I will toss the book into the basket and forget about
it for two weeks. What freedom!  I don’t
have to record a single learning experience until the start of next term. For
me, that is one of the highlights of having a break.
I don’t have to record a single learning experience? What if
the girls learn something wonderful during the holidays, something that will
look very impressive in my records book? The chances are they will. Holidays or
no holidays, learning will still take place. Will I grab my book and pen and
record everything anyway? No, I don’t think I will. As Gemma-Rose would say, “You
don’t ‘do’ impressive, Mum.” It took me a long time to get to this stage, but I
no longer do things solely for the sake of impressing others. It takes up far too much
valuable time.
I often hear unschoolers say, “We don’t have holidays. Our
days are the same regardless of whether it is school term or holiday time.” I can understand that.
Learning goes on every day of the year. Unschooling never stops. But for us, we are looking forward to a change in
routine. Because doesn’t everyone need a change every now and then?

The collage contains photos I took during the last school holidays when we visited Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

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Comments

    • Vicky
    • September 22, 2012
    Reply

    Our school times and holidays merge a lot, too, because we're more relaxed now. But, like with you, there's a difference. The structured learning is put aside and there's more play. Since we began unschooling, we haven't had any burn-out or end-of-term feelings of relief, even though we do more schooly stuff, now.

    I hope you all enjoy the holidays, Sue!

    1. Reply

      Vicky,

      It's a lovely feeling when you suddenly realise the holidays are here, but you haven't been counting off the days at all. We've got lots of plans for the next couple of weeks including a trip to Canberra to visit some museums. I am sure we will have a wonderful time. I hope you have a great holiday too.

      God bless!

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