Last week, we took an impromptu spring break. We’d made plans for a beach day on Monday with a friend and her son, and when it came time to plan the rest of the week, I just didn’t feel up to it. So I gave the kids a deal: if they agreed we’d still do our group and independent reading each day, we’d take the whole week off. No surprise, they agreed almost before I was finished talking!
It was a good week. We had our beach day, which was relaxing and rejuvenated us all. We spent the rest of the week just doing whatever we wanted, enjoying the unstructured time with no schedule to stick to.
By the time the weekend rolled around again, I was ready to figure out our week. The beginning of the week had to be a bit heavier than the end of it, due to some loud yardwork that will be done, which made it a bit rough to get started, but we just kept reminding ourselves it will be worth it.
We try to finish up our school year in May, typically no later than the Friday before Memorial Day, but as early as the Friday before that, when possible. Which means we have just a few weeks left to finish up, and that means we have to work hard.
That need to work hard makes our unscheduled spring break even more important. It gave us the break we needed to be able to come back, feeling fresh and ready to buckle down and get things done. That’s a feeling that was long gone. We were feeling stuck, slowed down, and ready to be done. We still feel ready to be done, but after that little break, we now see that there’s only a few weeks left, and we can make it through them without any problem.
Breaks, whether you’ve planned them or they just happen, can be good for your homeschool. Sometimes we feel like we have to work harder, or longer, or more, than public school families, in order to prove ourselves or “keep up.” But let’s not forget all the breaks they take in public school: teacher inservice days, half days, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Spring break, a dozen or so (at least!) holidays. Add in the time spent lining up to go to art, music, PE, lunch, the bathroom, and the time spent searching for pencils, paper, passing out worksheets, collecting worksheets, going over the same skill for two hours until one last kid gets it. We do more just by the fact that we don’t spend all that time lining up and searching for things. It’s okay for us to take breaks sometimes, even if we didn’t plan to until the last minute.
Our unplanned vacation brought us back fresh and has helped us find the will to finish up our year. If you haven’t taken a break in a while, and you’re feeling stuck, bogged down, or even just bored, maybe it’s time to take a day off.
When’s the last time you took a break?