Monday, March 15, 2010

Almost School Break Time How Do You Feel?

I am one of those strange parents who looks forward to breaks from school and summer vacation. I enjoy having my children at home with no pressing obligations that we have to rush to every day. I like being able to decide we will visit the zoo the next day and not have to worry that the crowds will be unbearable. I want to have the option to just hang out together all day and not leave the house at all.

This is part of the reason we chose to send our children to a year-round school. The school is still a public school, but it's labeled a "choice" school because you have to choose to send your child there. There are plenty of people in the city who want to send their children to one of the 4 "choice" schools (each choice school has a different kids' school is the only year-round option) and there is often a long waiting list to get in to each school. (My kids' school also concentrates heavily on reading, which I think is an essential life skill. A good reader will often excel in most subjects.) My kids go to school starting at the end of July and go for 45 days, then have 3 weeks off...with a longer summer break of 6 weeks. The breaks often coincide with the breaks the rest of the district has, though our break is longer. The first break is in October though, when the rest of the district is still gearing up for the year. The other 2 breaks are around the Christmas holiday through the first 2 weeks of January and the final break before summer vacation falls in March (and one of those weeks the rest of the school district is off for Spring break as well.)

These breaks from the school routine offer me a chance to get back to the things that I've loved about staying home with my kids. They are such interesting people, these children I've carried and nurtured. When the hectic mornings getting ready for school are gone, we have time to wake naturally without the harsh screech of an alarm. We can pile into one bed, limbs intertwined, dozing until we feel the need to rouse...and rousing often to giggles. The lack of morning obligations also allows us to be more relaxed about getting to bed on time. If we want to soak in the tub and talk about the pressing issues of the day, we can for as long as we want. (Within reason of course.) I have stockpiles of activities that I want to do with the kids and when they are in school we rarely have time to do any of them. These breaks give us those chances.

Next Monday my kids will be on another 3 week break from school. I can't wait. I miss these kids when they are gone at school all day. They will be sure to fight, as pretty much all siblings do, but if I keep them busy and we do fun things together even those tiffs will be few. I will probably complain about their fighting. I'm sure I will. But I will always prefer the breaks to the school routine. I had kids because I wanted to be with them. They are worth it. All of it.

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Life As I Know It said...

I think year round school is a great idea. I love the way your school schedule sounds. Enjoy your break! (I like the school breaks, too, and I miss them when they go back).

Nap Warden said...

Wow...year round school. I'm kinda like you. I miss 'em when they are away:(

for a different kind of girl said...

My kids are on spring break right now, and when I know these breaks are approaching, I am struck with the thought that I get to spend all this uninterrupted time with them. Sure, they're outside playing now, and the nice weather is bringing the neighborhood kids back to the door, but when I can grab chunks of time with my kids, I pull them in. I love knowing that when we sit down to dinner, we can sit peacefully and enjoy and talk and not feel rushed because there is still homework to be done and reading goals to be achieved and baths to be taken.

Sure, there's also a bit of a sense of "OK, what now?!" when there are days to fill, but when they go back to school Monday, I'm going to miss them just like I do every Monday, but more so after several days together.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Aw! That all sounds wonderful. Especially the piling-into-bed part. I bet your kids look forward to the breaks and spending time with you, too.

louann said...

My kids are also n their summer break. Sadly, my Aunt took them with her for a 5 week vacation to Portland. Very, very sad. I am so homesick!

chelle said...

I am with you .. I love it when Becs is home I wish we had the option to go all year round!

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