Articles for September 2016

Minimalist Homeschooling Retreat

imagesIt’s kind of strange, but starting tomorrow I get my minimalist life back again.  My minimalist homeschooling life.  My simple life.  I am labeling the following 72 hours my Minimalist Homeschooling Retreat.

For the past three months we have been living one crazy wonderful family-filled summer vacation.  In 90 days we have:

  • Hosted my in-laws for three nights during their annual visit and grandchildren end-of-the-year concert attendance.
  • Hosted two sets of exchange students from Andrew’s college dorm, during the interim between college finals and their flights back to their home countries.  Total of nine nights for one and six nights for the other.
  • Assisted Andrew in finding a summer job that worked around his wisdom tooth extraction and leaving for college in August.
  • Hosted my parents while being in town for a convention
  • Celebrated and hosted my parent’s 50th anniversary dinner and family reunion.
  • Housed 11 family members for five days during the 50th anniversary gathering
  • Personally and individually renovated the entire back garden for above anniversary reunion (and it only cost $175 for flowers, bark, sod, and rock!)
  • Chauffeured daughter Emily to musical theater rehearsals and performances four nights a week for 9 weeks.  (She was a paid cast member in a professional production of The Music Man, but I think we paid more for gas than she made performing.)
  • Hosted Great Aunt, Grandparents, two sleepovers with best friends, so that folks could attend performances of The Music Man.
  • Hosted 5 Estonian choir boys for four days, including showing them around town for one 6 hour chunk and feeding them 8 meals.
  • Hosted a French exchange student for two weeks.  This was NOT in the plan, but we offered to swap a hosting if their family would take our son in February when he is between semesters during his foreign exchange year.
  • Preparing with Andrew for a year abroad as an exchange student . . . tickets, visa’s, new cell phone, passport, and packing for four seasons.  (Plus all the grieving and support that goes along with having your child 15 hours and 10 time zones away.) We are excited and he is loving this experience.
  • Celebrated my husband’s 50th birthday with a nice dinner out and seven us attending the touring Broadway musical, The Lion King.

I think I am exhausted.  I am over spent.  I am an introvert that has is left with no reserves and I just want the house to myself.  To be quiet.  I need to be able to wander around with no one to talk to.  I survived, but I need to retreat into myself for awhile.

Tomorrow I drive our last exchange student to the airport.  And then Daughter Emily and husband Carl are headed to visit the grandparents for a week.  Husband always makes this annual trip with one child to help the grandparents prepare for winter and I use to have the other child to get the house in order for the school year and just good quality one-on-one time.

For the next 72 hours, I will be alone.  The house will be mine.  I can have a cup of coffee that is hot.  I can knit and read.  I can sit in the garden.  I can listen to any type of music I like.  I can go for a walk and not eat lunch.  The kitchen sink will stay empty.  I can take a shower . . . a hot shower.

Strangely, the house is in order.  With the constant visitors we have kept a very orderly schedule and minimalist environment.  We’ve been running on Bed & Breakfast routines for nearly 12 weeks and there is very little to get back in place when the door closes and I am left alone.

Unknown-1What are my plans for preparing for homeschooling this next year.  I have 72 hours for self-care.  72 hours to dream about the coming school year.  72 hours to pull out school books and clear off my desk.  72 hours to refill my self with quiet introverted contemplation.  Without tons of clutter in the schoolroom (a.k.a. temporary guest room) I get to focus on the meat of homeschooling . . . the schedule and curriculum . . . . and some self-care.   This feels exciting.  (So does massage and pilates dvd that I have scheduled in four days!)

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