We hiked Mount Washington last weekend. The highest mountain in the eastern United States. It's nothing compared to the western mountains but we did hike an elevation gain of 4,000+ feet and spent nine hours on the trail, including a lunch stop at the top.
The kids and I were tired the next day so we slept in and took the rest of the day slowly. This routine, a day to allow mommy and kids to start the week slow after a busy weekend, is just our latest schedule change in a continual finding our way on this path to an adventurous family life.
It's one of our goals to be adventuring outdoors all year round. Damien works a regular weekday job. Come the weekend we head to the mountains for one-day-a-week hike and spend another day at home taking care of house and yard maintenance and sometimes getting together with friends in the evening.
Life is full. The summer especially so. We started this new Monday routine as an answer to my request for more downtime in my schedule and to ensure our children get adequate rest and unstructured play time after long hikes. Damien is energized from hiking long distances. I'm energized physically but emotionally I need a certain amount of "relax time" at home to feel recharged.
This is why we homeschool, and more fundamentally why I'm a full time homemaker. So that Monday morning we are not rushing out of the house but taking it easy, even after the normal summer school break is over. We homeschool year round so summer doesn't bring vast changes to our schedule.
We homeschool to give our family the maximum amount of freedom to follow our interests, collectively and individually.
When we started our homeschooling journey, many years ago (we decided to homeschool before our children were even born), we were attracted to this lifestyle because of the families we knew who were homeschooling their children. Interesting families, with interesting children doing interesting things together.
At the time we didn't imagine hiking and being outdoors as much as we are, well maybe Damien did but didn't let me in on his secret. But we did imagine being able to choose our own schedule and meet our children's unique educational needs. Right now the children and I need a down day during the usual work week in order to keep the pace we do with Daddy on the weekend. Homeschooling allows us that freedom.
It let's us tell our eleven year old daughter, who likes sleeping in and reading, that come Monday morning (or whatever day we choose) she can do that - to her heart's content. But come Saturday morning we're going to be up and at 'em quite early to hit the trail - spending the day hiking together as a family.
Freedom to choose adventure. Freedom to choose curriculum. Freedom to choose the way we want to live. This is why we homeschool.
(If you are interested in more homeschooling related posts you can check out our homeschooling resource page at FIMBY.)