Summer 2016. It was an election year. It was perfect timing. I had it all planned out. An election unit study over the summer!
I bought an inexpensive election unit study guide. I had my books picked out and my printouts printed out. I was set!
As I was delightedly telling the Hubs how organized I was and how amazing this learning opportunity over the summer was going to be — he suddenly said, “Honey, I know you’ve worked hard on this and I think it’s a great thing. BUT (did I just hear a “but”??) would it mess things up terribly if, instead of this unit study, you just took the kids to the beach everyday this summer? Feel free to say no and do your plan. I just want them to have the summers you had with your mom.”
Aaaand flashback – I was raised by a single mom who worked at the local university so she would have summers off with my brother and I. We went to the beach pretty much everyday because it was fun and free. I loved it. I loved the time with her, and the time to just be a kid.
As I snapped back to reality, I said, “But it’s an election year. There’s not another one for 4 years. But, I guess we could really do it anytime. And I’m sure the kids would prefer the beach (duh!), but I’d feel really guilty about going to the beach everyday while you’re at work.”
“It would be such a blessing to me. The kids would love it and I would love that,” he said.
So I shelved the unit study for a later date. Oh we talked about the election around the dinner table and watched election results come in. We discussed politics now and then. But there were no worksheets, no living books, no diagrams, papers, or quizzes.
We just went to the beach. Everyday (almost!). I snapped pics on my phone and sent them to the Hubs to show him the kids playing in the water. He always responded with, “Awesome!” or “Yay! Homeschooling!” He was so encouraging and never resentful that he was at work in a suit and we were at the beach. It was a blessing to our kids and a blessing to him that he could provide that for them.
The kids had a blast. They were all stronger swimmers by the end of summer, even my littlest guy was swimming like a fish.
But more importantly, the Hubs felt listened to. He felt like he was part of our day. This is so so important in homeschooling! Don’t miss this!
I’m so grateful that we were able to take that time and just relax. It was luxurious and I did feel a bit spoiled. But I was so thankful for that time. Life is so short. I know we can’t be on vacation everyday, but for one summer, we lived like we were.