Most of civilized society is enjoying summer break. For homeschoolers, summer is indistinguishable from the rest of the year because you’re still yelling at your kids all the time, the only difference is now everyone is hot and sweaty. For families with children home from a brick and mortar school, it can be an adjustment to have all these loud and hungry kids home all day again. (Wasn’t it Easter break just like, a month ago???)
I get to enjoy the benefits of both worlds. I’m sincerely looking forward to having the little boys home this summer, even though I know things will get much, much louder, and messier, than they currently are during the day. And I’ll enjoy the break from teaching and correcting school work, even though it means my older three will wander around aimlessly, constantly hungry, and uncertain how to spend their time despite the list of chores and activities posted on the refrigerator.
So I’m trying a few new things this year that will hopefully make our break a bit more enjoyable and stress free.
1. I’ve hired a retired drill sergeant to come over spontaneously to jump-start my kids day, break their spirits, and physically exhaust them through grueling exercise. The fun part is, no one knows exactly which days he’ll show up! By the time the next school year rolls around, I don’t think anyone is going to complain about Mama being unreasonable in her demands to “get dressed before noon” after spending hours this summer scrubbing the bathrooms with a toothbrush whilst getting screamed at about how much harder things were in ‘nam.
2. If your children are younger, and you don’t have any military connections, you can use the old ‘lure a pack of wolves onto your property’ babysitting trick. Kids under two can be left naked and unattended with the she wolves and do reasonably well. Speech development tends to drop off a bit, but usually your child will become an expert tracker and learn how to skin a squirrel with his or her bare teeth in 30 second flat; a skill that isn’t prized highly enough during most preschool intake assessments. I wish I could still rely on this babysitting method, however my kids outgrew wolves and when I tried to integrate them as older children into a herd of wild rodeo clowns, they picked up a chewing tobacco habit that was hard to break.
3. I get tired of feeding everyone over the summer, so I’ve invested in seven buckets of survival food from Jim Bakker and the largest pack of plastic spoons from Costco I could find. Not only will I save time by not meal planning, shopping and cooking for the next three months, we’re also prepared in the event of a rapture.
4. Remember how your grandparents used to keep the plastic on their lampshades and added plastic covers to their couch? I took it a step further by covering every surface in my house with plastic. Stocking up on shower curtains from the dollar store made this a cost-effective solution to keeping my house relatively free of mud, grass, various poops, funny smelling well water, and blood from wounds that no one notices until they’re dripping everywhere. Sure, there’s some issues with hallucinations from the off-gasing of so much cheap plastic, but if the kids don’t want to see pretty swirling colors and the evil gnomes staring at them from the corners, they can stay outside in the fresh air with the wolves.
5. When I need a break, it’s not uncommon for me to sneak into the bathroom, lock the door, feign a GI disturbance, and scroll Pinterest for a couple of hours. However, in the summer, my butt often goes numb from sitting before I feel a reduction in my blood pressure. That’s why I took some time and created a sensory deprivation tank in the basement. It locks from the inside and I can even fit in my bucket of survival food if need be. It’s also electrified so if someone makes the mistake of “checking on Mama in her fancy tub” they receive a gentle 3,000 volt reminder that they can do whatever it is their damn selves.
6. I took our house ‘off the grid’ and now we get electricity through a series of large hamster wheels (except my deprivation tank which uses a set of old power wheelchair batteries). If the kids want to charge their tablets, enjoy the central air, or heat up their survival food in the microwave, they’d better get running! Sometimes I yell, “All the ice cream in the freezer is defrosting!” and the kids panic and all hurry onto the wheels before remembering all we have is tubs of survival food and the freezer is actually only stocked with brown bananas I promised to turn into muffins last summer. It never fails to make me smile!
7. I still enjoy road trips, but I didn’t want the hassle of planning every last detail so I signed our family up to be carnies for the month of August. It should be a blast visiting the lesser known, yet super exciting, towns of America like Pine Bluff, Arkansas! or Byhalia, Mississippi! or the always crazy Nothing, Arizona! Unfortunately, Byron and Addie had to get full body tattoos for the side-show, but the rest of us got pretty sweet jobs operating various rides and keeping PETA away from the elephant tent.
What are your summer plans? Write them down then link them up below! Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!