There are bits of cardboard and glitter scattered across the floor. The lego bin seems to be permanently in use. There's evidence of habit training and the work that still needs to happen as we brought the youngest into the dish-washing rotation. The floor is sticky from when imagination took over cleaning spoons and bowls.
It's summer mode in our house and it is lovely.
The library bins are overflowing with cookbooks, science experiments and craft books. My own giant library stack shows the amount of time I think I'll have for reading this summer as opposed to during the school year. The girls are still plugging away at math, this past school year was one of our most unusual and academics wasn't the highest priority after my Dad's death. We still read aloud almost every day, over lunch which often features a freshly baked treat of some kind. This summer we're working our way through a Patricia MacLachlan omnibus, reading both her chapter books and her picture books. When there's a rainy day or need for some structure we'll pull out some art supplies and water-colour our own versions of the sea, the prairies and sunsets just like they do in the books. I never deliberately plan summer school but it usually comes together nicely for a focused study. I like to say that we become un-schoolers in the summer, following rabbit trails and interests.
I take time to reflect on the past school year and pack it all away before thinking too deeply about the next year. I like to read a lot during the summer. Who am I kidding? I like to read a lot all year long. But I read intentionally during the summer- books on child development and education, homeschooling books to inspire me, books on faith or spiritual development to challenge me and lots of lovely fiction books.
It's a short season in Northern Alberta. Bedtimes are later, weekly trips to the lake are planned into our schedule, meals are casual and made to be transported to the back deck or the forest or the beach. We soak up the long sunny days. The jars are filled with lilacs and then peonies, we tell the dates by which flowers are in residence. Late July will bring the lilies. The garden is starting to take form, the beds no longer just dark dirt with pesky weeds. There's hope of pumpkins and zucchinis, carrots and beets and hopefully enough peas for snacking.
It's a magical season this year, I feel it. My youngest is old enough to pour his own cereal and milk and my oldest is young enough to be home writing and reading to her heart's content. There's no naps and no summer jobs. It's a short season and I'm soaking it up.