It is birthday time for the self-proclaimed patriarch of our family. Yes, we love him so we agnowledge his partiarchy generally without reservation, but we still like to give him a hard time about the idea.
For us fall also always means a trip to the circus. The patriarch has been to the circus every year since I have known him, which is getting close to a length of time we can safely refer to as stretching back to “the olden days.” I love the circus as well and can remember going to the circus when I was a child back when the floors were covered with sawdust and the animals were wonderfully and terrifyingly fierce. And, we have taken our children to the circus every year that they have been alive. For us the trip really is a cherished family tradition.
In fact, the start of fall for us is really the beginning of a long lead-up of celebrations and activities that culminate in Christmas. That is precisely why we homeschool year-round and why our long break is during the winter months. There is so much activity and fun in the fall and winter that life goes so much better with a schooling schedule that is kind of inverted.
It makes record-keeping a bit wonky. We start a new school year in August and generally start new coursework in January, which makes the August to November time mostly for catching up old material we did not quite finish and starting the new material early. My kids never stop learning through the year, I just artificially divide up the school year for recordkeeping purposes and we have adjusted the point in the year when the kids get new curriculum to match the time in January when we start up again after our long break. As I said, it is a bit wonky, but it fits our family perfectly. The kids stay challenged and happy and free to learn at their own pace.
After all, why should educating your own children follow a schedule set artificially to fit farming families in the early 1900’s? “It makes no sense,” to quote by daughter.
And, for us it all boils down to reaching the time of year filled with fun times, family, and fall.
You can find more posts like this one on my blog at www.byebyebrickandmortar.com where I journal about the trials and blessings of homeschooling my children, post downloads to share, and insights I find along the way.