We're just wrapping up Spring Break with the kids ~ they'll be back to school in the morning after nine days at home. Looking back over the week, in many ways the time flew by more swiftly and peacefully than our typical weekly schedule.
School days are a mass of drop-offs and pick-ups, classes, playdates, errands, homework and snacks which revolve around small children who can become overwhelmed/tired/cranky after spending between four and six hours away from home. We always seem to be running late to get somewhere, and there isn't much time to just relax and enjoy each other as a family.
Their week spent at home meandered at a much slower pace. We didn't stress at at all, which was so lovely... and much appreciated especially during the handful of rainy days. My children stayed in their pajamas until after breakfast, showered without anyone urging them to hurry, played for hours on end in the back yard where they are working on all manner of projects involving dirt and water.
We tried to leave the house every day to experience something new and exciting - including a successful day at the local Museum of Natural History, a fun outing with their dad at the local Children's Museum, and a great trip out to enjoy a special Easter Egg hunt at a local lagoon/ecological reserve.
There were also a few days of fever and sneezing spent mainly working on art projects in the house, building with Legos and drawing a million pictures.
One of the major delights of my week was learning just how close my eldest son is to reading the world around him. Literacy is at last within his grasp! Everywhere we drove in the car together he attempted to sound out the words he saw on billboards, street signs, store names ~ even the names of cars driving on the road next to us. He's getting so close! In addition to knowing lots of sight words, he can make all of his phonetic sounds accurately and now he simply needs to blend them together a little more tidily and he'll be a reader. I'm thrilled!
Of course, plenty of fighting took place between our boys... but interestingly, it wasn't as violent or mean spirited as usual. Perhaps because they were better rested, or even due to the fact that the elder one didn't have any outside experiences or frustrations to take out on his little brother. I don't know why they were kinder to each other but I am definitely not complaining!
All in all I am left feeling very pleased with a week that I had dreaded a bit, unsure of how to keep all three children happy and occupied for 9 days at home. School is a blessing and I am so grateful that my sons have the chance to learn and make friends, but I am reminded that time spent together is the most precious thing of all.
Summer vacation will be here before we know it - and I still haven't decided how my children will be spending 10 weeks free of school. Camps? Classes? Playdates? We'll just have to see.
Happily, the prospect of 10 weeks alone with my children over the Summer seems less daunting now... perhaps even enjoyable. When we're freed from the structure of a strict schedule and the tantrums that inevitably accompany their afternoon exhaustion, it turns out that my kids are truly fun to be around.