Taking a Break and Finding Rest
Taking a break
As someone who went to public school, taking a full week break in the middle of February sounds weird. We went from winter/Christmas all the way to Spring before we got a full week break. BUT we are not in traditional school and I make the rules.
This is the first year that we are working our way through a 36 week lesson plan through Ambleside Online. When I was plugging in our lessons to our planner, I wasn’t taking into consideration “breaks.” I am also due to have a baby in April so the clock feels like it’s ticking. My brain tries to say, “Let’s get as much done as possible. Go! Go! Go!” In reality, I know that this is not how it works my kids and I need a break.
One concept my husband follows is the idea of 6/1. Work six days and take one day off, then go for 6 weeks, and take one week off. This idea was stemmed from the creation story. God created for six day, and on the seventh he rested. So could this work for us and homeschooling?
The funny thing was, we had just completed six weeks of school and barely started the seventh when I threw my hands up and declared it was break week. My husband gently reminded me of his rule and I could not believe it. He was right! God was telling me to rest.
How We Prepared To Take a Week of Rest
Taking a rest in February is not easy. Going outside is an option, but it tends to not last long due to frozen fingers and runny noses. We had to find creative ways to stay occupied that wasn’t necessarily school. To my boys, being immersed in play and creativity is rest.
The first thing we did was get in the car and drove to Michael’s to purchase some craft supplies. We got some new paints, canvases, and paintbrushes. We also needed a few items for Valentine’s crafts and a restock of some sensory bin items (Pom poms, wooden shapes, and some clothes pins). With our car full of supplies, we headed home.
The acrylic paint came out and the boys painted a recreation of Jim Dine’s pop art. The final paintings are displayed in our proudly displayed in our house and it reminds me to rest.
Activities That Gave Us Rest
Here are some things we did during the week:
We read. My son is starting to read and he decided to pick up the first Magic Tree House book. He read it in two days.
We painted! We used the acrylic paint a lot last week. We also did shaving cream and food coloring in the bathtub. This was a great activity for all three of the boys.
We went outside. They built a snowman, built tunnels and shelters, and even the sun came out long enough for them to ride their bikes.
We watched movies. I rented Paddington 2 and we laughed a lot while we watched it. I enjoyed it more than the first.
My oldest finds a lot of rest by playing music. He’s really enjoyed playing Ukulele and piano. He is self taught on both of these instruments with help from different apps and from dad.
Here is What I learned
Rest is important. SO IMPORTANT. Okay, this shouldn’t be news to me, but it’s a great reminder to slow down. I have been pushing myself hard because I want to get everything done before the baby arrives. It’s just not going to happen and I already knew that.
A lot of learning is still happening even though we are not following my plan. My son learned a new song on the piano and preformed it for me.
My husband and I had a date night. Getting a dedicated date night is difficult in this season of life. We made it a priority and had fun going to a favorite restaurant and talking for a couple of hours and never once felt rushed. Make date night a priority.
Lastly, I had some free time to be creative myself and converse with other moms. We spent a lot of time encouraging each other and bouncing ideas off of each other.
Do you take a break? What does it look like for you?
Please share this blog if you found it helpful or send it to someone who is starting to feel the burn out.
I'm Julia Mederich - My husband Jordan and I have 3 boys (7, 4, and 2) and a girl on the way. We are a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschooling family and enjoy going on nature adventures, reading aloud, and learning through play.
We live in Northwest Wisconsin.
I'm excited you're here! And hope this content inspires you on your homeschooling journey.
”Home is the nicest word there is.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder