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She is going to need counseling and it’s going to be my fault.

That statement is probably true for both of our daughters but at the time I was thinking in regards to Trinity and home-schooling specifically. It took Andy to point out the obvious when he observed that it seems I have been much more worried about volume and schedule this year than in the past. In fact, the frustrating day Trin and I were recovering from was last Saturday. Looking at our upcoming family schedule that involves family trips, visits from friends, and a move across the country, I panicked. “I don’t have TIME to take Saturdays off!” I thought. So, tired and a little run down, I pushed both of us through several hours of work. It was a trying day. Not my best teaching OR parenting. Hence, I was certain she would be scarred forever.

What I learned is that it would be more accurate to say that I don’t have time not to take Saturdays off. Pushing too hard and not taking breaks does NOT make for a productive school environment. I needed to stop, take stock of priorities, and re-evaluate. To that end, I decided to make an intentional effort to do things “because we can.” Home-schooling offers us SUCH flexibility in how we do things. Let’s set the books aside, take advantage of our flexibility and have some fun. We’ve been studying biomes. It’s all well and good to read about them in books and look at pictures online, but this past Tuesday I decided we should go check out a biome in person….because we can.

We headed up to Cascade Springs to check out the animals and plants that flourish in that fresh water biome. We also happened to learn about wildfires and the geological reasons behind why the springs are there at all. Trinity didn’t even realize it was a school day until we were heading home and I asked her some questions and she started spouting out all kinds of things she’d learned. “Hey!!! I LEARNED things today,” she said, “I thought we weren’t doing school today!”

“The world is your classroom, honey,” I told her while hiding my slightly self-satisfied smile.  IMG_3078 The leaves on this tree were the same color as Lilly’s shirt! She is being camouflage here by holding leaves up to her cheeks. IMG_3091

Exploring at the head of the springs where the water first comes up out of the ground after travelling for two miles underneath the mountains:IMG_3093

Trinity, pondering the fact that 1,800 glasses of water pass under that bridge every second:IMG_3107

Today, we did something else because we can. Near our house are some gorgeous gardens. We have a membership with the museum association that owns them so we can go for free any time. Tucked back under a pathway of vines is their “Secret Garden.” Never mind that I had originally scheduled The Secret Garden to be read later in the year. We won’t BE here later in the year. Forget the schedule. I made the schedule to help us, not to rule over us. So we packed up our school work, brought it to the gardens and enjoyed our school day on a blanket surrounded by blooming flowers, winding vines, crumbling brick walls, and a running fountain. There we began our journey into that beloved book. We are planning return trips already.

Trinity wanted a picture of her entering the garden just like the picture on the front of the book:IMG_3124IMG_3117IMG_3120When all our work was done, we wandered through the Fragrance Garden…because we can. IMG_3127
If she needs therapy when she’s older, let it be because her parents are so embarrassing when they dance like fools, or sing at the top of their lungs, or break out her baby pictures for any boy she brings home (someday)…but I refuse to let it be because I forgot what a gift it is to be able to have this time together.

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