Try as I might, in fourteen years of homeschooling I have not been able to get a "head start" on our school year. We have never ONCE managed to start before Labor Day, no matter how well-planned I was. Something has always come up to derail our plans. This year was no different. We actually started school on the 1st of August ... and then the septic tank backed up, I had a shoulder "glitch", a wedding, a pretty seriously ill oldest daughter ... well OKAY then. I can take a hint. I guess it's not so bad to plan for a summer vacation--I certainly hope to be doing a lot of garden-harvesting and canning next summer anyway, so why not just run with it!?
You're probably going to find this little detail ridiculously silly and petty, but my biggest beef with beginning the week of Labor Day is that "lost" school day on Monday when we always spend the day with Pete since he's off from work. I detest having four-day weeks. It looks funny on my calendar, and totally messes up my even by-fives plan. Dumb, I know. I'm a little OCD that way. So this year I **FINALLY** got my head screwed on straight and fixed that problem. How? FIELD TRIP!!!! The girls love it! Field trip with Daddy, counted as a school day, and Mom can be completely okay with checking that little block on the attendance chart!
So where'd we go? Not far, actually! The US Space & Rocket Center here in Huntsville was having its last day with "Sue the T-Rex", so we decided to brave the torrential rain that Tropical Storm Lee was dumping all over the Southeast and go see the dinosaur display! It has been a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time since our family visited the Space & Rocket Center. In fact, last time we were there, we only had two children! We did find out that an obscure little momento we received as a "thank you for your service" back in 1993 is a real, actual, valid lifetime membership card (!!!!!) so we will be able to make many, many trips to see the displays and enjoy the wealth of information and history available to us right here in town! This trip was just a whetting of our appetites! Um ... and a literal "wetting", as you can well see. We got DRENCHED!
Aside from the 30-minute-long 3D movie that ended up being nothing more than evolutionist propaganda, the we all had a really good time. However, since we are studying ancient history this year (including dinosaurs!), we will have plenty to talk about as we dive headlong into our studies. This was a fun way to re-start our school year! I think we'll make a tradition out of it!