Here we are, a year gone by it is the school summer holidays once again. I am walking straight on past the rows of smart black shoes, (which will all inevitably be scuffed by the time the end of the 1st week in September is through) past the shelves of pristine white shirts, durable black trousers and branded lunch boxes. Sure I stop and pause at the back to school special offers on stationary and I wonder about any of that, but pretty sure that we still have a drawer full of stationary and art supplies I will move on, because our stationary hasn’t diminished over a 6 week half term, it is still sat in the drawer where it is meant to be. (Apart from pens, which always appear to go missing.
I watched parents announcing their children’s school reports before the end of term, I know how proud they were and I totally understand that, I have been there. I remember glowing with pride at my children getting their reports and seeing which subjects they had excelled in and which subjects we would vow to work harder in next term. We dont get end of term reports to compare to the previous year, I am observing their learning every day, I could take the time to write up a report, but they develop and progress in so many ways that it would take up pages and pages and pages to record it all, and for what purpose? What they learn can’t be summarised into academic subjects (well it could if i thought really hard about it. Butchering the deer could have come under home ec? or biology?) But ultimately, I know that they are doing well. They are happy, they are learning, they are enjoying learning, they are engaged and interested……. yes, they are progressing.
I know that over the course of the summer the children have progressed hugely. They are both confident swimmers,able and happy to go in the pool unaccompanied allowing me the time to sit and chat with a friend or get some work done. They are both doing fantastically at Skiing, J is able to use the main slope independently now and A in just 2 lessons has achieved level 2. Socially they have been able to think through and resolve situations that a year ago would have caused them to run and hide. A has completely an academic year of Science, in 2016 becomes the next adventure regarding searching out a location for her to sit her exams. Both children have gained certificates in paddle power from their kayaking and are progressing with their art, interpretations and reading.
We hear the children playing in the street outside and the kids are happy to have their school friends around to play with, trade cards and enjoy sleep overs. The parks are busy, the streets are noisy and I am happy to largely hide away from it all. I am under no pressure to face the crowds and the extortionate prices to “make the most” of the school holidays as we have had some fab adventures while others were in school, and come September we have yet more adventures planned. We dont have any science or skiing and our social meets at the adventure playground are now stopped until September but for now the children are happy flitting between doing their work books and playing with their friends. Yes we have some days out planned which we are all excited about but our main accomplishment so far is that 2 weeks in to the “summer holidays” and I havent heard my children complain about being bored or having nothing to do! This is something that has really struck me, when I read so much about “beating the holiday boredom” and seeing acquaintances and friends complain about how hard it is to keep their children amused, it occurs to me that for us, these 6 weeks are not really any different to any of the weeks prior to the schools breaking up, and when the schools return, for us it wont be much difference either apart from everything being quieter once again.