Back in February, we leased a new car. We looked at all sorts of different SUVs and sedans. Alas, a minivan was still the best option for our family, so we went ahead and leased one. It might not win points for style, but it’s so darn practical!
Being a lease, there are mileage limitations and it’s a good thing that those are cumulative and not annual. We surpassed our annual average mileage limit in July. While we may not technically be nomads, we have been back and forth so often down the East Coast that it certainly feels like it. I’m not complaining! I love seeing family and friends but boy, my car will be so much happier when it’s being towed behind the bus as opposed to being driven 1000 miles in a weekend.
This last month, we went to Charleston –> Tampa –> Charleston –> Washington DC –> Charlotte –> Washington DC –> Charleston –> Washington DC –> Annapolis –> Washington DC. My husband has made a few more trips down to Charleston than me and the kids so there’s that too. Whew!
Our visit to Tampa was to visit one of my besties (her husband and 2 kids too!) and included a jaunt to Siesta Key Beach where the water was near 90 degrees. We spent most of the day there and luckily came back tan and not burnt.
We also had a night out on the town in Ybor City to people-watch and listen to some awesome 80’s karaoke (whilst inebriated of course, because, well, 80’s karaoke…). I met some interesting characters…
Upon our return to DC, we celebrated G’s 5th birthday. A little man indeed.
The tail end of that week saw a trip to Charlotte. It was a surprise for my MiL’s birthday and all the kids gathered to help her celebrate. My kiddos were re-introduced to their cousin A (we haven’t seen each other in a few years) and declared he was the best cousin EVER! The kids conducted interviews that were recorded on A’s iPad, explored their Nana’s backyard and went to play with the neighbor’s Corgies. My oldest, particularly, is fearful of excitable dogs, so when she discovered that these Corgies were relaxed and essentially lapdogs, she declared that they were the best dogs EVER! It was just a weekend of best stuff EVER!
The rest of the month was a lot of museum visiting. We did the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History a few times, The Smithsonian Udvar Hazy Center (also know as the “other” Air and Space Museum) a few times, The National Building Museum (only once because whoa, it’s expensive) and even trekked it down to the White House because we had friends in town who wanted to see it. Trust me when I say it was for their benefit — I am not shy about my disdain for 45.
We also sprinkled in a couple playdates, family outings, and a few festivals here and there, including a trip to the lake and the Chesapeake Hot Air Balloon Festival which was amazing to witness.
As for reading, I finished AstroPhysics for People in a hurry in the final days of June. I alternated, as I usually do, between reading and listening to the book (which is narrated by DeGrasse Tyson himself) and found myself intrigued. It’s not dry as the title might suggest and instead left me with a sense of curiosity about the cosmos.
Since then, I haven’t picked up any other serious books. I’ve been reading some YA novels, a few contemporary romances, and continued to pick at the World Schooling book. I have a few suggestions from some friends on interesting non-fiction reads, but haven’t summoned up the courage to get them yet. I think this is perhaps because I’ve focused so many of my days researching curricula and classes for our upcoming school year that I need something light to consume at the end of the day.
For those of you curious about how our homeschooling year works, we choose to school year-round. We take breaks as needed throughout the year and just ensure that we school 180 days in a one year period. We’ve exceed that number by at least a few days the last two years. Our official school year runs September through August. So, when I mention picking new curricula for the school year, it just means wrapping up one set of curricula before moving on to the next. This year, having two kids officially homeschooling, I decided to pick up a formal science and history curriculum, on top of the curriculum we use for Math. The rest of the subjects (for example, language arts, music, art, French) are informal. I create a curriculum and go from there as opposed to paying someone else for theirs. We school most mornings for 3-4 hours, then another 1 or 2 in the afternoon. There’s some group time, some one-on-one time and some individual work (which includes various workbooks, iPad games and tactile games). There are weeks where it’s a strict 5-6 days of 6 hours a day, and some where they do 2 hours of academic school work and the rest is self-directed exploration time. This gives them time to play and explore whatever they choose. A lot of times it leads to a lesson. M, for example loves bugs so she often goes into the yard to find a bug, then we learn about it.
For the upcoming Autumn season, the kids will also have several “extra curricular” activities/classes to include ice-skating, ballet/tap, fencing, piano, Mandarin and with luck (if we can get in) indoor tennis and tae kwon do. The Mandarin was my choice, but the rest were all picked by the kiddos. They had wanted to do soccer too, but I think with it getting cooler (aka: freezing to this Southern-convert), we opted for indoor activities. We can pick nice days for self-directed soccer and playground time.
All that in between attempting to build our bus. That should keep us busy for a bit!
Next up: S’s birthday and the Great American Eclipse!