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  • Writer's pictureTaina

Even with a failure, we’ll call it a win– Summer Camp at Home

The Garden earlier this Spring.

The Garden earlier this Spring.

Gardening is pure magic. I’ve always thought so. You take this tiny little seed and stick it in the dirt, and in a few days a life erupts all green and wobbly. I imagine the hard work it had to do, fighting it’s way through the soil until it reaches the sun. That doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. I’ve killed almost every single houseplant I’ve ever owned. OK, OK every single one. That hasn’t stopped me from having a garden. Ever since the little was 2, we’ve had some kind of vegetable garden. It started with tomatoes and cucumbers, and has grown every year. This year we have three varieties of tomato, cucumbers, green peppers, snap peas, Kentucky green beans, black beans, broccoli and corn. There’s also a corner for the herbs: lavender, thyme, cilantro, basil, and sage. Oh yeah, there’s also an awesome fairy garden under the trellis. Last year’s crops went to pot after life got a little too crazy for me to have time to tend to them, but we have a saying around here. This family never quits.

Gardening is magic, especially when the fairies move in.

Gardening is magic, especially when the fairies move in.

What the heck does that have to do with our camp? Well, for one, today’s group exercise token was spent weeding the garden, but it’s also a pretty good analogy for not giving up when you have setbacks.

The little came down with a bit of a cold on Tuesday night, after we’d already shifted that day’s tokens to Wednesday so we could spend some time with cousins. That meant the little wasn’t in much of a mood for lessons, and I didn’t push. My body was clearly fighting something too, and the rainy weather was wreaking havoc on my headache situation. While we did catch up, for the most part, we still didn’t get it ALL done. Cleaning day never happened, and while I did get to move my blog writing token, my 1 hour reading, and my writing token are still up on the calendar. Oh yeah, and the whole Summer of Sonnets thing was a total bust. Finding a time to do it was tricky, and the first 17 sonnets have a similar theme, which got boring fast–for all of us.

Sometimes things just go wrong. That doesn't mean you flush the baby down with the toilet water.

Sometimes things just go wrong. That doesn’t mean you flush the baby down with the toilet water.

That’s OK.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfection is not the goal.

The goal is to give the kids some guidelines on how to spend time together. The goal is for me to help my kids’ brains stay active so they don’t lose everything they learned during the school year, and are prepared for the Fall. The goal is to help them develop good habits, and a positive attitude towards learning. Oh goodness, the goal is to teach them to love to learn.

Do you want to know how I know it’s working?

They finished all their lessons. The little did extra pages in her math workbook because she wanted to. The teenager wrote an incredible essay, and spent several hours working on it. Both kids are STILL excited about camp.

Earlier this week, after describing our camp to someone, she asked me, “That’s camp?”

I know kids are supposed to spend hours outside coming up with plans to get Boo Radley to come outside; raising a runt pig; or creating their own Terabithia, but my kids are allergic to almost everything that grows, and are much more contented with awesome indoor activities. Seriously, the teenager specifically requested NOT going to the beach because he hates sand so much. All that means is I have to get creative about our out of doors excursions…oh, and stock up on allergy meds.

Our Summer of Sonnets replacement book.

Our Summer of Sonnets replacement book.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if we hit every goal on the board. We had fun. I had some really great talks with the teenager, and most of all, the little and he are getting to spend their first summer together. So we’re tossing out the sonnets. No problem. Instead we’ll start on a book we can read out loud together starting with: Gone Away Lake.

What are you reading this summer?

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