WITH BELINDA LOVE
OF RAISING LITTLE WOMEN
It’s a tricky one, waving farewell to a fun-filled summer; especially when it’s in exchange for much darker evenings and some serious hibernation! But the fun doesn’t have to come to halt… In fact the change can stir, inside each of us, a frisson of excitement about all that’s to come. This month we chat to Belinda Love about her girls’ sunkissed adventures and why there’s so much to look forward to with winter, more or less, howling at the door!
The summer has been long and jam-packed with plentiful adventures. How do you usually feel when the season is drawing to a close and the time is upon us to hit the books again?
End of summer is usually bittersweet. Sad that our days of no schedules and commitments are over but also looking forward to another year of learning together. The wonderful part about homeschool is that the beginning of the school year never means that adventures are over!
Being a home-educator, do you ever find it a challenge to switch from summer holiday mom to teacher mom? And do the girls ever struggle with adjusting to the change in routine?
If I’m being honest, yes. But I try my best to set up my girls for success by easing into school slowly. About a month before, we do school minimally so that it’s not such a struggle for full on school days. And even then, I’d say we are pretty relaxed with our days. I do my best not to over-schedule us.
How different are the girls when it comes to their favourite subjects and future aspirations. Are they all fairly similar or a bit chalk and cheese?
Each girl is absolutely different in all regards. In the way each of them learns and processes information and things that inspire them. Currently, we are only homeschooling the two oldest who are seven and five. One of them knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up (a dentist and a mama) while the other can’t decide. I love having a front row seat to all the wonder in their eyes!
What was the reason behind deciding to homeschool them?
Flexibility: homeschool allows us to travel and take school with us without getting behind. And gives me the flexibility to choose any curriculum that I want and impose the values that are important to our family.
Personalized Learning: I don’t want my children stuck in a system that doesn’t always serve them well. Every child learns differently and homeschooling allows me to personalize learning. I don’t want school to be a negative experience. Most children hate school by the time they reach 4/5th grade because the “one size fits all” system has failed them.
Time: increased family quality time and time for our children to forge a deep bond with their siblings.
Having four little women must keep you extremely busy during the summer holidays. Any tips on how to keep your energy levels up during such an exciting, yet very manic, time!?
Find time for yourself, mama. A walk alone in the mornings or a run first thing is the best tonic for all kinds of crazy schedules; or even a long relaxing bath, yoga class or meditation to give ourselves the quiet time we all need. Things definitely can become hectic and seem nonstop during the summer, so for me, making time for myself keeps me sane.
How have the girls got along with one another this summer and how do you manage those moments when things get a little intense (arguments and tears happen!)?
Of course they have their moments, but for the most part and mainly due to homeschooling, the girls have learned to manage each other. The two older girls have that motherly instinct, too. I just truly enjoy doing life with them!
It looks like you’ve had a blast over the long break! Can you share any insights on how to plan for such an action-packed summer with so many little ones?
First, you have to know your children’s boundaries. You can’t plan a 12 hour road trip if you know your baby hates being in his car seat. So after taking all that into consideration, I already know what sparks joy for my girls – I try to plan fun outings but not over-scheduling either, like I said, because then it’s just not fun for anyone but maybe two fun activities a week! The girls love when I’m able to make-up little scavenger hunt sheets along the way, if I already know what to expect from certain places 😉
What have been the girls’ favourite thing to wear and what have you most enjoyed dressing them in?
The girls all LOVE dresses! I can rarely get them to wear anything else, so the fun dresses we picked from Alex and Alexa have been the cherry on top to our summer adventures! I love neutrals but this summer we went for some pops of color and I’m really digging them! This dreamy collection of versatile dresses are also great for creeping into the autumn and winter seasons with. Offering so much layering potential, they’re perfect for the gradually dropping temperatures – I know they’ll be throwing these on all year round.
Find time for yourself, mama. A walk alone in the mornings or a run first thing is the best tonic for all kinds of crazy schedules.
What are your own memories like of being off school for the summer?
Being with my cousins at grandma’s house all summer! It was always the best time, even when we got into some trouble 🙂 Ahh those were the good old days!
And finally, what kind of fun things did you get up to and what has been your favourite memory of the summer?
Hands down, our favorite thing to do this summer was start our weeks at the beach with our homeschool nature group! Mondays didn’t seem so bad when we knew we would be having a blast by the sea!