I’m sitting here in the middle of suitcases, sorting laundry and feeling a bit disenchanted by the whole concept of traveling. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the last three weeks, (Did I mention that we have been traveling for three weeks?) but three weeks is a long time to be away. We’ve visited three states in three weeks, one week for each state. Plus we’ve had a layover in a fourth state. We’ve spent some lovely time with family, including cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, second cousins and great-aunts and uncles. The kids got to ride in a real John Deere combine. (Remember, my oldest son calls himself John Deere Boy… He was a happy little man.) We picked cotton (just a handful). We visited a museum. Went out to eat more times than I’d like to pay for. We drove by two houses that I grew up in. Saw the school that I went to for elementary and high school. (I was in a small rural school.) Met up with my highschool biology teacher. (That was a treat!) Stayed with grandparents in the house that my husband grew up in. Saw the school he went to. (Well, he was homeschooled, so I guess we saw the room where he went to school!! He did take a few science classes at the local high school, and we saw that too.) Drove through the campus of the university that my husband and I graduated from. We visited two cemeteries and found the markers of six loved ones. We visited parks. We learned some geography. We played with cousins until we could drop. We flew on four airplanes and drove around 1400 miles. And last but not least, we did some schoolwork.
Now we’re to what has me wondering about traveling. I don’t know if you travel so much that on some of those travels, you need to keep working on school work. Well, we do. For this trip, I packed a whole suitcase full of books. Now I’m unpacking and realizing how many of these books never got touched. We did work on the 3 R’s, nearly every day. For math, one of the interesting things we did, was weigh suitcases and get them to exactly 50 lbs. Actually my daughter finished up her first math lapbook too. She did spelling a few days. They both read to me nearly everyday. We did do a little nature study, but I had grand plans for that. Maybe I should be thankful for the nature study that I didn’t plan though. My kids got to feed, chase and hold chickens over and over and that’s something we don’t have at our house. They got to harvest soy beans and learn how weather affects the harvest. They picked field corn and learned that each cob always has an even number of rows. They picked cotton and found out where cotton comes from. They learned that there’s a big difference between Kansas mud and Nebraska mud. Maybe they learned more from that nature study than what I had planned. I also had great plans for reading some biographies while we travelled. We read part of one. I had three along. That was for history. Maybe I should be glad that my kids had the opportunity to visit so many places that have shaped and formed their dad’s and my life. Maybe that’s history they’ll remember and that is important to them. I took along a book on drawing. We thought we’d have fun doing some drawing. Never opened it. They did draw and draw and color and color with the cousins though, so maybe that was better, especially since they don’t get to spend enough time together. One thing, I’m not concerned about is whether they got exercise while we were gone. There were six kids between three and nine and they played and played and played some more.
So now I’m trying to figure out if I should feel guilty that we didn’t get more schoolwork done or if I should feel thrilled that we got any schoolwork done. What do you think? What’s your philosophy about taking books along with you when you travel? Or do you travel that often?
I did learn a lesson, I hope. No matter what I plan, when we’re traveling, it needs to be less. I shouldn’t pack quite so much in the way of schoolwork. Then maybe I won’t have to mess with weighing my suitcase!!
P.S. Sad to say, my camera broke. So this is a pictureless post.