I am in one of those Catch 22 places in that I homeschool one of my children, but the other one is in public school. When I was homeschooling both of my children, having these “sort of” holidays arise didn’t much matter. I ignored them. But with one child having the day off and the other most decidedly not, it can make it difficult to get things done. What is a “sort of” holiday? Well, it’s one that I feel is only used so that the government, the schools, and the banks can have a day off. President’s Day is one of those days. No one really celebrates it and most people seem more irked by it than anything, because they can’t do things like go to the public library, the post office, or the credit union because they are closed. Usually no one remembers that until they get there.
My son adores his big sister and if she’s going to be home for the day, he’s going to do everything in his power to get out of doing his school work. And I’m going to do everything in my power to get him to do it. It’s a battle of wills. Like any near teenager, my son is at that age where he has far more of an opinion on things than he ever used to. Oh, he does eventually settle down and do his work quickly and easily, but if he spent as much time doing it in the first place as trying to get out of it, there’d be far more free time for both of us!
Now why don’t I just adapt our lives and our schedule to the school system and its holidays? Wouldn’t that solve a lot of my problems with this issue? Well, not really. Because the school also has one Monday off a month just for the heck of it and one early release day a month just because it can. If we started taking all these days off we’d never get anything done. And my son does better with structure than without it. Taking days off willy nilly can mess with that structure. Also, if his sister is home with a cold, he will then expect to take those days off as well and not want to give her the time to rest and recover. Not to mention snow days (none so far this winter, thank goodness!). It’s a slippery slope and not one I enjoy going down.
Not that I’m a total stick in the mud about it. We do take 2 days off at Thanksgiving and a week off at Christmas. Any longer at Christmas and I’ve learned from experience that getting back into the routine is very difficult for my son to do. We do spring break. We do respect Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. But we also plan for those days well in advance. Of course Independence Day is not an issue, being in the heart of summer. But Labor Day and MLK, Jr. Day and President’s Day?
Well, I think a lesson on the importance of the issue or the person for history that day is enough of an homage. I mean, I kind of have to wonder if Abraham Lincoln, who valued education above so much else, would want us to remember him by taking a day off from school? It has always struck me as powerfully ironic, even when I was a child myself. I wonder if MLK, Jr. who worked so hard to accomplish what he could, would really be honored by people slacking off for a day in his name? Somehow I really don’t think so.
I will honor my country and our veterans and my Lord, but otherwise, I’m not taking the day off from homeschooling until the weekend or the summer.