One of the more challenging aspects of homeschooling five students at once in five different grades is that their needs and desires and skill sets, both educationally and otherwise, are so varied.

When they were all younger, this seemed less dramatic.  There seemed to be less of a division.

Now London, in high school, can be rather tethered to giant books or a computer for her math program.  Her science can take nearly an hour to wade through each day.  Labor intensive.  Much more so than elementary school.

So the dreamy Little House on the Prairie days are fading and it’s certainly plausible that I am holding more tightly to them than my children are.

Occasionally though I put my parental foot down and say, “We are ALL going to do this together.  Same place.  Same time.  Same event.  All. Together.

And today I just knew we all needed to be outside more than we needed to be inside.

We brought the school along – and the snacks.  Because sometimes homeschool gets to look like this.  (Thought not nearly as often these days as it once did.  And I’m allowed to mourn the passing of that a little, alright?)

We hung up hammocks and we read our books and I read out loud while the boys chased the bass in the river and we wrote a little poetry and it was entirely and perfectly the sort of day I needed and even though a couple of my kids may not admit it any longer – I think it was the sort of day they needed too.

It all reminded me of a line from an Avett Brothers song,

“And you know I’ve been drinking sunshine all day long.”