Simple school holidays

I love old-fashioned. I really do. Maybe it’s because old-fashioned to me is defined as … my childhood, grandmothers, cups of tea, climbing trees, simple good food, tablecloths, colouring in, knitting and crochet, the library … It all makes me feel safe, nourished, loved, and I think that’s because everything old-fashioned reminds me of my grandmothers and times I spent with them when I was a child.

Taking an old-fashioned approach to things around here suits me just fine. We’re a modern household, living in mostly modern ways (no twin-tub washing machine thanks!), but there are lots of ways I try and take the road already travelled. Especially when it comes to raising the kids.

Team work and a save the whales campaign - love it!

Team work and a save the whales campaign.

The school holidays are a time for bringing things down a notch, keeping things simple, and of switching off and tuning out. The kids live a highly structured and busy life when they’re at school, and I want the exact opposite for them when they’re on holidays. It means they spend a lot of time at home, having to amuse themselves, and I love it for two reasons.

For the kids, it means they reconnect with home life as something more than a place to stop and eat in between school days and activities. It is a chance for them to really enjoy and appreciate their home. It means they look deep into their cupboards for toys and games they rarely play with during school term, getting use out of things that otherwise would just go to waste. They rediscover the blessings they have in the backyard – climbing trees, digging in dirt, playing in the lake, swimming in the pool, riding bikes and skateboards and discovering critters until dark. And they get used to each other again, strengthening the brother-sister bond that comes loose when they’re focused on their own friends during term.

For me, it makes my life easier. Sounds selfish, so it must be a good thing. School life impacts on my life too, so the holidays are my chance to swing things back to my advantage a bit – which means as little running around as possible, and lazy days, slow mornings and no clock-watching. I may have to break up the occasional fight and bickering, but after the first day or so, the kids are back in the mode of playing with each other and happy for the most part and the days just flow.

There is space and peace in simplicity. There is rejuvenation and nourishment in being home. And I want the kids to learn to look within for these things, not always seeking entertainment without, and to value home and family as their safe places to fall.

What approach do you take to the holidays? And do you like old-fashioned?


I’ll be discussing this topic on the Parenting Panel on 91.7 ABC Coast Radio tomorrow morning just after 10am. You can listen live online – just follow the link that’s to the right of the page.

Comments 2

  1. I’m still very new to school holidays but try to do a bit of both. The first week I’m planning (holidays don’t start here till the 12th) to keep it calm and quiet at home, do some crafts and simple cooking. The next week I’m thinking of taking them to the coast (south coast, near Batemans Bay) to do some beachy exploring.

    Your holiday sounds lovely and relaxing! I really wish I knew how to knit and crochet. It’s on my “to do” list for the next year or so so then I can show the kiddies. I remember my Grandma teaching my little brother how to knit, he made a great beanie! I’ve always regretted not taking that time to learn from her although I’ll see if Mum is keen on teaching me (another bonding opportunity!)

    1. I can’t knit or crochet very well Sara! I wish I could. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a child, and I had a go again at it last year as a meditative tool. As it cools down, I’ll pick it up again for winter, see how I go. I wish I had gone back to it earlier, when my grandmother was still alive – she was amazing at it.
      Good idea about the bonding 🙂

      We’re taking the kids camping on Saturday for a week, and we’re all really looking forward to that. Simplicty overload!
      Your trip sounds like a lovely idea too.

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