The late summer transition to fall

a repeat photo from last September

It's done. Last Friday afternoon I finished our fall family schedule. It's taken a couple weeks to mull over our learning goals and figure out how to fit in a dance lesson for Brienne, a (free) shared Karate lesson for all three kids and a non-computer craft time for mama into the usual weekly routine of home care, meals, kid crafts and weekend adventures.

This time of year is always the same and now that I've recognized the pattern I let myself go with it and not fight the natural rhythm. I used to panic at my state of mind that accompanies this transitional time - a wistful melancholy for summer and yet a single minded focus on routine/schedules and getting life in order. But I've learned if I let myself work through it I return to my "normal self", ready to happily embrace fall, a favorite season of the year.

The transition goes something like this (giving you a peek into my life the past couple weeks):

  1. At end of August I always feel summer was too short in spite of living each day to the full; time at the beach, hiking, camping and gardening. I try to hold on as long as possible but...
  2. The kids start to get bored of our backyard. Even the trampoline holds little appeal. Their activities move indoors and they get antsy. I think "hum... maybe it's time to start some sit down school work".
  3. Each August I'm drawn, without planning it this way, to read a homeschool related book. Something that inspires, encourages and gives fresh ideas for a new year. By the end of August I'm enthused to try out what I've learned.
  4. The first couple weeks of September I start my shift into the next season, which is literally nipping at my cold toes. This is bittersweet, to let go of the fullness of summer to make room for the delicious, crisp "crunch" of fall (sounds like an apple).

And so early September, having read the signs and the changing winds, I plan the kid's school work, clear out the school & craft shelves, and make a fall schedule for our family life.

This is where I now dwell, in the sweet beauty of September and daily routine. Ready for baked apples and sweaters; tawny fields and fresh cider; pumpkins and math lessons; cornstalks and mums. And of course The Common Ground Country Fair, the best way possible to wind down summer and celebrate autumn.

Bring it on because I'm ready. Mid September; the beginning of a new year.

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  • nicola

    nicola on Sept. 14, 2009, 6:34 p.m.

    this post is so lovely and so timely. i have noticed a few of my favorite blogs talking about the transition to autumn and i wrote my own version (not yet posted) a few days ago. oh, i do love this time of year. it is like a fresh start. a dry run on new year's resolutions if you are into that kind of thing! nicola

    nicola's last blog post... art


  • steadymom

    steadymom on Sept. 14, 2009, 7:01 p.m.

    I'd love to know what your latest Homeschool read was!


    steadymom's last blog post... Some Blogging Resolutions


    • Kika

      Kika on Sept. 14, 2009, 7:22 p.m.

      I agree! I'd also like to hear of some new homeschool book titles. I feel sometimes like I've read everything already (many not worthwhile!). I need to find some inspiring books with examples of how other families homeschool the teen years. I'm pretty sure that your experience (described in post) is common phenomenon amongst homeschool moms. All my friends and I have these feelings and even stress at this time of year... not b/c we don't love fall activities/Hschool - just because we're working through the transition and also seeing all the work that is ahead of us! Well, there is ONE MORE FACTOR: as much as we love Fall, we know that Alberta winter is just around the corner !!!


      • renee

        renee on Sept. 14, 2009, 9:40 p.m.

        A Maine winter also is just around the corner, though I prefer not to talk about it! But sister, I KNOW what you are talking about!


  • Denise

    Denise on Sept. 14, 2009, 10:43 p.m.

    yes! I love the transition to fall. Fall is actually my favorite season. I love summer but there is something about fall that feels so good.

    And, yes - blogging and taking pictures brings me satisfaction too!


  • Hillary

    Hillary on Sept. 15, 2009, 1:09 a.m.

    I'm crafting a blog post about this exact feeling/transition and like you this year I think I'm doing well with just following the flow instead of panicking. Makes things so much easier.

    Hillary's last blog post... Photo Friday .:. Ode to Summer


  • Shawna

    Shawna on Sept. 15, 2009, 4:34 a.m.

    fall is my favorite season since i grew up in new england. out here fall's a bit more glum BUT i find this year i'm exhausted from making the most of summer and i can't wait for slow rainy days to crunch leaves, knit and sew :O)

    Shawna's last blog post... The garden bug


  • Annette

    Annette on Sept. 15, 2009, 11:47 a.m.

    Funny how a few words (usually spoken by someone else) can make all the difference and change a perspective. I also get those "transitional" feelings at the juncture of summer and fall, but it never occured to me to just go with the flow...even though it happens EVERY year!
    So this year, I will practice being more aware of the process of the change. Thanks (again) for blogging!


  • Jody

    Jody on Sept. 15, 2009, 3:34 p.m.

    Seasons. Seasons of life, seasons of the earth, Seasons of our motherhood....... Funny how we ALL move thru the seasons of our lives ~ Transition. Growth. Change. Beauty abounding in various forms. Normal to mourne the passing of one season nto the next. Being so anxious for our children to walk....then mourning the days when we just rocked & craddled a tiny babe. Wanting them to be teens & go on to college....then mourning the empty bedroom and place at the table when they have moved on with their life.

    I hear the echos of my own thoughts in your expression of the changing of seasons. Like a good chapter of a familiar book.....the chapter ends.... but Turn the Page ~ a new Adventure begins!

    We picked apples SUnday and had a nice hot stew, corn bread & fresh baked apple crisp! The Autumn is a delicious season of harvest :>)


  • Rana

    Rana on Sept. 15, 2009, 8:28 p.m.

    I'm with you Renee, as much as I love summer I'm ready for it to end and can't wait for fall to start. I'd be interested in what you are reading too.

    Rana's last blog post... Weekend Picnics and Concerts!


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