Tips for Homeschooling Mamas

A Belated Gift for the Graduate

Most of the time I blog to help homeschoolers. Whether it be through a product review, an idea that worked for our family, or to offer some kind of encouragement. Once in a while, I enjoy writing about something personal, not directly related to homeschooling, but life in general. Keyword placement and SEO rules are thrown out the window, and I just write. This is one of those times.

During my daughter’s 10th grade year, I began thinking of what to do for her graduation…as well as my own little celebration. Lord knows we both deserve some kind of extravaganza! She’s not one that appreciates a lot of fanfare or attention. So, we don’t share the same dream of a huge pig-pickin’ with confetti, fireworks, and maybe a balloon bender, but I do know we share an adventurous spirit. I began to think of something special she and I could do together to commemorate this milestone.

I had an idea to cruise the Mississippi – from the bottom to the top! It was one of those things my husband or son would not really be interested in, but perfect for us. I began to check prices, and it carried a big price tag. Well, at least I had a couple of decades years to save….then 2020 came. Any and all plans came to a screeching halt. Then 2021 proved to be worse than 2020. The funds were not available, nor was I ever going to meet the health and safety requirements to board a cruise ship at the time, if you catch my drift.

I vividly remember sitting at my computer on a rainy night in April of 2022, thinking about her graduating next month. With no plans in place, I began to feel guilty that we had not been on the first field trip in two years. Oh well, at least the kids will remember I was a mama who stood her ground…and those couple of years we didn’t go anywhere but to the beach…sigh.

Then it hit me…like a pile of books

While I was updating my Usborne Book biz page with cutsie spring graphics, a big idea hit me. In our homeschool, we had recently finished a fun UK unit in geography, complete with bangers and mash, fish and chips, and a full English breakfast. In my little side gig, one of our slogans is “books are my ticket to the world“….(the think cloud is growing)…the company is headquartered there…and it just clicked – LONDON!

Knowing I was unable to pull off something that big in a short amount of time, I told her my idea. Of course, she was okay with waiting. I even turned the planning into an end-of-year project for her. Rather than writing a traditional senior essay, she would be responsible for planning the trip. Now that she’s been out of school for a year, I can’t wait to finally get the finished project, uh-hummm.

Restricted and Belated

Before making any concrete plans, we waited for all restrictions to lift. No surprises, like “you get an extra 10 days to quarantine”, or “oops, you need that card to get back in the states”. I believe most restrictions were lifted last summer, but I wasn’t taking any chances. The extra time allowed us to save more money, and this past November we took the first step, and applied for *three passports.

Check out the cardboard Queen! She was the greeter at a new vendor event I worked at during the holidays. How awesome is that! Could it be a sign? Nah, just a perfectly fun photo op!

There have been a couple of other setbacks, one being the recent coronation the same week in spring I was thinking about going! Wow, that would have been crazy! To avoid the summer crowds, I am hopeful we will finally be flying across the pond this fall. The belated gift for the grad will be worth the wait. At least I hope so! We’ve only been 966 miles from home, so if you have any travel tips, I’m all ears! Seriously, talk to me, I would love to hear about your experiences abroad! Oh, and we did have the perfect little graduation for her in 2022 – her way.

When a worldwide pandemic takes over your big homeschool graduation plans, you plan bigger!

* Traveling to London is not on my husband’s bucket list, hence the three passports. However, he’s the biggest supporter of my crazy ideas, and I don’t know how to properly thank him enough for his support. Oh, I know! I will thank him by not applying for the next season of the Amazing Race with him as my partner.

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