One of the joys of schooling at home is the flexibility. Of course, sometimes the flexibility means we do too much, we are away from home too often or we forget that it is important to finish the work that we don't especially enjoy (and I'm not just talking about the kids, here). However, generally speaking, flexibility is really great.
I've mentioned before about our Advent lesson plans. We've stuck to them (pretty much) throughout this hectic season. Even though my boys are middle school age now, they still enjoy the trappings of childhood wonder: opening the advent boxes each day, arranging the nativity, lighting the tree, baking cookies and reading stories. This year we continue to read The Jesse Tree. In addition, as previously mentioned, I've added one story per day from The Real Saint Nicholas (you can read a portion yourself here).
I should mention that I read these stories to the boys. I've always read aloud to them. We don't do it as often as when they were little but we still share books. It has been joyous to share these stories with the boys. Of course, we've read the Jesse Tree many, many times. The St. Nick stories are all of varying length but all new to us. I wasn't sure how the boys would like them.
As I mentioned above about flexibility, this Advent season we've had many opportunities to experience together here at home and in the community. So, at least once or twice a week our read-alouds have gone by the wayside. The boys (especially Nathan) never cease to remind me that we need to "catch up" on our stories. There is no skipping of chapters in this house (maybe that's the INFLEXIBLE part). Mostly, I believe, it is from pure enjoyment. I don't know why this surprised me so much. I know that this shouldn't have surprised me at all. I plan on reading aloud to the boys until they leave home (if they let me). There is something so peaceful about sitting together and sharing a story together.
I hope this season, and all the seasons to come, you take the time to share stories as a family. And don't be surprised if your kids (young and old) let you know if you've missed a day!