September in New England can be very interesting. Just when we think the cold air of fall has set in permanently and slippers and sweaters will be here till June, we get a slap of September summer with temperatures soaring into the 90s and swimsuits and sandals enjoyed again.
The freedom of home-based, self-directed learning allows us to take full advantage of September's capriciousness, heading for the water when the weather heats up and enjoying more inside time when it gets cooler. We follow nature's lead and build our daily plans accordingly. Sure, the children have classes sprinkled here and there, but, by design, these classes never consume more than a couple hours of our day leaving plenty of time to explore outdoors in the beautiful fall, enjoy time with friends, and head to the water when the warm days beckon.
For most families in our culture, September signals a return to tighter schedules, stricter rules, and set routines. For many homeschooling families, though, September can be just the opposite. Empty museums, private beaches, wide open parks to enjoy the late-summer sunshine allow for greater freedom and exploration.
There are some changes in September for sure. We reconnect with friends we haven't seen much during the summer, we settle in to favorite classes and hobbies, we notice the darkening evenings and shifting seasons. Mostly, though, September reminds us more vividly to appreciate this gift of freedom to learn together as a family, to follow the children's lead, to make each new day an adventure, guiding us wherever those September winds blow.