Our First Day of School & Other Surprises

We started school this week.

Okay – pick yourselves up now.

For those of you who know me well – you know that I don’t like to start school until at least after Labor Day.ย  I want a really long – very s t r e t c h e d out summer.


Yet – here we are starting school in the middle of August – before even the public schools have started.

What’s up with that?

Well…usually I’m up to my eyebrows in veggies to can and freeze right now, but this year the garden is really behind.

And…for years we didn’t have air conditioning and it was just too hot to even think – let alone do math.

But…mostly we started early because we have something really exciting planned.

I mean really exciting!

Are you ready for this?

In September, we’re going on a massive 10 day trip out west – with all five kids – and we’ll be camping.

That’s right – all seven of us for 10 days – camping.

But not in this RV – no, that would be too easy. It has a kitchen and an indoor bathroom.

No, that’s not us. We’ll be the ones driving a 15 year old suburban pulling a 35 year old pop-up camper.

Think Brady Bunch.

We’ll see the Tetons, Yellowstone and the Black Hills while enjoying the comfort and lack of indoor plumbing of a 35 year old Starcraft pop-up. It sleeps eight, is very clean and most importantly – it’s free.

Vintage Coleman Pop-Up

Did you notice that I called this a “trip” not a vacation? A vacation happens when you stay in hotels and eat in restaurants and don’t have children with you.

No – this is most definitely a trip – an epic adventure that will go down in the annuls of family history.

It will be a major memory making event and the excitement is building!

But for now, we have an entire week of school under our belts. Then in a few weeks – when everyone else is doing math problems and diagramming sentences – we’ll be hiking in the Tetons and watching Old Faithful.

Just one more reason to love home schooling!

RV picture courtesy of Michael Gil.

10 thoughts on “Our First Day of School & Other Surprises

  1. I am extremely jealous. When I was growing up my family would go camping every summer – at first it was in a tent and then when I was about 1 we upgraded to a pop up camper from the mid 70’s and I thought that was the best. You’re kiddos will learn more on that trip then they would ever learn cooped up in a classroom – I’m sure. (And I’m a teacher!)


  2. We started beginning our school year in August when my oldest started taking college classes. Everyone likes being in school at the same time and on break at the same time.

    I hope you have an epic adventure!


  3. Well you are not alone in starting school “early”. Here in Wyoming, school has started for some. I think it’s mostly the private schools and public schools start next week. I have started preschool with my son because we have a trip coming up also. We will be in a 17 year old suburban driving to Texas for a wedding around the 1st of September. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Hi! Thanks for stopping by Windy Poplars and saying hello! Your Perfect Tomato Sandwich sounds delish! You’re right…the best ones drip wonderful tomato juice down your arms :-). Your trip out west…what a dream! We just had some friends do that very thing. They did a pretty wide loop and took a whole month – what amazing pictures they brought back with them! I’m sure you’ll have a great time.-Travel is the best education they say!


  5. Hey Melinda~

    We are waiting until after Labor Day to start although until the past few weeks we have done school most all summer! Most of our books arrived from Rainbow this week so the girls are SUPER excited! :o)

    Sure wish we were going along on your “trip”! Sounds AWESOME!!!



  6. Melinda,

    You will have so much fun and make so many memories. Last year we took an 18 day trip out west. About half the nights we spent with friends and family. The other half of the nights we slept in our 12 passenger van (yes all 9 of us). It was tight, but we made it. We pulled a 4×6 enclosed trailer that was a blessing. We had everything packed in rubbermaids in the trailer. In bear country, we just locked everything in the trailer and we slept in the van…and we did manage to find showers available at least every other day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We made a huge loop with our first stop at my sister’s in Nebraska where we went tubing in a spring feed creek (brrrrr) and saw the tallest waterfall in Nebraska. From there we went to Rapid City, SD to see the Black Hills & Mt. Rushmore. From there we headed to Devil’s Tower and on to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. After 3 days there we headed to Idaho to see some friends. Then it was off to Utah to see the Great Salt Lake (and yes swim in the nasty stuff) & Arches National Park. Then we headed to Colorado to see Mesa Verde, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, & Pikes Peak. We had a grand time and made lots of wonderful memories (we also took tons of pictures). Have a wonderful trip!


  7. Grand Teton is one of my favorite national parks, and autumn should be a wonderful time to visit it. Although as a family we call our camping trips “vacations”, I personally call them “a change of scenery” because you’re right and camping takes a lot of work. (Cruises are a true vacation!) But camping is still definitely enjoyable. Have a great time and good luck with laundry day ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. I’m so excited for you! We just got back from a weekend at Yellowstone. (We’re close enough to do that!) ๐Ÿ˜€

    It was great, but I was wishing for a trailer. We spent one night in an expensive motel and one night sleeping in our van by the side of the road. ๐Ÿ˜›


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