Some thoughts on what we do when we homeschool:
I've said here before, somewhere, that when my mother taught school, she always had her eye open for classroom pictures, clippings, anything that might not come her way again. My dad, a collector of British royalty memorabilia, did the same. Even when I started homeschooling, well after the age of photocopying, it wasn't uncommon to have people trying to pass on sets of prepared "ditto masters" for spirit duplicators. You might not find a reproducible map of the Hebrides again, you know? It was like preparing for a possible rubber-band famine.
Most of us eventually stopped the picture/map hoarding, especially when Google Image and all the rest of it came along. But in another sense, being a homeschooling parent is still very much about preparing, thinking ahead, collecting, storing--even if it's mostly virtual or just in your head. As long as you have at least another year to go, you stay in travel mode, looking at what's coming up next and thinking about where you might land tomorrow, picking up a basket of apples for snacks, looking up campground ratings, and trying to balance "getting there" with enjoying the journey. For me, it's been a twenty-year habit of keeping my eyes peeled at yard sales and liquidation stores; checking out online freebies; and looking at museum ads with the word "field trip" at the front of my brain.
Not so different from my mom.
And right now, although I still do have an almost-ninth grader (so we're not done with school years and all that goes with that), I am beginning to have a sense of finally bringing the suitcases in and unpacking.