Homeschool Teacher’s Retreat Weekend
This weekend, our homeschool group offered a ‘teacher’s retreat weekend’. This is the first one we’ve planned, and though there were just a couple of us that got to go, I’d say it was a rousing success. We had a ‘planned but flexible’ schedule that was originally envisioned as a camping retreat, but due to the weekend weather forecast, we ended up changing the location to a local hotel. That worked out splendidly since that meant we were still in town and thus able to hit a couple of stores over the course of the weekend.
We started the weekend off with a trip to a new scrapbooking store and take-out pizza and spiced rum. Our local library lost one of their storage buildings and so had a sale Friday and Saturday – thousands of books and magazines for 10 cents each. I took the kids out there Friday morning and collected a bunch of picture books and vintage magazines to cut up for art journaling. SFK & PB&JMom went browsing before they came to pick me up, and we all brought crafting supplies for the weekend. We went back to the hotel and spent most of Friday evening painting gesso onto book pages cutting out pictures and words to paste into altered book art journals.
We stayed up until about 3AM, and were up by 6:30AM Saturday morning due to the extremely uncomfortable beds and construction going on. Two words: Tile. Saw. Holy cow… they neglected to mention the construction that was going on over the entire third floor (which is where we were) of the hotel when we checked in, so when the saw started up, we got dressed and went back out to the book sale to see if there were any magazines left. When we got back to the hotel, we asked to switch rooms, which was a pain since we all had bags full of books and art supplies in addition to clothing, but the downstairs room was better – slightly more space and less tile dust to deal with. There was the ‘clink, clink, clink’ of a hammer removing tile on the floor above us for a couple of hours, but they comp’d one of the nights for us, so I guess we can’t complain too much…
Our retreat agenda included various meditation exercises, and we got to most of them. We did a nesting meditation that was slightly different from this one, also a guided exercise that had us coloring mandalas, then cutting them up and sharing them with each other. We tried for yoga, but the rooms were too small for us to stretch out effectively, so we skipped that part. Coffee and silence played a big role throughout the weekend. I was kind of surprised at that; usually we talk a lot but this weekend was full of quiet. I think that we’re all ‘on’ so much of the time that it was nice to take advantage of companionable silence and not have to be mentally engaged with someone the whole day.
We had a lovely Italian dinner Saturday night, then more crafting and wrapped up Sunday afternoon with a check-out in the freezing, windy rain, a shopping excursion (where I picked up a spiffy new blue handbag) and lunch at a Chinese Bistro. After being gone all weekend, I was expecting to return home refreshed, but the truth is that I ended up smooching my oblivious kids (‘Oh, you were gone all weekend, Mom? Weird.’) and napping for an hour on the couch, then letting my Loverly Husband make dinner and going to bed early.
Today was spent sleeping in a bit, then cracking the whip in my own general direction to get back on-task with school. We were all kind of out of sorts today; it was hard to stay focused on school work. We usually have a tough time getting back into the normal routine when there’s a disruption in the schedule, but we usually adapt pretty quick so I am expecting tomorrow to be better. Hope your week is off to a good start!