Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Getting Ready For School

     School is due to begin for TheZoo in about three weeks! It's time for us to shift our sleep shedule, sharpen the pencils, adjust the back packs, and not get sick! Inevitably someone picks ups a cold during the first few days of school, then we spend the rest of the fall passing it around. Now that half of the Zooligans are big kids, it's become easier to keep most germs from spreading to the entire family, but we still have a few littles that leave a trail of virus wherever they go.
     It is my preference to rely on essential oils and herbal remedies for typical maladies. We make cough syrup with honey and lemon, we drink apple cider vinegar cocktails, and this year, we'll be making cough drops using a recipe from The Nerdy Farmwife.  Check out the rest of her blog. She has a list of cold and flue remedies, including Sambucol, an elderberry extract. I'm looking forward to using both items this year.
     Having more older children means that our education schedule is little busier. The younger kiddos can complete their home education in two hours a day, often less. The bigger kiddos, however, have more complex work, requiring at least four hours besides any dance, music, sports practices, or club activities they might have. While they aren't over taxing their schedule, it is a major change from from these long, almost lazy, dog days of summer. The school work I required from them this year was minimal, and designed to continue into the school year. It hasn't exactly been taxing. Just about 20 minutes at the start of each day.
     While I am always looking forward to the next thing, always ready for a change, I'm not ready to let go of summer. I recall feeling similarly last year. Autumn has long been my favorite month. I have always been ready for the cooling of outdoor temps, the donning of sweaters, and the crunching of leaves. Lately, however, summer has been taking over Autumns place in my heart. My children run and play outside, we stay up late around a fire in the back yard pit, or we play board games and Skip Bo far too late into the night. A couple of kiddos find a series on Net Flix that they'd like to watch, but want me to vet it for them, so we end up watching together, discussing that evening's episode in detail. Those activities will need to come to an end to make way for the things that happen the rest of the year. We will still do some of those lovely things, sometimes, but they will be scheduled weeks ahead rather than spontaneous. While spontaneity and board games aren't exactly my groove, the Zooligans enjoy both, and I relish their joy!
     Maybe I'll just schedule those game and movie nights on my own calendar, and offer them 'spontaneously' on that evening. Hopefully we all will have been taking our Sambucol and have a big batch of home made herbal cough drops on hand.

Happy Start of School to you all, and what are your favorite natural cold and flu remedies?


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