education, Fellowship, Homeschooling, Parenting, The Kiddos, Wisdom

Why I’m Saying ‘No’.

When people hear about homeschool, they tend to ask the question that every homeschooling parent rolls his or her eyes at. “What about socialization?”

Let me put this in perspective for you. First, as the saying goes, “I’ve seen the village, and I don’t want it raising my children.” Second, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know I find true discomfort being ‘social’. You also know that I ignore that idiosyncrasy for my children’s benefit.

Obviously we're an un-socialized family.
Obviously we’re an un-socialized family.

My children, but especially my seven year old daughter, have no shortage of socialization. They’re social with children at church, at Awana, at our local homeschool meet-up, and at various play dates. They interact regularly with both children younger and older than they are, as well as adults.

People who have never educated their children at home have a hard time understanding just how many possibilities there are to make sure children get adequate time with others. In fact, sometimes there are just too many possibilities. There is such a thing as too much socializing. Not just for the moms, like me, who find socializing to be more exhausting than manual labor, but for the children as well.

God has called us, as parents, to raise our children, to teach them, and to train them. While that does include spending time running around outside, or playing “Narnia” (feel free to insert whatever imaginary game your children currently find interesting–this seems to be my daughter’s favorite this month) make-believe with friends, that isn’t the only thing. We need to spend time together at home. Our children need to see what it means to be a family. This includes responsibilities,like chores and actual school work. After all, those bathrooms don’t clean themselves.

Normally, we don’t have a problem balancing socialization with our at home studies. Keyword there is normally. This week is anything but normal. In fact this is a week where socialization is threatening to take over our lives. With that in mind I think a cave far away from people sounds delightful. This is where the sometimes magical word, ‘no’ comes in. For both my want of a cave (no, Sare, you can’t run away to a cave), and for adding anything else to our already packed plate.

It’s okay to say no.

In fact, children whose parents say no don’t appear to grow up with extra arms or an uncontrollable need to brush their hair with eating utensils (I’m looking at you, Ariel). At least, not that I’ve ever seen.

Repeat after me: It’s okay to say no.

You’re not a bad parent if you do. Ignore that guilt. Your children will survive if they don’t get to hangout with Susie Q tomorrow. Especially if she already hung out with two other friends this week. Children need downtime as much as they need socialization. Sometimes, I think they need it more.

I’m saying no, because there is so much on our schedule this week we haven’t had a chance to enjoy each other. All our time together feels rushed. We ARE rushed. I homeschool my children, because I want them to have every opportunity to excel and to thrive. I don’t believe a person can really thrive when they are so busy they don’t have a chance to breathe, or process what they’ve already done.

So, I’m choosing to embrace the word no, and I’ve decided I will not feel guilty about it.

At least not too guilty.

In what ways have you embraced ‘no’?

Sare

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Faith, God's Beauty, Homeschooling, My Walk, Parenting, The Kiddos

Snuggles with the LORD

I don’t know if many of you have heard of the DVD series, “Buck Denver asks…What’s in the Bible”. It’s from Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales. When I popped in the first DVD and realized it was a bunch of puppets I was NOT excited. I dislike puppets. I was the weird kid who didn’t like the Muppets. In fact, I still don’t like the Muppets. I do however, enjoy these puppets now.

Each morning this week, after our one-on-one studies are completed, my kiddos and I take a break for some snuggles on the couch. We watch one of the thirty minute episodes (today’s was on 2 Samuel), and I smile when my youngest who isn’t quite a year-and-a-half yet, starts dancing on his bum. My daughter, who has seen many of these episodes in Children’s Church will giggle and sing along with the songs. I’m not ashamed to say I often find myself tapping my foot or my fingers to the beat as we all sit together.

It is wonderful to know that something created for kids can still entertain an adult. It is even better to know, that even though we don’t watch a lot of television- preferring books for our entertainment- that there are shows out there that teach wonderful things. This show has opened up the stories of the Bible in a great way.

I love being able to snuggle with my children while they learn about the LORD…

Okay, I admit it, I’m learning too. 🙂

Snuggles and the LORD…a great way to start any day. 🙂

Sare

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Parenting

Building Character One Tooth at a Time

My son is eight months old, and is cutting teeth. Of course, like with everything my son does, he can’t do it part way. He isn’t interested in cutting just one tooth, but four. He is working on having eight teeth inside his once gummy little mouth. Some times, this isn’t bad, but there are times when those tiny little teeth get the best of him (and me).

This morning, Boy Wonder woke up just shy of the 2 AM mark. A time not meant for anyone to be up. Even after a bottle, diaper change, and snuggles he couldn’t be comforted and would melt down in volcanic proportions. These things always seem to happen when my husband is away from home. He hasn’t ever experienced the all night wake ups with our children. That is an experience they’ve saved just for me.

So, there we were snuggled in my bed, him giggling and kicking his legs at the cat– who was inching her way to the pillows–and me humming (possibly whimpering) softly to him in the hope he would show signs of sleepiness, when it hit me.

I am truly blessed.

Before I started this journey, I wouldn’t have felt this way in the wee hours of the morning. I would have felt irritation, frustration, and sleepiness. Not blessed. It’s amazing how things have changed.

 

Yes, I would have loved to have slept through the entire night like we usually do, but in that moment the only thing important was the tiny little person God had entrusted to my care. This was reiterated this morning when after barely three hours of sleep, my little man once again became inconsolable. With a lack of sleep and a migraine, having already finished my volunteering in my daughter’s classroom, I came home to a little boy who couldn’t understand the pain he was in.

After much snuggling, the demise of my favorite necklace at the hands of an unhappy boy, and many meaningless sounds of comfort, my son once again found his happy. While we were curled together on the futon, the cries turned to giggles and a tiny smile formed. In these moments I knew, without a doubt, this is what life is about. Being with my child while he is miserable, to experience that one moment of joy when the pain lessens and he can once again smile. I wouldn’t trade it for all the sleep in the world.

I am blessed, because the LORD sees something in me that I don’t often see in myself. He sees comfort from the pain of teething, and a love that is unconditional.

Blessings,

Sare