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

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

The End is the Beginning

My daughter had her last day of school on Tuesday, as did many children. However, for my daughter she wasn’t just saying goodbye for the summer, with the promise of returning to her friends and teachers again in September. She was saying adios for good.

She has been excited for our new adventure, and this day just marked the beginning. Gone are the rushed mornings where there isn’t time for me to enjoy a cup of tea while she tells me about how she dreamed she was Princess Celestia (for those uninitiated readers, she is a My Little Pony–a show my daughter absolutely loves); or to relax for a moment over our morning devotions. Gone will be the need to immediately get dressed, to rush through breakfast, and to separate ourselves from each other for the next six hours.

Will there be a routine and things to get done, yes, but the rush to get out the door every morning will be gone. There will be time for bonding and connection, laughter and smiles, and sometimes, just sometimes, there will be time to make chocolate chip pancakes and sing silly songs before we head to the couch for snuggles and stories.

Tuesday might have been the end of First grade, the end of the official school year, and the end to her PS experience, but it is just the beginning of her chances for learning new and exciting things. For growing together as a family, for growing together with the Lord. It is just the beginning of getting to know each other a little more each day, to playing outside, and exploring the woods. It is just the beginning to field trips and adventures, and a whole world outside of a large building where the student to teacher ratio is too often 30:1.

Is this as exciting for me as it is for her? Definitely. It is also scary, because she has so much FAITH and trust in me, the instant and undying belief that I will educate her and she will learn. This is the same FAITH I’m putting in the LORD, who I believe has placed this intention on my heart. This is the path we are supposed to take, and it is the path we will walk together, each step as a family, with our FAITH and trust in our Heavenly Father. With Him guiding us, we can do anything.

“For we live by FAITH, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

May the LORD bless you,

Sare