As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All Work, No Play? No Way!

It is a beautiful, spring day.  Sun is streaming in through the windows.  Days like this seem to encourage a good learning environment, and today is no exception.  The kids have been beautifully motivated, and after a particularly difficult day yesterday it is a welcomed blessing.

People always assume homeschooling is a TON of work.  And while it is work, to me it's so much more than that.  It is an opportunity for me to learn with my kids, which I find to be a special blessing with the bigger kids.  It's a time set aside for them each morning, where I say to the babies, "you guys play over here for a bit - this time is for your big brothers."  It is far too easy, especially when the kids are old enough to look after themselves, to just leave them to their playing and be consumed with babyhood.  But, as I'm coming to realize, everyone benefits from putting the big kids first every now and then.  The babies learn to occupy themselves for a bit and grow in independence, and the big kids get nurtured in a way that, I am sad to say, would not be so intuitive to me otherwise.  I know there are parents who are excellent at setting aside time for each of their kids, no matter how many they have.  I, unfortunately, am not one.  I need a reason to not get swept away in the day-to-day.  And homeschooling provides just such an occasion.  It is a real blessing.

A friend described it best when she spoke about what quality time looks like for her husband and for her.  She talked about how her husband plays games with the kids, rough-houses, takes them outside, and generally has fun.  Of course, she has fun too.  But as moms we can tend to feel guilty about not getting all the housework done, cooking a perfect supper, and playing a game of touch-football all afternoon with the kids.  For her, quality time is sitting around the kitchen table with the kids in the morning, teaching.  And who says that can't be fun?

When you learn to see school not just as something to "get done", but something that is a joy and a blessing to be a part of, you learn to cherish this precious time.  This is not all work and no play - it is a unique opportunity for me to walk with my children, and be amazed at how they learn and discover, develop and grow into little people.  What a joy!

Homeschooling is not a burden of extra work.  In fact, in many ways I think it has saved my relationship with my older kids.  It sets everything into perfect balance, and helps me to be the best mother I can be.

My little learner

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