I used to have a habit of putting my desire to have my children appear to have a full social and academic life before whether or not certain things would actually achieve any positive result. My oldest had made this habit way too easy for me because he would agree to do everything without really thinking about if he really wanted to do it. This type of living lead to busyness and looking like we had a full life, but did we really? Does busyness mean that everyone is happy and experiencing everything they want to experience? I quickly learned that evidence of my own impatience and any stress from the kids meant that we needed to stop saying yes to everything and really see if everyone really is excited about participating.
I have been able to stop myself every time I felt the urge to sign one of my kids up for a class or field trip and ask them they would enjoy it. I have also made a point of having less structured time and more “open time” for the kids to pursue what they feel like doing. Last summer, I heard “I’m bored.” so much more often. This summer? Hardly ever!
I was raised much like most of you where the quantifiable results that you can put down on paper meant more than what was actually learned. This is a very bad habit of thinking to break. Now I have gotten really good at seeing the worth of time spent doing something, even if it’s just for the enjoyment of it. If I have no set agenda of what I want to teach the kids about something, they learn so much more and this comes through their own curiosity and my willingness to help them satisfy it.
Yesterday was a perfect example. I had absolutely no set plans for the day apart from a couple of things on my personal to do list. One of the boys had mentioned on our walk through the woods a couple of days ago that he wanted to come back with a pickax and get some of the snow quartz jutting out of some boulders we found. Yesterday afternoon, the five of us set out with a small pickax and a bucket. We ended up gathering some nice chunks of the quartz and seeing some other types of beautiful minerals in the boulders as well. This lead to tons of questions the kids wanted answered that we are still working on! One of the boulders we found has so much perfect snow quartz along the top of it that it lead to one of the kids asking how much we could get if we broke it off in one large chunk.
I know all too well that if I decided to make a parent-lead teaching session out of it, I would have made them wait to get their questions answered because of my own agenda. Instead of me telling them all that I knew or researched then asking them questions about what I told them, I let THEM ask the questions. If I don’t know all of the answers, I pull out my iPhone and look it up on the spot.
Yesterday was a great example of how we live and learn the best! It was easy, peaceful, unplanned and didn’t feel at all like a struggle.
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.