I recently read this article on the Simple Homeschool blog. It is a great read and a gentle reminder that I think all parents can benefit from. The reminder that our children are not living in a vacuum. That we, their parents have managed to teach them to walk, talk, eat, listen (sometimes) put on clothes (often) etc. Even as our children enter school age we are teaching them. “How was school?” (I’m interested in you and what you did while you were away from me) “What did you do today at camp?” (recount for me the events of the day, what day it is what happened at different times, sequence) “No, you can’t do that right now, first we have to do this” (you have obligations to this family and yourself that must be accomplished before we move on to the next activity)
Each day we are teaching our children the rhythm of living, of life, of the home. We get up, we have breakfast, we do chores, we are a family unit and we must all do our part before we can leave for camp/school/friend’s houses. We teach them about budgeting and goals. If you spend all of your allowance on a bag of popcorn at the Farmer’s Market, you will not have any money left for Elephant Ears.
We teach them about consequences and actions. If you run on the blacktop in flip flops while looking behind you, you are likely to fall and scrape your knees. And we teach them love and compassion. Even though you insisted on running on blacktop in flip flops while looking back at me and fell and scraped your knees, and didn’t listen when I said to stop, I will still love you. I will still scoop you up and carry you inside and administer band-aids that I know will fall off in a few minutes because they make you feel better and I will hold you until you are ready for me to let go, even though you weigh four hundred million pounds.
How easy it is to forget that we have managed to raise children for several years without assistance from outside sources (ie school) and that we have served as teachers and role models to this point. Our children our sponges and I’m pretty sure I can’t stop them from learning at this point. Each day is a new lesson, discovery, and most of them are completely unplanned. For instance today my children learned that just because it is sunny and warm when you hang the wet laundry outside, doesn’t meant it won’t start raining while you are at violin lessons. Lesson learned? You live in the Pacific Northwest, just because there were two days of sun in a row, don’t forget where you are! Wait, maybe that is a moral.
*Talk of the Town-Jack Johnson