Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Staying at Home

I have found the more we are away from home, the more stressed our whole family feels. One reason I homeschool is so I can watch my children learn. And not just learn, but enjoy learning, soaking it in. There are many, many activities we could be involved in: homeschool groups and co-ops, sports, clubs, dance, gym, church activities, volunteering..... They all have their place, perhaps few and far between instead of crammed 10 to a week. But the more we are gone from home, the less these activities are enjoyed or are even helpful. As a stay at home mom, I have decided it is best for me to do just that: stay at home.

Our family ~ mom, dad, brothers and sisters~ creates an atmosphere that is relaxed because we don't have to hurry and get ready for our next activity. We create interaction with each other. Yes, much sibling rivalry happens, but there is also a lot of older kiddos coming up with games and plays that involve the youngers. If they weren't "forced" through the rivalry part (by being "stuck at home" for so long with "no friends to play with"), they wouldn't learn the joys of that interaction. As Teacher I spend more time on school subjects that catch interest, discuss readings more deeply, take the time to get out the timeline and globe or research via the internet. As Mom I take time to snuggle, read fun books as well as school books, play a game, let my kids help in the kitchen. I find when we have some place to be that day, or even someone coming over, those little things get pushed aside, we get done with school quickly and our atmosphere is tinged with a nervousness that the kids as well as mom certainly feel.

So to learn to say 'no' to so many good things that are offered. To simplify. To realize that our family is a golden entity itself ~ we do not need to add others or outside activities into the mix in order to make it worthy. A few good things sprinkled in become great things. And our home becomes a place of solitude, enjoyment, respite, and belonging.


amy in peru said...

excellent! I had to learn this too. it wasn't easy... but it's definitely been best.


amy in peru

PS. Thanks for submitting this to the CM carnival!

phillipsgirl said...

Thank you, Amy! I'm still learning. :-)

Anonymous said...

So right!! Continuous scurrying from one event to another to another robs families and even individuals of tranquility.
Carefully choose which things to attend (even make a big deal of it) and then savor/appreciate each moment plus the memory of it. Elayne

Jennifer Clouse Photography said...

I so agree. My boys actually are a handful if we are on the go too much.We pretty much stick to a schedule and spread the extra stuff out over the month. I feel a lot less stressed that way and I only have 2 kiddos.

rachaelnz said...

You're absolutely right! Life is busy enough even without those outside activities.

Erin said...

You are so wise, and your days are filled with joy and living:)

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way! I love being home, the consistency, the habit, the time, the enjoyment, the progress, the accomplishment. It is all there. I've been feeling so thankful for this lately. Great words.

KayPelham said...

I'll feel guilty sometimes that we stay home so much and then I think of Ma and Laura and Mary pretty much home all the time in those early books. My husband has even taken to running to the grocery store for us or picking things up for us on the way home. I told him I'm feeling like Ma and Pa Ingalls. Pa goes to town more often and it's a big deal when Ma and the kids fix up to go to town too.

It is a blessing to be able to be at home.

Nadene said...

We discovered this early on - to try avoid driving around and schlepping kids too and fro for extra classes. It seemed to be against the tide of popular parenting and folks actually told me, "You are not providing enough your children!"

We decided that even if 1 child showed enormous talent, we would not rush around, drive for hours, schedule and package, go in different directions and separate the family for the sake of extra-mural classes.

Thankfully, we are a family that LOVE staying happily at home.