Friday, November 07, 2014

A Break from the Norm

Sometimes it becomes evident that a diversion is needed from the mundane, everyday routine.  Don't get me wrong.  Our routine is a good one, and it works well for us, but sometimes changing things up a bit is just what's needed to add a little fun and adventure into the normal course of living.  Since the kids and I have done so well at staying on track with our academic schedule, and we really don't take any breaks, it was easy to throw caution to the wind this week and head out for some spontaneous shopping and exploring.

My favorite day was Wednesday when we decided to take a truckload of donations to K.I.D.S. in St. Clair.  It's a wonderful organization that provides clothing, books, toys, and other needed items to children that are experiencing difficulty in one fashion or another.  We learned about it shortly after the girls came to live with us, and they really blessed us.  Now, we make it a point to give back.  This time was the first time I directly involved the children in the process.

After breakfast and morning devotions the kids and I headed up to Avery's room to go through all of his possessions.  We took out a trash bag and small box of items to donate.  I had already loaded up the back of my truck over the weekend with items from another room I've been actively purging.  We added Avery's old treasures to the load and headed out.

For some reason I missed a turn and it took us a little longer than it should have to get there, but we weren't in a rush.  It was no big deal.  We still made it there in time for the kids to help me unload the donations.  They enjoyed helping.

Once we were finished at K.I.D.S. we found a local party store to purchase some snacks and headed out to travel the waterline.  We found a nice spot to pull off and watch the water and enjoyed our snacks.  Then, we traveled the back way home through the woods and stopped at a park for some fun time to run around and climb.  Bella's favorite is the teeter-totter.

The rest of this week we wrapped up our science and history studies and focused our energies on purging more things from home.  I cannot tell you how good it feels to finally have enough energy to get some of our house back in order.  With kids moving in and out over the past three years we have changed rooms around more than I care to remember.  It has caused some very frustrating disorder.  Step by step I am reclaiming my organized home.

As the kids grow and get more settled in our family they are growing more independent, and for me that means more time to do the things I need and want to do.  There was a point where it seemed they would never go off and explore or play on their own.  Now they play make believe A LOT, and I absolutely love listening to their exploits.  Sometimes they even include me in their script.  Of course I play along.

Right now we all seem to be in a spot where we need a little more freedom.  Play really is the work of the children, and I have been actively encouraging mine to work very hard.  It just seems like that kind of season right now.  It's a time for us to set aside rigorous academics for a more relaxed approach.  I guess that's why we're so good at being eclectic.  We may use a curriculum, or two or three, for this or that, but we can also flow with our natural rhythm as well.  Sometimes that is what's most important.  Aside from a strong faith walk, the thing I wish most for my children is independence and trust in themselves; their instincts and intuition.  Having enough time to freely explore, create, and play is essential to the end goal.

This week of redirection has renewed my strength and my hope in the future.  It's weird how some days life can seem so long, and others it seems way too short.  Recently I was reminded just how important it is to be present in the here and now.  Life is short, and if we do not take the time to enjoy it we will surely miss out.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so we should live today.


Stacie said...

Sometimes a break is much needed to get things done and refresh. It sounds like you had a nice week. I have been slowly purging things and donating them as well. I love being able to sit by the water and watch the waves. It is relaxing. My daughter loves it when the waves are big and crashing It's peaceful and relaxing.

Leah Courtney said...

I think it's great that homeschooling is flexible that we can do more of this play when we need it and more academics at other times.


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