Barefoot by the Sea: Enjoy the ride

Monday, September 15, 2014

Enjoy the ride

With three weeks under our belt, it's safe to say we are finally getting into the rhythm of the school routine.  Our mornings start early, mine starts even earlier, at 4:45 AM. I learned quickly that the best way to help the girls adjust would be if I was prepared and organized every single day. It's just so much more helpful if we have outfits ready, lunches made and backpacks ready to go. I leave the house with Riley every morning by 6:40 AM. She is groggy and tired but it has been nice to have a few minutes first thing alone with her. These days everyone is so busy that we seldom get solo time with the kids.  It's nice to have the earliest moments of my day spent with her.  After dropping Riley off, I had back home to get Sydney dressed and ready for her day. She is quite fast in the morning and knows that if she can get dressed quickly, she'll have a few extra moments to play with the puppy, her kitties or look through some books. We leave the house for her at 8 AM. The different start times as well as the earlier mornings have been our biggest adjustment.
The hours in between feel like a whirlwind. Working from home I have my time filled with different assignments. It feels good to be contributing to the family but I can honestly say there are never enough hours in the day!  I'm back on the road again at 1:45 PM headed to pick up Riley from school followed by Sydney after.  I can honestly say I get excited to each and every day when they greet me with their smiling faces even though Riley has more of a sense of dread depending on the amount of homework she's been assigned for the evening.  After school the girls get some playtime outside if the weather cooperates and then we start our evening routine of homework, dinner, reading and relaxation.

Reflecting on the past couple of weeks, it's my opinion that the homework lighter after the kids have been in school all day long. One things that appeal to me about homeschooling is that you can really get into a rhythm based on your own child's schedule. There may be days where they're flying in math concepts so your day is more math heavy, other days may be more science-based and outside. Those are the things that we don't always get an opportunity to focus on since we are in a public school system. On one hand, my children have access to a state of the art music room and are learning from the musicians themselves and they absolutely love their art program and are lucky to have the opportunity to learn from such talented artists.  Still, there are days when I just wish we had more time to break, more time to explore and more time for them not to feel any pressure.
When I say "pressure" I feel it's starting to build more for my fifth-grader. She's determined to make the honor roll, this will be the first year or she's actually receiving grades and she studies hard to ensure she's doing the absolute best she can.  I just don't want that pressure to build more than necessary at the age of 10.  Because of that, as a parent, I think the pressure is on ME a little more to ensure she is taking the time to be a kid, to get outside and play, and to have plenty of time exploring her surroundings.  I think that philosophy is the one we're going with this year and like everything, it may take a bit before we get into that mindset.

I've seen my fair share of mothers over this past week and through the years that literally drag their children from school to the next activity, to the next game, to the next social commitment. You have to do what works for you and you have to know your child, and determine what is best for them.  I think it's so important to talk to your children, to ask them what they want to do and at the same time know their limits and boundaries. Know that they don't need to commit to every social engagement possible and know that just because they don't participate in something this year doesn't mean they will never have that opportunity again. There is so much stress on children these days and I think it's been building over the past few years. We owe it to our children to guide them and help them say no from time to time. They deserve to just be kids, to experience the outdoors and the seasons. They deserve to spend hours outside (or in) simply playing if that is what makes him happy!
So for now, the journey continues. It seems like as soon as we overcome one obstacle, we are faced with a new challenge.  I just want to ensure my children are enjoying the ride as much as they possibly can. They deserve that and as a parent, I feel that it is my responsibility to ensure that happens.

I hope you are all off to a great week!

2 comments:

  1. Great post Jess! I think it is so important to remember that our kids are just that, kids. These days they are forced to grow up so quickly, lose their innocence due to outside pressures and the news. Any free time we can give them is a gift. All of the activities get to be a little insane. This year we did not put the kids in soccer, but then we think, oh my goodness, we didn't put them in soccer, they will never be able to play in high school! But, honestly, is it that big of a deal? I feel like when we were growing up we had hours to roam, we didn't have much homework until much later on in schooling (probably 7th or 8th grade on) and we had the freedom of play, which is such a great way to learn as well.

    You are doing a great job mama! Take every day as it comes, and keep showing your girlies the joy of life, not the pressures :-)

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  2. I love reading about your parenting. I think you do an amazing job of being a great mother. Your girls are so lucky to have a mom that puts them first!

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