Serving Mom

If there were such a thing as homeschool police, I could have been busted yesterday.

My kids did little to no school work.

I was in charge of a big activity for the ladies of my church and our day tilted towards preparing for that instead.

I feel no guilt.

Our lives shut down when Elle has a dance competition. The day is cleared. We spend hours doing her hair and make-up. Then we travel to the venue, wait hours between dances, and then wait some more for awards.

Our lives shut down when Crew has a baseball tournament. It’s all about his sleep, his diet, his schedule, and his energy level. We travel to other cities and spend hours on end at ballparks.

I figure the kids can shut their lives down for me every once in awhile.

Plus it’s good for them to serve me. This teaches them that I am a real person – that I exist outside of motherhood – that I have hobbies and talents too. And what better way could they spend their time than serving their mother?

My children also learn that we are all part of family and we pitch in and support and help each other when needed. We tilt together towards different people’s projects. When Elle had her egg drop due the evening before was dedicated to her. When Locke had a talk in church, we all listened to him practice it several times. When mom has an activity, we all help set-up and clean-up. That’s just what a family does.

EricksonFamily-122
Photo courtesy of http://www.devanraephotography.com/

So yesterday, the kids played outside most of the morning while my friends and I prepared roast, potatoes, and carrots at my house.

Crew made lunch for everyone since I was busy cleaning up the food mess.

Then Locke headed to school and the rest of us headed to the church. Crew and Croft hauled in decorations, moved tables and chairs, set tables, ran errands, and did whatever I needed them to do.

They did get some reading done on the couches in the foyer, but other than that no formal schooling took place.

I’m not worried about taking a day off from academics either. We generally school four days a week on average anyway. It just works out that way because it seems like every week there is either a holiday, someone is sick, we need to tilt, or we go on a field trip. We rarely have five intense schooling days. This week our break happened to come on Tuesday.

We have some flexibility because I am not under the same time constraints as public school teachers. I don’t have to waste any time on testing or walking quietly in the halls. My kids don’t have to wait for other kids to get finished before they can move on. And we can school all summer if we need to or on Friday nights or Saturday. All of which I have done before by the way. Last summer we averaged 2-3 days a week of half-day school. I loved it and the kids didn’t have the summer slide that is common among school kids. We can take a day off here and there to support me in my responsibilities.

The best part is coming home and having my kids genuinely care about how my activity went.

As I was snuggling next to my 10-year old son last night he said, “How did your activity go tonight, mom? I want to hear all about it.” He wanted to know who came, how the program went, and how the food was. I believe he cared because he had a part in the activity too. He has time and sweat invested, and he wanted to make sure it was a success.

Because the kids are home with me all day, they see things that lots of other kids don’t get to see. They see what I do and how hard I work and what it takes to pull off something huge. They see on the ground level what it takes to manage a household and a family and a responsibility. Everything just doesn’t miraculously get done by fairies while they are away at school. This perspective is a blessing to them, to me, their future spouses, and their future children.

I feel grateful that my family can tilt together towards important events, whether it’s mine or someone else’s. I feel grateful that we can adjust our schedule to meet our needs – that we can all work together and support each other – and that my children show me support and compassion in my responsibilities.

There was no school work done yesterday, but I’m okay with all that was learned instead.

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