Sunday night I saw it was going to be 73 degrees here in PG on Monday. I didn’t really have much planned besides laundry and the regular Monday chores, so I decided to take the kids to the beach. I used to be a very list-oriented, planner-carrying person, but I’ve definitely loosened up a bit over my time as a Marine wife. I’m not sure if that’s completely a good thing, but it has helped me keep my sanity through many last-minute changes the military has thrown our way.
Anyways, I think it’s important to allow for last-minute alterations in our schedule. I think sometimes kids benefit from spontaneity. And while the most important items on our list are •have fun learning and •laundry, I think taking a morning to go to the beach isn’t that far from my goals.
The more I read about homeschooling and learn about the different styles of homeschooling, the more convinced I am that I want to above all, keep it fun. I really want to instill a love for learning and exploring in our kids. Not just in the normal areas of science and math, but also exploring other cultures and places and helping history to come to life. My mom did an awesome job of that. I hope I am able to as well.
We had a wonderful time at the beach. It was basically empty when we got there just after 10am. We met a couple friends there and had a great time playing in the sand and getting our feet in the water. It was nice and sunny and actually felt warm! A novelty here in PG. Liv is still learning to interact with others, so most of her playing involves watching…and watching…and watching. She is a little observer and takes quite a while to warm up. This used to bother me, but I am learning to just let her be. If she learns and has fun by watching then by all means watch!
I’ve been reading a new parenting book called Bringing Up Bébé. It’s the French way of parenting and it’s the first book I’ve read that truly makes sense and doesn’t make parenting seem like this huge, overbearing chore to be done. I will be writing a full review when I have finished it. I don’t agree with everything, but it has been very helpful to us. One of the things she talks about is just letting kids be. In our culture we feel like we need to be interacting with our kids all. the. time. That’s just not healthy for either the parents or the children. So I am practicing watching Olivia and noticing when she is perfectly happy on her own and then leaving her on her own. Before, I would start asking her questions about what she was doing or telling her the colors or letters of whatever she was playing with. Now I’m learning to respect her as her own person and let her learn to enjoy herself. By herself. Of course we still have story time (about 5-10 times a day!), and play together and go on nature walks. But I’m learning that not all of her day needs to be interacting with us. She needs to learn for her own sake -and ours- that not only does the world not revolve around her, but also that she is in charge of her own happiness and contentment. It’s been good for all of us.
The ride back up the big hills home was rough, but we made it! We had tried putting Cliff and Olivia in the bike trailer we bought used, but after a few stressful attempts at that over the last month, we decided it was better for everyone if I carried Cliff in the Ergo and pulled Liv in the trailer. It sure makes for an intense ride though! Pretty much everywhere we go in PG is downhill there and uphill back. By the time we get home I’m panting and sweaty, never mind the fact that it’s only 73 out. It was definitely worth it to get out. I had managed to get a load of laundry going earlier and we finished our morning chores before we left, so it didn’t set us behind much. We got a nice amount of sun, I got a LOT of exercise, and we had fun. And that’s more often than not, my goal!