Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Socialising’

Unexpected blessings.

We are busy. We have work coming out of our ears on all sides. In fact, we’re so busy, we decided it was time to get help of some kind. In particular, a lot of adminny work was being neglected, and since some of this is for paying customers, that’s not really okay.

As it happens, two of the young men in our Church have been on the prayer list since the beginning of the year, looking for work. One of them has shown an interest in graphic design and IT support (pretty much what we do), and happens to have his own, brand new laptop. Since the work we need to have done is mostly data capture into MS Excel, a computer is essential.

On Monday, we invited him to come and work for us on daily basis, and we’ll see how it goes. So far, it’s been such a blessing. A lovely disposition, willing heart and aptitude to learn, as well a good work ethic, have made it a pleasure having this staff member (so far :)).

Today he proved himself even more useful: as Sports Coach! I was horrified last week to discover that the government mandates two hours of physical education each week. It’s been worrying me a lot that the girls don’t get any physical exercise at all, but perhaps we now have a solution. After school this morning, Our Young Many (OYM) took the girls into the front garden and taught them to kick and throw balls at specific spaces. It was SO good for them. They had a blast and while I watched through the kitchen window (“making lunch”, I called it), I felt a weight of anxiety lift from my shoulders.

A few other little blessings have snuck their way into our lives this week:we have found a small, affordable, girls-only after care just two blocks from our house, where the girls can spend a few hours in the afternoons playing with their friends and swimming. Again, I was concerned that they weren’t swimming enough, but problem solved!

And finally, there’s a drama club across the road from our house. They’re welcome to join (for a VERY small fee), and the lady who teaches is a talented and accomplished actress with a heart for God. DD#1 has been begging for drama lessons for ages, and now perhaps her prayers have been answered.

What amazing blessings! All we need now is a ballet teacher for DD#2. I’m working on it.

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5 Home School Myths

Here’s another great article I stumbled across recently: http://www.parent24.com/School_7-12/development_behaviour/5-home-school-myths-busted-20090423

It’s called “5 home school myths busted” and it deals with some of the most commonly raised objections to home school that home school families face.

The number one objection we hear is the “no social interaction” issue. I’ve commented on this before, so I’ll just say that the girls are very social, and more confident than they’ve been since starting “school” 7-odd years ago. My theory is that in any school structure, each child is encouraged to discover where she fits into the group. She quickly needs to identify what she brings to the party, and what people will like/dislike. Often this identification is done for the child by the peer group, and from what I can tell, it sticks. So a bright child with a love of technology becomes the “geek”, in extreme cases even socially outcast. And while sporty kids can be popular, sometimes they’re labelled “dumb jock” and never seem to get a chance to prove otherwise.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer that we make our perceptions of ourselves and our lives. We decide a lot of who we turn out to be, and how we respond to others. But that notwithstanding, for a small child to stand up to a large group of people whose opinions he or she values can be asking a lot. Eventually what the group says becomes truth for that person.

In other words, your entire identity is determined by a bunch of 5-year-olds who’re still learning the basics of toilet etiquette.

On the other hand, here at home my children are free to explore who they are. They can experiment safely with a range of life experiences, and decide what they like and what they don’t. So my “girly girl” can climb trees and be a tom boy and see what that’s like. My tomboy scientist can kick a soccer ball around and decide if that works for her. No one is saying “you can’t” or “it’s not really you” or “what are you trying to prove?”. As a result, they’re developing a strong sense of self that is independent of the views and judgments of others.

Obviously this doesn’t happen in a vaccuum. DH and I have ongoing input, sharing our thoughts and opinions as honestly and lovingly as years of training (and therapy :)) allow. The difference is that we have their best interests at heart, and no one on earth could possible care about them as much as we can. This unconditional love (as unconditional as a finite human can manage) goes a long way towards giving them the space and courage to work out who they want to be without fear.

And the result: the girls are more relaxed, more confident and, interestingly, more thoughtful and polite than ever before. They’ve always been a delight (an answer to very specific prayer there), and now this is true even more than ever.

What a blessing.

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