Monday, January 21, 2008

Taking Time to Savour the Moment

Being at home with my children is something I've always wanted to do. Now that I've been at home for a little over 5 years, I can't believe how the time has flown by! I have a 5 year old, a soon to be 3 year old and a 14 month old. They keep me busy and with the rest of the time, I keep myself busy! :)

I am a former classroom teacher of 10 years. I now home school my children in a very eclectic, organic way. I want my children to not only be good thinkers and creators but to be positive contributors in our home, community and world. I want them to be gentle on the earth and find ways to live sustainably. Thus, my husband and I seek to model those things in front of them. We've read some really great books that support this as well, the one on my mind right now is Calm and Compassionate Children, a handbook by Susan Usha Dermond. The idea is that allowing children time out of doors--spending time in nature--they can learn from life around them calmness and compassion.

In being at home for this long (not long in the grand scheme of things), we've developed our own rhythms with regard to time. It's so nice not to have to rush around all the time. (We only have to do this with we engage others working on a specific schedule.) In reading the book, In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore', I again see the importance of slowing down, taking our time to truly enjoy each other and what we're doing! Children need time to just be (so do adults!)! This also frees me from a lot of stress!!! Yes, there are days we do have to meet deadlines and appointments, but MOST days we can just let the day develop. As they get older there may be more structure, but for know we "let the good come," as their daddy says!

I do a lot of reading, in the middle of the night, and get so excited about all the possibilities. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed with all the things I want to teach them, show them, do with them. So, I'm hoping that by sharing with others, I can pace myself. For when I share I put myself in your place and realize that there is only so much one can take in all at once and it remain meaningful! :)

Being outside is always good for my kids. We've had a 'regular' day today. I noticed after lunchtime (1pm-ish) that they were tired, but they didn't want to "move in that direction" without a fight. So I bundled them up (it snowed here and is freezing out) and sent them outside for 15 minutes. Yes, they all cried when it we time to come in. But after the 10 minute drama, they are all sound asleep! (Giving me a minute to write. See, you must keep your goal in mind! smile!) We'll cook dinner together this evening. I've promised the girls we'd make oatmeal raisin cookies. And hopefully have a good evening!

If you haven't read the books mentioned above, take the time to do so! I checked them out at the library. After reading the 1st (Calm & Compassionate Children), I plan to add it to my library so I can reference it as necessary. The 2nd book talks about all the different 'slow movements' taking place and why slowing down can be of benefit to us all. Again, just two books that are worth reading and learning from.

I'd love to begin a dialogue about what things you are doing to raise your child(ren) in this frantic, frenzied world. What things are you doing to slow down and savor the moment?

That's all for now...


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