Tag Archives: parenting

Night Owl Homeschooling

One of the many reasons I love homeschooling is that it lets my family work on our own night owl schedule. I am most productive during the late evening hours.

I worked today (my husband was home with the kids) and my kids spent most of their waking, daylight hours outside playing. But here we are, at eleven o’clock at night, everyone happily engrossed in their various projects, self included. I’ve been working on planning for the last couple of hours and as I look up and around, there’s a child drawing math problems on the dry erase board, there’s an art project going on at the dining room table, a documentary playing on TV and an impromptu mythology lesson in the kitchen. The house is calm, peaceful and full of activity.

Everyone will wind down and head to their various bedrooms soon enough. The 11 year old has already read a bedtime to story to the 7 year old, just because she wanted to share the story about the legend of the bluebonnet. Even the two year old is happily creating worlds with littlest pet shops and la la loopsys in the family room.

Having watched them earlier count by tens, correctly identify cardinal ordinal relationships, work math problems for fun, and read aloud to each other, I am once again reassured that they are, in fact, learning. That this is working and most importantly, my kids are happy and enjoy learning.

 

Having a Large Family

Want or have a large family? Worried about or tired of hearing people say you are overpopulating the earth?

First thing you should consider is that there are manybenefits to having a large family. From conflict resolution to recycling, having a large family provides many benefits to both the children and the environment. That’s right, the environment. Many large families have smaller carbon footprints than smaller ones. How is that possible? Well, first of all, there are many things that large families have found they can live without. From making thier own clothes or usign cloth diapers, many large families are very eco concious.

There are many items that you only need one of, regardless of number of children, luxury items like TV’s and video game consols are shared items. Cloths and toys get handed down and reused. Rooms can be shared. The assumption that you must need individual rooms, computers, etc for each child is an idea based on a materialistic culture. Children from large families have an advantage of learning wants from needs early, of sharing, of cooperation. Not that only children or smaller families can’t have these things, by any means. It’s simply that children in large families learn these lessons early through necessity.

Having a large family forces the parents to engage the children in all household duties. In smaller families, it sometimes seems easier and quicker for a parent to just do the clean up, for the sake of saving time and sanity. The larger the family, however, the less this strategy works. Most parents find that engaging the entire family in household duties considerably lightens the load on any one person and contributes to the child’s sense of responsibility.

The second thing to consider is this. In the U.S. we are currently experinacing declining birth rates. If you consider the world at large, there is an actual population decline. Yes, that’s right, a decline. While sustainability is definately an issue to consider, any given family that has more than two children are not really contributing to over population.

Large families today often face discrimination and hostility. Look at one of the most famous large families in America, The Duggars. The are often attacked and criticized as a drain on society even though the family is not on welfare and they live debt free. How many people can say that?

Big families seem to be making a comeback and there are now many websites and blogs dedicated to advice, support and witty remarks to give back to those with negative comments. You can even buy a t-shirt.

In the end, the decision belongs to the parents and no one else.Image

Parental Competition

How do you handle the “my child is smarter than yours” parental competition that crops up on playgrounds and in mothers groups across the country?

There is an amazing amount of competition among parents and many people see their children as extensions, or reflections, of themselves, therefore, they need their child to succeed to feel successful themselves. The problem with this is that it has nothing to do with the child’s needs and everything to do with the parent’s. For a parent struggling in a new role worried about doing right by their child, the pressure can be tremendous. It is crucial to realize that everyone develops in their own time but all arrive at the desired destination. When tests were done on early readers (age four) versus late readers (age eight) at age twelve, there was no difference in reading skills. So then why all the panic? Every child develops at their own pace. Children are not all cut from the same cookie cutter.

Want some good advice? Don’t play the game. When someone says that their child walked at six months, potty trained at eight months and was reading war and peace at age three, just smile and say, “Wow, he sounds really smart” or, “wow, that’s early”. Focus your comment on the child they are talking about and don’t volunteer anything about your own. If asked, use noncommittal responses such as, “We’re working on it”, “He’s focused on walking right now, we’ll get to it later” or “She isn’t that interested in the potty yet so we’re taking it slow”.

Certainly look into it if you feel that your child has a genuine delay. However, don’t let other parents or grandparents who are competitive undermine your confidence in yourself or your child. Just remember that you are giving your child the greatest developmental tool life has to offer: Your love and support, because children learn best when they feel safe and secure.

If you are interested in a developmental assessment for your child who is under three, please contact your local Early Childhood Intervention program.