Trying to homeschool boys while the sun is shining is like trying to corral stampeding buffalo. It’s not happening. Thankfully, I read this post last week just in the nick of time before I opened my mouth to yell at the boys to get back in the office for handwriting practice.
I wish I could find the post now and share it with you but it’s disappeared into the virtual world never to be found by me again. The gist of the article was to encourage moms of boys to protect their warrior hearts and let them play.
Whew. What a relief to this mama’s heart! I don’t have to stress about confining them to a certain space and being upset when they don’t meet my expectations. The afternoon I read that post, I stood up, stuffed their handwriting sheets back into their folder, scooped up a handful of chalk and we practiced our letters on the barn floor. And you know what? They had tons of fun and their letters looked a hundred times better than they did on paper.
So while I’m embracing change and celebrating the amazing characteristics and challenges of boys, I’m learning even more to roll with the punches. Like yesterday when I forgot to take a loaf of bread out of the car and one of the boys picked up the wrong end and slices spilled out all over the floorboard. I just rolled with it and without batting an eye, said to my daughter, “Blow them off and stick ’em back on there. The boys will never know the difference.”
Or like right now. The twins have decided it’s so much fun to take turns pushing each other across our new wood floors on top of the coffee table. I just rolled with it and stuck some furniture pads underneath it. Bye bye, scratches.
Last week I told my oldest son to brush his teeth knowing there was no toothpaste left in the kids bathroom. So when he replied he already did, I knew he was lying. Until he added, “With soap because that’s all there was and I knew it was safe because you always wash my mouth with it.”
Well, alrighty then. I’ll have to figure out another form of discipline when he uses his mouth the wrong way since the soap is clearly ineffective.
But back to homeschooling. We are still working/homeschooling in the farm office every day and it’s an experience, to be sure. All that wide open space full of tractors and dirt is like a theme park to little boys. Keeping them locked up in the office is not only unhealthy for them, it wears on this mama’s patience.
My father in law hauled a picnic table over to the barn for lunches but it’s actually working better for the kids to do their work outside. During our reading time (which is heavy with our curriculum), I let the boys play quietly in the dirt with their trucks and tractors and they actually pay more attention than if we were sitting indoors at the table.
So it’s working for now and I like it.
What are your challenges of homeschooling or raising boys?