Let Them Play.

I love to read.
It is one my deepest and greatest joys.

My husband, however, is not a fan.  I feel like I could even safely say that he loathes it...but that might be a little bit too strong.  Let's just say, that for him it is painful, while I could get lost in a delicious Read for hours.  And I do believe I have my Mama to thank for this addiction.
My girls.  Nothing to do with reading.  I just love them.
Growing up, my parents chose to (figuratively) chuck the t.v. out the window during most of my childhood years.  My Mama was cool that way.  Looking back, I can see that she often did things that were kind of against the flow of her day.  Maybe I'll write a post about that later, but she was awfully good at choosing what mountains to die on, and she often didn't pick the ones that others were picking.  She sort of marched to the beat of her own drum, which is one of the many reasons why I love her.  I want to be like that.  She noticed the issues of the heart, she didn't get caught up in the trends of her day; and she just sort of did what she felt was right for her own kids regardless of what the Jones' next door were up to.

She didn't push sports, but she didn't care if we wanted to play.
She didn't expect straight A's, but she expected us to do our best.  Our best was always enough.
She didn't load our schedules with activities, but she greatly valued "play."  Especially outside play.
London's version of "T.V."  The five wee Hoolies.  Her entertainment, for sure.
And because she wasn't a fan of us being lazy slouches and forgetting that we had God-given imaginations in our little brains...one day she just decided to put the t.v. away "for awhile."  I think she planned on having it be like a month or so experiment, but it actually turned into "my entire childhood."

Enter my love for books.
And for playing outside.
For nature, for playing pretend, for chickens and gardening, and for never ever using the phrase "I am bored," because if that sentence was uttered, then chores miraculously appeared out of thin air, and I suddenly found myself buried in a jungle of weeds out back in our behemoth side yard known as "the garden."
Planting seeds for Science.
I learned quickly.
I was never.  ever.  bored.
To this day, I abhor that phrase.

But, I also firmly believe that out of boredom stems some of my boys' most creative afternoons.  Once they realize that they've been given "the boot" out of doors and that there will be no re-entry for such-and-such amount of time -- goodness, entire new worlds of awesomeness are created out there!  They are mighty hunters, they're knights, they go exploring, they plant things, they "cook" things, they invent things, they build things....and nine times out of ten, I have to call them back inside for supper to the tune of my Jesse's "Best day EVER!"
Sick of waiting for Spring for hotdog roasts...

One of my greatest goals in Homeschooling - and in life, really - is to instill the love of reading and the love of creating and imagination into my children.  It's one of the reasons why I have chosen to homeschool.  I am in charge of the schedule of my own life and my children's as well.  I can say "no" to the tyranny of the urgent.  And if they are in "creation" or "imagination" mode, we can flow with it and re-arrange our day as we see fit.  Today Jesse painted all morning, and all three boys have been building and setting "traps" all over our property.  Kaden is into hunting...and skinning....and tanning squirrels.  Ransom is into cutting, and taping, and gluing....and all manner of destruction....And London is into eating anything that falls onto the ground from the table.
Skinning squirrels.  Waiting for Charlie and Mama...or YouTube to teach him to tan.
And I am into learning to let go of my to-do lists.
I am learning that it's okay if all of our work doesn't get "checked off" for the day.
I am learning to embrace the mess and the chaos.
And I am learning that "play, really is indeed the work of childhood."

In the interest of keeping all things real....I have not followed in my Mama's footsteps, and I do indeed have a t.v. in our living room upstairs.  The boys have earned and paid for their own Nintendo DS systems, and they get screen time every day.  When the kids first wake up in the morning, they are allowed to watch cartoons while I get my bleary-eyed brain on straight.  So, I am surely not opposed to technology.  Goodness knows, I love me my Blacklist and a good Netflix movie.  And there are many MANY days when I hear "There's nothing to doooooo!"

I'm just saying that I am fully aware that our children are growing up in a generation where sticks and bicycles, flying capes, and running wild and free in our big backyards are becoming more and more things of the past.  Where lives are dictated by the schedules of coaches and instructors, and where fingers tapping on a keyboard or game pad is the only form of bodily movement.  I just plan to do my darndest to instill in these four kids of mine the joy of "play" and the love of a good page turning book in addition too - or maybe even, in spite of - all of that. 

Call me old school.  Tell me I'm marching to the beat of my own drum.
I'll consider it a compliment, and I'll make my Mama proud.

1 comment:

mrscreto said...

Lovely post as always! I whole heartedly agree with the need for play both inside and out! We haven't taken the tv out but have one night a week for video night( usually Daniel Tiger or Dinosaur Train) as a family . We have a Mac mini so our internet works on the tv screen. I have said no tv/internet during the week. Which means I check email and Facebook during nap time or after the go to bed at night. They play and pretend! Sadly we sent our older boys to public school this year but with much regret. We can't wait to settle in a better job and housing so homeschooling works. Play for children and adults is so very important! I also love reading but find it hard to read as much as I like! Cretodecristo likes to read but it isn't his first choice especially after seminary! He much rather spend a day playing final fantasy or mine craft. It was a huge part of my childhood and It is huge with our boys! Hopefully God will make them strong readers and adventurous ! :) One day last week I looked outside to find the 3 older boys lined up on drift wood watching the tide pull and tug at their drift wood collection. They where engaged and loving it! How much as adults do we play and truly love it? Reading goes right with play doesn't it!!?? :) love ya