Playing in the Dirt

It was easy to fall into the trap of scheduling every moment of our kids lives. At one point we had preschool, kindergarten and ballet, soccer and science clubs. It felt like the day was filled for them and quickly, I was so tried of it. They were young. Where was the play?

There was this underlying pressure that if they weren’t enrolled in all of these activities, the kids would somehow miss out on something. I had so many people saying things like “but won’t your kids miss out?” or my favorite when we said we homeschool now? “How will you socialize your children?”. The kids were little and yet, somehow there was this notion that they needed to be “busy”.

Or maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t willing to acknowledge the calling I felt to just slow down.

One day, I loaded the kids up in a huff and was so flustered about being late that I said things to my kids that I didn’t mean. I thought “no more”. We stopped soccer. We didn’t reenroll in dance. We let go of everything on our calendar aside from our jobs and farm.

The one thing I was grateful for from the Covid Pandemic was that a lot of our normal activities ended anyway. The nudge I was feeling to just slow down was suddenly socially acceptable and the weight off my shoulders was the best thing I’ve felt in a long time.

When the classes started again and things picked up, we decided to not partake. The kids have spent the last year playing in the dirt. Literally. These have been the days I had wished for my kids all along and I’m so grateful that we embraced it.

With it came grace. I stopped worrying about my parenting and gave myself the permission I had craved to just let their imaginations run wild. I decided that others opinions of my children and our parenting didn’t really matter.

I also came to this realization that my kids could never be unsocialized. Why? Because their parents are social people. Homeschooling doesn’t equate to isolation.

Our children have an imagination far more inventive than if they weren’t so engaged with real play. Their brave little souls create these advanced stories that have helped them grow into themselves. Play is learning. Add in things like water and you’ve also go hours of entertainment.

“The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters to be “socialized” is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child rearing today.”

Dr Raymond Moore

So, momma. My point. Slow down. Let them get dirty. Let them learn and be. When they look back at their childhood, let it be memories of their days spent making forts, getting farrrrr too muddy and just being little kids.

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