Sometimes my heart just really hurts for children these days. Everywhere I turn, the world is telling them it isn’t ok to be a kid. With the rush for earlier schooling, more schooling, busier schedules, all while making sure they are “well-rounded,” it’s like the world forgot what it means to be a kid!
I recently saw a huge facebook battle over the fact that some schools want to impose a later start to their day. As it is, in many places, kids are getting on school buses before the sun is even up. And with the numerous studies showing that kids, especially teens, need more sleep there is a push for later school times. Yet the opposition thinks it’s outrageous. While many of the arguments were from working parents who need their kids on the bus before they go to work (still sad in my opinion), most of the reasons were because kids need to learn how to function in the “real world.”
The last time I checked, kids do function in the real world. But we are forgetting to let them function as kids in that world.
You see, with the faster-paced society focused on external successes, somewhere along the way, we have equated adults with kids.
But kids are not born little adults. They are born infants, who grow into toddlers, and then children, teens, and eventually adults. It’s a process. And it involves time and growth.
When we use the excuse to make kids fit into our adult lives and say it is because they will need to be doing it “someday,” it makes no logical sense.
When I birthed my babies, I didn’t feed them pizzas as newborns because well, “someday” they will need to eat pizza so they better get used to it now. No. In fact, I only fed them milk because that is all their little stomachs were made to handle. Then we moved up to baby foods, toddler portions, and adult portions when they were older. If I had tried to feed a newborn pizza it would have never worked and it would have been harmful.
We do the same thing to our children when we make them fit into an adult schedule because someday they may work an 8-5 schedule (which quite frankly, still doesn’t make sense, because many of us don’t “work” those typical hours either. Many of us have non-traditional schedules that don’t fit with the corporate world.)
I am grateful that we are able to homeschool and to raise our children out here in the simple life. I must keep my eyes focused on Jesus and our goals and not what the world says. There have been times when I have questioned my own parenting and choices and then I remember…they are kids. They are learning as they grow. It’s ok to let each stage take its course.
Today we were able to spend some time in the much-needed sunshine. My ten year old and I walked the property identifying animal tracks in the snow. He wasn’t just learning about the animals, but he was allowed to explore, be curious, and take time to just be a 10-year-old boy. He grabbed sticks, trudged through mud, pounced in the stream with his muck boots. He found a snail in the stream. He noticed the skunk cabbage is just starting (hurray for Spring!). I pointed out how God created the seasons and how magnificent God is. Plus, he was able to enjoy so many other things about our woods he just wouldn’t have time to do if I made him “act like an adult” and sit at the desk for a day.
Let kids be kids. I promise you there is time for them to be adults, and they will be productive, well-rounded adults when their childhood was allowed and enjoyed.
A few years ago, we threw out the curriculum and taught our kids for one year using the Bible as our main textbook! It was an amazing year, and so many have asked me just how we did it. So, we have finally put together an e-course that will show you how you CAN teach all subject from the Bible, and even if you don’t choose that for your family, you will be encouraged to always keep the Bible as the firm foundation in your homeschool! Our generation needs to teach the generation God’s Word!