Life has been flowing fairly smooth lately. I’ve been busy, with painting, creative sessions, website updating, business brainstorming & planning, home organizing & cleaning, and of course, being & learning with my boys. There have been some challenges, like keeping on course with nurturing myself and staying balanced between work and rest. There are so many blessings too, like the freedom to just take the day off if needed, without any repercussions of getting fired, or having too many absences at school. And the fact that we can take days off when we need to, means that when we are “on” we are more productive, because we are following the balance of our own energy needs.
Some other challenges are ensuring we all get some alone time, and also switching up the dynamic so that it isn’t just the three of us all the time. We do our best to balance time with other family members, friends, and meeting new people. I try to take each boy on a solo adventure from time to time if possible. Also, keeping to a basic routine can be a bit challenging sometimes, but also a blessing, because it means our basic needs are met (food, hygiene, rest, movement, etc.).
Now lets talk about learning. If you’ve read my work before, you know that I believe that life IS learning. There is no set learning curriculum that I think any of us are required to adhere to, although we can choose to. My priorities are that my boys learn the basic necessities. We read and write because that is how much of our world communicates. We do math because it simplifies things, and helps us to solve problems (like how many art supplies we can buy with a certain amount of money), and measure things linearly in our world. We learn about plants, and food, and cooking, so that we can nourish ourselves. We do arts & crafts because it fuels our creative souls and inspires our imaginations with ideas. We talk about respect, feelings & communication, because relating to other people is a key thing to building quality (loving & respectful) relationships, and something that our world is so desperately in need of.
And most of all, we celebrate that all the things we don’t know, we can either choose to find the answers through research, or we can embrace the unknown.
All of this happens throughout the day, whether we are making breakfast, running errands, working on a math worksheet, or playing at the park. The bottom line is that learning is a mindset. An awareness. An attitude. I am a very curious person myself, so I love learning new things with my boys. It feels awesome when we are all on the same level, trying to find the answers to something we don’t know. When we are together, I stay present with them.
Now, when it comes to business and working from home, the dynamic changes a little bit. When it is my turn to sit down and work (usually at the computer, or at my easel), that is the time that the boys get to watch one of their favorite shows or movies, or go play outside on their own for a little while, or work on something fun independently (like Legos, a puzzle or other game). I make sure they are well-fed before I sit down to work, so that they are happy and settled for about an hour or two. And if it seems they are just needing more of my attention, I will put off my work until a later time, maybe in the evening if they are more settled then. Sometimes the day is just so beautiful that they want me to play outside with them all day, and we might just do that!
It takes some letting go, and embracing being present with my boys, to find balance. When it is time for me to work, I am very productive because I know my time is short. Plus, I know I will have days when they are with their dad, and I can freely work then, or clean the house, or just relax by myself.
When it comes to running business errands, my boys are well-versed with the rules when we are in places like the bank, or if I am meeting with someone. If I have an important meeting someone, I will not bring my boys if I expect it to take more than 15 minutes. I know their personal limits, and again, I do my best to make sure they are well-fed and have water and maybe a notebook to draw/write in during the meeting. And otherwise, if I can schedule meetings for when I don’t have the boys with me, I will.
Those are my thoughts for now, the main challenges and blessings. Balance and freedom. Are you balancing homeschooling and working from home? Or even just homeschooling and time to yourself as parents? Or balancing school-time, and work-time? Living, learning, working, playing. Every family has a different dynamic. What’s yours?