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I’m not a gooey mom.  Other girls are so good at the baby talk or sitting down on the floor to play with young children.  Watching flour puffs plume onto the cabinets and appliances in the kitchen cannot daunt these mothers. Dumping a whole bucket of crayons to find the broken silver color buried in the bottom can’t faze these understanding mothers. Playing Candyland 100 times only prompts these sweet mothers to ask if their precious darling wants to play again. I, on the other hand, banned Play Doh until my kids turned 3 in order to avoid the mess.

But in my defense, I’ve really never been great at knowing what a kid wants. As a young aunt, I loved toting my little niece and nephews to folk music festivals or museums.  They really surprised me by not caring that the musician on stage was performing the songs he wrote.  All they can remember from one such event is the box of Dove ice cream bars that my friend bought them for lunch.

As my kids mature, I find that we have more common interests.  We’ve enjoyed seeing their favorite band in concert.  We’ll stay up late watching movies. We’ll read books out loud together. But as far as the everyday goes, I’m still trying to balance keeping house, playing chef, and pretending to be a gardener in addition to spending that elusive quality time with my children.

So what’s a nontraditional girl to do? Continue being nontraditional.

Homeschooling allows me to spend an abundance of time with my kids.  While others may naturally find ways to hang with the offspring, I need instructions.  How nice that my day is scheduled from 8am until 3pm with a useful game plan, because I can’t keep them out at concerts until 2 am every weekend.

We are working together every hour of the day. Breakfast time is Bible time. Reading time is cuddling time. Chore time is, well, it’s still chore time. Math time is when it is revealed how little their mother knows. Lunch break is outside time. Art time is make-Mom-batty-while-the-house-is-trashed time….and so forth.

But don’t think that our day is so structured that we don’t enjoy each other.  If you think that, then you are missing my point.  Being with my kids this much allows me to share myself with them better than I would if we were separated 9 or 10 hours a day.  Physically being with each other naturally provides those opportunities to talk about uncomfortable subjects or create a wealth of common memories.  While others have a tight bond with their kids despite the daily separation, I know that homeschooling lowers my handicap because I finally have a clue what to do with my 5 kids.

 

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