Helping Our Kids Find Their Calm

Today, my kids are cranky and fighting like crazy.

On days like these, their emotions tend to run high.

Recently, we’ve talked about them creating healthy boundaries with each other. When one of them is upset or bothered by something one of the others did, they need to be able to communicate without blowing up at each other.

So, we decided that we are going to read a book about healthy boundaries, together .

I’m confident, that this will be a helpful resource for them to find their journey to calm and peace.

Some other things we have practiced are:

*Me working on being a better example for them. First, they need to see their parents setting a good example of having healthy boundaries and communicating well.

* When they can’t be around each other without arguing, or if they are needing to calm down: we go to natural lights only. We turn as many lights off as possible, open up windows, and playing calming music. Give them their own space to calm down in.

*Calming smells- we use calming essential oils to help them with their emotions and to relax.

*Talk it through- sometimes, they just need to talk through what’s been bothering them. So, we talk one-on-one, and then as a group to work through the problem. This has really helped them to lighten the mood, resolve, and move on from whatever was bothering them.

*One-on-one time: sometimes, they act out and fight with each other, simply because they need some one-on-one time.

Helping our kids with their own mental health and emotions is important. How do you help your kids with their calm?!

Our Journey Through Life May Look Different Than We Plan

Today, my younger son asked me for “oils”.

We were reading a story, and his arm was itching on a scab on his arm. I asked him what he needed, and he told me he wanted oils.

It’s funny.

5 years ago, I stopped buying essential oils for our family. My husband and I were in Discipleship School at our church. At the time, I felt like I need to stop buying them, to make room in our budget to help pay for D-school, our trip that was associated with that, and our daughter would be arriving shortly after.

I had a huge inventory for our home, so I was ok with setting aside purchasing any more for a short amount of time.

Well- that short amount of time ended up being five whole years. We are finally nearing the bottom of our inventory. . . and it’s made me reflective of the past five years.

From 2014-2017, I was consistently using essential oils and natural remedies to support my family’s wellness.

But, when I set them aside, so to speak, I have noticed that my family asks for them more when I ask them “what do you need?”

This really made me think. . .

Because, I’ve noticed that a lot of things that I thought were going to “breakthrough” for our family while we were traveling- I didn’t actually see progress on until these past few months, since we have been home.

My kids encouraging each other. My oldest taking responsibility for chores, without being asked. My kids being excited about Church and open to bible stories.

Time and time again, since February, all the things I thought would happen ( because I planned it that way, so of course it’s going to happen that way) while we were traveling, only started happening all this time later. . .

After two years of consistency and space.

I know that some of these things may seem very small or trivial.

However, it just really highlighted for me- that we are all on our own time table in our journeys through life. No matter what that looks like.

We can’t expect things to happen a certain way, on our journey, let alone other people’s.

Life happens, there are ups and downs, curve-balls are thrown.

No matter what it is that you are waiting on, things will come together in due time- whether it looks like you thought it would, or not.

Homeschool is what you make it

A few months ago, I felt like I was grieving the end of our homeschooling era. But, to be honest. . .homeschooling started way before we actually started traveling and bought curriculum. And it’ll keep going whether my kids are in public, private, or homeschool.

I’ve learned that homeschooling can be a heart posture. It’s those moments that pop-up out of no where. The teachable moments. The trips that involve learning. The vacations with the history lessons. The practicing reading night after night. The life lessons every day. All the silly games your kids make up to practice the math they see in every day life.

Wherever you are in your journey with schooling your children, remember that it starts with where you are right now.

Take those moments, and see where they go! They can be pretty magical!

Nurturing your child’s strength, and allowing them space to grow

2022

2020

Looking back over the past 11 years, I’m so thankful that we have leaned into, encouraged, and nurtured creativity.

Whether it be playing in boxes, writing a book, creating a treasure map, or a board game- these kids know how to entertain themselves when they are bored.

One of my favorite phrases that I’ve adopted is: “It’s not my job to entertain you”.

When the “I’m bored” sets in, or the “I don’t wanna…” get murmured, or technology gets taken away…it doesn’t take long, and these kids are creating something.

In my opinion, one of the most powerful aspects of parenting is knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and matching that with nurturing your child’s strengths and areas of growth.

What aspect of parenting are you most proud of, in your family?

Homeschool: Shifting Thinking

From schedules to curriculum, outdoor play to field trips. . . Homeschooling has taught us to think about things differently!

One of the very first things we did was to take time off from learning.

We just played. Explored more.

This helped us shift to thinking about how homeschool would look different than traditional school.

We started school later than everyone, and we ended up unintentionally taking a month break. . . at the beginning of the year. We continued school throughout most of the next year, as a year-round school year. At most, each kid spent 2-3 hrs of intentional learning each day.

Our first year was definitely anything but traditional.

How did homeschooling look different than you expected?

Why we started Homeschool

I was about 18 when I realized that being a stay-at-home mom was an option.

I was 21 and student teaching, when I realized that homeschooling can include co-ops.

It was also in student teaching when I knew I didn’t want to be teaching in a public school.

As a Student Teacher, pregnant newlywed. . . All I wanted to do was be a stay at home mom. And I wanted to homeschool my kids.

It took about 7 years for my husband and I to find the same page, when we decided we wanted to travel full time and homeschool.

There are many reasons why I, personally, wanted to homeschool. I may share those at a later time. . . However, there were several things that were important to me, that I wanted us to have as a family.

Things that were important to me:

*Traveling more/field trips

*My kids learning about the world by experiencing the world

*Hands on learning. For my kids to have an environment that nurtures a love of learning. My kids having an environment that nurtures a love of reading.

*Us having a say in our children’s curriculum

*My kids to explore and learn about their interests

*My kids learning the skills they need to fly the nest: Chores, cooking, fixing things, finances, etc. . .

*Learning outdoors/outside free play and exploration

* And many, many, many more reasons.

Why did you start homeschooling? If you’re looking into homeschool, why do you want to homeschool?

Homeschool: Getting Started

Starting homeschool can be a daunting task. Just like any “new” thing you may take on. Wondering where to start? How to start? What will it look like?

For us, we were leaving public school. So, after the disruption of the pandemic. After the transition from being stationary, to traveling full-time. We needed a reset.

We needed to take some time off of “traditional”, to re-frame what learning at home would look like for us.

If you’re like us, and you’re transitioning from public school to homeschool. . . There are many things to do to “get started”:

* Write it down! Write down what you think homeschooling will look like. Write down what you want it to look like. Write down your fears. Write down what you’re excited about. Write down your obstacles. Write down your values. Write down your why.

*Research: Curriculum and State Laws. Different styles of homeschooling. Schedules.

*Find community. Find a mentor.

*Keep the transition conversation flowing with your kids.

*Take a season to play and explore, and to learn naturally, before starting curriculum and schedules. Especially, if your family is transitioning from public/private/charter school to homeschool.

What questions do you have about homeschooling?

A little encouragement:

Some days are hard.

You might feel the tension of wanting to get past a certain obstacle, once-and-for-all.

You might feel like you just don’t have the energy.

You might feel like you’re.just.done.

You keep pressing forward, and put one foot in front of the other.

Then, the tides turn.

You realize that the things you have prayed, wished, hoped, and longed for- they are beginning to unfold.

All the things that didn’t make sense before are beginning to make sense, now.

Y’all know that I’m BIG on sharing what I’m going through in the hopes that it helps someone. That if someone else relates, or gets hope from it- than it’s important to share!

Today, I realized, that so many things I’ve prayed for over the last 10 years have begun to come to tuition- even if they didn’t look the way I intended- or according to my plan.

Today, I want to encourage you- if you are there, in the deep of it all.

If you can barely see what’s ahead of you.

If you are barely surviving- and holding on. . . Keep on keeping on.

Keep fighting.

Keep pushing forward- because- if you pursue the things that are on your heart.

Man, things will look different.

I can promise you the timeline. That’ll look different for each and every person. It’ll depend on how much of the work you put in- but, man. . .

Where you see darkness, now- you’ll see the light and beauty, later!

Keep holding on! Keep fighting. Keep making changes!

Progress

Today, progress looks like my kids playing bookstore!

They set up stations: a bookstore and a restaurants.

Now, they are taking turns visiting each establishment.

Free/pretend play is so important for kids to explore their creativity. To explore social interactions. To understand the world around them.

Last week, we started limiting technology time.

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been in transition after transition both physically (which is to be expected when you travel full-time), and in regards to finding employment opportunities that help us live this lifestyle. During this time, we have relied a little more on technology than we would have normally.

Sometimes, we have periods of more technology than other times. I’m learning to accept that’s ok! However, it’s important to notice when technology is interrupting healthy day-to-day functioning!

So, when the kids were throwing fits and having meltdowns, we knew it was time to adjust our schedule, and re-focus them on how to handle situations.

Today is a small victory! Our house feels peaceful, once again- as my kids are exploring free/pretend play, while getting along, and treating each other with kindness!