Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Weighing in the Balance

It was morning and I needed to get the kids going on their schoolwork. We had pushed hard all week, so there wasn't much schoolwork left to do. But I still wanted to push through a little bit more.

Unfortunately for my responsible side, my kids were playing spy club together and it was really cute. Loaded down with lots of weapons (you know, magnifying glasses, binoculars, nerf guns, and the like) they romped around the house and hid from the tickle monster (yours truly). I couldn't help feeling grateful that I can homeschool and give them extra time to play together and build happy childhood memories with their siblings.
It was fun to see them playing. But I kept having to wrestle my conscientious side into submission. Life with kids around is all about striking the right balance. When the house is messier than I like, I remind myself that they won't remember if the baseboards were clean but they will remember if I played with them and read to them.

When the house is too noisy I remind myself that in 30 years when my house is quiet and clean, I will miss this stage of joyful chaos.

But when they have to do their schoolwork, I have to remind myself that in 30 years if they didn't master a few basics, they will be irresponsible bums. Hmmm. Back to the grindstone.

Of course, reading, writing, and 'rithmetic are critical life skills. They must receive due attention.

But then again, loving relationships and joyful play are critical life skills, too. We don't receive grades on them. But if we were better at them this world would be a happier place.

To everything there is a season, 
and a time to every purpose under heaven...
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance...

Work and whimsy. Practice and play. Diligence and daydreaming. Grunt work and giggle fests. We need both. We have time for both.

The trick is in the balance.

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