Maybe It’s Easier Than I Thought

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Today was another one of those glorious days that you look forward to all winter long. Blue skies, beautiful weather, snow almost melted. Like I said, glorious. Since everyone is feeling better, I decided that I was not going to let this day go to waste.

After Devin’s art class, I took all the kids (minus Dillon) to Lehigh Parkway, which is five minutes from our house and has an amazing bike trail that I wanted to walk.

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We set off, and 30 seconds into our trek, the kids wanted to stop and collect some pine cones that they saw.

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I gave them a few minutes, then announced that it was time to move on. That declaration was met with a few sighs, but they begrudgingly trudged on. After a few more minutes, they wanted to walk up to the water and take a closer look. This time I sighed, but I relented and told them to hurry up.

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Again, I hurried them along, so we could continue our walk. Behind me I kept hearing little mumblings of This is no fun, Walks are boring, I want to play. I’ll admit that, at first, I was a little irritated. After all, I was doing this for them, right?

That’s when it hit me. I have been worried, more than a few times, that maybe my kids aren’t learning enough. More than anything, I want my kids to feel confident to pursue anything that interests them. Anything at all. So there I was attempting to quash their natural curiosity about the world around them, so that I could accomplish what I had set out to do. It was like someone screamed in my ear, “What are you doing?? Let them run. Let them explore. You’re breaking their spirits!”

I took a deep breath and let them take the lead from there. It was amazing. They climbed “mountains” (actually big hills), picked wild onions, and discovered moss growing on rocks. This led to a conversation about how moss does not need soil to grow. Bailey pulled it off of a rock and studied the underside of it. We talked about the root-like threads that were there that held it in place. He was so interested in this that he brought it home with him. They looked for tadpoles- nothing yet- and tried to identify animal footprints in the snow. This evolved into a discussion about how sometimes tracks in the snow can be misidentified because the snow melt makes tracks look much larger than they actually are. We looked for signs of new leaves growing on trees- also nothing yet- and deciphered between evergreens and deciduous trees.

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Eventually, Summer started to get tired and London had to go to the bathroom, so we headed back to the parking lot. They played on the hill there, rolling down the hill again and again. Finally, we went home.

Frankly, I was pooped, but the kids were far from finished. While I made dinner, Arianna, Caollin, London, Bailey, and Luke jumped on the trampoline for a while (I got a few jumps in, too :)); then Caollin went in and reappeared wearing a dress- Time to play Little House on the Prairie! Inside, Devin decided to try to make sushi for the first time.

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My point in all this? Sometimes watching and waiting for your kids to do something can be frustrating and worrying. You may wonder when something is going to happen. You know that old saying- “A watched pot never boils.”? I think it applies here, too. Sometimes the most amazing things will happen when you least expect them. I didn’t take them out for a field trip today. I wanted to go for a walk, and that was really my sole purpose for going out. I let my guard down, and BOOM, they decided to do that something I’ve been waiting for- when I wasn’t looking!

So if you’re feeling fretful that your kids seem to be doing nothing, my advice to you? Stop. Take a deep breath. Stop expecting things to happen. Just know that they will, and leave it at that. Because, sometimes, maybe it’s easier than you thought.

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

26 thoughts on “Maybe It’s Easier Than I Thought”

  1. I have done this so many times. Planned something for my kiddos and forgot to let them enjoy it their way.

    I love your daughter’s hair, or rather I love that you are that kind of Mom.

    Since I ran out of replies on my blog…that’s just crazy we could be that close! Homeschool coop? After and initial meeting, of course, to make sure you’re not, ya know, a psychopath.

    High functioning sociopaths, however, are always welcome!😉

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  2. This is a great message, stop and breath and stop expecting! music to my ear really! as mothers we are prone to nagging at our kids and being fearful things wont happen our way but sometimes when we lay back a bit…they naturally just happen! This was a soothing post to read, thanks!
    Marwa @ BlossomFamily.net
    Passing by from the thoughtful monday linky

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  3. What a great post! And I love the pictures, reminding me that spring is on its way. We did Botany for science last spring/summer, and we went on nature hikes three mornings a week. At first, I set the agenda, but just like you, I learned to stop and appreciate what they were appreciate. What was the big rush, anyway? It became just a great time, and we all learned and explored so much. We’ll be studying Birds this spring/summer, and I can’t wait for the hiking to commence!

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    1. Thank you! If you come across a bird with yellow feathers that have a black tip, let me know. We found one on our nature walk, and we looked it up, but I can’t find what kind of bird it is. Keep me posted!

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  4. I have NEVER regretted stepping back and watching my kids take charge of their own learning experiences– especially when they are following a scientific train of thought! Thank you for the encouragement. So easy to forget …

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