This morning I took Caleb, Jonathan, Anna, and Grace to their weekly homeschool swim class. We got there about 10 minutes early, and they went off to the changing room to get ready. Another mom came over to speak to me whose little son was in the class that was finishing up. She mentioned how she had noticed how I had "several" kids, but that we were always on time--even early!--and I didn't seem rushed or anything. She just has the one son, who is 3 1/2 right now (and she is 36 weeks pregnant), but she is always late and/or fogetting stuff, and it is just so stressful, so could I share some tips with her?
Hahahahaha! I felt like laughing so hard! How hilarious--she has the impression that we are always on time, and that I am so organized just based on watching us at swim class for a few weeks! It just goes to show you really can NOT judge just based on limited interactions!!
Well, I quickly disabused her of the notion that we were EVER really on time, except in this one instance where I am bringing less than half of my children (the half that doesn't need much help at all getting out the door), and we only live 5 minutes away. I described my extreme frustration on Sundays, where we are *always* late, and I usually feel like I shouldn't have even bothered going. I told her that I was quite impressed that she was even attempting something like swim classes, being 36 weeks pregnant! Hey, if it was just me trying to get Micah out the door all the time, we would almost certainly be late every single time. Three year olds just aren't always that cooperative.
Then we started talking about homeschooling, and she said she was getting ready to start homeschooling her son. She has already ordered the full Abeka pre-school curriculum! I gave her the advice that my friend Suzanne gave me back when I was wanting to start homeschooling Nathan--work on character issues, obedience with a happy attitude, and lengthening his attention span first. Then other learning will be much easier! It's really not worth it to wrestle around with your 3 year old boy, trying to get him to do a bunch of worksheet pages. Let him be a child and just play! I said that was a huge benefit of homeschooling--not fitting your child into the holes a school environment wants to push him into, even if he doesn't fit them right then. Also, I warned her about comparing her son with other kids his age, especially girls (this lady's personality made me worry that she would be the type to compare and worry, worry, worry), since boys often have a harder time sitting still, getting fine motor skills, etc. She probably won't take a bit of my advice (I know I didn't when Nathan was little, LOL--look how far I've come!), but oh well. And really, would you take a ton of advice from someone who just told you that your impression of them as organized and on-time was completely 100% wrong?! Hahaha!