Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Survival: make room for a mess!


During the routines of life there are many things we all feel we miss out on. As a homeschool mom I focus our school time on math, reading, and writing. With a kindergartener and a first grader their attention span doesn't reach much further than those and once those are completed each day we need some free time to run, read books, be loud, clean the house, eat, and give the 3 year old some more focused attention. In a normal day the tasks alone can overshadow larger projects, or something as simple as sitting down and playing a game together. The past few months I have been sad about the lack of crafts, science experiments and family free play time.

We need time and space to be creative. It cannot happen in scheduled increments.

When the holidays come around everyone's schedules change and for most of us that can feel stressful. I have more food to make and it is more complicated and time consuming. If you don't homeschool or your kids are still at home this is the same for you. Your kids are now home for more hours or they are little and can't occupy themselves while you make an entire feast for thirty. There are more people around and more places to go.

This December we are taking 2 weeks off of school and my husband is home for most of that. We have lots of down time and project time and our schedules are topsy turvy. I desperately wanted to enjoy this season and rest well and play well with the change in our schedule. I wanted us to experience rest and joy as a family.

My kids always ask to paint. I pull it all out 2 or 3 times a month and let them get messy and then clean it up and try to plan time in our schedule or peace in my head to allow for the mess again weeks later.

But this year, I allowed space for the mess. We didn't need our dining room table for a fancy dinner or as a school desk. So it became the craft zone. I didn't walk in and pick up. I in fact didn't go in unless asked by one of the kids. I didn't have an agenda for what they had to create. IT was free zone. There were scissors, glue (I did check the glue caps periodically), water colors, construction paper, crayons, colored pencils and my son's foam building kit strewn EVERYWHERE!!!! It was on the floor, the chairs, drying on the window sill. They were pouring salt on water color to change the effect. IT was a total mess. But, they had so much joy. They were in there for hours each day for 4 days! They created things I didn't know they were capable of. They invented things and crafted in ways I couldn't have devised on Pinterest. They had complete freedom and I had complete joy.

Sometimes, holidays are for doing less laundry, less sweeping, more microwaved Leftovers!!!

1 comment:

  1. Curry, this is amazing and inspiring!! I'm so glad made a point to protect this space for your kids! When I was 8 or 9 I would paper mache in our basement by myself. Thinking about that now I'm like, we're my parents insane?! But that freedom was such a gift!! So happy that you are encouraging your kids in that way- what joy!!


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