Saturday, 22 September 2012

Keeping it Simple

We are a family that don't really fit the mold.  
We are older parents.  
We homeschool.    
We don't desire more, more, more.
We try to be as natural as we can, whilst living in suburbia and needing synthetic insulin to keep one of us alive, and thus the rest of us sane.
And yet every single one of these decisions sits well with me.  
I've always felt like a square peg surrounded by round holes, so making some of these life decisions have taken no time at all.  
No soul searching.  More a kind of gut-searching, really.
Does this sit well with me?  
Yep.  OK then moving on , what's for dinner?
Nope. OK then let's not do it/stop doing it, shall we have pancakes for breakfast?
I believe in keeping life simple;  both for my child and for myself.
Routines sit well with us.  
Time at home just pottering around the garden or drawing or watching a bit of TV sit well with us.
There are many activities on offer for us and Frank as homeschoolers in our town and yet we have taken part in very few of them over the past couple of years.  Frank has shown a desire for lots and lots of down time at home.  Time to play Lego, draw, paint, dig the garden, make chalk art on the paths, wrestle and, my favourite, roll around on the floor kind of aimlessly, often under the table or a chair!
Or even, as below, pretend to be a statue with his teeny tiny toy seal (Snuggly).

These past two weeks have been unusually busy for us.  Frank turned six in July and has been expressing an interest in seeing his friends more often.   We catch up with other homeschooling friends fairly often and regularly take part in Craft Swaps and play dates.
Formal lessons have not happened yet but something in the changes in Frank over the past few months made me feel confident in booking him a place on a trampolining course at the local Leisure Centre.  
So, after some quiet chat about how it's good to try new things and how he likes bouncing on the bed and how his friends love the trampolining class and the teacher, Frank was ready to give it a shot.


He loved it!  
Maria, the teacher, is wonderful with the children; encouraging and funny and kind.
Then two days later, we hosted a pottery class here at home for Frank and six other children.
He loved it!
And the following day we took part in the introductory session for an Arts Award being offered to homeschoolers here in town.
He loved it!
So, three new sessions on top of two play dates this week and we are all in need of a little reflection:
did it sit well with us?
If all these activities were on every week then I can honestly say it would not sit well with me.  
However, with the pottery only being once a month and the art every two weeks, we can take the trampolining on board weekly and still enjoy our much-needed simple times at home.

Simplicity is always on my radar but more so than ever this week as I have signed up for a Simplicity Parenting e.course with Kathy over at Bliss Beyond Naptime.
And with a delicious serendipity the course starts on Monday 1st October, the day after I return from two days away at a yoga retreat in Suffolk (my first ever retreat of any kind, and I'm not even that great at yoga, I'm kind of nervous but soooooo need it).
So, here's to keeping it simple.
And breathe ...


  1. Hey, you fit our mold! :-) I agree wholeheartedly about not filling up our days with all those commitments, and savor our time at home. It sounds like you've hit a lovely balance. Have a wonderful time on your retreat! And I hope the class is good; I loved the book.

  2. I've just found you via Hannah's site! You're not the only one breaking the mold!! We also home school our son who is now nine, he also has type one diabetes and is on pump therapy ( he was diagnosed a week after his fourth birthday, I love your comment about being a full time pancreas!) and I've read simplicity parenting and will need to keep re-reading it!!

    If you don't mind I'll add you to my side bar as it would be lovely for Benedict to read of another lad in a similar situation to him.


  3. ahh...molds schmolds. I love that you feel like you're breaking the mold and here in our part of town TJ and are THE YOUNGEST (you would definitely be young parents here, too!) and the most laid back when it comes to desiring more, more, more...I am so grateful for our little house, two healthy boys, and for the life we have. I am glad to hear you feel the same way on the other side of the pond. I strive to not be too busy either, yet, once Ethan decided sports (anything, with kicking, jumping, running, moving, going, being outside) was his thing we've been much more busy than I ever thought we'd be. I've had to allow myself to not be busy and know that is okay, I've had to continuously say "No, thanks" when friends ask for E or I to join ANOTHER sports team...I long for more hours with them, just playing and having fun. I've found a lot of it has to do with being introverted, thing that Ethan and I do not share in common. Anyhow, I look forward to hearing more about your fun activities with others. I'd love to know more about the pottery group, it would be great try that here with some kiddos. Care to join :) I wish! Have a great week, hopefully a mix of busy and relaxing!

  4. i love the dichotomy between the statue frank and the trampolining frank! i also love the deeper peek into your day to day lives. i always find myself feeling so calm and smiling after visiting your blog. :)

  5. This sounds very familiar - we were often torn in the quest to find balance between activities and down time with home ed. I'm so pleased that Frank found some things that he enjoyed, though - how wonderful!

    I hope your retreat went well - it sounds like something I need.

  6. I have missed coming to your blog. Things at our home have been hectic, as well. I love seeing your pictures, esp. of the homes in your area.

  7. Hey Jules. Missing connecting with you (though I see my wife beat me to it!).Our families are a lot alike. Hope all is well with you and yours.

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