Yesterday, we took the children to an aviary. Miss Puddleduck was most intrigued by the fledglings. Last week, I took the three older ones to an apiary, with some other homeschooled children. This trip prompted a comment from Son No. 1 the following day, “I respect bees a lot more now I understand how hard they work”.
The children were all commended on their exemplary behaviour and having just been taught how the personality of the queen bee affects the personality of the hive as a whole, one of the other visitors commented that the children must have a good queen! A lovely comment indeed, but I didn’t own up to the fact that they weren’t all my children.
So we have educated the children on the birds and the bees. Well done us! Actually…last summer, I took the time to do some pre-teen prep with Son No. 1 who has grown so rapidly this last year, he is now affectionately known as Longshanks. I have just spent the last few days resourcing ourselves on some good pre-teen and youth orientated books to use with the children as a spring board for discussion and wisdom sharing. I want them to enjoy their teens, with confidence and the security of knowing that we’re with them in everything they face. I love the way Tim is stepping up to the mark in coming alongside the boys and taking time to really nurture a good sound relationship with them. We’re prioritising this summer as time to do that, in preparation for Son No. 2’s move from the kids work to youth work at church.
I told Longshanks I had got him a book on dating (it’s a really good counter culture book, teaching wisdom and a perspective of commitment, faithfulness and selfless attitude in action with planning for the future rather than the moment) to read, but I just wanted to read it first to check what it’s like, as it’s not one I’ve read before. He’s so eager to read it! He keeps asking if I’ve finished it. Even though he is still young, I have no qualms at laying a good foundation of wisdom in his heart and I feel he’s ready for that sort of guidance.
It sort of feels a privileged position as home educating parents, to be able to prepare and educate our children on the changes they will face as they grow older at a time when they each seem ready for it, rather than the blanket approach they would get in school of everyone being given the same information at the same time. I know they have the influence of what they hear from friends, but as Daughter No. 1 came to me the other day with a number of questions (she had been talking amongst friends), I am confident they will talk and ask us anything they want to know of utmost importance. I intend to leave every gate open on that path so they know they can come and talk to us whenever they want to.
I think I need to adopt the “whatever you say, won’t shock me” approach that Tim’s Mum employed which means they feel they can tell me anything. Ok, I’m working on it!