Monday, March 31, 2014

Extra-curricular Activities In Homeschool



Why Homeschool? 
Discussing Extra-curricular Activities

Get Up.
Make Beds.
Feed Kids.
Scurry Around Like Madmen.
Race Off to School.
Repeat Following Morning.


I don't know about you, but I always disliked the mad rush of 'school' mornings, before we began home schooling that is!

One of the main benefits that all home schoolers will experience is this: YOU make your own schedule. YOU set your own pace.

For us that means different things in various seasons..

Sometimes we're up super early so we can finish our school work in time for an outing. Most days, however, we are up at a decent hour (like 7-7:30am) and slowly meandering our way into the morning routine.

Seeing as we now have the flexibility of homeschooling, we have started to take advantage of many extra-curriculars that fit our schedule. Also, that are geared to our children's unique interests. This is another rewarding benefit of this lifestyle: you are no longer learning to simply accumulate knowledge, but now you can begin to hone your skills.


Take this week for example:

tomorrow afternoon--> swimming
following morning--> homeschooling group nature walk
following day after that--> homeschooling group unit study

Squeezed around the extras, of course, is always the school work (our core). 
However, don't think these 'extras' are all a waste of time! Hardly, learning through life, nature & physical exercise are all great avenues of personal growth & development.

We've also recently signed up for a local Homeschool Elective class. Field trips are numerous around here, and can be planned around our family's interests. 

Art. Music. Sports. Library. Nature. Dance. Cooking & Baking. Group Learning Activities. Service In The Community. 

All picked out & selected with the intention of training our children up to be well-rounded individuals. By participating in a variety of activities, with a mixture of different people, you are going over & above the whole "what do we do about socialization?" question!

How many professions can you think of that only require you to read & write? Or simply count your times table? Most of the employment opportunities that our children will come across will require them to have competence in a range of talents & skills.

This is one of the reasons I have enjoyed homeschooling...this is also my children's personal fave reason as well :)

Question for comments: when do you fit in your family's extra-curriculars?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

~A Typical Day~




A Typical Day in Our Homeschooling World

Is any day in life typical?? And if it always was, wouldn't life be pretty boring?

In our home, we don't aim for the 'same' everyday, but instead we aim for consistency.

Consistency helps me feel like everything is okay. That my world is somewhat under control. The house isn't crazy messy, the messages not piling up, the school work collecting dust in the corner.

I realize this is only a snapshot of where we are at as a family now. I'm sure it'll continue to change as we grow & mature in age, and experience of homeschooling.



~Our 'Aimed For' Homeschool Schedule~

7-8:00 a.m. wake up & Mommy feeds baby

8:30/9:00 a.m. breakfast & then devotions/reading time

9:30-10:00 a.m. dressed & chores 

10-12:30 p.m. school work 
English, Math, French, Aim for Science & Social Studies
Younger Ones (6 & 8 year old) Work With Mommy
Older Ones (12 & 13 year old) Work Independently



12:30-1:30 p.m. lunch & break

1:30/2-4:00 p.m. school work & when finished then free play/gym/art/music
Usually I work with older ones on their harder subjects. 



4-5:00 p.m. free play, outside time, or even cooking/baking with Mom

5:00 p.m. Supper Prep

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Throughout our week we also have: group studies on different topics, field trips (usually a couple per month), art & crafts with other families, and in the warmer weather some hikes are thrown in there.


What is a typical day like in YOUR homeschool?

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

~Why We Had Another One: Our Story~



I met him when I was a single mother of two small boys. 

We had so much in common, and one of our commonalities was the fact that we both wanted to have a large family. I still recall one of our first dates, walking around a wealthy cul-de-sac neighbourhood by the local movie theater. The night was warm, and we walked & talked for what felt like a really long time. I said I wanted six kids, he agreed. I guess that's what settles things forever, right? :)

It was a short time later that we were engaged, and then married. Right after the vows were said, and the honeymoon finished, we began discussing when we'd have another one. My thing was I didn't want there to be this huge gap between our second son & the next. He was literally just adjusting to being married, so his stance was 'no rush dear'.

Over the next couple of weeks we talked, and talked some more, until finally it was decided that we would start trying. A month or so later we found out that indeed we had been blessed with another bambino!

So, our first year of marriage was really just the start of our juggling act. He had taken over the family business from his father. Me pregnant. Raising two young boys. All in the midst of learning to have a harmonious marriage. It actually went quite well, all things considering.

Our first daughter came to us the following year towards the end of July. I had a wonderful home birth that lasted less than 2 hours. I had never felt better in all my life.

She was a fairly easy going baby, and life continued to be pretty smooth. Although we had some stressful moments, there seemed to be nothing that could overwhelm our love for one another.

We then decided that since I was in such great health, and that the two eldest boys had each other as best buds, we would try for another babe as soon as it was advisable. It wasn't as easy this time to conceive, but after a number of months, we were pregnant again. This time another boy :)

This pregnancy didn't go quite as well. I had some minor issues crop up. I didn't get out as much & felt a bit isolated. When I saw people I felt very aloof. Hubby's job got busier & the pressures of the business weighed heavily on him. I felt that I was getting no time or attention from him regarding some issues in the home. Bitterness crept into my heart. I did fight it with the Lord's help, but it led to some very rough patches in our marriage...

After our son's birth I decided right away there was absolutely NO WAY I was getting pregnant again! I really pressured & pressured my hubby, until he finally agreed to get a vasectomy. I felt peace about it. We moved on.

As our children grew, so did the pressures. However, as my relationship with the Lord grew, so did my ability to learn forgiveness, patience & grace. Hubby also was growing spiritually himself. Soon things became to look bright again. I started to regret my decision about 'no more children'. 

We discussed fostering a child, and seriously considered it. I called the local Children's Aid Society. But, we weren't ready to have the home study yet. I didn't feel the time was right for us.

We also talked about adopting a child from overseas. I scoured websites in my 'spare' time & signed up for email listings of young children, particularly ones with disabilities (which is my passion!). Not much seemed to look hopeful there either For one, the cost was astronomical. We talked about how to save that kind of money, but we still didn't have a peace about taking that next step.

I would have dream after dream of being pregnant. I began to imagine what our next daughter would look like. (our firstborn daughter had a strong desire for another sister!)

So, after several years had passed,& after more prayer & discussion, we looked into having a reversal of his vasectomy. Again, the price was an issue. And was I ready to delve back into the world of babies once again??!

We had a few confirmations. This was one of them: we went to the doctor for a consult before the surgery. For some reason, he randomly offered us $500 off of the procedure price. Later the receptionist let us know that she had NO idea why he would do such a thing.

This time things began to come into place. Much more quickly. Some of our close friends were standing with us in prayer. 

I, for one, felt a bit nervous about the pregnancy aspect. However, I was so excited to move forward from my past fears & bad memories. We were finally unified and moving into fulfilling a dream that hubby & I now both had.

After the operation, the doctor let hubby know that everything was functioning the way it should, and even though it had been longer than optimal for these types of operations, he saw no reason we shouldn't conceive within six months or so.

We began to pray. And wait.

Almost nine months passed, and really I got tired of waiting. I just thought, well it probably didn't work anyway...so let's simply move on! I stopped thinking about it so much. Also, my cycles were becoming increasingly irregular, so the thought came to me that perhaps I wasn't ovulating much, or even at all.

So I was in this frame of mind, when one day I felt ravenously hungry. Desperate even. I am actually a holistic nutritionist (trying to eat healthy anyway) when I went through a local burger drivethru and filled my bag up with a whole bunch of food crap! I couldn't scarf it down fast enough, but then soon felt extremely nauseous.

In my ignorance I convinced myself I had some overgrowth of candida or some weird bug (LOL), but I picked up a pregnancy test to ensure I ruled it out. Hubby & I were actually wide-eyed and shocked when it said YES! Weird that we would be shocked after such an operation. But remember, that for nine months no action seemed to be happening. We had by this point really began to think that nothing WOULD happen without some intervention

I forgot to throw in another neat tidbit of encouragement. Our firstborn daughter had prayed a simple prayer of faith earlier in the year: "God, please send me a baby sister by Christmas". She prayed it over & over again.

I told her to let it go, and that sometimes God's desires & timing don't always match ours. I told her we may not have another child, or it may take a long time. I had even by this point seen the doctor to see if we should pursue fertility 'help', while all she recommended is that we both get tested. I had thankfully put that on hold.

Then, lo & behold we were expecting!!!

Nine months have come & gone, and even though there were times I despised my body a lot during this pregnancy (for me it has gotten harder as I have aged a wee bit) I rejoiced SO, SO very much when I finally got to hold this precious little one in my arms:) 


Are we going to have any more?

 We're not completely sold on that idea at this point. But I don't regret all the decisions we made to bring us to where we are now.

 Would I have done things differently, now that I can look back? Yes, I probably would. 

But who's to say what we would have done. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I am so thankful for another precious life that joined our family
. She brings joy to our hearts. She brings smiles to the kids' faces. She is one of us :)


Saturday, March 22, 2014

~Why Health is Really Just One Decision At a Time & a FUN FOOD Post Round Up~



Nutrition is my hobby. It is the subject that I easily stay up at night reading. It has become my 'side job' as a self-employed Holistic Nutritionist. It is one of my passions.

I recently started a monthly women's health support group.
 It is made up of such a fun group of women, who like myself, enjoy chatting with one another in the area of health. Women, who are being real, and vulnerable, and ready to put away the excuses & move forward together as a team! 

Bonus: it has become a new motivator for ME to continue to press forward in this area :)

Yet, like many others, it is still an area that I am overcoming. One small baby step at a time.

I recently gave birth to baby #5. She is a beautiful blessing... but, boy oh boy, did I gain weight during the pregnancy! I stopped counting once I gained about 50 lbs!!! 

So now, it's back to square one, & I'm facing my #1 enemy in the mirror: my own self-doubt...

It seems TOO overwhelming, too big of a goal, too much to change, too hard, etc. etc.

I have to shut up all these self-doubts, DAILY, and then continue each day to make a choice for health.


Exercise. Eat Healthier. Repeat.

That is the only way to get anywhere in your health journey ...
one small step at a time. Don't quit!

~Food Post Round Up~

Here are some goodies that you may have missed...enjoy these nutritious recipes!





EASY Banana Pancakes! Paleo-diet Friendly

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~SOCIAL MEDIA SUNDAY!!! LINK-UP~

Social Media Sunday link up
<div align="center"><a href="http://fromabcstoacts.com/" title="From ABC's to ACT's"><img src="http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y311/abcstoacts/SMS225_zpsb70454fc.jpg" alt="Social Media Sunday-From ABC's to ACT's" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

It's that time again friends! Time for another Social Media Sunday!

SMS Hosts.jpg

homeschooling toddlers and preschoolers Amber @ From ABC's to ACT's

200x200.jpg~original Michelle @ The MaMade Diaries

grabbutton_zps15e5fda0 Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures

unnamed Teresa @ Crafty Wife

button2pm_zpsa9f567c7 Penny @ The Real Housewife of Caroline County

Guest Hosts

lifeasmommy Stephanie @ Life as a Mommy

Serenity You button for Social Media Sunday blog hop Natasha @ Serenity You

Slightly Hippie Housewife of Suburbia button for Social Media Sunday on From ABC's to ACT's Ruby @ Slightly Hippie Housewife of Suburbia

Diamonds in the Rough for Social Media Sunday Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough

Would you like to guest host?

Just fill out this form and Amber will email you to get you scheduled!

SMSrules

As you know Social Media Sundays are a place for you to connect with other bloggers in as many ways as possible, since meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!

The rules are simple!

Follow your hosts and guest hosts and leave a comment letting us know so that we can follow you back.

Grab the button and spread the word, the more the merrier!

Get to hopping! Check out your fellow bloggers and make a new friend or two!

Most importantly, have FUN!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

~Nourishing Brown Rice Pudding~



Made this for one of my health parties last night: had quite a few asking for the recipe, so here' goes!


"Nourishing Brown Rice Pudding"

~Ingredients~

Cooked Brown Rice (full pot)

Raw Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds (1/2 cup or more)

Raisins (or Dried Cranberries) (1/3 cup or more)

Cinnamon (approx. 1 heaping teaspoon)

Coconut Milk (1 can or 1/3 carton; could sub in unsweetened almond milk)

Option to Sweeten--> either Raw Agave Syrup OR Raw Honey 
***you could eat it on it's own OR use only 1/4 cup or less of sweetener



Heat Oven to 200 degrees. As heating, fill one large cooking pan (or Cornware) with brown rice.
Mix in 1/2 of coconut milk. Add in cinnamon, pumpkin seeds & raisins. Stir up altogether. 
Cook for approx. 30-40 mins, or until heated throughout. Take out of oven& mix in rest of coconut milk til desired consistency. Mix in sweetener while still a bit warm. Let stand until nice & fluffy! Enjoy :)

*optional: could serve alongside some homemade apple sauce





***To Make Good Homemade Brown Rice***

Use one bag of regular brown rice. Night before, soak in filtered water on counter. Make sure to add in 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice (pure yogurt can sub in here too). Cover bowl so nothing gets in.
Next day (or a few hours later, if you're short on time) add in some more water & cook on stove top (Note: you can rinse off if you prefer as well). Boil water with rice on stove top, and then lower to a simmer. Make sure to keep adding in water ~if needed~as brown rice will suck up a lot of moisture. Cooks in about 40 minutes or so. Will be cooked when no longer hard & 'crunchy'.

Tip: double, triple or quadruple your brown rice! Cooked brown rice can be divided into containers once cooled, and stored in freezer for easy meals later.




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Friday, March 14, 2014

~"Your Marriage is Worth Fighting For" & a Marriage Post Round Up~





I slammed the door in hopes that he would notice me...
I certainly was feeling justified in my anger.

The frustration had been welling up in me for so long: I couldn't understand how he couldn't understand MY point of view! My points, that I had always believed, that were 100% correct!

He withdrew his emotions for the duration of the evening. Only spoke when he had to.

Later, the kids retire and off to bed. Then the back & forth banter continues.

Once the tears are spent, I now face myself in the mirror. Why Lord? Why can't he see MY way?!

The situation above may happen every once in a while . For others, it could be a daily occurrence. 

However, don't think this is a new 'phenomenon'! 

I am convinced that ever since Adam & Eve first sinned, the potential for strife between ANY two people has been there. Especially a relationship that is as intimate, as marriage is.

*For interest's sake, and if you don't believe me, you should read this author's take on famed Martin Luther's marriage to Katherine (former nun)--> Marriage As a School of Character

Let me finish the above 'squabble' lest you think that my hubby & I are still in the 'dog house' with one another!!!

First the emotions subside, and the conviction begins...over the years we've both learned the 'art' of reaching out to the other. His fav way to connect with me is through laughter: all he has to do is get me to crack a smile & I'm toast to 'winning' my argument! It reminds me of how my father used to do the very same thing when I was a little girl (having a fit over some thing or another). Yes, it always works :)

If hubby doesn't feel up to that, usually by this point I'll have had some time to think or pray. Then I (usually) approach him asking if we can talk. He is (most of the time) all too eager to make amends about whatever the issue was...most of them seem small. Insignificant. Petty. At least when reflected upon later.

Then, as married people all know, it's time to make up & move on! 
If you don't, then quite frankly, the 'walls' will continue to build up & up... becoming all that much harder to break down later.

~A Marriage Reminder for Today~

Marriage is a covenant,
Between two people who have been brought together by love.
They may not FEEL that love all the time,
Nonetheless, it is a CHOICE to honor God & that other person.
It is a choice that is NOT always easy,
However, the Lord will give us strength to fulfill our commitment,
And to find JOY in the journey!


Marriage Post Round Up; did you miss any of these inspiring posts?

Learning Through Our Mistakes (& it's all about doing the growing TOGETHER!)

"Frugal & Fancy" (touching on the financial side of things)

Messy Marriage (why it's REALLY worth fighting through the 'hard' stuff)

Boy Meets Girl (single mom with 2 kids finds second chance love...yes, that's me!)

Grateful for My Hubby (from "Yes They Are All Ours") & A Marriage Post Link-Up

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

~"Savor The Moment" & a Parenting Post Round-Up~



I gave birth to our latest treasure only 4 months ago...

Here's where we announced the little bean was on her way: and I wanted 8 pickles!

Grace-Ann is child number 5 in the DeBruin household, and we have been OH SO blessed!!! 

I have to say, the absolute BEST part of having her around, is how she interacts with everyone.

The cooing, the smiles, the 'raspberries' :)

Question of the day: how easily do we miss these special "SAVORY" moments? I almost missed this one...

Okay, now for a "Parenting Post Round-Up"

Here's 5 posts touching on a variety of parenting topics (I.e. raising up fun & strong young men, some family night movie picks, getting through those 'tough' Mommy/Daddy seasons, & a post where I share my Mommy heart). 

Enjoy!








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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

~When Parenting Gets Very, Very "Hard"~

"A Fall Hike Photo Op"


So often our parenting journey is a blend of the good, the awesome and the extremely challenging...

"You know the only people who are always 

sure about the proper way to raise children? 

Those who’ve never had any." --Bill 

Cosby, Fatherhood

I cannot recount to you the number of times I've experienced pure elation as a parent...the moments where I've felt the proverbial 'pat on the back' , all in an instant where my child has 'performed' well.

The moment where you sense that your 'blood, sweat & tears' have culminated together to bring about this particular success in parenting. Yes, I am truly an 'amazing' parent.

However, during other seasons of my life, those moments have felt far & few between. It's not that they weren't there...it was that they felt outweighed by other more 'trying' experiences. 

The truth is this: more than likely, as a parent, you will go through seasons of difficulties. 
Trials...tribulations...and bumpy travels.

These challenges can originate from a variety of sources:

-perhaps a child is seriously ill 

-a child could be facing intense outside pressures that are, in turn, causing family tension

-sibling rivalry has invaded your home & you can't see an end in sight

-severe financial pressures are handicapping your parenting abilities

-a child is involved with seriously harmful behaviour (addictions, unhealthy relationships, etc.)

-your marriage is falling apart, & in response the kids are acting out

You fill in the blanks with whatever could be happening in YOUR family!

"Making the decision to have a child — it’s 

momentous. It is to decide forever to have your 

heart go walking around outside your body." 

--by Elizabeth Stone, appeared in Reader’s 

Digest

It doesn't matter WHAT the issue really is...the decision is now how YOU are going to deal with the fall-out...

How will you face this?? How will you find your way once again?

I've been there...in some of the above mentioned situations.

I've experienced days where I seriously contemplated putting the kids up for adoption! 
....my hubby pointed out that not many families would take that big a sibling group :)

Okay, so to be honest, I knew that WASN'T the way out...AND it. never. really. is.

~Copping out is never the answer to ANY of 

life's problems~

In those difficult seasons, the answer lies in NOT giving up. It lies in getting back to this reality: our child is hurting in some way, shape or form AND we need to see things from their perspective to start the path of healing...

Can we take the time to try & see life through their eyes? Just for one moment...


I had to face the moment head on...sometimes you JUST need to 'stop the noise' & reflect.

For me that meant:

Crying out to the Lord for wisdom, direction & HELP! 
(see Proverbs 3: 5/6, James 1: 5)

Asking others to help me...

Looking for prayer, practical help, and encouragement...

Searching out quality 'outside' opinions to see what was really going on..

Sometimes life has a way of getting to you. Especially when we're talking about our call to parent, that oh so gut-wrenching, soul challenging, life-long 'calling'...

 A calling that can quickly break the confidence of the best of èm...

"We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models - most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out. "
~Josh McDowell

I won't pretend to have all the 'right' answers for your particular situation. Pat answers that merely rub your face in a circumstance that feels like an epic parenting 'failure'. 

~However, I will share 5 questions to ask yourself in this season~

Five reflective questions to help get you through; here goes-->

~Are you taking care of yourself spiritually? 

In other words, if you are not being refueled than you will 'burn' out fairly quickly. In the season of parenting crisis, it is VITAL that you do not run on 'empty'. What worked for me? I made it my aim (not always successful, but aim) to spend my first few minutes in the Word, and prayer for the day. Especially about the situation. I also pray throughout the day, as needed :)

~Are you focusing on building supportive (and healthy) relationships? 

Friendships are included, but your marriage should be top priority. For single parents (been there, done that) --> find some surrounding emotionally healthy families that can bring in outside support & encouragement

~Are you having ANY time without the children? 

Sometimes it is a simple stroll down the road with the dog. Maybe you need a time to read for pleasure in the evening~ without interruption. A special bath time. For younger children, I'd encourage regular bedtime, so you have 'adult' conversation every evening. Even if only for a short duration...

~How about taking care of yourself physically? 

I find taking time to exercise, eat well & remember my vitamins helps me to cope better :)

~Who can you run these issues by?

 Do you need to talk to a trusted: friend, mentor, counselor, doctor, etc. ?? Often, running a problem by other trusted sources can bring in outside advice, that would be very HELPFUL in this season.


Whatever season you find yourself in, you need to remember that other Moms & Dads are going through the VERY same things you are RIGHT NOW!!!

...don't ever buy the lie that you are alone!. You need to focus on reaching out & finding some help. 

And don't EVER give up the fight. Your children need you to remain strong in this season.


“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.” 
― Lisa Wingate

~~~If you have some tips that have helped you through a difficult parenting season, please don't hesitate to leave them below in the comments box.~~~

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lean Turkey & Veggie Quinoa Sauté!!!



Spicy Turkey & Veggie Quinoa Sauté

This recipe is absolutely so delicious your whole family will want seconds!

gluten-free, paleo friendly, option for vegetarian


Ingredients:

reg. size pkg of lean spicy turkey sausage (omit if veg.)
extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 small onion chopped
1/2 cup cabbage thinly sliced
3/4 cup+ spinach leaves (fresh or frozen)
spices (ginger, garlic OR my fav: Indonesian blend)
Optional--> 1/2 fresh lime

Cooked Quinoa served on side

Instructions:

Have quinoa already cooked. On stovetop boil sausages until fully cooked. Discard water.
Slice sausages. Set aside.
Sauté e.v. olive oil & onion PLUS spices of choice.
Add in cabbage and sliced sausage.
Lastly, add in spinach leaves & cook until veggies just tender.
Serve with quinoa & side of fresh salad or cut-up veggies. Can now squeeze fresh lime on top. 
Enjoy :)

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Vive La Difference! Boys Vs. Girls



~It's amazing how different two children can be~


"Boys & Girls"

I touched on this topic at length in a previous post & it was one of my most POPULAR posts:

Now I want to brooch this 'touchy' topic once more! I have almost equal of each now... I actually started my journey as a single mother of 2 boys (side note: a Mama that was shockingly disturbed by most of my sons' masculine traits, and was always trying to unsuccessfully change their nature...thankfully my hubby helped me out of this funk! Read more on my early journey: Boy Meets Girl), I have now found myself in a much different place than before: as a married homeschooling 'granola-type'/trendy/funky & love-to-stay busy Mama of five beautiful kids. Did I say busy?!

And even though I am much less naive about the way children are wired from birth (i.e. there are many attributes you ain't gonna change no matter how hard you try!) I am still somewhat shocked at how raising boys & girls has felt so different...even in the same household!

Today, I want to share a new TOP TEN LIST. Ten ways I have found raising girls & boys poles apart. Ten observations I've personally made. Some will sound serious. Some tongue in cheek. And even though I do indeedy know that there is a wide spectrum of males & females (my sister & I are like night & day; so different yet both created unique & special!) I cannot get over how much I find solace in those oh-so frustrating moments (Boys! Boys! Will you stop climbing the furniture...nope, I already said no 'cops/robbers' today. Quiet Mommy said...quiet....) that I am not alone. Far from it. I enjoy reading other bloggers who share their fun & challenging moments with boys & girls alike. One is not better to raise than the other. One's attributes are not superior. Far from it...but one may present a teeny-tiny bit more of a challenge to an unsuspecting mother who has not been exposed to the strong testosterone drive of males. One may 'feel' more frustrating at times simply due to the sheer way it can wear you out :) 

And here goes....


"A boy is Truth with dirt on it's face,

Beauty with a cut on its finger,

Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair,

and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket."

~Author Unknown



~top ten differences I've found in raising dem boys~


  • Mama, your boys will like to play & play some more! The more activity the better...gym time is NOT an option. Neither is going outdoors. A ball will make a great first toy. The association with playing, or watching, a ball flinging around may continue as a life-long obsession (& why is TSN so popular we ask?!).

  • Mom, you may find, that from birth onward boys are not as verbal as girls. Girls may coo earlier. However, boys may make up for this by starting to roll over faster... they tend to be have stronger gross motor skills. Girls may talk & talk some more....some in our home don't EVER stop!!! Boys, on the other hand, tend to want to climb things...I swear this starts in the womb, so be ready...

  • Boys are not satisfied unless they use their creativity. And creativity for them equals mess. Mess is okay, but I still get antsy when the house looks like a cyclone went through it... We've compromised and moved to the country side...lots of room for mess outside!

  • Creating forts are normal 'family furniture' play. Forts will be made at leisure ~whenever we are bored or have friends over~. We like to conquer & play 'kingdoms'. Boys love to be the 'king of the castle'. Princesses have to watch out as they are usually seen as 'fair game' to be 'rescued'. I tell my eldest daughter to stay away if she doesn't want to participate..

  • Body noises are not rude Mom. They're funny. So is body noise talk. End of story.

  • Mom, we enjoy watching you cringe when we do/say something 'gross'. It is not gross to us, but oh so fun to watch everyone's reaction. Sisters' reactions are included in this!

  • Food is more fun when we use our hands to play in it. We can eat civilized of course, but this may not happen until at a much later age than with your girls. For some boys it may not ever happen. That is okay too....(just ask the Mama here who still tries to sing the 'we are not barn yard animals' song to her tweens)

  • Don't 'overtalk' to us (we call it nagging, lecturing, or going on & on) We can only listen to you for so long. Short increments. It works for all children, but for some reason seems to work even better for all males....

  • As I was writing this blog entry, my eldest came up to tell me his 'army barrack/fort' was complete. And now the play guns come out...I am not joking. Nerf guns abound in this house. I WAS that Mom that said no guns, and no violence. No wrestling period. They didn't agree & they did it anyway when I wasn't looking. Wrestling & shooting with their Dad's full approval.... Before I supplied them the harmless Nerf variety, guns were made out of:  food items, toys, sticks, pieces of garbage...anything! My friends up north think we are a little bound up. They regularly let their kids go hunting. I have had to re-think this area. For the most part boys will find ways to make guns. Research this. Don't always believe modern pop culture parenting mags. They only trend for so long...

  • Boys can be taught to be gentlemanly too. They can be mannerly, well-behaved & enjoy a fun time out without acting like wild stallions. However, the 'suit & tie' will come off when they're ready to relax. For the most part boys like to dress up for only short periods of time (some for like a nano-second!) & are not into 'primping up' like their sisters may be. I just ask 'no holes' in the clothes. No stains. And please try to comb your hair. It works, oh about 50% of the time ;)
"It's the merry-hearted boys that make the best men!"

~Irish Proverb


"Boyhood is a most complex and incomprehensible thing. Even when one has been through it, one does not understand what it was. A man can never quite understand a boy, even when he has been the boy."~G. K. Chesterton


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