Well, we're here, in the new home and loving it! The kid's have adjusted well, Jesse has already made friends with two little boys down the street (it's so great to have little boys down the street!). Augie loves all the flooring options to lay down on and the freedom to roam upstairs and sleep on any available bed (we had a baby gate on the stairs in the old house). I love my new kitchen, bathroom and laundry on the first floor and space to spread out (and toys in the basement!). I also love things I didn't notice before we moved in: a beautiful mountain view from our backyard (ok, so it's a small mountain but still better than the view of the drug dealer's shack in the old house). We even met a neighbor who graduated from Gordon in 1979, CRAZY!
My sister was here last weekend and my mom for part of it and together they helped me get things unpacked, decorated and on the walls. We went crazy shopping for window treatments and landscaping. I called it the "weekend blitz" and I am so thankful for all the help!
I have also been reading a book the past few days. I am dedicating this upcoming year to researching education alternatives for Jesse who will begin kindergarden in a year. I have been leaning toward homeschooling for years now and since it will be a reality in a year I want to make sure I am making the right decision. So, I have started reading and plan to read A TON in the next 6 months or so. Right now I am reading a great book called, Guerrilla Learning: How to give your kids a real education with or without school. It's a very helpful book in explaining what a "real education" is and how you can provide that even if you choose to send your child to school and not keep them home. One of the things they talk about is giving your child choices in their education, children learn better when they are learning about something they are interested in and that they have the choice to learn about. Makes sense to me. This is exciting for me b/c I think that this really appeals to Jesse and his personality. Some kids are great with going with the flow and doing whatever task is put in front of them (Karis is alot like that) but some, like my little boy, need a little more freedom. In his preschool conference at the end of the year his teachers commented that he rarely participated in the activities they had prepared, like the arts and crafts. He preferred to play on the floor with the cars or they would find him in the book corner looking through the books- things he was interested in. But when they did a unit on sea creatures and dinosaurs, they said he did every activity they had planned and he informed them of all he knew about the subjects (he is mildly obsessed with both of those topics!). I am noticing he is alot like that with things I ask him to do around the house: brushing teeth, getting dressed, going to bed. I feel like I am constantly battling him to do things all day long and the more I force the issue, the messier it becomes. I know that some of that is obedience issues but I also realize that giving Jesse more choices and freedom helps him cooperate more. The question is, how do I give him more freedom. It makes sense to do so in education and learning, how do I apply that to other areas of life without letting him step outside boundaries that I know he needs (and wants)? For instance, he needs to brush his teeth, that is non-negotiable. But how do I allow him freedom, age-appropriate freedom, to brush his teeth so that he actually does it without a fight and without threats from me? I do I maintain Biblical parental authority without crushing his spirit? Any thoughts?