Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Esther's snack

Esther is 3, and she likes to do things by herself. She also likes to report her activities to me. Here is her report from a minute ago:

E: I was putting honey on raisins (pause) for a snack.
mom: hmm
E: Because I was hungry.
mom: that sounds like a nice snack.

This is where I get in trouble with my housekeeping. Instead of thinking: "uh-oh, what kind of a mess is my child making in the kitchen?" I think: "how nice, my child is being self-reliant and fixing her own snack!"
Unfortunately, self-reliance and messes tend to go together where children are involved...

Getting Settled

We're in our new home, busy unpacking (yes, we've been here a couple of weeks--but unpacking is an ongoing process) and organizing. There is so much more to moving than just going to a new place and being in a new house. Here's my partial list of things that go in to "getting settled":

--finding a home
--working out the finances of the move
--learning your way around
--registering cars
--getting new driver's licenses
--homeschool registration (and learning the laws of the new state)
--finding new doctors--family practice, pediatrician, specialists...
--finding and choosing activities and classes for the kids--music teachers, sports, etc.
--finding and getting involved with local homeschool groups
--learning where to shop--where to find what and who has the best prices
--finding service providers for whatever the family's needs are--hair cuts, plumbers, repairmen, auto shop, piano tuner...honestly the list is endless
--updating mailing addresses and subscriptions
--adjusting and getting involved in a new church
--making friends (we all need them)
--Oh yea, unpacking and organizing

I'm sure others could chime in, the list is far from finished. For those with children in school, substitute the homeschooling items for new school registration and adjustment issues. And of course I haven't had to deal with any of the myriad issues that arise when a move is to another country--I have no idea how my mother managed to navigate through 8 different international moves. It's hard enough finding my way around the local grocery store when I don't know the lay-out, at least I don't have to rely on the pictures on cans to figure out what is inside! Of course, the real challenge is that regular life has to go on while all this is happening--meals have to be fixed, children need to be taken care of, people get sick...

Growing up, I always felt like it took me 18 months to feel settled in a place. Of course, we were dealing with all of the living overseas, needing to learn a new language issues on top of regular moving issues; even so, it just takes a long time for the dust and chaos of moving to settle down, and for a place to really start feeling like home.

Parable of the Grocery Store

Another homeschooler posted this, and I liked the analogy so I am reposting. Her information is at the bottom.

Let's say the government made a law that we are assigned our closest
grocery store to shop at. We can only shop at our assigned store unless
we want a boundary exception, which are scarce. At first, we think, "OK,
I like my local Albertson's so I'm happy with this new law."
A few weeks later, you discover that a couple miles down the road, your
friends tell you that Wal-mart has cheaper canned goods than
Albertson's. You are frustrated that there is a difference in what you
are getting. Shouldn't they all be the same if they are operated by the
Two months later, you realize the produce at your Albertson's is rancid
all the time. You can never get good, fresh produce. At the Fry's
however, everyone boasts of the best, freshest produce they have ever
had! You LOVE fresh produce and would rather drive a distance and pay
more to shop at Fry's for the fresh produce than at Albertson's. You
apply for a boundary exception and you are told there is a two year
waiting list. What? Two years to wait until you can get good produce?
But, your family needs good produce now.
You want to sell your house and move closer to Fry's so that it would be
your assigned store, but you cannot afford any of the houses in that
You are discouraged, but your neighbors seem fine with not having fresh
produce. They accept canned vegetables in place of fresh produce and
make the best of the situation. They apply their time towards trying to
help Albertson's acquire better produce. They volunteer to help and see
some improvements at times. They encourage all of their neighbors to not
go anywhere else, but to stay with Albertson's so that they can improve
their situation.
A woman next door is frustrated and decides not to even bother with
boundary exceptions or the assigned grocery store. She decides to grow
her own food and plants a garden. She raises chickens and a pig. She
works all day long on raising her own food. You and your neighbors are
stunned. The work she puts into her own food seems ludicrous to you. You
would never put in that time and effort for your own food. The grocery
store saves you a lot of time and effort. Plus, almost everyone you
know, except the woman next door, uses the grocery store.
The woman next door toils all day long on her food production. Sometimes
her carrots are small, her tomatoes eaten by worms, and her lettuce
wilts before she can use it all. The neighborhood laughs saying, "You
should just stop wasting your time! The grocery store is so much more
convenient." The woman next door is saddened that no one encourages her
in her efforts. She feels lonely and judged for being different.
Over time as you get by with canned produce even though you would prefer
fresh, the woman next door has perfected her food production skills. Her
tomatoes are getting plumper and wormless, her carrots are turning out
better, even though they are still smaller than the ones at the grocery
store. Sometimes, she even has extra zucchini to share with her
neighbors. Her zucchini is really the best you've ever seen.
This is the same as education. One family may value a certain sports
program (canned food) or academic program (produce) than what is offered
at your school. Some may even choose to grow their own (educate their
children at home).
Shouldn't we have the choice? Shouldn't we stop judging each other for
their choices and uplift and encourage each other?
I do not want anyone's choice taken away. I want all to have what they
feel is best for their family. I hope everyone will respect the need for
choice and support boundary exception, open enrollment, charter school
and homeschool laws that allow these freedoms.
By Celeste Batchelor -- February 8,
2011http://batchelorfam .blogspot. comhttp:/ /springfieldtjed .blogspot. com