Fall is a special time in Texas.
It’s not too hot (most of the time), but it’s also not too cold – and we get rain, which we may or may not have seen in the summer months.
The leaves may be falling and dying, but for us, it’s a time of rejuvenation.
It’s time for adventures.
One of our big reasons for homeschooling is to take advantage of the fall.
Why not move school work to 100º afternoons in July, to open up 75º weekdays in October and November for adventure?
If there was no other reason to homeschool, this one thing would make it 100% worth the effort (at least in grade school – I’ll let you know about higher grades when we get there).
So here we are, in between rainy days, adventuring.
Exploring zoo exhibits, learning about construction and transportation in the 1800s by visiting the suspension bridge in Waco, hiking, visit museums, looking at dinosaur tracks on the Paluxy river.
You name it. Fall is here, and we are there.
I don’t take any of these moments for granted. I know better than many, what it’s like to be at the end of my rope financially.
I know what it’s like to be unable to afford being a stay-at-home, but also unqualified for a job that paid for more than babysitting.
It’s being between a rock and a hard place.
I was once afraid that I would never be able to afford taking my kids on hands-on-learning field trips.
That fear was motivating. It drove me to find a way to both live more on less, and make money from home – which are both stories for another time I suppose.
I thought I knew what I wanted to provide for my kids – a decent home, clothes, good food, opportunities to explore the world around us – but those experiences taught me that there was something else I needed to provide for my kids.
A deep sense of gratitude.
We are so blessed, but the truth is, as a kid, you don’t really see it – you just assume you’re entitled to your blessings.
So how do we teach them to be grateful?
We joke and say things like “monkey see, monkey do”, but it’s real! Our kids pick up not only on our actions, but our attitudes.
I think when your kids are young, the only real way to teach them gratitude is to be grateful. To show them that you know you’re blessed and don’t take it for granted.
Talk to them about their blessings
They have no way of distinguishing privileges as little ones, so talk to them about it.
“We could just as easily be eating beans and rice in the kitchen , but here we are, eating Optimum Nutrition cake bites at the lake, isn’t that blessing?”
They’ll nod their heads and continue watching the ducks lead their ducklings to the water.
But they’ll get it. Maybe not today, but one day.