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Little Things

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Little Things

By: Beth Redmond, Homeschool Montgomery

 “What’s the best advice you have for new homeschooling parents?”

Every now and then I get asked this by readers. At the start of a new school year, it might be a good time to revisit this question.

I always feel strange answering it, because with only two years of homeschooling under my belt, I am no expert. But my usual response is related to organization and preparation, two things that are important to me.

But this time, my answer is not the usual, “plan ahead,” “keep good records,” “take more field trips” kind of advice.

Instead, I’m going to share a quote I read recently that really resonated with me. It was written by Robert Brault, a very wise man who said:

“Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and find out they were the big things.”

Seems simple, but it hit me hard.

The Important Little Things

Will it really matter to our kids if we forgot to log a few books, if we were unprepared every now and then, or if we didn’t get to the planetarium three times last year?

Or will it matter more how we responded to them in our day-to-day interactions?

See also Why Are We Afraid of Switching to Homeschooling?

“Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and find out they were the big things.”

Will they remember the tone in our voices and if we really listened? The amount of time of we spent drawing or cooking together? The patience we showed when they just didn’t get it?

I often wonder if I am teaching the right things, or using the right curriculum. I run around like crazy trying to get my things done, my schedules, work plans, grading papers, checking email for my work, and my kids will say, “Mom, can I show you this?” or “Mom, can you play this game with me?”

Sometimes I don’t even hear them. Or they probably feel like I don’t hear them.

It’s the little things I need to work on.

Little Things Are the Big Things

Another wise soul told me once, it’s not enough to love your children, you need to teach them how to love you back.

And so we do that best by being there for the little things.

We pay attention to the things that matter to them. And we pay attention to the things that matter in us. Like kindness, patience, and our willingness to help.

We enjoy the little things.

We teach them that we love them, and how to love us back.

It turns out the little things really are the big things.

Beth Redmond is a homeschooling mom of four and the editor of three homeschooling websites in Maryland including Homeschool Montgomery.

 

 

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