Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Investing In Our Children

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that the children have enough time to come up with their own interesting things to do. Not everyone has the slow pace of life that my family enjoys, but for us, having large periods of time that are not scheduled is a really great thing. I get to enjoy seeing my children put on shows (which usually feature costumes, singing, dance routines, and their own plays that they wrote, directed, and act in), see them play "town" (where they make their own money, jobs, rules, etc.), make up games, create things, and a lot more.

Today we were at Walmart to get some groceries, and my 3rd and 5th grader reminded me that they needed more fabric. And duct tape. And a few other things. They love to make their own costumes and clothes. We have an old sewing machine that was given to us by a friend years ago, and sometimes they can use it, but oftentimes they just hand sew. They have made some pretty cool stuff, too. My daughter (11 years old) makes clothes for her American Girl Kaya doll, and my 9 year old son has made some excellent loin cloths for himself and his brothers to dress up as Indians in. :) Today he needed more white fleece material, plus some leopard print fleece, in order to make more Indian clothes. My daughter found some silky pink fabric that she fell in love with, and believed she needed two yards of that. One thing led to another and before I knew it we were looking at patterns, and then purchasing one, plus all the fabric and notions so that she can sew more clothes for Kaya. (Although I'm not much of a seamstress, my mom used to sew for our family all the time when I was a kid, so I do actually know how to read the back of the patterns and figure out what we need to buy. Thanks Mom!)

I was working with a budget for this week's groceries, as usual. I saw these fabric purchases adding up. But I saw how inspired they were getting, and I knew that I didn't want to say, "sorry....we are only going to spend $X on this right now." I did put a few limits on things (what they REALLY got excited about was a new sewing machine!), but overall we were able to get what they wanted.

Now that the groceries have been brought in and put away, they are already at work creating. My 9 year old just came in to show me his leopard print outfit (loin cloth and arm bands--it looks very good!).

Know what? We got everything we needed, plus I was able to invest in my children's creativity and enthusiasm. We never know what that might develop into in their lives, plus it makes for some sweet memories. And, know what? I only went $4 over my budget. :) No prob!

No comments: