My younger children really need to move. They wiggle. They like dancing, mostly when no one is watching. They climb, jump and run – seeking adventure and taking risks. They swing and spin on the swing set, climb the rock walls, flip under the rings, slide on the slide, hide in the fort, play house, imagine, create, climb trees, pick fruit, scream with delight.
Creating obstacle courses in the backyard yesterday, I realized that my older children were as equally involved and enjoying themselves in some of the greatest learning of all…being in relationship. Together as family. Helping little ones, teaching new games, and using their imagination without any requests for entertainment or suggestions of boredom.
Happy, smiling faces while winning. Excitement. Occasional downward glances when losing. Disappointment. Competing for the best times. Racing to win. Doing their best. Laughing, and encouraging each other in the afternoon sun. These times remind me of the value of being together, being outside, experiencing daily life together.
So much learning happened in our obstacle courses yesterday! The day held adventure and a longing for everyone to be together. The daily academics peppered the day…math, spelling, reading, Bible study, writing, history, science, foreign language, creative arts. They come so much more easily in this setting. The setting of home. To carry the delight they experience in the adventure, and bring it into their learning. To have a constant flow of learning throughout every aspect of our lifestyle…not lecture, not all text book…nonetheless, all learning.
Participating with them and being involved in every race, every game, every song, every giggle…I asked the Holy Spirit to keep me very present. No distractions. He is so faithful. I was blessed to make observations in interpersonal relationships, sharing, talking, manners, social skills, character building, engineering…from simple to complex.
Being a parent, teacher, and friend to these beautiful, young, vibrant people is a tremendous gift. Thank you God for reminding me.