Thursday, 12 June 2014

Getting Out and Getting Active

It's all been a bit quiet on here lately!  I guess that's because we've been having a busy week - not quiet at all in real life!  We missed out on our usual "PJ Monday" because the boys were in urgent need of a trip to the barbers - and then on Tuesday we all went to craft club - hooray!  It's the first time I have driven anywhere except around our local town for months and months.  Craft club is only in the next town, so it wasn't a long journey, but nonetheless it felt like a real achievement - and most importantly, pain-free too!
Then Wednesday brought us some lovely visitors, and today saw swimming lessons followed by more lovely visitors.  Busy busy!

So, no quiet days at home so far this week, but that's been fine.  Flexibility is the name of the game! Especially when the weather is this glorious... every now and then I think of an activity we could do, but by then the boys are usually already outside riding their bikes or playing ball games, having water fights or even skipping  as was yesterday's fun before the rope ended up being tied to a toy tractor to tow it up the road with the passengers and "pullers" taking it in turns!

Now I am fond of my little activities, and as Julie at Brave Writer said recently, "You feel better when you Get Stuff Done".  And it's true - you really do.  Or I do anyway.  It's so easy to keep the wobbles at bay when I have a nice little list of a few things that I have noticed the boys do every day (not that that means they aren't learning when I'm not paying attention - but that's another blog post).  But this week I haven't even stopped to fill in the blank spaces in my Home Ed Diary.  The week has been passing too quickly, and I've even lost track of how much Maths or English (our two mainstays) the boys have done!  Gasp!

Happily a friend posted an article on Facebook yesterday that made so much sense to me - it headed off any wobbles that may have been lurking ready to pounce in a weak moment (probably the next time I compared myself to an HE friend or heard the "should" word).  The article was titled "The Real Reason Why Children Fidget", and as a Mum of three energetic boys I was instantly clicking on the link.  I recommend you read the article - it's neither long nor complicated, but basically it explains that modern children have significantly poorer core balance than children thirty years ago, and fidgeting is a way of their bodies trying to counteract the sedentary nature of their modern life.  To quote the author:
"many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today--due to restricted movement. In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time"
Oh that resounded in me.  None of my boys find sitting still easy.  Even Eldest, who was holding his own at school before we left - it was not at all uncommon for him to be listening and participating in a lesson, while lying on the floor, waving his legs around, or if he was sat at a desk, moving his head in time to imagined music.  Let alone Youngest (little mr energetic)... I can not imagine how badly it would have gone for him in school.  They are all just normal, healthy, active boys.  Not ADHD sufferers, not stupid, lazy or wilfully destructive - just full of physical energy, the way boys are.

I have long held a theory that boys are like puppies: give them a good run and they will be more able to control themselves.  Of course the aforementioned article is not about behaviour exclusive to boys - girls are energetic and need activity too, although there does generally seem to be an increased ability to sit quietly.  It's just that my boys are the ones who take most of my attention, so I know a bit more about parenting (and educating) boys.

So the combination of the article and what I know to be true of my boys helped me to relax even more about the lack of 'educational activities' right now - because their chosen 'activities' are - excuse the pun - keeping them active!  They are moving their bodies in all directions for hours at a time, and by doing so are developing healthy, strong bodies with good core balance that will stand them in good stead as they continue to grow.  I'm sure I'll get some of my "educational" ideas in there at some point, but meanwhile, I'm just happy that they're getting out and getting active!

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