I watched my daughter Averie walk down the stairs with her sleeping bag in tow. In it was some toys, several small bags of cheetos, and a few sets of mismatched outfits. We just had finished our morning lessons and I was cleaning in the kitchen. “Where are you off to?” I asked perplexed. She looked so serious, I was trying not to laugh. “I’m going somewhere else where the grownups play with me!”
See we’ve had a few frustrating days of seated work. I begin the day where she gets to choose which subject she starts with Math, Reading, or Writing. Then we end with some outside time and a nature walk. She brings her nature diary and we do a nature study. However, the seated work has been like pulling teeth. I know the attention span of a typical five year isn’t very long, so I make sure to keep it really short.
Now as I am watching her slump down the stairs it dawned on me, I forgot about her love language and hers is quality time. If your unfamiliar, Author Gary Chapman has written several compelling books, explaining that there are five love languages and each person has a prominent love language. How a individual feels love is dependent upon if the people that love them are adequately communicating in their love language. Yes If you want to read more here is a link to his book.
Children are not excluded from this they just have a child like way to express when their love tank is nearing empty. Averie’s love language is quality time and this doesn’t include nature walks, mom inspired hikes, field trips, or trips to the park-no matter how grand they are. This means, Her and I only, play dolls, kitchen, or barbies. This is how she feels loved.
Its easy to forget to play with your children. I mean, there are lessons to do and a house to clean. Sometimes I need a little reminder of my priorities. I realized in that moment that our frustrations during lessons was nothing but a heart issue.
I’ve heard this said among other homeschooling moms, that they too come across heart issues with their own children. I have this phrase I started to say to myself whenever I start to be unbalanced. I start with-God first, then husband, mom next, then myself- and I end with, lessons are last.
I made sure to take her seriously, it may seem silly to some but it wasn’t to her. We had a nice heart to heart and she pointed out my faults. It is a very humbling experience to have your five year old point out your faults. It is good for a growth mindset, so I listened. I hadn’t played dolls with her in over a week. It was time to make an adjustment. I apologized and we worked on how to make it better for the future.
She wakes up before her brother, so our plan now is to make my coffee and I’ll drink it while we play dolls. She put her sleeping bag back. I put her unmatching clothes back in the drawers. We shared a few small bags of cheetos and we grew closer. I thank God everyday for the opportunity to homeschool my children and I look forward to playing dolls with my little girl tomorrow.