Tonight we went walking again together as a family. There aren’t any “parks” nearby, but we have found an open field which the boys enjoy. It’s about a ten minute walk from our condo. We went there this evening and let Elijah, Edan, and Titus run around and chase each other. Tiana was fast asleep so she stayed behind. The boys had Edric throw them up into the air and they used him as their punching bag. They loved it. I just watched. These are the simple joys of my life — seeing my kids play with their dad and taking in their laughter and big smiles.
I’m thankful that Edric has made himself much more available to them and it has made a big difference in their identity as boys. They really look up to him and his word is like gold, especially for Elijah. I can’t imagine what it would be like to raise all these kids by myself. Edric may not teach many of the subjects but his homeschooling role is extremely vital. He teaches the boys how to be men and he gives them a model to follow. That’s something I would never be able to do.
The night ended with the boys needing a good shower and then I read them two stories. It’s our tradition that I read them books and Edric prays for them afterwards. Sometimes, they will get us to sing a couple of songs. But that has been a recent addition to our bedtime traditions. Ever since Christmas, when Edric and I sang carols to them, they have wanted us to sing for them more frequently. And they can get pretty demanding. I have to harmonize while Edric sings the melody. It’s up to them to request the music, but there has to be harmony.
I hope the kids will always enjoy spending time with us like this. It matters so much to them that we keep our routines and end each day the same way. My homeschooling may not always be predictable, but we stick to our night time habit of reading stories and praying.
Children can stay “simple.” What I mean is, they don’t need constant entertainment through television or video games to keep them happy. The key is to develop a family culture that values spending quality time together.
Here is something to think about…if your are together as a family but someone is on the phone, watching TV, or playing a computer game, it is NOT quality time.