Trade Offs.




“Having a heart of sympathy for your children will mean, by necessity, choosing a less busy lifestyle.
It will mean lowering your expectations about what can and must be accomplished in a day.
If it means winning your child’s heart, though, the trade offs are well worth the results.”
Sally Clarkson

When the somewhat-chilly September air makes you feel like hibernating and the evenings turn dusky sooner,  when the school books are ready and lined neatly on the shelf and  the smell of fresh, ripe, red tomatoes and farmer’s earth fills our tiny kitchen …



… then it means an afternoon of staying home, washing, cutting, and canning….

My nine-year old asks to help. I love that she wants to be with me, even in something as mundane as cutting tomatoes. I hesitate, wondering if she would cut herself with the knife, but with some cautious warnings, we worked together and not a cut was in sight. {Thankful for this – we are both fainters!] She picks up the knife and goes right to work, slicing, dicing the flesh of the tomatoes, helping to fill the stockpot with the juicy vegetables … a less busy day with normal tasks …


We listen to Adventures in Odyssey together, then move on to Character Audios and simply … we are together. 


Sometimes, I think, this, this, to me, is what homeschooling is all about. Doing life together, learning and growing and maybe, sometimes, not doing anything amazing but simply doing something together, as a family. We had a slow start to our first week of school, a relaxed lead in to a fairly consistent, busy schedule … it all seemed rather peaceful, which, I believe, is how it should be. There was no huge fanfare, just a crack open of the books and a little more tightening of the schedule and we were there … doing school again. But isn’t school life? Isn’t life school?  Having my nine-year old at home is an amazing blessing … I thank God for the opportunity to school the girls at home. It is such a wonderful chapter of our lives.In no time at all, we were done cutting up the tomatoes …

and readying the jars for the hot water bath …


Jars were stuffed, rims were wiped and tomatoes were preserved.


I’m not sure if Lacey will remember our afternoon canning together later in life … I do hope something as simple as doing household chores and canning up food for the winter remains tucked in her heart and that one day, she too will do the same with her daughter.

September 6, 2013 - 10:55 pm

Lauren I do think you are so right. We were forced to take this week off b/c of an injury I incurred on my neck, but I’m glad we did because I think we just might do it every year so we can prepare for canning! Tomorrow my 2nd son and I are doing tomato sauce, and I am so excited to spend the time with just him as I know he needs it so much. Thanks for sharing your moments here!