Over the next few weeks I am going to share 19 Lessons that I have learned during the last 19 years of homeschooling our kids. They range from the practical to the ridiculous. My hope is to encourage, shore-up, admonish, and some how save you some of the growing pains that our family has felt as we engaged in the wonderful wild world of homeschooling.
Keep in mind these are my opinions. After all, as my dear friend Jeannie reminds me, I am only an expert in my own opinions.
#1 Do not insist your children wear matching outfits in public after the age of 8 (give or take a year).
Just because your kids can still fit into Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, Land's End, or similar matching age appropriate clothes does not mean you need to insist they wear such garb.
Our children are individuals with emerging styles and tastes. At some point they are going to be humiliated and embarrassed by dressing like the Von Trapp Family Singers.
I am well aware that it is much easier to tell everyone to just wear "the blue shirts" or the "red and white dresses". At some point it is not easier on them.
Listen to your kids. I'm not advocating extreme style changes or expensive accessorizing. I'm just suggesting that when your kids voice a desire to dress like an individual, be flexible. It will save you battles later.
My 24 year old son (who is now a successful medical student) insists he wore drab grey and black during his college years because he was so shell shocked from years of colorful matching Gymboree outfits. Sorry, Elliot, my bad.
Our ideas of cute and clever may simply be embarrassing moments for our kids. Homeschooling has wonderful points both academically and socially. That being said, it sets your children apart in a way that can sometimes be hard on them. Perhaps we shouldn't emphasize this by insisting they "dress the part".