I imagine it must be difficult for our children to have parents who are in college full-time. A couple of our children have expressed an interest in joining a local scouting troop, but our restrictive schedule doesn’t allow for participation in scouting. I felt awful when I explained that we just couldn’t commit to attending weekly meetings and the occasional weekend events. (Are scouting weekend events more frequent than occasional? I don’t even know!) Then there is the cost of uniforms for rapidly growing children, materials for projects, plus badges, books, and who knows what else.
One of the children would like to learn martial arts, which our budget (and schedule) unfortunately doesn’t permit, either.
And of course all of the kids want Techie Things–netbooks, iPods, LeapPads–expensive things that our budget can’t absorb. (One of the kids did get a Kindle for Christmas because I am quickly becoming the Master of Budgeting. I found it on sale and used a coupon, too, which made it that much more affordable. We are also discovering the mixed joy that is free Kindle books. Sometimes you strike free-book-gold, other times you get what you pay for…)
I worry that we’re depriving our kids of the things and experiences that will help them to connect with their peers, help them engage with our community, and help them to feel that they are having a happy childhood.
But on the other hand, we are showing them the value of education. They are exposed to such an incredible variety of things that they would not have had the opportunity to experience otherwise.
One child became enamored with the study of rocks and minerals after my Geology course last summer. He was thrilled when I gave him the box of rocks and minerals that I no longer needed when I completed the course (with an A!). He has spent many happy hours examining his treasures, adding to his collection, and sorting the various rocks into categories of his own making. Is he a geologist in the making? Who knows.
But if he is, I want full credit for that.