I say YES to a lot of things, y’all.
But I also say NO to a lot of things.
I think it’s important to say no to some things even if it means we’re different or unpopular.
It’s up to me to maintain a healthy family culture.
I say no to chemicals in our food.
We seldom eat out in restaurants. We have actually lost friends over this.
We like to eat at home. We enjoy cooking and eating together. It’s fun to learn new techniques and try new recipes.
I know what goes into the food I make for our family. We avoid artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives in our food.
We save money. I can make steak at home way cheaper than dining out in a restaurant.
We feel better physically and mentally without chemicals in our food. And it’s important to have dinner together as a family.
I say no to chemicals in our personal care products.
We make our own items or buy chemical-free products for cleansing and moisturizing our faces and bodies. We avoid linalool and artificial dyes and scents.
I like Lemongrass Spa for lovely soaps, deodorant, and makeup and essential oils-based products for lotions, body wash, and face creams.
Our skin is healthier and I feel better knowing we aren’t putting toxins in or on our bodies.
I say no to disrespect.
I see it all the time. Parents have lost their ability to say, “No.” It erodes respect within the family.
I witnessed this little scene the other evening while my daughter was at gymnastics:
A little sister was waiting in the bleachers with her mom for big sister’s gymnastics. She had a tablet and a bag full of snacks and activities. She didn’t like waiting.
Her mother gave her three choices:
- She could stay on the bleachers and occupy herself with her tablet.
- She could go kick a ball.
- She could play with some other kids behind the bleachers.
The little girl hit her mother and told her she was mean.
The mother calmly told the girl, “You lose your tablet for tomorrow. Do you want Taco Bell for dinner?”
They sat on the bleachers until gymnastics was over.
It was surreal. So many choices, yet she told her mom she was mean and still got to eat out for dinner? Wow.
I refuse to allow my children to be rude – to me, each other, friends, coaches, anyone.
I don’t want my kids to be around rude kids. So, we have few friends.
I say no to busyness.
We have workbooks, textbooks, reading books for fun and school. We have some teaching DVDs to accompany our Latin curricula.
Some curricula comes with a workbook that I feel is nothing but busywork so we don’t use that.
We don’t do a bunch of meaningless crafts.
I don’t like online or DVD homeschool. I want to interact and learn along with my kids.
And why do we need curricula for life? I see curricula for diversity, character, etiquette, and more. These are life skills. I don’t need a curriculum to teach my kids to be kind or have courtesy. I don’t even use a curriculum for English. We read and write and learn together. I teach them the basics without a curriculum. I just include them in my everyday life: cooking, finances, cleaning, car maintenance, healthy habits.
We don’t do a homeschool co-op. Our local homeschool group has ridiculous time-wasting courses like Scrabble, along with lots of classes I can and do teach myself to my children so I don’t need to drive anywhere. It seems many co-ops are just social events, with music, art, or subjects parents aren’t comfortable teaching. We prefer to stay home.
I limit our extracurricular activities so we’re home at dinnertime most nights. I don’t like running ragged to lots of different places in the evenings. We spend Wednesday afternoons at music lessons, shopping and errands, and gymnastics. We still make it home for dinnertime. During sports seasons in the spring and fall, I sometimes bring slow cooker meals or casseroles to the field so we can all eat a picnic between practice – or we just eat later at home, together.
I say no to technology.
I like to limit our screentime.
The kids have iPads for fun and school, especially useful when we PCS.
We do not have a TV.
We do not have a video game system.
We do not do school online. I have a really hard time with all the curricula online. Sure, it might make things easier or it can be an easy fix during a crucial time when a family is in crisis, but it shouldn’t be the only schooling a child receives. My children learn to read dictionaries and encyclopedias and write out essays by hand before typing.
My kids do enjoy Typing Tutor because it’s important to learning proper typing skills. They play apps on their iPads and watch Netflix when there’s downtime or bad weather.
My children do not have smart phones.
There will be time for them to catch up on all the technology when they’re older.
I say no to social media.
My kids do not have social media accounts (We recently allowed our teen – at age 15 – to open a Facebook account to communicate in the teen homeschool group and Civil Air Patrol group, but we monitor her activity very closely).
I have removed all social media apps from my iPhone. I limit my time online so I can be present to parent and homeschool my children.
I say no to being friends with everybody.
I limit my Facebook friends list to about 150…and I wouldn’t have a personal account at all if I could just have my page. It’s an app…I don’t have to be friends on there with anyone I don’t want. My time is valuable and I don’t want to waste it on seeing a bunch of drivel on social media. I go on there to check in with family and real friends. I don’t need 4,964 virtual “friends” to feel better about myself. I encourage my teen to be wise with her time online too. Quality over quantity.
I just don’t want to be friends with everyone. There’s a big difference between being polite and courteous and friendly…and being friends.
I grew up in a time when we didn’t have to invite the whole class to a private birthday party. But this one girl down the street gave my girls leftover birthday party favors after informing them they weren’t invited to her party earlier that day. WHAT?!
Just because I attend church with someone doesn’t mean I want to be BFFs with their family. I might not agree with how they’re raising their children or treat their spouse…and I don’t want that kind of negativity in our lives.
I say no to Disney.
I discuss our reasons for saying no to Disney here.
I’m particular about our entertainment. I am responsible for what goes into little eyes and ears…and hearts. So much popular culture is just inappropriate.