Friday, December 3, 2010


Hey, I wrote this several months ago, but still find it interesting and relevant. The only difference is that I now have a couple babysitters and Joran participates in 2 outdoor classes, one of which I drop him off at for 4 hours. I'm so thankful for Joran's enjoyment of these and the regular playdates we have.

Since we don't go to school, playdates are how we do most of our socializing. We get together with other homeschoolers and unschoolers, and also a few friends who are not full-time school, yet, and we really appreciate that they make time for us, too. Hopefully, even after school is in full swing, we can still have afternoons together here and there.

Playdates work well for Joran. He's always seemed to play best one-on-one. While living in Geneva, we tried a few classes with Gymboree and Little Gym, and Joran always complained about there being too many other kids around. Several times, he teamed up with just one other and they did their own thing during the class. Other times, he even managed to get the whole class to follow his creative direction over the instructor's. One time the instructor just looked at me, after deciding to go with Joran's Volcano Adventure, and said, "Well, he certainly is a leader." People are constantly commenting to me about his creativity. So, as his parent/life facilitator, I try to do more of what seems to work and not force anything that I think is a good idea when Joran clearly dislikes it.

Living this lifestyle only becomes tough when I don't get my own tank filled and end up feeling exhausted keeping up with my children (okay, mostly Joran). Can't say I'm sure what to do about that. It would help to find someone who can play well with my kids while I go off to have peaceful time on my own. I haven't gotten to that, yet. Kind of waiting for a magical manifestation, a Fairy Godmother of sorts. This is another reason why playdates work well. By this time, Joran is comfortable enough to stay at a playdate without me. Good idea.

I've noticed that Joran seems quiet and may play by himself when he first goes to a new house, but as he gets more comfortable, his more exuberant nature comes out. He may even start to test limits of me and others. At home, he tends to feel a little territorial. With boys, he must feel competitive, because I often get the impression that he is trying to show off. He seems more competitive with boys closer to his age and more willing to give in to boys a year or more older than him. Things can get very rowdy when his guy friends are over.

With girls, he's more sweet and gentle. He likes to show them his house, his toys, his books, but there's not the sense of competitiveness. It's the same with Jasmijn; sometimes he doesn't want her around, but he's mostly caring, playful and watchful of her. We go through phases.

As for Jasmijn, she loves playing with Joran, and sometimes gets into playing with others, but will mostly do her own thing or hang out with me. She's definitely "easier" in the sense that she doesn't demand my interaction as much as Joran did at her age or does now. They are so different!

Jolene =)

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