What Must the Neighbors Think? Raising Kids That Don't Fit the Mold

I often wonder what our neighbors must think.  We aren't the "normal" family to live next to.  Our kids don't fit into any mold and we don't think like everyone else.

Our kids don't get up early and leave on a giant yellow bus.

Our kids are often outside at all time of the day in various states of dress and undress.

They are encouraged to use real tools and try out real life skills.

They don't know about most of the passing fads that go through the local schools and they have their own ideas about what is fun, what is interesting, and what they want to play with.

My boys are not afraid to talk to adults and kids alike and express their own views and opinions.

In other words my boys are quite happy being individuals.  

Luckily we don't have a ton of neighbors and those that we do have know we homeschool and seem just fine with our decision and enjoy interacting with our boys.
But today was one of those days where I wondered... "what do the neighbors think?"

Alec walked down the stairs first thing this morning reading aloud from several parts of his Pandas- Amazing Facts book to me.  He was excited to find that this book also talked about the preserve in Wolong town and the earthquake that Jake and Annie lived through in the book Perfect Time for Pandas.  He loves this book because it not only tells him all about the giant pandas but also the red pandas, which he just loves.

His book was soon forgotten though and the boys spent a few minutes chasing each other around the house, yelling, and play fighting.  I kept threatening to make them all go hiking if they had so much extra energy.  It was finally quiet when they all decided to go outside.

 It was 8:30 in the morning and all three boys were outside playing in the sand and water, two of them were still in their pajamas!  It was warm out but I am not quite sure it was warm enough to be IN the water.

It's time like this that I can't help but wonder what the neighbors think.

My kids are outside yelling and playing and they aren't even dressed or fed or yet.  They're having fun though and they aren't hurting anything or anyone so I can't complain too much and I hope the neighbors feel the same way.

I try not to worry too much about what others think of us. 

After all, just deciding on homeschooling is unconventional enough, but in turning to homeschooling I'm finding we deviate from the norm. in more ways than one.  

And I'm loving it.

Our pace is more laid back, I'm more laid back and we're all much happier.  It's hard to be unhappy when you have large chunks of time dedicated to exploring, having fun, and noticing all those little pleasures in life. 

After playing outside for quite a while they all came back in and started playing Beyblades-- for an hour!  I couldn't believe how long they lasted playing.  There were the occasional bickers and complaints but for the most part they played real well together.  They have the ones that can interchange and build so they kept trying to make better and better Bey's.  They counted how long a Beyblade could spin and who's spun the longest.  They compared sizes and shapes and the path or each spinning Bey. 

Ian decided to pull out shaving cream and trucks and his brothers soon followed him to the table to play shaving cream as well.  They added water to the shaving cream after a bit and played with the measuring cups too.  Alec brought over his whole dolphin zoo and most of his toy animals too.  They were content to play until lunchtime.


The boys then talked me into letting them go swimming.  I was in my sweater, jeans, and socks and they were in their bathing suits.

What can I say? My kids are crazy.

 I used to argue and fight and not allow my kids anywhere near the water in the spring, but I'm at the point now where I really pick and choose my battles.

If they want to try and swim when the water is freezing, I guess it's not going to hurt anyone.  Besides, they were already in the water this morning and I figured it had at least warmed up by afternoon.

They kayaked, swam, played, ran and had a ball for over three hours.  They found craw fish, their baby turtle and many bugs and insects.  They made an anchor for the boat and went on treasure finding missions.

 It was a fun, wonderful, afternoon watching the three boys act like best friends.

So our neighbors can think what they want; but I think I'm raising some pretty incredible kids that enjoy living life. 


  1. Sounds like a perfect day! Lucky boys, I say!

    1. I think so too! (And luckily they realize it as well).

  2. I think most kids would love to have the sort of life you describe in this post! There's nothing like exploring the great outdoors and engaging in imaginative play to teach kids and give them valuable experiences - so much better for them than a day sitting at a desk or watching a screen. If that is outside the mold, then I think more kids should be outside the mold! :-)

    1. Thank you! I think we need just a bit more outside the mold too.

  3. Such a beautiful way to live life! Love it!

    Thanks for linking up @LivelLifeWell



  4. I'm sure your boys were loving it. No matter how unconventional having your toes in the sand at 8:30 while still wearing your pajamas may be, you encourage so much fun and love of life in your home. It's inspirational. :)

    1. Thank you! I love being out in the sun with my toes in the sand too so I certainly encouraged them.


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