I remember being in school and there were so many trends that you HAD to follow in order to fit in. You needed certain shoes, certain clothes, certain backpacks and certain notebooks. Yeah it's pretty crazy....anyone else remember the Trapper Keeper?!?! Or a certain brand of composition book or even the type of pen you used. I mean seriously, you were even judged on the brand of gum you chewed and had to share with others.
Who had one of these?
Seriously...why were these so cool?!?!
Am I dating myself with those pictures?!?!
Well trends only get more expensive as the kids get older. I honestly don't know how parents afford shopping for their small, growing children at places like Justice, Abercrombie, or Limited Too. Recently I allowed Lydia to go online (since she LOVES Justice clothing) and put an entire outfit in the shopping cart. I let her pick the whole thing, including all the accessories she is always begging for. When she saw the 200.00 total for one outfit, she looked and asked if we can order it. (I warned her before hand we were not ordering anything.) Then I sat with her and figured how long it would take her dad to earn the money for that one outfit of clothes. To break it down even further, with her odd jobs here and there, we figured how long it would take her to earn the money to pay for that single outfit. I think it brought her back into reality....at least temporarily.
One of the reasons I really love homeschooling is that all our friends are down-to-earth people. There are some trends in our groups, but it's not about labels. A friend's outfit can be homemade or from a second-hand store and everyone is going to love it the same. In fact, we have some really talented friends and they make some of the coolest outfits!!! I can only dream of sewing like them!!
The biggest trend in our homeschool group is to make sure we keep snacks as healthy as possible and keep them creative to encourage the children to eat them. Now that's a trend I want to stay on the bandwagon for.
All the girls love frilly skirts and sparkles. But there's no label attached. No one asks if you got that at Justice or another name label store. So it could be second hand and they would never know it. And if a girl doesn't want the frills and sparkles, who cares. They don't judge her for that, they love and embrace her style also.
We don't live in the dark ages. Let's see....almost all our girls have Rainbow Looms to make bracelets, we have all seen our share of the latest movies and we are all going around singing "Everything is Awesome" from the latest LEGO movie. So we are not depriving our children by trying to stay off the Shopping Mall Wagon. And I love a new and cute notebook as much as they next kid, and if it's a fun notebook that encourages Lydia to write her spelling or Joey to keep a journal...then you bet I am going to buy it. Because we can, and I am glad we can provide that option to the kids too (but that is a whole different post).
But we are avoiding a lot of those tearful times in a pre-teen girls life when they cry about not fitting in and thinking they are deprived. I love that we can encourage their creativity, and let me just say....I have to control myself with some of the creative styles that Lydia and Caty appear in when we get ready to leave. But you know, when they do go around in their creativity...not one of their friends laughs at them or calls them a name!!!
I am grateful to be breaking that trend cycle after following blindly for many years. I am doing it for our children. After realizing the pressure was just something I was putting on to myself by people that really do not even care about me or my family. I am grateful that homeschooling is allowing my little girls to be little girls longer. There's enough time to be teenagers, let's hold off on it as long as we can.
And that's another reason I love homeschooling.....we can avoid the trend of forcing our kids to grow up too soon!!! I am grateful that our kids can avoid so many of the "trend" heartaches that the kiddos are going through now.
Linking up with other homeschool families at Ben and Me