Monday, March 13, 2017

On Being Uniform

Sometimes I try to solve my problems with uniforms...

Homeschooling is a tough job for mom.  Not only do I spend most of the day directing the children in their studies, but I also keep house and cook, and serve as chief financial officer, among other responsibilities. I also play the part of every person employed at a school--principal, counselor, art teacher, computer teacher, librarian, and most importantly spiritual director.  This job is overwhelming.  It's worth it, but it is difficult.

Sometimes problems arise like, disobedient behavior, disrespectful behavior, slovenly behavior, messiness.  I think that requiring the children to wear uniforms helps them be a little more serious.  It also helps with the massive amounts of laundry.  The time saved on laundry and getting dressed is better used on discipline and leisure.  Therefore, all around uniforms take the pressure off me as the head mistress of this household. 

Our homeschool co-op instituted the wearing of uniforms at co-op 4 years ago.  The parents decided any uniform would do.  This gave parents the options of buying uniforms at secondhand stores or inexpensive bargain store uniforms.  This was the catalyst for our whole family.

I was not wanting to do this in the beginning.  I had my reasons.  Mainly, I just couldn't be bothered.  My husband has always wanted our homeschooling children to wear uniforms.  He wanted them to look nice and be serious.  I protested because I had one kindergartner, two toddlers, and a baby. I exclaimed, "To what effect is he being uniform if there are no other children in uniform?"  Fair enough.  But when the co-op started wearing uniforms, and now we have a whole troop of our own, it now makes sense.  

I should have just listened to my husband with our one kindergarten aged child.  Wearing the uniform does send the message to a child that it is business time.  It's not time for sleeping (pajamas).  It's not time for church.  It's not time for play (soft tees and shorts).  It's time for learning.  We do not wear something distracting.  The clothing is nice yet plain.  

Last spring, I took away all my girls cloths except for the uniform, because they constantly left clothing all over the floor.  It remained this way for three months.  With good behavior, they could earn a couple play outfits.  Then I gave them all back in the summer.

My kids have too many clothes and toys.  One of our problems and blessings is that people give us bags of hand-me-down clothing.  We so appreciate this blessing!  The children enjoy the clothing people give them, and the receive so much.  It’s just hard because they have a hard time then paring down to only what they need.  

I want to take it all away and start over with just a few important things.  At the moment, I have neither the time nor the fortitude to do this.  The idea lingers in my head though and I am very tempted to do this over the summer.

But uniforms…Yes, we are always happier when we choose uniforms.

I bought these things on  I thought this would be an expensive alternative to uniforms.  After I bought undershorts and sweaters, it was really about the same as more expensive uniforms.  I mainly just wanted to try out the brand.  I do like the brand, but it's not as cheap as the secondhand ones we get.  I will definitely try out a couple more styles from this brand.  I'm just not that into buying kids clothes considering we have been gifted so many wonderful second-hands.


Kayleena said...

Hi Renee! I'm so glad you blogged! I have been trying to carve out time to blog for the last several weeks and it has so been on my heart!

I have a question: So do you have the kids wear their uniforms from when they first get dressed until they change into jammies at night? Or do they change when they are finished with their school work?

Ironically, one of the reasons my girls DON'T want to do the school "co-op" (really it's just a small Catholic school with a homeschooling enrichment program twice a week) is that they don't like wearing the uniforms. Of course this is a Catholic school and the uniforms are a lot more intense. If we choose to go full time homeschool next year, which we are considering, I would love to do something like this but I think my girls would cry! I think we could work together to find something though. Louisa would be happy if she could wear black pants and a soft shirt every day ;)

Unknown said...

If they are good, they get to change out of the uniform after school. I prefer they wear them all day. I prefer they wear them dirty the next day. I want to reduced the laundry! But last spring they earned a couple play outfits and only those two outfits were they allowed to wear after school. I remember wearing the same thing all summer long when I was a kid. We weren't going to school so no one knew. Our parents just let us be dirty and it was glorious. People used to only have a couple sets of clothing. It was very practical.

My girls were very embarrassed at first with the uniform. My son found it very uncomfortable. But they all grew accustomed to it and it wasn't a problem.

I think your kids would grow accustomed to it as well. I know lots of homeschoolers who were uniforms. It's a good thing.