Balance (Feels like I am thinking about this all the time). Can we ever really achieve that feeling that we have shared ourselves: our time, our thoughts, ourselves as people with the people who we are passionate about growing with like family and friends? It is a daily juggle trying to find balance in my own life as a spouse, mother, teacher, volunteer, writer, reader, friend, and daughter (and there are probably more right?). Some days more of my time is spent as teacher, usually on school days when I am living in my classroom. In the summer, the balance shifts when I have more time to spend as a mom, cheering on the older boys on the baseball ball or soccer field, sharing a carpool to swim lessons for my youngest and rolling for a yatzee with all the boys (including my husband who I adore for his adventurous kid-like approach to life). Right now the balance is leaning toward mom and writer (I promised myself I would write each day so that I can accomplish a book that I am anxious to finish) but there are days everyday is tough when trying to write with 3 boys home during summer break (who I really don't want in front of video games all day). Yes, I have them in a few camps that they were interested in but I am not a fan of over scheduling (can get expensive and I would be in the car non-stop). I am one of those people who need to take it day by day to feel happy and am not looking for answers to the perfect schedule or routine because I know that if I have too much of a routine that I will only feel like I am working and then the writing won't be enjoyable. I have to feel relaxed to be motivated. Right now I am making my way through summer trying to balance my time with the time I know they need to socialize, play, read, etc ( I am also getting up early to write..well most days that is). When I do set the expectation that they need to think about something or use their creativity, they often want to grab the flip camera. It has been the best tool for them to play creatively at the same time allowing me down time.
My oldest has used the camera for documenting a game he and my middle guy created a game called Hand Ball. Their friend, who plays with imovie quite a bit, helped them create a video called How to Play Hand Ball posted on his youtube channel. You can view it here. There are other videos on his channel that he, his brother, and friends have created. I'll warn you that they are products of what 9-11 year olds are interesting and funny, silly,etc. Nothing inappropriate but borderline goofy.
My youngest (7 year old) grabbed the flip a few days ago when a friend and classmate of his was visiting with her mom. They both decided to create puppet shows. Mia, was very involved in creating the details in the puppets and telling a more involved story while my son enjoyed filming himself. I created a short movie of small clips that show steps he was taking to practice and then tell his story with the puppets. You will see him do a "test" for the camera, preview what is going to happen and then see two short clips he created on the go using his puppets. I am pretty sure last piece was inspired by the idea of a new character in the Mo Willems series, Elephant and Piggy.