Momma, Want to See a Snake? How to Homeschool a Boy, Part 1

It was a beautiful spring day, and we spent most of it with doors open, happily going in and out with various tasks and projects. It was mid-afternoon when my youngest son came in. “Momma, do you want to see a big snake?” He was a teenager, so there weren’t as many of those moments as there used to be, but when they happened, I treasured them. 

Does it matter if you go see the snake?

For all of you moms who are new at parenting boys, here’s a quick hint: The correct answer is, “Sure. What kind do you think he is?” If you’re an experienced homeschool mom, you’ll also know to suggest taking a photo or sketching materials so that Mr. Snake can be added to the kid’s nature notebook.

I quit whatever I was doing, and we walked out together to see the snake (most likely a black snake, according to my son’s description). By the time we got back to where he had been spotted, he was gone.

We ended up walking all the way around the woodland path, with dear son pausing to push down a few dead trees. (As a certified mom of boys, I know that the correct response for this is, “Where should I stand?” The wrong thing to say is “Be careful!”) A quick walk to view a snake turned into a nice opportunity to chat and reminisce about when the boys were younger. We both enjoyed seeing what was budding, as well as the unexpected conversation.

It’s not about the snake

Of course, some of you are excused from going to see Mr. Snake (if ships can be female, then snakes can be male). For example, if you’re in labor, you don’t need to go. If the house is on fire, the baby needs to be fed, someone is bleeding, or sirens are approaching for any other reason, you may ask for a few moments to deal with the distraction. Otherwise you can probably afford to take a moment to share your child’s interest in a wild creature.

I hate to tell you that being afraid of snakes is not a good reason to decline the invitation. The truth is, the effort you put into getting over (or suppressing) the vapors will be amply repaid by the continued growth and strengthening of your relationship with your child.

Each time an invitation is refused, there’s less likelihood that it will be repeated. That may sound good when you have several small ones who all want momma to “Look!” but trust me, in a few years you’ll be glad you shared those interests and are still a part of their life.

Love those sweet boys every single minute. You’ll be glad you did.

*Note: This series of posts is presented, not in a spirit of “I did it all right,” because no one knows better than I how many things I didn’t do right, but in a spirit of encouragement. I share them because I wish you joy. I also want to encourage you that you can take this opportunity to discipline your own irrational fears so that you won’t pass them on to your children. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.” II Timothy 1:7.

8 Responses

  1. Kristie says:

    I can relate to this article so well. I am NOT fond of snakes in any way. But being a mother of 4 boys, I have had to deal with it. I have stood in our yard and watched a snake crawl under our house and back out again with my sons. When my oldest son was 15, he brought what I thought was a dead snake curled around a large stick or shovel handle on our front porch to let me see. Then he tells me it is not dead. It was decided then and there that the front porch was not the place to be showing me snakes. But I would not trade these moments for anything because they were times that we had together where I got to watch them grow and become more of what they are supposed to be. I like what you said in your note how “this is how things can turn out by the grace of God”. We have been blessed with many such moments.

  2. Michelle says:

    I SO agree! I have three wonderful boys and have tried to go see all their wonderful “finds” I am pretty much over the fear of everything but tarantulas. Still working on that one! My oldest son has three pet snakes and a lizard, and I got one of the biggest compliments of my entire life one day when I overheard him say “Mom’s not bad, she really likes my snakes” Some day, he’ll realize that what I really loved was him and I was sometimes biting my tongue.

  3. Laurie says:

    Oh my! Just the other day, I was moving an old pile of construction material with my 8 year old. I had informed him that if we were to see a snake, we were both going to run like girls. Well, we did see a snake, and after we oohed and ahhed at it for a while(it was little),we went inside and identified it as an eastern chain kingsnake. Very neat.

  4. Kimberly says:

    Hi! I Charlotte mason homeschool but got so overwhelmed that o pretty much went to unschooling. So now I’m trying to get back into footwork, dictation and narration. Can you give me a link to a schedule you follow with our kids and what you do and use each day?
    Thanks!

  1. April 8, 2010

    […] Momma, Want to See a Snake? How to Raise Boys, Part 1 […]

  2. October 18, 2018

    […] Momma, Want to See a Snake? How to Homeschool a Boy, Part 1 […]

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