Why I Choose To Raise My Kids In The Country

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Why Choose The Mountains? urban rural

“The Bay Area had too much traffic”, my daughter chimes after a friend asks me why I chose to raise my kids in the country. She’s not wrong, but there is plenty more to it. Different people choose to raise their kids in different areas for different reasons. Or rather similar ones-everyone wants what is best for their family. I was done with the Bay Area and the traffic, and to shorten a long story, I enjoy having the privilege of living and raising my kids where people from the city want to come visit. If you’re interested in searching the houses for sale or selling your home, call me, John Conca, at (530) 306-3494.

It’s about quality of life.

My kids aren’t missing out at all. I’ve read articles in which the author writes fearfully about the disadvantages that rural families have over urban families, but they miss the point. My kids still get to be educated however we choose whether that’s through homeschooling (there is a large homeschooling community here with many different options), with a charter school, public or private school. They enjoy gymnastics and swimming classes. We are used to driving a little further for things when it’s worth it (such as the Young Eagles Flight Program for our son), and we’re happy with that. It doesn’t hurt that within 40 minutes of my home it is hard to find traffic, so it’s a pleasant and beautiful drive.

I’m Not The Only One Who Prefers Rural Living

Flickr photo credit: David Berkowitz
Flickr photo credit: David Berkowitz
Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvelous things – the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space.

Susan Orlean

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/susanorlea494658.html#2pERF5sVV6Pri1HR.99

“Living in a rural setting exposes you to so many marvelous things- the natural world and the particular texture of small-town life, and the exhilarating experience of open space.”

-Susan Orlean

 “People here wave with all five fingers. No road rage on these country roads. The crickets and frogs keep you awake at night…instead of gun shots and traffic. We have STARS!!! No city lights! No worries about keeping up with the Jones on yard beauty. Mowed weeds are just as nice as grass. Dust is a country accent. We name our flies…they are pets! Kids up here know how to play with sticks and mud. They collect bugs instead of video games. Serenity is a way of life. Nightlife here is coffee on the deck watching a lightening show with my husband. It’s too far to drive to stores—so you only hassle it once a month. Everyone has an extra freezer and a couple containers of spare gasoline. Neighbors don’t bother you—but if there is an emergency they all show up to help. Trees fall but every third car has a chain saw in the trunk and we never call for help…people just stop and help.”

-Sue Peppers

“I grew up on a quiet, dead-end road in rural Sacramento and enjoyed my childhood riding bikes on a street with no cars, running through the fields behind our houses, exploring the dry canal behind our homes and trying to stretch my eyes to see how far I could see into the orchards behind that. Later, living closer to Downtown and then South Sac, I was not impressed. When helicopters would shine their spotlights into my bedroom window I was scared. When teenagers were randomly shot and killed in the house behind ours during a party in their garage when I was 7 months pregnant, I feared for my family. Living in Pollock Pines, where we get all four seasons, explore the forest daily, breathe fresh mountain air, swim in the lake, identify birds of prey…it’s better than I could have imagined 6 years ago.”

-Melissa Nyc

Flickr photo credit: hookbrother
Flickr photo credit: hookbrother

I’d like to add a few points to speak to why I love living here. Any given day when we have some free time we can drive a couple of miles over to Sly Park Lake (Lake Jenkinson) and throw a fishing line in or go swimming without planning a weekend trip hours away. My daughter rides horses nearby with her friends on natural terrain. We can go camping so close to our home that it’s more adventurous and interesting to travel an hour or so, hike a couple of hours, cross a creek on a fallen log and set up camp in the untamed wilderness.

What’s Best For The Kids?

Flickr credit: Vinoth Chandar
Flickr credit: Vinoth Chandar

This is every parent’s main concern. I’ve read several times that unstructured play builds creativity and creativity builds leadership skills. Tomorrow’s leaders need to be creative and able to think outside the box. Avril Swan, MD wrote Why Children Need More Unstructured Play on the KevinMD.com blog stating, “Unstructured free play can happen in many different environments, however, the outdoors may provide more opportunities for free play due to the many movable parts, such as sticks, dirt, leaves and rocks which lend themselves to exploration and creation.”

Of course unstructured play can happen whether you’re in a high-rise apartment, on a city playground structure, or in the backyard in the suburbs, but the rich variation in environment is a special kind of gift to a child’s senses. Unstructured play in a rural setting can provide so much more: rock outcroppings, low oak branches to climb, hilly walking paths, trickling creeks, bug and animal houses…oh the creature houses you find in the forest!

Nature watching is more surprising and varied, there are far fewer cars driving by, from where I sit at this moment I hear no cars at all, just the gentle waves of movement at the top of the pines and oaks as a warm breeze rustles their leaves, a few beetles clicking at different distances, at least 10 different birds singing, and a lawn being mowed somewhere within a half mile or so.  It’s peaceful, refreshing, and beautiful and I can’t imagine those things being detrimental to the upbringing and play of children.

This is what I want for my kids. If it’s what you want for your family as well, call me, John Conca, at (530) 306-3494 and we can discuss moving you up here. You can also search my website for available homes. I look forward to talking to you. Have a great day.

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