When I sit in my friends’ homes, I can’t help but admire their beautiful artwork, their carefully placed furniture, and the adult-like feel of their living spaces. It’s in moments like these, that I wonder what it would be like to have a home that feels like a home rather than a school….
I look at the kitchen table; books splayed across it, heaps of pencils, crayons, and markers strewn about.
The walls of my kitchen display canvas art painted by my daughter and a framed map of the world. Our kitchen benches hold baskets of books, and two small shelves full of binders and art supplies flank the dining area.
On the counter are two glasses of water, both with eggs in them… one is floating, and one has sunk.
How nice it must be to have a counter free of science experiments and a kitchen table cleared of clutter.
Chunks of caked mud cover the hall of the front entrance. The boots on the floor look like they were kicked off in a mad frenzy. Coats have fallen off their hooks to the ground. I sigh as I bend over to pick them up.
Imagine what it would be like to take off your shoes and not have to worry about stepping in dirt and mud.
In the living room, there are books on the couch, the piano bench is covered with paper and more crayons, and a partially collapsed blanket fort is in the centre of the room.
A pile of blocks in the corner is the only evidence of the tower that once stood, and another corner has been set up as an impromptu vet clinic.
I can only dream of what it must be like to be able to flop on the couch without moving items or asking children to clean it up first.
Wherever you go, children’s artwork is proudly displayed. Whether it was matted and framed, or simply adhered to the wall with masking tape, the way it is hung is irrelevant… it’s the message it conveys that matters.
Children not only live here, but they learn here.
I move through the halls of my home and see these spaces where learning takes place; evidence that our family does things a little differently and then I think….
One day the table will be clear, and the counters will be clean.
One day the entrance will be spotless, free of boots and mud.
One day the living room will be organized, and the couch will be an inviting place to sit.
One day I will look around my home and reminisce about the time that my children lived and learned here.
One day I will miss the mess, the mud, the clutter, and chaos because my children will have completed their schooling and will have started their lives with their families.
So for now, I need to pause and with gratitude, reflect….
This is how we do life. This is how we learn. This is our homeschool.
Jennifer Bly is the creator of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram for homeschooling updates and inspiration.