Monday, March 31

what's "normal"?

Welcome to the second day of Home Education Week. To follow the posting of the day about what homeschooling looks like in families around the country (and around the world), go visit Dana at Principled Discovery for all the links

Profiling Home Educators Monday, March 31
Describe yourself, your family or one of your children. What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?

As I was pondering this question, I was struck by how "normal" our normal feels to our family. Through the years home education has blended into our life so subtly that we no longer think of ourselves as doing anything special or different. Simply put, it's just life around here. Most of our children were born into a home education environment and were gently carried along with the rhythm and flow without a second thought.

They've learned that every morning we all gather around the kitchen table for morning devotions before our day "officially" begins. Unofficially there has already been much activity before that time. Some were up early doing some schooling so they could have more free time in the afternoon. Others launched into the kitchen to see what was cooking for breakfast. And possibly one or two preferred to sleep until the last possible moment knowing their alarm clock would be a large dog lapping their face when mom opened their bedroom door.

After the day has officially begun, the junior and senior highers go off to their rooms to work on the studies of the day. The middlers stay to work at the kitchen table and the littles get their crayons out to see what's in store for the new day. The mornings have always been the best and busiest school working time for our family perhaps because we've had so many years of a quieter afternoon household for the nappers.

Although there's always kitchen grazers mid-morning, the first real break comes over the noon hour when the books are put away and the kitchen comes alive with all the various hungry tastes. It's neat to see how many cooks there are now as they busy themselves with warming up leftovers or cooking a hot sandwich. Once lunch is over, the kids tend to head outdoors for some fresh air. The activity varies according to the season and they'll stay out there until mom calls. And if they are all content with what they are doing, mom will take a quick catnap (we are suppose to be honest, right? *wink*)

The afternoons mean continued formal schooling for the olders ones, maybe a bit for the middlers, the littles are in free play, and when there's babies, the treasured naptime. By mid-afternoon we are pretty much finished up for the day. Mom starts supper preparations and any formal education is finished.

And so goes Monday through Thursday.

Friday is our main corrections day and definitely the longest day. Mom irons while she gives spelling tests - yes, I love it! - and then one by one mom and student review the work of the week. Questions are answered, papers corrected, and charts crossed off.

And so ends another week! ::::yawn:::: Not too exciting, right?! Ah, but you have to read between the lines of "normal" and get a glimpse into the extras. The sing song chatter of the littles in their play kitchen. The excitement during the noon hour as a new "play" is being written and costumes are being figured out to go with the lines. The click clack of grandma's old typewriter as a mystery is developed. The whispering as a map is drawn for a treasure hunt in the woods. The challenge of olympic events out in the yard. Yes, the formal education requirements are in place to take care of "normal", but the extras are the imagination icing on the cake :-)

So is there a "normal" in your household or is it only a setting on your dryer? *wink*

Tammy ~@~


AussieinAmerica said...

What blessed children! To have such a nice home. It really does sound like a lovely place to grow up and learn.

Tammy said...

Sounds wonderful! While the general experience feels very normal to us by now... With 5 very active boys between the ages of 5 and 15, I've had to learn to accept juggling as normal. I try to catch them each at their best without interrupting the one who is entertaining the youngest. I've learned that flexibility on my part keeps things feeling as normal as possible.

mom said...

Awww, thanks Stacy!

All that juggling guarantees us a future job in a circus someday, doesn't it? LOL!


MacCárthaigh Family said...

That sounds great! Well done. Makes me want to do lots more with Sean...
God bless.

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