Wednesday, September 18, 2013


We here at Kendallville are a homeschool family. This means that over the years, I have been my kids' primary teacher, and we have done the bulk of our schoolwork at the kitchen table. We do school at home. Homeschool - get it?

Except that, sometimes we don't. We don't do school at home, that is. Sometimes, we take school on the road. Or sometimes, we work hard at the books for a season, so that we can have a free day or two to tackle something else, something besides schoolwork, like setting up for a dance or taking a field trip or checking off a bazillion errands in town. And that's okay. One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is the flexibility it affords.


That said, home really is the best place to do school. And daily really is the best routine.

After a crazy-busy summer of running up and down the highway, of unusual opportunities and events, Helen and I have just enjoyed several consecutive days (not counting Saturday and Sunday) of just plain ole school. Breakfast, a cup of coffee, and then algebra. Then, American literature. Biology, French, U.S. government - click, click, click. Break for lunch and chores. Then, American history (& yoga for Mom). Piano practice. Time on the swing or curled up on the sofa to complete reading assignments. Free time, supper, a walk on the farm (or, for Helen, a run with big brother).

It is amazing - absolutely amazing - how much we accomplish when we stay home, settle into a rhythm, and dedicate our time to doing the work at hand.

Before I began this homeschool journey, way back 20+ years ago, a seasoned homeschool mom offered me this piece of advice: "Camille, you have to think of this as a job. Just like people who get up and go to work every day, you are going to have to purpose to commit to the time it takes each day to teach your children, and you're going to have to protect that time."

My friend was right. I've discovered that it is way too easy to become so busy with good activities outside the home - school related, church related, social activities, etc. - that I suddenly discover we are not actually doing a very substantial amount of schoolwork at all. Plus, we become tired and frustrated, running from this thing to that, feeling stressed from being stretched too thin.

And then I remember...

This is not car school. Or sitting-in-the-waiting-room school. Or hurry-up-&-finish-your-assignment-so-we-can-leave-for ________ school. Or we'll-just-get-to-that-later school.

No, it's home school.

And home, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

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