Welcome to Learning in the Living Room

“Welcome to Learning in the Living Room” (A Picture Story, of sorts)

This is our living room – the room that is just that – “LIVING,” as this is the room where we lived, and boy did we live!  This is the room where we learned, and boy did we learn!  This is the room where education was redefined.

This is the room that has a story to tell.

About 15 years ago, when I begged my husband to let me home educate, this was the room, our living room, where our journey began.  And what a wonderful journey it was! 

We held classes here.  (Some were just us, some were with friends, and some with fabulous tutors.)

We made HUGE number lines on the floor and learned about positive and negative numbers here.  (I never knew math could be such fun!)

We had a grocery store here and bought all sorts of good food to eat, and then learned how to count change (and yes, we even learned about the four food groups, because – you know – we need to integrate science and math)!

We made paper leaves, pumpkins, and scarecrows here.  (We even brought in the leaves from the outside for classification purposes, of course, until dad thought that we should be raking them outside, not collecting them inside.)

We created with playdough, silly putty, sticky gooey stuff, and lots of paint here. (My mom couldn’t believe I let the boys make such a mess, as that was not who I was before I had kids.)

We played games here.  (OK, I’ll admit, we played games a lot more than was traditionally and pedagogically “acceptable,” but boy did we have fun, and we learned in the process!)

We built models here for geography and science.  (Yes, Matt did recreate a whole Pokémon Scene with clay, but I think the characters were living in the mountains!)

We laughed while reading that silly joke book by Shel Silverstein here.  (I can still hear the laughter.) 

We cried when we read Shiloh with our friends here. (That was awkward, but necessary.)

We read the book Pilgrim’s Progress, and journaled about its beauty and its depth here.  (My mother-in-law lived with us then while fighting cancer, and we needed the insight of that novel to inspire us to fight with her.)

We wrote stories here.  (Matt wrote about a Boo Moose Truck, and Chris crafted creative stories that I still believe need to be published!) 

We learned to read here. (That was the ultimate triumph.  More to come on this later!)

We read classics here.  We even read Shakespeare here. (Well, I think we did that outside on the deck, while Matt was climbing a tree!) 

We wrote poetry around Christmas time here, and it was beautiful poetry.  (I learned more about poetry that month, than in my college literature class.)

We flew in an airplane to the most exotic places around the world here.  (We couldn’t afford to board a real airplane, so we used our imaginations, and it was breathtaking!)

We painted life size murals here.  (We even made life size human bodies and scared our grandmothers!) 

Sometimes we even did school in our pajamas here!

Yes, we did it all here. And then, in the blink of an eye, it was over.  Our journey had ended.

The 15 years had flown by – the life, the laughter, the learning, the love were behind me. 

At around this same time, my mother’s dementia was progressing and her care was becoming more challenging.  My oldest son was now in college and my youngest son was busy working.  They were both happy and healthy and wonderful, and while I was happy for them, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of loss.  It was so overwhelming at times; it took my breath away. My heart literally hurt. 

Yet, I knew my teaching and learning life was not over – I knew that God still had a plan for me, even at almost 60 years old, and that He could make all things new. 

I knew, in my heart, that I had more students to teach.

And I just knew that this living room had so much more life left to give, and it does!