Let’s tackle our first Mentoring Wednesday for Moms post with a homeschooling Q&A, okay?
Here’s a question from my cousin, Darleen (Simply Darling Lilla Rose)-
Do you homeschool at your dinning room table? I would love to see pictures!”
Hmmm, well now…
Just image what any piled-up dining room table looks like, and there you have it. 😀
On a serious note-
Yes, we currently “do school work” at our dining room table.
I have a dream of someday cultivating space in our home for a “den” or “school room” area, but for now the dining room table doubles as a cozy work space for my little students.
We recently remodeled our dining room (I need to share some pictures with you soon!), so this is actually one of my favorite spaces in our house. It’s a sunny, comfortable room… and, as you can imagine, it’s generally quite “lived in” by the eight of us who do life here every day.
I would love to see pictures!
Here is my staged dining room table- This is what our newly remodeled dining room looks like, by the way!
And, just to be honest, my dining room looks “perfect” like this for about 10 minutes each week.
Here is my normal-school-morning dining room table- This photo is from a few weeks ago.
The fact that we use our dining room table several times each day for meals (we have an island/counter in the kitchen, but not a table) is a huge incentive to keep it clear throughout the day.
And here is my dining room table at it’s worst!
I was planning for a brand new school year and my books and curriculum just sort of took over…
And that brings us to a question that Darleen didn’t ask but that you might be wondering (like I often do)-
How do you keep the dining room table clutter-free when you use it for homeschooling?
Well, my honest answer is… I don’t.
At least, not all the time.
As you just saw in my pictures, our dining room table (and the kitchen island, as well) is piled sky high with books, papers, and school supplies from about 8:30 in the morning until lunch time.
The truth is, clutter happens. Especially when you homeschool.
I’m a perfectionist by nature, and I’ve had to learn to make room for messes, imperfection and creativity in my home.
Do I like messes? No, I don’t.
I’d be just fine living in a staged world of just-so furniture and crisp, white table clothes.
This reminds me of a passage I read last night in Sally Clarkson’s book, Own Your Life–
Living out our ideals at home is not about reaching perfection, but about providing peace, hope, life, vision, and love to our families. Today in the midst of all the messes, go ahead and smile, laugh, sing, and dance to the rythms of God’s song.
The making of committed followers of Christ occurs in relationship. Deep relationships are a result of investing time, expressing love, meeting needs, and patiently praying for those we are serving.
Seeking to transform hearts to love and know Jesus more personally is the profound work of my home.”
Ladies, that is my heart.
That is the “why” of my homeschooling: “the making of committed followers of Christ.”
It’s easy to see the messes, the piles, the cluttered spaces.
As a good steward of my home, I seek to cultivate a sense of order and personal responsibility, but the bigger picture is never just about a staged space or a perfect room.
Homeschooling is about hearts.
And that can happen around a cluttered dining room table!
So how about you? What does your dining room table look like right now?
Do you set up a classroom there most every morning, like I do?
Are you a homeschooling mom? I’d love to connect with you over in my homeschool Facebook group!
You can check out my other homeschooling articles here.
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.