Hi there, Friend!
I’m revisiting this post because of the interest you shared after yesterday’s blog post on keeping the meal table sane when you have littles at home.
(Thank you for your feedback! I always love hearing your ideas, thoughts, and questions.)
I’ve been sharing a lot about Sally Clarkson’s new book, The Life Giving Table, and of course that beckons the question from busy but intentional mamas…
How do I do the life giving table thing when my kitchen table is piled with school books and papers all day long?!
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!”
And from my personal friend, Heather (UnrelentingGrace.com)-
“I’ve been listening to Sally Clarkson’s podcasts and am anxiously waiting for her new book… I’ve been thinking about decorating my table, but always wonder how that will work with homeschooling.
“I saw your post today, and have a question. Do you take everything off the table to do school, including the table cloth?”
I’m going to answer these questions with a virtual tour of my home.
There are two videos in this post, as well as quite a few unstaged photos of our family’s home.
I hope what you find here will encourage and inspire you in this daily journey of living and loving well… even in the middle of the messes of daily life!
And now I’ll tackle these questions one-by-one!
“Do you homeschool at your dinning room table?”
Yes, we do.
Our dining room table isn’t the only place where my kids do school work.
As I showed in the video, we also have a school area and table, as well as a desk, in our living room.
It isn’t unusual for my kids to perch at the kitchen island to work on a craft, eat, or do school work.
We’re blessed to have a bit of wiggle room for our kids to spread out with their school work, but our dining room table definitely gets used a lot as a school room!
“Do you take everything off the table to do school?”
I’m a pretty big minimalist. If I had to undo and redo everything on a daily basis, well, I wouldn’t do it!
I want my table to look beautiful and inviting, but I don’t want to live so stressed over the details that I don’t enjoy my home, my kids, or schoolwork!
I keep two things on my table pretty much all the time:
- a fresh table cloth
- a vase of silk or fresh flowers
Anything else is deemed as clutter. 🙂
I have a collection of inexpensive table clothes, and I rotate those as needed so that we always sit down to a fresh table cloth.
When the table cloth is dirty, my kids know that putting the soiled one in the wash and getting out a fresh one is part of the kitchen duty for that meal.
A few Things That Help Keep My Table From Getting Buried Alive-
- We are generally finished with school work by lunch time.
There are occassional exceptions, but not many.
We hit the books at 8:30 a.m. and wrap it up by 12:30 or 1:00.
I’ve always been a stickler about this schedule, and it consistently helps our lives run much more smoothly than if we were stuck in school mode all day.
- My kids keep their school stuff in a back pack.
We don’t usually have books and papers all over the place after school work is done because my kids each have a back pack for their stuff, and the back packs go in the closet before lunch.
This is a habit we’ve developed over the years, and it saves us all a lot of clutter and confusion.
Is my life perfect?
Not on your life!
I’m tidy, but I’m not the most organized mom in the world.
Most days, I can find my dining room table, all of our school books, and most of our pencils. 😉
Generally speaking, our life runs well in rhythms.
The days when we’re all out of sorts and off track?
Well, we know that tomorrow is a always a fresh start!
If you’d like more mentoring from Sally on this topic of cultivating life around your table, please create some space in your life this week to tune in to her newest podcast, “Loving Well at Your Table.”
You can preorder Sally’s book, The Life Giving Table, at Amazon.com.
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.