Monday, September 25, 2006

The Joy of Hospitality and Homeschooling

Two weeks ago, we had just returned from
a weekend at the farm and were trying to finish up laundry and proceed
with our homeschool lessons.  On Tuesday afternoon, my Mom called
to let me know I was going to have surprise houseguests.  My
Great-Aunt had died, and my Dad was bringing my grandparents to my
house Wednesday night.  My Uncle was meeting them there to pick up
my grandparents and take them to the funeral.

Wednesday we did
not do any lessons.  We set about putting the house in order,
especially the children's bedrooms which were quite disorganized. 
The children and I worked together all day to be ready.  We moved
all the children into our bedroom to sleep, and gave the two children's
bedrooms (with 4 twin beds) to our guests that night.

They all left early Thursday morning, but we knew they'd be returning the next Wednesday to reverse the process.

The children did a good job of not undoing our work over the next
week.  And we were able to do all of our schoolwork last week w/o
taking extra time to clean the house.

My Uncle delivered my
grandparents here Wednesday.  He left early Thursday
morning.  We were able to host my grandparents Thursday and
Friday.  My Mom didn't come until Friday night.  Then they
all left early Saturday morning. 

Having my
grandparents here for 2.5 days last week didn't detract from our
homeschooling.  But, I don't even regret the one day of schoolwork
missed the previous week.  I know the lessons my children learned
about service to others, sacrifice,  showing love, and hospitality
are of even greater benefit than one day of math and other book lessons.

As I was teaching the children Friday, I noticed my grandmother perusing my Handbook of Nature Study and Pocketful of Pinecones books.  Afterwards, we had a lovely discussion of Karen Andreola's book:  Pocketful of Pinecones
Grandma thought it looked like a wonderful, encouraging book.  She
said she was sure it would be helpful to any new homeschooler, and it
made her think of a couple new homeschoolers she knew.  She
thought that no matter what homeschool style you use, the attitudes and
life lessons in the book would be beneficial.

It was a
blessing to me to have that sweet conversation with my Grandma. 
She didn't homeschool, but 2 of her 6 children homeschool her
grandchildren.  My Aunt L was the first person I ever heard of
that homeschooled.  Later, my Aunt K followed in her
footsteps.  I knew as a teen that someday I would like to
homeschool my children, too.  That desire only grew as I attended
college.  By the time I began dating my husband, we were both
convinced that we needed to homeschool our children.

Now, I'd
better go finish our homeschool lessons for today.  C and J have
finished their math and handwriting, and now they're creating math
problems on their small chalk boards.  *smile*  A has
finished her math and journalling project.  She's moved onto her
week's reading for Tapestry of Grace.  R should be finishing her
math, but she's become distracted by the math on the chalkboards. 
I need to get her back on target.  L is napping and M is drawing
on the chalkboards. 

A and R are on week 16 of Tapestry
of Grace, year one.  They're studying the tail end of Ancient
Greece and moving back into Bible History ... studying Ruth and
Samuel's lives.  They're also learning about the people living
around the Israelites in the next few weeks:  Canaanites,
Philistines, and Hittites.  I just sat down to request from our
library system the books we'll need to complete Unit 2 of  ToG
Year 1 over the next three weeks.  I need to start looking at Unit
3 to see what is coming next.

This week, C and J will be studying Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel with Five In A Row, Volume 1.  Last week, we did Madeline,
so this week we're using a more "boy book".  I'm trying to
alternate so neither of them gets bored.  We've picked up Reading Made Easy
again and they are both doing lessons in it.  C is on lesson 9
today.  J will be on lesson 4.  He kept asking to do it, and
I decided to humor him by letting him.  Only, I was surprised at
how well he did.  So, we are continuing.  He may hit a wall
and need to back off eventually, but it certainly won't hurt to work
with him gently until (and if) we come to a wall.  But I do hope
to keep him a few lessons behind C, for her sake.

considering taking December off from bookwork.  I've never done
that before, but I think I need that time to focus on some home-made
gifts we'll be giving.  We'll have completed 18 or 19 weeks of
school by then -- depending on whether we take Thanksgiving week
off.  I've never been that far ahead in December, so I could never
afford to take the whole month off before.  I'm still waiting for
the Principal to give his approval, but the idea is more and more
appealing to me.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their
homeschool year, and being blessed by it, as much as we are here. 
Look for the blessings and joy in your daily life!!


  1. Hi April,

    We took time off last year with the death of my step-father. Even after we returned home, lessons did not resume in exactly a "normal" manner right away. We spent time helping my mom acclimate to her new home here in FL (my step-dad died in a tragic accident on their way moving down here) by doing school over at her house every day for a few months. The environment there, with our books in and out of my house and her house and lacking supplies from time to time as I'd forget them (things such as all the art supplies we'd need for a project), was not always condusive to our "curriculum learning," but just as you noted, life lessons were abundant.

    We also take every December off. Last year and this may be only 3 weeks out of the 4 due to other circumstances, but generally, it's the entire month. I find that the girls (and Mama) are too distracted by the events of the season. There are always projects we are doing anyway - art and community. We always find it a welcome respite and are eager again to begin school in January.

  2. I had two aunts who homeschooled children when I was a teen. They also inspired me to do it for my own. As a matter of fact my first post was a thank you to them basically! My grandmother was very proud of all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but you could tell that she was especially pleased that homeschooling was an option for the ones who wanted to do it. She was at the dedication of our first two girls. She was so glad to hear of our (dh and me) plans for me to stay home and homeschool. I am her namesake and we were always very close! I look forward to seeing her in heaven!

    I love the calendars! We take vacation starting on my birthday (11/27) and we don't start again until the second week of January. It is so busy at church and with making homemade gifts for our family. I think I will do the calendar idea this year. The girls are really old enough to do so much of this on their own now! Thank you for posting the pics too which helps artistically impaired people like me to see what you mean! :) LOL

    I haven't read the homestead blog because I found myself becoming discontent wanting that same thing and it isn't God's will for us at this time! I can appreciate your dilemma though! I can barely keep one blog going! :)

    In Him, Eva


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