We tried something new,
something simple, but something powerful enough
to make me feel so much better about life and especially about school.
Maybe you would like to try it, too.
Last week we were stuck in the winter doldrums–especially with homeschooling. Before climbing into bed last night I planned for us to take our school work to a coffee shop this morning.
Hodge Podge Coffee is super child friendly since they have a corner designated for toys and their space is big enough that children’s play won’t as easily disturb other customers. It seemed nice to have a space where Ian and Paxton could play with new toys and where Zachary could work with the promise of fun new toys and books as motivation for quickly getting through his lessons.
For me it also sounded really nice to to focus only on teaching and not seeing counters heaped with piles of dishes and papers, dirty floors, and two baskets of laundry that need to be folded.
In the morning I collected books + books + books + pencil crayons + glue + scissors + pencils + erasers. Between collecting, and wrestling boys into jackets and settling squabbles and looking for the keys and taking someone potty and hoisting the bag that weighed a kajillion pounds over my shoulder the plan seemed like it was taking a lot of effort to pull off.
However, from the time we left the house things felt better. A great big dose of sunshine, a few deep breaths of fresh air, smiling faces, a new environment, the happy buzz of people connecting, and coffee–definitely coffee made homeschooling seem a whole lot more manageable. We settled in around a children’s table. Another preschooler came over to join our party for awhile, and we gave him an activity book, too. I chatted with his mom a little and realized again how great it is to have a little adult conversation during the day.
It was a little hard for Zachary to concentrate, but I had promised him hot chocolate if he finished his work before we left the coffee shop which motivated him to work hard. The little boys built, read and rode, explored and discovered. Ian had the choice of playing or working in his books, too; of course, being in kindergarten, he wanted to do his lessons as usual.
From Thursday night to Friday noon we shifted from blah to motivated. We had such a great time together, focused on studies in a fresh way, and had a fun outing. Homeschooling away from home is going to become a little tradition of ours–hopefully one that happens at least monthly.
While driving home we thought of several more places to to try homeschooling. All of them would have a space quiet enough for study, a play area, would be free or inexpensive. This is the list we came up with:
- The library
- Barnes and Noble
- Steve’s office
- A Chick Fil A with a playground, preferably at a less busy location
- A park
- Coffee shop
What places would you add to our list?
[Zachary enjoying his well deserved hot chocolate and playtime.]