Friday, March 27, 2009

Our school table

After doing a bit of rearranging in our house, I was able to fit this little table upstairs against the wall. It is in the main room, only a few feet from our kitchen table.

Doing school work at the kitchen table was driving me crazy and even just a few feet away makes a huge difference! Before this table, I felt like we were constantly mixing food and school work. I don't mind reading aloud while we eat, but most school work needed to be separated from our time to eat.

At least those were MY goals when I set this little area up.

I had no idea how much this little table would improve our school environment.

Our school books are more accessible, so K (age 6) often walks over and completes some schoolwork done without being told. Somedays she just works quietly on writing or drawing at the table. Most days she initiates the start of our school time at the table.

Of course, the biggest benefit has been the change for me. Suddenly, I sit there and STAY THERE while we do our Explode the Code, Handwriting, Math, and Phonics. When she gets started on something she can do alone, I don't find myself emptying the dishwasher or quickly getting something done.

I may be only a few feet from the kitchen, but I am far enough away that I am not tempted to "get a little done" once she is working on a task. Prior to this little table area, I was continually walking away to organize something, clean something, or pick something up. There is always something to be done in the kitchen.

But now I sit. Competely focused.

She LOVES this. I am there the whole time and I comment on her work as she does it. Often, it turns into so much more than I could have ever planned. The girls take rabbit trails with math and reading that I would not have planned. We have discussions that weren't on the agenda. Sometimes they are about school, but often they are just about life.

All because I am completely focused for an entire hour on them. No dishes. No picking up. Nothing except me, them and a pile of great academic material.

I realized the change immediately, but didn't know if it impacted them until this week. My daughter did some of her school work at bible class on Tuesday without me. She pulled out her handwriting to show me and said, "I missed you when I did my handwriting today."

Thank you Lord for the gift of this little table. It was given to us so long ago and has sat in the garage. Thank you for the blessing uninterrupted school time and conversation with my girls that this table has helped to create. It may be little, but You have used it to make a huge difference in our day. Amen.