Until recently I had only homeschooled in houses that were small and crowded. Try as I would to utilize the space well, it just never worked very efficiently. Many of us are one-income families who are challenged to find suitable housing for a family at home all day conducting school. At times the walls crowd us in as we try to use our homes in ways for which they were not designed.
Have you ever wondered what a home would look like that was designed for homeschooling? Laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen located conveniently near the separate room for homeschooling. One central location where all books and materials would fit would certainly be a blessing. This is not the model home that most of us live in. Usually we have books and supplies in various rooms, and cooking and laundry may take place far enough from where the children are working that we find ourselves doing a lot of walking.
We looked at larger homes in our suburban location and came away disappointed. The ones we could barely afford needed work that would take precious time away from our family. After considering our alternatives, we decided to be content with the small home we were in and remodel the kitchen to make it more functional. I remember feeling a little discouraged because I had already rearranged and redesigned the living space a few times. I did not know how I would find a place for our seventh child once she moved into the crib. It was tight.
Through an act of the Lord, we were blessed with the opportunity to move to a ten-acre farm before we began our kitchen project. While I love our farmhouse and the outbuildings and would not trade this lifestyle for suburban living, I have had my eyes opened. There is a lot more to clean in this bigger house. Repairs and updates are needed even in our well-maintained home built in 1907. With greater treasure comes greater responsibility. I am glad for the time I lived in small houses. It enabled me to focus on God's work first - homeschooling our children.
Are you happy in your home? Thank God for it.When we were planning a move to South Dakota during the fall of 2013 and looking at houses up north, I allowed myself to dream of what exactly the ideal home, for our unique, homeschool family, would look like. We even found one in our searches that would've been perfect. Aside from being in a small town just down the road from a horse farm, our boys would've had their own floor, while Adina and my hubby and I would've had ours. There was another level for living and eating and a fourth that had a second bathroom and laundry room, as well as a large, living space that would've been ideal for setting up our homeschool headquarters. It felt like the Lord was aligning all the stars, and we were just along for the ride, until He wasn't.
Months later, we found ourselves resigned to staying in Kansas City, and while we were unsure now of what that would look like, we felt like a move to something more suited to our growing family was still in order. We never imagined that our house simply wouldn't sell. My hubby says that we never really gave it a chance picking the wrong realtor in the first place. So, we ended that relationship; and through the welcome advice and wisdom of a family friend, moved over to for sale by owner.
We had more showings in the first week doing it on our own than we did in nearly five months under a realtor, but during this time, we also continued to look for a new home in our area and came up empty-handed. Everything needed more work than our pocketbooks, schedules, or talents could afford. Staying put became a welcome reality, and while our space was cramped and crowded, we had already made it ours.
I love my own little loft space to spread out and get creative. I love our walls filled with family portraits and mementos. I love our large, wooded backyard with all its shade and peace and quiet right in the midst of the city. I love the scraggly, apple tree we planted in the front yard years ago. I love hearing the pitter-patter of little, bare feet scrambling across our squeaky, hardwood floors. I love our built-in bookcases oozing with adventure and knowledge. Matter of fact, I think Anna Quindlen put it best when she said, "I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves." I WILL find a way to tie that quote into a page design one day ;). I love my gardens and screened in porch and stone patio and truly am happy in my home sweet home.
A simple life in the fear of God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches. Proverbs 15:16