On Treating Your Home Like A Classroom Without Force

On Treating Your Home Like A Classroom Without Force

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Sarah Rae Smith
Aug 3, 2010

Today I have left my home (which is without air conditioning) and have retreated to my parents home in the suburbs of Kansas City as the heat climbs over 100 degrees! As a new month flips over on the calendar and the topic of learning at home comes up, it seems oddly appropriate that I write to you from the same kitchen table I learned all sorts of things from. Do you share some of the same memories I do?

My parents place is first and foremost a home, but I'd also like to consider it a classroom of sorts. I spent rainy days in the basement flipping through book after book on plant and animal identification and sunny afternoons out back learning how to tend a proper fire in a smoker for the best BBQ ever. I learned to quilt (though I don't enjoy the activity today), sew, blow my eyebrows off with a chemistry set, and repair a leaky toilet along with cookbooks worth of knowledge in the kitchen.

Although it's easy to feel preachy with our children when it comes to preparing them for things they'll encounter later on in life, it's always good to take a step back from the idea of instilling life lessons and make sure our homes aren't just a happy place to be, but are a place of instruction without force and harbor creativity and curiosity. I might not have wanted to stand out in a field identifying birds in the hot sun, but studying them with my feet tucked up under me and without any outside pressure, made me who I am today.

How did learning take place when you were growing up? Did you have a favorite place to read or experiment with things? Share your thoughts below!

Image: Flickr member extra ketchup licensed for use by Creative Commons

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