Friday Five: break week, teacher training, & EHAP help

posted in: actual | 7

Friday Five: follow-through, ‘fore and aft, freebie, FAQ, & favorite fiction


~ follow-through ~

It was Easter break week for us this week, and we spent half of it holed up in the house sick. There was disappointment all around – if one is going to cancel everything and be sick in bed, one might as well do it on a school day so school is canceled, rather than on a break week when it’s play that is canceled.

But by Wednesday we were mostly recovered and I was able to tidy the house up, so hopefully we won’t start our final school term (!) in chaos.

We still did art lessons on Friday, and my sister brought paint.

homeschool snapshot

I highly recommend outsourcing art. It’s totally worth cleaning up before and after!

Favorite Instagram of the week:


Follow me on Instagram

This is my new favorite cleaning tool: a wand that gets under things, between things, wipes the ceiling, dusts light fixtures and far corners – and should not be given to children.

They call it my cleaning sword. Clearly they should not handle it.


~ ‘fore and aft ~

round button chicken

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Whew! I even got the fridge cleaned out!

Victory!




~ freebie ~


Jennifer Dow has recently released this excellent Short & Sweet Guide to Classical Education.

If you’ve ever wondered what makes classical education different, how you can teach more classically, or what a classical homeschool scope & sequence looks like – this guide lays it all out for you.

I highly recommend it!


~ FAQ ~

I recently received a question in my inbox about EHAP, our family’s tidy-the-house strategy. I’m wondering if you can help me help her:

Does your family EHAP again after the one at five? Do you allow toys out before or after dinner? The reason I’m asking is that we do an afternoon EHAP but then it is all messy again and I’m too exhausted to do it again. You know? So I go to bed, the night owls continue to hang out, and in the morning I come down to empty snack packages on the coffee table, toys strewn about, drink glasses out, throw pillows on the floor, etc you get the idea. It is so frustrating! Any advice? I feel like the oxen are out all the time.

I think the personalities that make up a household affect this greatly. The introverts outvote the extroverts – both my husband and I are and our oldest two are introverts – so our pattern has generally been to have a pretty chill, low-key, quiet evening. We EHAP, have dinner, tidy up, maybe read aloud maybe read individually, and soon after it’s the younger set’s bedtime – no one gets wound up again after dinner. So except for books, usually the house doesn’t get crazy again.

But different families have different patterns and habits. Rather than try to change everyone’s energy and routines, I’d recommend thinking about postponing EHAP until after dinner or maybe a first-thing-before breakfast EHAP.

Rather than getting frustrated that the work was undone, however, you can also simply accept as part of your morning routine, going around like a straightening fairy and addressing at least the garbage and pillows – it’s kind of pleasant to make a big difference in the room in just a minute or two – it’s in your perspective.

This reminded me, particularly your quote at the end, of one of my favorite articles by Rachel Jankovic, “The Oxen are In,” where she writes:

Some people God calls to live in the desert with one tasteful display on the horizon of rocks and a cactus. And you can honor God there with contentment and joy and sacrifice. And some people God calls to live in the cranberry bog where you can’t go out without hip waders, and the sacrifice of your life will always include messy boots and stains and crazy bounty that has to be raked up. And the only way to honor God in either place is to embrace with thanksgiving the life that He has put before you. Honor God, love your life.


~ favorite fiction ~

Jaeger devoured the Lloyd Alexander books while he was recovering. Some we had, some we checked out from the library, and then we quickly filled in the gaps by adding the remaining to his kindle.

That’s an obsession I can get behind and support – by procuring the books necessary.

7 Responses

  1. Jennifer
    |

    I can’t stand trash and empty dishes left out after hours. The night owl (I only have one right now) is (being) trained to clean up after her late-night self. I feel strongly that’s a responsibility that accompanies the privilege of staying up.

    And like Misty said, if she hasn’t cleaned up, in the morning I straighten up, sometimes piling up the offender’s items somewhere conspicuous (but out of my way), and I thank God for these few years I have left to enjoy her living at home.

    We rarely EHAP every last thing daily, but get “most things most of the time” and “every last thing” every 2-4 days, and that is enough to keep me from getting too obsessive about it!

  2. Jenny
    |

    Poor things — sick on a break. That’s too bad. Your fridge looks great!

  3. Kristie
    |

    I’m the one that asked the question. :) The main offender is my husband and he just doesn’t see mess. Since asking the question I’ve had lots of time to pray about it and I’ve been working on changing my view on it. I’ve put it into my morning routine and it only takes a few moments. Now that we have a newborn again I’ve been up with the night owls in the middle of the night and I’ve witnessed some cleaning. I have to admit that the first time I saw him tidy up I was a bit shocked.

    • Mystie Winckler
      |

      Oh, and third trimester and newborn time is an emotional rollercoaster of its own. Those were often my low points of feeling like everything was horrible no good. :)

      They are tidying some, so….it could be worse? :)

      I was one who didn’t see the mess, so I sympathize. It took years of deliberate effort to come out of that myself. Be patient. I’m glad to hear you’ve been praying about it! That’s the best thing to do.

  4. Catie
    |

    I LOVE that Jankovic quote! *sigh* It’s so easy to get roped into thinking all of our schedules/families/homes should look similar. That quote and your advice encourages me to SEEK out MY family’s needs and base my expectations on that, instead of what someone else is doing. :)

    On a different note–I always mean to tell you that I LOVE your kids’ names. They *are* they’re real names, I hope? ;o)

  5. Amber Vanderpol
    |

    What a disappointment to be sick on a break week! I’m glad that people were feeling better towards the end of the week at least.

    And I loved your answer to the EHAP question. It is so easy for me to think that there is a one size fits all answer to a question like that, but there really isn’t. What matters is that it does get done, and what our attitude is in getting it done.

  6. Melissa
    |

    We do EHAP daily, typically in the evening after dinner, in the common areas of kitchen, dining, and living room. My 12 year old is responsible for dishes and kitchen cleaning. My 11 year old son is responsible for floors, which includes picking up toys and sweeping. The 3 year old pitches in where ever, but typically is getting ready for bed. The 12 year old does a fabulous job, with only rare reminders. My 11 year old is another story. It’s a common battle ground with him, primarily because his father is watching TV and he wants to join him :( We have on occasion shut everything off and all went to bed, leaving him behind, alone, with chores. This usually remedies the situation for a period…until slipping back into bad habits. The we repeat. Eventually, he will get it….I hope, LOL.