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.
I highly recommend outsourcing art. It’s totally worth cleaning up before and after!
Favorite Instagram of the week:
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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 ~
~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Whew! I even got the fridge cleaned out!
~ 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.