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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Comfy Couch Myth of Homeschooling

The Comfy Couch Myth @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

When I first started homeschooling, I had these visions of cuddling up on a comfy couch with my little ones in rapt attention, hanging on my every word while I read to them from a basket full of wondrous books.

So many of the homeschool books out there paint this picture of nothing but cozy togetherness when you homeschool.

The kids would never elbow each other for more room. 

The Comfy Couch Myth @ Homeschooling Hearts & MindAnd one kids would never grab the blanket for himself, taking up a full 3rd of the couch, insisting that he couldn’t move from his “warm spot” to make more room for someone else.

No one would interrupt every other sentence to point out continuity errors, make puns out of the word just spoken, or to give an immediate exclamation of how this author has no idea what she’s talking about.

They would even remember what I read to them. 

They might even be able to narrate it all back to me. 

They would never turn to me and say, “huh?”

And of course, they would be courteous.  I would never have two kids climb into my lap at once, knocking the wind out of me, because together they weigh in at 100 pounds. 

And one of them would never have his head lined up exactly between my eyes and the book.

I would never have to hold the book up high above his head and squint to read the words…

I called this the “comfy couch myth.” 

The Comfy Couch Myth @ Homeschooling Hearts & MindIt’s not truly a myth.  Sometimes we really do have a comfy couch.  Of course, sometimes the prep for getting to the comfy couch moment is lengthier than the moment itself.

But it’s very rare for things to go just right with no hiccups.  And if you think about it, life in general is like that.

How often does anything go just as you imagined it would?

But sometimes the reality is better than vision we cook up in our heads.  If we let it be. 

If we don’t reject it, because it doesn’t fit into our idea of how things should be.

Yes, I do sometimes wish that we could all just curl up together without any elbows, interruptions, or mayhem.  It would be so peaceful!

But, much as it pains me (literally) to have my 4-year-old and 7-year-old climbing into my lap at the same time, how can I not be honored that they both want to be that close to me!

And as much as I would really love to get a sentence out without interruption (I really would, total honesty here),  I know that my kids are actually listening, questioning, and engaging themselves in what I am trying to teach them.

No, they are not quiet, docile little cabbages, waiting for me to fill their heads with knowledge.  That’s not who my kids are.

And I love them for it.  Oh, I do get frustrated.  Yep.

The Comfy Couch Myth @ Homeschooling Hearts & MindWe will never fit into that happy little picture of what “comfy couch” learning is supposed to look like. 

And that’s ok. 

Part of the reason we homeschool is to escape the “supposed to”s of learning. 

We still like read alouds, though.  Sometimes we read them on the couch.  Sometimes we read them in the kitchen with Mama pacing the flour.  Sometimes we stand on our heads.

Well, the kids do, anyway.

The point is, learning doesn’t have to look the way it looks in books or in staged photos on Pinterest.  Whatever works for you is good.  Embrace it.

What other homeschool “myths” can I debunk?


  1. I'm laughing, because we just got done reading aloud on our couch and it was anything by comfy!

    Great post :-)

  2. Oh good! See, we aren't that strange. Not really. ;)

  3. Great post! It sounds just like my house :)

  4. I remember ONE time in 10 yrs, we were reading aloud in a "picturesque" moment. The kids were drawing in front of the fire while I read. I ran to get my camera b/c I knew it would never happen again...and it didn't.

    Kerry Beck
    (sorry to always write my name but our google account will not show my name even though I've changed it on our account) :-) I didn't want you to think this was from my hubby

  5. In my world, when I run to get the camera, the moment is over before I get back, LOL!


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