One of the most heart-breaking things about leaving South Asia was giving up our beloved Richmond Town flat, and with that, our homeschooling room. After the decision to homeschool, we moved David’s office into our bedroom, and I worked for weeks picking out a school table and curtains and a reading corner, setting everything up for the kids and me to have an inspiring place to learn.
And then, just when it was perfect, three weeks into our school year, everything unraveled. I wasn’t able to get out of bed most days to homeschool Judah and Amie. I had to quit my Hindi studies.
And that’s when we knew something had to change.
It’s strange, I’ll always associate our start of homeschooling with the unraveling of our South Asia life — although it began long before.
Of course there were lots of reasons to be sad in those surreal days when I hurriedly crammed things into our requisite eight suitcases, wondering if I’d ever see our flat again, but the main thing I remember is standing in our three-week-old, peaceful, light-filled homeschooling room and crying.
It felt like a death.
And yet here we are, a year and some change later, and God has given me another school room.
I love this room, our home’s third “bedroom,” which you can see from the exposed brick wall is an addition. It’s right off the living room, which is perfect for drifting in to play or do art work and yet still feel part of the action of the house.
I’ve tried for years to keep my desk in our bedroom, but realized that just doesn’t work. The desk pretty much permanently stays piled with papers and other miscellaneous items (of course like any good blogger I removed them for this photo shoot), and that’s not the most relaxing thing to look at as you’re drifting off to sleep at night.
So now the desk is in its rightful place, in the school room, and I love it. I also love our new tacky gray filing cabinet which to me signifies settling down. Our entire married life, we’ve carried all our files from home to home in a black plastic file box. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to spend an afternoon purging and organizing our paperwork and filing it in a real, stationary filing cabinet.
Of course I know that you don’t need a school room to successfully do homeschooling. Learning can just as easily happen spread out at the kitchen table, or curled up on the sofa, and we frequently incorporate those spots into our school day. But for some reason, having an inspiring space dedicated to homeschooling helps me take it more seriously.
My goal with each of the rooms in our house is to make them a place I actually want to spend time in. And since our school room is finished I’ve found myself heading in there in the mornings with my Bible and hot tea, or during afternoon naps (a.k.a. “play time” since the kids don’t nap anymore), which is my time to catch up on details and do school planning.
In short, this school room is one of God’s real, personal gifts to me. Maybe it seems silly, but to be in here and soak in sunlight from the three windows, gaze at the walls filled with my kids’ art work, sit at the table and work on math with Judah, feels like a redemption.
This room doesn’t take the place of our other one. It doesn’t mean I never get sad for our flat or wonder what life would be like if I’d gotten better and we’d stayed in South Asia.
But it does make me so happy. It’s a daily reminder that God hears the cries of my heart and that He brings new life.