I don't know how many times I have been asked this question since we began our homeschooling journey a little over 2 years ago. Maybe a dozen times, maybe more. It seems like it is the type of question that usually follows our brief introduction (aka...that we homeschool and what type of curriculum we use) whenever we meet someone new.
It is hard to explain exactly what we do all day long as our school curriculum really doesn't fit a 'tradition' approach or method. I have written openly many times and shared that we school using "Charlotte Mason's methods." For most people, they usually ask..."Charlotte who?" Some homeschoolers, however, are familiar with her methods and as such will often simply say "Oh!" Our homeschool is an eccletic mix of things, as is our life. Our home is warm and friendly (or so I have been told) and on most days is quite messy (not of my choosing though I will admit that housecleaning is not my area of giftedness.) I try to keep things orderly and neat so to give the 'impression' that our home is neat and tidy and always in order. The truth is that we work at home, school at home, and generally live a messy life...at home. Our office is a large room, converted from a carport into a home-based office for my dh's business. It measures roughly 400 SQ ft and we are truly blessed to have the extra space (we live in a 1000 SQ ft home). We have made the sacrifice and have given up a garage with oodles of storage space for an office. My dh loves it, I love it and our son loves it. It is nice to be able to work at home and walk from the kitchen into the office and begin our day.
Our office/school room/work room is messy to say the least. DH is a paper collector and has magazines and books, all meant to be read shortly, scattered about. It does remind me of an English country home (though not in styling) where there are piles of papers and books and magazines and other things stacked in piles and piles and piles. When we clean the office, we straighten our piles and move them about a bit. They always looks so nice and neat -- until we want to read something and then we start the scattered look all over again.
Our school day begins here in the office, with bookshelves overflowing, filing cabinets covered in magnets and other treasures, with the cd player playing soothing music, and the computers and laser printer softly humming. It is a nice way to start the day and I enjoy it. I like living in my little home, with not so neat kitchen and bathrooms, with all our books and magazines, and our way of doing things.
I know that this blog post was about reading and somehow I got off track and started to write about our homeschool/office...well, I guess that is the cool thing about blogging. You start with one thought and before you know it you are over on another path completely.
My point about reading is simply that we are a family of readers and we like our life a lot. I don't want to make it sound like that is all we do but in reality it is a big part of our day. My dh reads newspapers from around the world, I read articles on the internet for business and pleasure, and ds reads just about anything on the computer (and his school books). We like to read and we read a lot of different types of books, newspapers, articles, magazines, and other interesting things. Reading is the key to learning and I feel sorry for people who cannot read (because they never learned) and for those who choose not to read (because it is boring or not fast enough). Reading is a dying art and I am glad that in our little corner of the world, it is alive and well and that we have made it our daily habit.