On Schoolhouse Road

When I was growing up my absolute favorite place to go was to the library. And my favorite library was a remnant of 70’s architecture with inexplicable angles outside and uncomfortable chairs inside. It was nestled among a multitude of giant pine trees at the top of a hill so steep it was an act of faith just to drive in and out of the parking lot. But in spite of the awful architecture and questionable location, someone on the original planning committee must have had an imagination, because that wonderful, old, ridiculous-looking library was the only building to be found on a little road named Storybook Lane. My childish fancy took boundless delight in the very thought of a library living on Storybook Lane. For although the carpet was worn and the vertical pine paneling terribly dated, that library seemed to me to be a living place, inhabited by people both real and imagined who I loved to visit, taking me to places in my mind and heart that I would never actually step foot in.

When I was a teenager, the city finally decided to build a new, modern library with glass-walled study rooms, a separate wing for the children’s department, communal computers, comfortable reading nooks in every corner, and refreshingly updated bathrooms. And while the building was so new it echoed and so clean it squeaked and so level we no longer prayed while turning into the parking lot, it was now found disappointingly on Old Brandon Road, and somehow in all the professional landscaping and shining tile floors it was no longer the living, breathing friend I had loved for so long. There’s a lot that can be said for history, for the binding of one generation to another, for the quirky corners and uninspired aesthetics that give a place character and help to mold it into a being with whom we may have a relationship.


The unending yard work  we began on our property last summer took a brief hiatus during the winter months of rain and mud, but it’s back in full swing now that spring has kept its promise to return. One side of our property line has been horribly overgrown, nearly jungle-like for ten to twelve feet inside the double line of great trees that separates our little piece of land from the neighbors’. My family and I have spent many, many hours clearing out and burning all the brush and thorny vines growing in abundance down that line. We’re making wonderful progress and look forward to repairing and replacing parts of the old fence soon, but we decided to check with our nearest neighbor first to verify property lines so we can determine exactly what is ours to finish cleaning up.

We learned that long ago that space between the double line of trees was called the old Schoolhouse Road, because it was the route rural children took to get to the local school. Jonathan and I were intrigued and did some investigating. It turns out that this generations-old path still runs straight through our neighborhood as well as the neighborhood across the main road from ours. The path ends not far from our house, where the forest was long ago cleared and turned into farmland. And on the other side of the neighborhood beyond us, the path was turned into a regular road. My mind whirled as I heard Steve’s information. Right here, in our own backyard, was a beautiful piece of history. I looked down that double line of trees and could almost see little groups of farm children, lunch pails in hand and strapped books hanging over their shoulders, trudging along on their way to school. It was enough to set my history-loving heart aflutter.

I plan to pursue this new information with the local historical society to see what else I can learn about our area, but even the little bit of knowledge I now have adds great character and meaning to our home. In this place with its slightly slanted kitchen countertop, unmatched wood floors, and somewhat wonky walls (courtesy of a previous owner who was a rather inept DIYer), I work diligently to raise lifelong learners. How perfect to live off of Schoolhouse Road! Every day I teach my children and some days I also teach their friends. We read and we talk and we experiment and we play and all the time we are learning and growing and becoming the people we are going to be. It’s a beautiful, messy, gloriously hard labor of love that I wouldn’t trade for all the world.

Once upon a time, not far from where I am sitting now, there was a rural schoolhouse where farm children pursued their education. Based on the few descriptions we’ve heard so far, it was probably a small school with few teachers and students, but perhaps those teachers cared deeply for the children in their charge and bore well the sweet burden of opening their eyes to the world around them. I find it inspiring to sit in the shade of our trees and dream as I look down that long-neglected path. I’m transported once again to a time and place I’ll never get to experience and I can easily imagine the giggling children, the patient teachers, and the wonder of young minds unfolding.

Sadly, our homeschool doesn’t reside on Storybook Lane. But we are bound on one side by our own towering pine trees and on another side by the old Schoolhouse Road, and the magic that brings to our home inspires me to keep pressing forward. Over time, we’ll replace the dying trees along the old path with young ones ready to take their place alongside history, just as we’re raising this next generation to stand tall and strong and straight as they grow.

I already loved our home and all its quirks simply because it’s ours. But I love it more now for the presence of Schoolhouse Road and the beauty that adds to our days.

 

– Katie

Contributing Member Introductions

Hello, and welcome to the Honeybee Christian Co-op blog! Here we will post about co-op, our faith, homeschooling, parenting, and just whatever is on our hearts. We can’t wait to share all the fun and craziness that comes with homeschooling our crew! Here is a quick introduction of our contributing members!

Hello! My name ispulk49 Valerie,  and I am a catholic homeschooling mom of 2. I have an energetic 5-year-old boy and a sweet little 6-month-old girl. Giving birth within a week of starting our first official year of homeschooling has made things interesting, but we are so very blessed. In my “free”/me time I enjoy sewing, crafting, reading, watching Netflix, and all things Harry Potter. I’ve been married to my husband, Stephen, for 7 years now. As a family, we enjoy spending time outdoors, going to concerts, and just getting together with family and friends. My son has high functioning autism, so you will occasionally see me post about ASD or special needs topics. Our homeschooling style is very eclectic. We pull from Charlotte Mason, Reggio, Montessori, and Unit Study methods. The biggest thing I have taken away from our first year official year of schooling is that my son will learn things when he is ready, and trying to rush him will only cause both of us frustration.  I look forward to sharing our journey with you!

I’m Charity and I’m mom of 3 kids. They range from 1st grade down to 3 years old so I’m
charityconstantly balancing teaching different grades, keeping up with the house, and getting as much social time as we all love! I have been married for over 8 years and my husband and I were both homeschooled so to us the easiest choice at this point is to homeschool – but we know that any year that could change for any of our three kids. We moved here from out of state 2 years ago and from the beginning, Honeybee Christian Co-op has been our most profound circle of friends. I have learned so much from seeing the different teaching styles of other moms and having this close group of friends for my husband, kids and I to bounce ideas off of, encourage, and pray for. I live for playdates and love visiting playgrounds, libraries, or hosting random playdates at my house. I studied Marketing in college and sometimes do some small marketing jobs from home but most of my time is spent in keeping up with my kids and hanging out with friends at playdates.

Hi! I’m Melissa, wife, and Mama to 3, almost 4, littles. Ages 5,3,2 and one coming in June! Needless to say, our arms are full, but our hearts even more so! I had 0 intentions of homeschooling our kmelissaiddos, but the Lord has used countless ways to open my eyes and more importantly my heart to educating our children. I would say when it comes to homeschool style we are an eclectic family because Mama can’t seem to settle on any one idea or style. Ha! We love to learn through play and exploring the world around us. We love trying new things and meeting new people from all walks of life. I spend most of my time with my little family, but also enjoy studying God’s word, being an active member of my church’s women’s group, spending time with friends, all things crafty and supplementing our family budget with my small photography business. I’m looking forward to sharing about our experiences in homeschooling and hope they will help to encourage others, because if the Lord can equip me to do this, He can equip anyone!!!

Hello! I’m Katie, and I have four sweet little munchkins: triplet daughters who are seven 6B382F4F-9D36-41CE-AF8B-5267D1884F03and one four-year-old son. I was homeschooled through high school graduation; my husband Jonathan was homeschooled for several years, as well. We passionately believe that home education is not simply something you can fall back on when running from other options; rather, home education offers so much to families, it is a choice to run toward! We love homeschooling for far too many reasons to list in a short paragraph, but I look forward to sharing some of those reasons with you in my posts! Our own homeschool, with three children finishing second grade and another entering preschool, is an eclectic blend of several styles, but overall, we lean toward the Charlotte Mason method. Our family is very social and we greatly enjoy getting together with friends. I love being with my family and most of my interests flow out of that. I am passionate about quality children’s literature!! I also enjoy reading, writing, hiking with my little family, and encouraging others with the truth of God’s Word. I’m excited about being part of this blog and I hope you are encouraged by it!

30264629_10103714902822104_4075783883545640960_oKaitlin is a homeschooling mama and part-time speech therapist and autism researcher. She and her husband Ted, the fisheries biologist, have four children ages 8 and under. Neither of them were homeschooled or had any experience with homeschoolers growing up, but knew early on in their dating relationship that it was the plan God had for their family. Homeschooling in these early years consists of morning prayers and Bible readings, nature hikes and outdoor adventures, lots of family read alouds, and occasionally a math or phonics lesson. She loves Charlotte Mason, audiobooks, and firmly believes that Cindy Rollins is correct and “reading aloud and narration cover a multitude of sins.”

Hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little better!