We call it “Mom Zone.”
In our Home School we have always featured a morning meeting at the kitchen table where I dawned the day with conversation or prayer or breakfast. I gave birth to a meeting place to wipe the sleep from our eyes, correct our attitudes and set the atmosphere for the learning environment. As the children grew, it also became a place of accountability in the homeschool journey.
Be at the table by Eight.
Receive a smile or a ticket to use to earn a reward.
It became a place to explore the riches of subjects that may not “fit” in the “school” day anywhere else. It is a dynamic place to grow and share.
The alphabet song and scriptures set to music gave way to memorizing the “I Have a Dream Speech” by Dr. King and the names of the fifty states by learning a choreographed dance. Living room dance parties were sometimes overshadowed by grouchy risers or sleeping in. These mornings evolved into “music appreciation” and masterpiece reproduction and sketching while hearing a classic read aloud. Often we ate the scroll together and wrestled controversial subjects in debate. We ran the neighborhood, literally, to log the miles. We walked the neighborhood, to serve the neighbors.
We set a plan for the morning, the day, the week.
We cast the vision. We reminded ourselves of our purpose in this family and in the world beyond.
A deadline. A time commitment. A signpost.
5 minutes or one hour or a spent morning on togetherness.
My purpose for Mom Zone has changed over the 12 years we have been learning for life around the kitchen table.
When I am thirsty to see another part of the world or when my “gypsy roots” gets the best of me, we study a somewhere else land and it’s people. When my soul is tired, I ask the musicians and dancers to play and dance upon our sufferings. When we are strung out in schedules and “must-dos” we simply hug or high-five or say good morning and pass out the agendas. Here we grow together and awake together.
Sometimes the family finance or the marriage stress hijacks our Mom Zone and they tuck their heads into their books and pretend not to hear.
The Zone is a place to discuss and ask for understanding and where grace is granted in forgiveness.
Sometimes, Mom Zone is the only thing I am prepared for by needing no prior planning and just listening with a heart in tune.
A few times the family meeting moved into Mom Zone and the four statements were dialogued and journaled.
This is what I heard. This is what I understand. This is what I do not understand. This is my part.
Now they are teens.
Our own form of agile development has moved in.
This is what I did yesterday. This is what I will do today. This is the plan for tomorrow.
And yet, today, a windy September Thursday, we wanted to understand the world around us. We looked over the news. We poured over the issues and asked the BIG questions. We wrestled and lost 3 hours in discussion and thinking and research.
But there was one less at the table today. He left at 7:30 to be a student of the “Knowledge Zone.” He and I have to develop a new place and time to dialogue the issues on his heart and in the world. I have to trust that our model has given him tools to reflect and participate and think on his own. As he attends the “stand-up meeting” at his workplace, he will be used to this kind of accountability. And I rest in believing our Socratic Discussions have taught him to think and our steeping in Jesus’ words have showed him the way to walk.
My Mom Zone moments always take me to the place of thanksgiving and petition. Even more so now when the family changes and seasons move.
Meetings and moments and developments are rising and changing in the business of this family.
I believe I won’t worry some much with the next ones how much time we spend in Mom Zone, for now I see that those days where the feature film of the morning will not always be around my table.