I always had a desk in my room when I was a kid. It was a handy place to store everything that didn’t fit on the shelves. Oh, and to hold folded laundry.
As for my homework, well, I liked to do that at the kitchen table, near the bustle of dinner prep.
I’d drag my heavy backpack in there, sit down at the table, and work to the sounds of chopping, pouring, stirring and the radio playing whatever my mom was listening to at the time.
If I close my eyes I can still imagine being there. Warm, happy, safe. Tantalizing smells. And even the feel of the paper under my wrist and the pen in my hand.
I can even bring myself back to the day when my mom, ever the jokester, pretended to throw me an egg… which flew out of her wet hand and landed with a splat into my open backpack. 20 years later and I still crack up when I remember the shocked look on her face and then the laughter that erupted out of both of us.
C starts 1st grade tomorrow, and while she does have a work station in her room — a cute little Ikea table with fun stools — whenever I picture her doing her homework (rumor has it that there’s homework in 1st grade at her school.) I see her sitting at our wooden kitchen table, feet wrapped around the chair legs, tongue sticking out in concentration as she figures out her math problems or does whatever else her teacher has sent home with her.
I’ll try not to throw eggs at her, but it’s my hope that by setting up a warm, cozy, loving study area set in the middle of the family activity rather than away from it, I’ll foster in her the same love of learning that my mother fostered in me. To this day, picking up a book makes me feel warm and safe and learning something new makes me want to look up and share it with those around me.
A friend of mine told me just the other day that I’m an academic. I get excited about learning something new. If putting studying and schoolwork at the center of our lives helps my children adopt that trait then it’s well worth risking having an egg or two land in the wrong place.
|Love this egg shot by Kiss My Spatula!|
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