Garage Lunch and Other Homeschool Realities

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My kids are eating lunch.  In the garage.  And they are tickled about it.

It’s started to get chillier, and they figured out that they can still play outside without coats if they go into the garage with the door down.  Yesterday I couldn’t convince Moe to wear anything other than a sleeveless shirt and shorts, so it’s a welcome option, given the frost.  When I last checked, the kids were playing house with one kid “sleeping ” in the stroller and another in the wagon.


When I asked if they’d like to eat their lunch out in the garage, there was actual cheering.  I did feel sheepish delivering plates of food to the garage and returning to my nice, quiet, house, but not sheepish enough to tell them to come back in.

This is homeschooling.  We do some math and English-y stuff in the morning, and then they have gobs of free time to build with their beloved plus pluses.  To read voraciously.  To play house in the garage.


It’s a different pace of life, for sure.

Some people are horrified when they hear we homeschool  “I could never do that!!!” they proclaim.  I just smile, because the truth is that I doubt I could operate in the traditional system.  This summer the girls had a church camp for a week.  I had to have everyone in the car by 8:30am, fed, dressed, with lunches in hand.

I nearly died.  No one could ever find shoes.  We were always running late, or running just one red stop light away from being late.

Crabbiness was the daily theme that week.  The girls liked camp, but they were exhausted by the end of the (shorter than a regular school) day.  David and I have always said we’ll take our homeschool adventure year by year, and we would put our kids into the local school if it ever became the best option for one of them.  Secretly, I hope this is what fits best forever, though.  Because I’m not sure we could handle the alternative.  I look at parents who traditional school and never have their kids miss the bus with admiration.  Parents who juggle homework assignments and permission slips and classroom parties– hats off to them.

Since I started typing, the kids have finished their garage lunch and are listening to the latest Brains-On episode on narwhals while they carve soap with plastic spoons.  Apparently Moe remembered yesterday that he could use the electric toothbrush (sans the head) to carve soap.  (We only use hard soap in our kids’ bathroom.  You can peek into our soap saga here, here, and here.)  The girls made the discovery when they went to brush their teeth before bed, but couldn’t continue because of the strong soap flavor.  Then the truth about Moe’s carving escapades came to light only after they started brushing.  Last night I told the kids to remind me that the next day would could legally carve soap tomorrow.  And so soap carving is the art lesson of the day.


In case you have some inaccurately idyllic view of what our life is, our homeschool day also included me breaking up a “broom war” and discovering Bea had ripped a page out of a library book.  There was a heated debate over whether our rest movie today would be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Liberty’s Kids.

We haven’t studied Latin or logic, and our only foreign language comes from the Italian phrases in the Strega Nona picture books.  Our philosophy of education is that cultivating kids who like to read and learn is our top priority.  I don’t think that my kids will become rocket scientists, but even average kids have interests they want to explore.  I’m grateful for the chance to guide them in that process.




Day 1:  I’m baaaaaack!
Day 2:  The House Sitchiation
Day 3: An ER Adventure
Day 4: First Reconciliation Head to Head
Day 5: Packing Struggles
Day 6: This Is Us Bookless Club
Day 7: Just Take Me Now
Day 8:  Hair Trouble
Day 9:  The Crutch of Comfort
Day 10: The Whole Truth About My Summer Break
Day 11: Popcorn and Cardboard
Day 12: Locked Out
Day 13: Apples, a Tattoo, and Babyness
Day 14: Beat-boxing and Generosity
Day 15: A Second Chance
Day 16: Poor Prognosis
Day 17: Garage Lunch and Other Homeschool Realities


  1. // Reply

    My children love playing in the garage too, for the same reasons: when it is too hot in summer or too cold in winter. (Our garage is insulated so it hovers around 80-85 year round.)

  2. // Reply

    So I tried to get my kids to eat their lunch in the garage on Thursday (what can I say? Your post inspired me). Alas. They weren’t having it. The girl declared that it was too hot (that didn’t stop her from playing in the sun at the park – but it was in the high 80’s that day so… *shrug* ) and the little guy just. wanted. his. food. now.

    And thank you for the tip about Brains On! Their latest episode is about Down Syndrome, and it couldn’t be better timed – there’s a sweet girl in our co-op with D.S. and while E hasn’t asked about her yet, I can see that it will be coming. So, yeah, thanks again!

    1. // Reply

      Too bad the garage lunch didn’t go over well. One kid’s fun is another kid’s torture, I guess. 🙂

      I want to pre-listen to that episode on Downs, just to make sure there isn’t anything negative hiding in there. But so far my kids have really enjoyed Brains On!

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