I’ll tell you a secret.
Natural learning is astonishing – and often messy. School usually has lines or groups of neatly placed desks, with designated classroom spaces zoned by area.
Umm, that’s not how it is here! While I do have various areas that serve specific purposes (a bookcase of science, history, and language books in the family room, for instance), there’s really no containing the learning in our lives. No classroom; no space within our house or our yard. Everywhere we are, and everyplace we go. learning happens, as organically as wildflowers growing in a fertile field.
If I tried to control it, contain it, keep things neat and tidy – something rare and wonderful would be lost.
As the kids have grown, the clutter has gradually decreased. Little-kid toys scattered across the floor have given way to an overflowing hutch desk and crowded bedrooms, but the little-kid world is still here, in bits and pieces that come and go.
Right now, as I type this on an early December night, watching Hamilton’s America for the fourth time, my daughter is in her blanket fort in the living room, and my son is doing something alone in his room. It’s quiet and peaceful, and, for the moment, the house is moderately tidy in places, needing some serious attention in others, and actually clean in a few. There is laundry to wash, dry, fold, and put away, and dishes soaking in the sink. Once my favorite documentary ends, I’ll get to some of that, and life will go on, in all its lovely chaos of learning.