The Reality of Homeschooling Boys

November 22, 2008

So here’s the deal.

I’m going to write about a series of books that we all like here in our house and then I’m going to explain the wonderfulness of them, probably in more detail than you’d be interested in, and THEN there will be a funny at the end that directly relates to the books.

I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to think I have no point.

Because I do.  I ALWAYS do.

And if you don’t believe me, you can ask me. 

Like, what’s the point of spending the time alphabetizing my spices? 

Because then it’s easier to find the one I need when I have 12 pots boiling on my stove and the bread is about done and the $82 slab of salmon is about to burn and a head injury has just occurred in the backyard so the screaming and dramatics have commenced and MOMMY IS NEEDED RIGHT NOW!

THAT’S why.


There is a series of books that we love here in the House of Not Enough Square Feet.  They are the “If You Lived When…..” books.  Like, “If you Lived When Abraham Lincoln Was A Boy” or “If You Lived When the Declaration of Independence Was Signed”.  These are really cool books that are in question/answer format and lend themselves well to homeschooling.  For example, every other page or so, a new question is asked……What did people wear then?  Were there any schools?  How did people marry?  Did anyone have pets?  What did they eat? (the people not the pets)…..that kind of thing.

For the last 6 months or so, we have been going through the “If You Lived in the Days of Knights”.  (Pretty clever title, by the way, huh?)

We have been reading about the caste system and the way people got food and the houses/castles they lived in and how the boys became knights, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

This morning, we finally finished it.  I went around the table and asked most of the children who don’t wear diapers what was one thing they learned that was a cool fact that they hadn’t already known.

Each one talked about being amazed by the fact that people married so young……

That they didn’t live very long…..

That they didn’t have forks back then.

And then we came to 8-Year-Old.

And he said this……

“I liked the part where it talked about how the dogs went icky on the dining room floor while everyone ate.”

And then there was uproarious laughter from the male population of the family.

It’s times like these when the romantic notions of homeschooling that I had many years ago of sitting around the fireplace with my children quiet and attentive at my feet,  reading stories of long ago while sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall outside……….

IS JUST HILARIOUS TO ME, 5 boys later, when the reality of schooling boys is SO much different than I let myself pretend way back when. 

Back when I also thought that I would someday have a house with a fireplace.

And snow.


6 Responses to “The Reality of Homeschooling Boys”

  1. amy said


    My boys and I read those same books, and we also loved them. I remember asking my boys questions at the end of one of the books that we read…..My oldest son spoke eloquently about all the different things he pondered over concerning Abraham Lincoln’s life……My youngest, however, looked up at me when it was his turn and asked, “When are we going to eat lunch?” 😉


  2. Susan said

    Those sound like awesome books.I am going to have to start buying some of those because i am hoping to have some more boys to school someday.

  3. Nana C said

    Allison, this post was so wonderful today and thank you the blesssings God gives you through your children, also to tell you how special you are to be there each day with your children. Those moments with the hot cocoa and snow are rare? But honestly, you add a smile to the end of this day and by the way you are missed, loved and remembered fondly, I know Susan and the girls talk often of those times with you and your family, the church times together too. God be with you. Nana C

  4. Katheryn said

    Okay, so I have been reading, you have me hooked. Way too cute. Glad I get to go to church with ya! You are way too hilarious and you put things into such wonderful perspective. Thanks so much. Sorry we missed Saturday, I don’t think a tornado could have gotten me out of bed! Morning sickness, that is a term I think we need to come up with a new name for.

    Katheryn F.

  5. Heather said


    Laughing WITH you….NOT at you!

    I remember when I first thought about homeschooling….I had the same picture in my head. Minus the fireplace because I didn’t have one and knew that I wouldn’t. Ahem. BUT, I did have a pic of my girls gathered around me and eager to learn. My dream is now dead.

    Tried to comment on the Goodwill post, but comments are closed? Well, just so you know…..I would NEVER refer you to a mall! EVER! Goodwill ROCKS! It’s, practically, the only place we shop;)

  6. Linda said

    Hi, it’s been a while since I’ve visited, but you just described my feelings homeschooling two boys ages 7 and 9. They think that their goal in life is to entertain each other with wise cracks, funny sayings, or bodily expressions!
    Enjoyed coming back.

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