Friday, 5 June 2015

My Purple Space, or How I Find Quiet Time When Homeschooling

It's one of the frequently asked question by newbie homeschoolers, or people thinking about taking on the responsibility/fun/adventure of doing so: How do you find time for yourself if the kids are around all day?

Here's my thoughts about finding time/space for just such moments: I call it my "purple space".

The colour for the stage of my life right now is characterised by the color purple.  Not like "Color Purple" of Alice Walker's novel of that name, though by the end of this post, you may think there are analogies between the two concepts.

My purple is literally the color. I color-code my belongings. My iPhone case, my Bible, Kindle cover, MP3 player and its case, the shell on my laptop, my water bottles, and even my eyeglasses, are all purple.*

These are a few of my favorite (purple) things

I am purple in our household because it's noticeable at the bottom of my bottomless handbag, but it's not flashy. I'm purple because it's sometimes the cheapest option. I'm purple because it suggests authority and royalty while also being a cool, calming color, and even feminine in an "I'm-not-pink" kind of way.

I am purple because I'm a mother of four homeschooled children who know few boundaries -- life is an adventure, to be explored, used, often discarded. The home is their classroom, laboratory, refuge, and headquarters. My purple things are marked out as though my signature were on them -- "These are NOT part of the curriculum!"

I have never seen the children borrow, use, or sneak the purple things -- the purple code is inviolate without my having to ever spell it out for them.

I think there's a life lesson in this; to ponder over. Carving out the purple spaces in my life are just as important as buying my pens in purple ink, so I know they will be found in the pen pot on my desk when I need to write something down.

For me, that's 9:30-10 am every morning most mornings. I have completed my shower, dressing, teeth brushing; put on a load of laundry; fed the dog; poured my coffee and made my two peanut-butter-cracker sandwiches. I close the door as the children go through their long-established morning routines, and take my time out of the day.

The Celtic Daily Prayer book I use reminds me of whom I am -- loved and gifted for some spiritually greater service, but dependent on God for that identity, that mission. I'm reminded to praise Him, thank Him, honor Him. I'm reminded to be "lowly and meek, yet all powerful" (from the Celtic benediction) -- thus, to use my words for giving life and encouragement, and to view all people as God's creations, whether or not they acknowledge it themselves.

Centered, refreshed, still: for just a few moments, I am in my purple bubble.

Then at 10 am, I set aside my purple pen, close my purple Bible, and take my purple peace with me into the technicolor world.

*My husband said that I should clarify that purple is NOT simply my favorite color -- that award goes to very bright, spring green.


  1. Hi, I'm waving over to you in greetings from the other side of Oxfordshire :)

  2. I love this post! thanks for sharing it. Just what I needed for right now.

  3. Nice to hear from you, Ruth -- waving to you from northern hemisphere!

  4. Loved this post!

  5. Thanks, Lillbjorne -- what is your "special" colour?

  6. I love this post. Thank you for sharing. It's a delight to read. x

  7. Love this! We all need to have our *own* things. Our own space. :) And purple is high on my list too... although one of the boys also likes purple now... so I'm switching to teal for a while.


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