Have you noticed that the word ‘slow’ seems to be in the spotlight a lot lately? A slow food movement seems to be gaining momentum, and there’s growing media coverage of the philosophy of parenting that is devoid of any ‘helicopter’ behavior. Well, perhaps there’s a slow home movement afoot as well, encompassing many of these approaches. Reading Shannon Honeybloom’s Making a Family Home brought to mind a calm, comforting and loving image of a perfect home and family environment for raising children.
Focusing on every possible individual room that may be in a house, Honeybloom offers advice and suggestions to keep in mind to cultivate the type of home that encourages and supports children’s natural development and needs. With an eye to the artistic and beautiful components of a home, the book is rich with vibrant photographs of Honeybloom’s own home and children interacting with their indoor and outdoor spaces. The author’s own experiences with the Waldorf educational model are quite apparent in her mindfulness of children’s whole development, including their creative and sensory needs. As the mother of three young children and a former educator, Honeybloom certainly has the experience to write from. She speaks plainly of her views on appropriate toys and activities for children, and she is a strong proponent of a home environment that incorporates natural materials and simple beauty.
I have to admit that I felt more than one pang of jealousy as I gazed at the photos of her inviting and spacious home, especially as I long for a playroom or basement in my own living space. While Honeybloom arguably has about as perfect a house and outdoor environment as I can personally imagine, I don’t think that means that small townhouse dwellers like myself, or others in any other type of living space, cannot take some things away from her book. While much of the book focuses on physical space, there’s also a great emphasis on the feelings, attitudes and approaches parents can have as they become mindful of the home environment they are creating.
With a warm voice and an inviting approach, Shannon Honeybloom invites us into her home in Making a Family Home as she shares sage advice for homemakers, with a respectful nod to child development, artistic beauty, and the ever-present love we all have for our children.
The family home in Dawn’s life is often chaotic and messy, but always full of love. The fun parts are chronicled at my thoughts exactly.