About Amy Frank

Amy Frank is a homeschooling mother of four in North Carolina. She journals about her family life at Frankly Journaling the Journey.

Delighting in the abbey-ness of homeschooling


Written by Amy Frank of Frankly Journaling the Journey.

A couple of years ago when I was moaning about how I felt so isolated, but also so surrounded by others’ needs, a friend pointed out how my stage of motherhood is not too unlike the calling of a monk.

Just as a monk has chosen to leave the normal lifestyle for a life of devotion, a mom who has chosen to stay home to teach her children has given up the typical career paths and goals of this culture in order to devote herself to a different calling.

I began to see the parallels.

Monks are often awakened in the middle of the night by a tolling bell.  Moms are often awakened in the middle of the night by a hollering child. Life in an abbey is one of repetition and simple work. Life as a homemaker isn’t too different!

But then I began to see the beauty in this kind of life as well.

Traditionally, abbeys or monasteries were known to be harbors of so much more than chanting residents. They were places where life and worship thrived.

Through the patterns of simple living and their singular focus and devotion, they were able to offer the world great benefits!

For example …

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Negative space and homeschooling

Negative space and homeschooling
The following is a guest post written by Amy Frank of Frankly Journaling the Journey.

The amount of artistic ability I have could easily fit in a thimble – which I wouldn’t be able to draw. When my kids ask me to draw an animal for them, I always persuade them that a rabbit would be best, since I can draw two basic circles on top of each other and add some ears and whiskers and call it done.

But even though I was never able to master any of the actual techniques I learned in art classes, I did understand one or two of the basic concepts, and the one that I found rattling around in my mind recently was the idea of negative space.

If my non-artistic brain understands it correctly, negative space is the space around the actual image in the artwork. It is not meant to be the focus, although clever artists do pay attention to how it affects the composition.

The parallel I draw to my life, though, goes like this: All of the efforts I am putting into raising and educating our children is the main focus of my “art,” and the negative space is everything around us that we are not doing.
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