L.D.B. Taylor, more commonly known as Lisa Taylor is an Author, Writer, & lifelong reader. . Her self description: Overwhelmed & Understaffed, Living Life on the Edge At Witt's End Upon the Rock & Teetering. Writer, rogue decorator, Homeschooler, blog addict, voracious reader of classics, fantasy, mystery, history, biography, auto biography, and novels touted as children's, though obviously intended for grownups. Motto: "Life is a Banquet and Most Poor Suckers Are Starving to Death" ~Auntie Mame Also: "Embrace Your Inner Child" {Try it, it helps.} Author of five books available on Amazon and counting. Other vital statistics: Mother of 5, living in the Wild Wild West among the deer, coyotes, wild turkeys, and a reputed mountain lion. Intimidated by the weight set, daily trying in vain to ignore the treadmill, and desperately frightened by the amazingly flexible yoga lady on the dvd. Able to leap semi tall dirty piles of laundry in a couple of bounds.

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Traditions: Nineteenth Century Evening

We have many Traditions.  And I’ll be honest:  My children have voiced some not so positive thoughts toward this tradition over the years.

But it’s a lovely–and in truth one of our favorite traditions–one well worth pursuing.  Just keep at it; you will succeed and be the happier for it!

Here’s what to do:

*Choose an evening, any evening which works well for you; a time when you’re all home and have nothing pressing planned.  Selecting a night and setting it aside for Nineteenth Century Evening has the best chance for success.  For instance our evening is Tuesday.  And yes things will occasionally come up, but don’t let that throw you off track.  Simply regroup and forge ahead.

*Get prepared.  Select several great Read Alouds; whether in actual book form or via cd, cassette tape (there are still a few out there!), audio podcast, etc.  Make or buy some treats you don’t normally have.   Raid your game cupboard and pull out those games you haven’t played in a long time, or which (horrors) are still in their shrink wrap!  The important thing is to make certain you and your children are interacting with one another, or listening together to the sound of a human voice.  Making pictures in your own head – without the dubious benefit of someone else’s artwork and imagery.

*Turn off all electrical/battery operated gizmos!  This is the tricky part, (and the area where the above mentioned opposition has arisen), particularly if you’ve a child addicted to inordinately fond of his/her ipod, phone, whatever.  But stand firm, collect those mind numbing gizmos and keep hold of them.  {They’ll thank you in the end.  Honest.}

*Now simply enjoy being together.  If you’ve teenagers who are used to being in different rooms, or who are perpetually “plugged into” something this can be a bit difficult.  But again, do not give up!  In our family it’s common for two or three to play a card or board game, while another (usually myself or one of older students) reads and our youngest works on a craft or project, probably for scouts, and often with Dad’s help.

Sometimes everyone listens to me read aloud, sometimes we all listen to a book on cd.

{And of course the Food Factor doesn’t hurt either!}

Nineteenth Century Evening is a few hours of peace and quiet and being together.  The way families lived for generations, before a smart phone in every hand changed things.

N.B.  Over the years we’ve experimented with going totally purist with Nineteenth Century Evening idea a few times and actually lit an oil burning lamp or candles to read by

But…. usually not.

Electric lamps, a boom box (remember those?), if you’re listening to a cd or book on tape, and of course air conditioning during those summer months are allowed! (Naturally a wood fire if you have one is lovely in the winter).

So give Nineteenth Century Evening a try, and do let me know how it goes!


Gathered around Star Wars Battle Ship.



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