Making a Family Home by Shannon Honeybloom, photographs by Skip Hunt

When this book arrived at my house, I wanted to read it immediately. It’s a truly beautiful book that captured my attention. The jewel-toned photographs on the front are gorgeous and I was delighted to find lively pictures accompany the text throughout the book. And the paper is smooth and thick, which sounds silly now that I write it, but it’s one of the first things I noticed about the book; the quality really struck me.

I like Honeybloom’s attitude throughout the book, that a home can be much more than just a house, that every room can provide true benefits to the people, especially the children who live there.

For me, I found that paying attention to my home was (and is) a way to ground myself in the center of all the information and noise of my life. Home is the place that forms the basis for a child’s future. Home is the place where children are introduced to the world. Home can help children thrive and unfold and gather courage to meet their futures. ” (pg. 10)

Honeybloom takes us through the home, room by room, encouraging us to consider the purpose of each room, how the room and its furnishings can nurture children. Our home can be a sanctuary for our children and ourselves. She shares what she has has done in her own home, with photos accentuating the text, and, more importantly gives us the theory behind it.

I enjoyed the book. I like the whole concept, engaging kid’s senses, making the home more than a place to stop and watch TV for an hour or two. She also advocates natural materials and toys that encourage imagination not battery use.

5 things that really stuck out for me:

  1. The idea of the front porch being a way to meet the neighbors and extending that to helping children learn to trust the world around them
  2. The smells of our home being welcoming, like the aroma of balking or of fresh flowers
  3. The value of toys that are make of natural materials and ones that encourage imagination
  4. The importance of children seeing physical work being done in the house, whether it be cooking, nailing, raking, physical work that children can understand and participate in
  5. Holding dinners and celebrations as opportunities to connect with those outside of the immediate family, encouraging “warmth, hope, and love within our communities” (pg 59)

I will grant you that there are some parts of the book that rubbed me the wrong way, like praying to a “child’s angel,” but overall I think her advice is definitely worthwhile. I also like the lists of resources she provides in the back of the book, including websites for toys and craft supplies, and books for further reading.

[tweetmeme source= “carolsnotebook” only_single=false http://carolsnotebook.com/2010/08/05/making-a-family-home-by-shannon-honeybloom/]Published January 1, 2010 by Steinerbooks
87 pages

Challenge: 100+

My copy was provided by the author for review and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.