Day 29: “Doing homeschool”

As I mentioned last week, when my kids ask to ‘do homeschool,’ they mean lessons. We’ve got stuff for them to do: Singapore Math, Moving Beyond the Page 6-8, and All About Spelling for Boy, and Moving Beyond the Page 4-5 for Girl. They hadn’t asked to do homeschool since September, but I made them a promise at the beginning of this year that it would be up to them when they wanted to do it. Of course, I was really hoping they would ask, but I want them to want to do lessons. I don’t want it to be something I’m making them do. If you think about it, if we get it right, lessons should be an attractive thing. A half-hour or an hour of your mom’s full attention, learning about things that are fun and interesting, without being too difficult or frustrating.

I got my chance today. The kiddos asked to do homeschool on Thursday, but we were too busy. When I asked them last night if they wanted to do some school today, they said yes. Additionally, I told Boy that if he got all of his morning things done early, he’d have some time to work on Minecraft. He said he wanted to build a castle.

As I wrote on Facebook this morning:

How can I tell that I set up my old laptop yesterday for [Boy] to play Minecraft on? Because even though he slept ‘late’ snuggled in bed with his mom (it’s cold this morning), it’s now 8:44am and he has made three beds, gotten dressed, taken the dog out to play, fed the dog, eaten his breakfast, and brushed his teeth. And he did it all cheerfully. [Boy] credited, “the power of focusing and listening to your mom” for having gotten his jobs done so early. Well played, kiddo. Now he’s playing Minecraft for an hour. He and I have a math-date at 10am.

So between 7:30am and 1pm, we ate breakfast, Boy did his morning jobs, we had breakfast, Boy built his castle in Minecraft and then cleaned his room while I did an MBtP lesson with Girl. I read her a book and asked her some questions about it, and had her act out some parts (I love the play-acting activities in MBtP). Then we put out her number cards, and she ordered the ones 1-10, and I lined 11-20 up beneath them. (Girl has been able to count 1-10 and count numbers of objects for a couple of years, but she is still learning the symbols.) At her request, we then turned the number cards over so we could just see the dots on the back, and I asked her to find the different numbers by name. She did great.

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After that, I asked Girl to play in her area while I did some Balance Bender (algebraic thinking) and Pattern worksheets with Boy, and then did a brief lesson on graphs in his Singapore book. Girl then came in and started working on a Lego set she got for her birthday while Boy did some Singapore workbook pages and I took a shower.


Next we had lunch, Boy took the dog out to play for a bit, and then we practiced violin. Additionally, we gave Girl a little try on the violin for a minute; I showed her how to hold it and the bow, and helped her draw the bow across the different strings. Girl was very quietly pleased. Then we practiced our Girl Scout Penguin song, and did a sun salutation all together.  After that the kids played and made things for an hour. Boy and I wanted to do some gardening before ballet, but by 2pm I felt horribly tired again. (Still not sure why, really.)

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In the morning I had been feeling a lot better than the last couple of days, and I remade Boy’s bed with cool weather bedding, did some additional laundry, folded and put things away and did some other things around the house.  But at 2pm it was clear I wasn’t good for much. So I made popcorn, put on Pirates (the second of the two movies Boy borrowed from the library), and went and laid down for an hour while they watched it.

The rest of the day was ballet, dinner (angel-hair pasta with steamed squash, pine nuts, parsley, goat cheese and olive oil), story, bed.

Tomorrow is Co-op, but it’s also Veteran’s Day, so Papa is off work. We decided that he would take the kids so I could work on a project at home. But I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.


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