Daily Archives: January 5, 2015

Day 84: First day of the new ‘semester’

Insofar as we do ‘school,’ today was the first day of it after Christmas. It was great to be back.

Both kids got up before me, so I got a little extra sleep, which was nice, but I got dressed before I even left my room with the dog so I could hit the ground running. I made pancakes for the kids and took the dog out to play. Boy already had a ton of things to do, and he was happily playing with Legos so I let him be.  He’s been working on the floating swamp police station here and there for the last few days.

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After breakfast, Boy and I sat down to do math (from his Singapore Math textbook and workbook). What is being covered in this section is ridiculously easy for him, but I’m just trying to move as quickly as possible without skipping sections. Because I think it’s easy to run into trouble with skipping ahead. You might be skipping something your kid doesn’t get, or needs practice with. I think we can get through these books in a couple of weeks, though, and then go ahead and get the books for the next level, which I think will be more appropriate and interesting for him. He’s really ready to start working on multiplication and division in earnest, and who knows what else.


After math and a little snack, Boy practiced violin while Girl explored games and activities independently on the PBSkids website.


Boy played all of the songs on his current list, and then practiced trying to play ‘double stop’ (two strings at once). He’s got his first lesson after a three week break on Wednesday.

After that we had a snack, and Boy gave Girl a math lesson with one of our homemade addition and subtraction worksheets. He talked to her about how to read the addition and subtraction problems, what they meant, and how to use manipulatives to solve them. He did a really great job. I joked that I was outsourcing, or maybe that it was ‘trickle-down mathematics.’ But in all seriousness, Boy has the makings of a wonderful teacher.

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After that we had lunch, and then Boy got a turn on the laptop. First he did an interactive mystery-solving thing on the Ruff Ruffman page of PBSkids, then did an entire section of lessons on code.org on loops, and nested loops. He needed to ask me for help a number of times, but he DID ask for help, and didn’t get upset or frustrated. And he ultimately did the problems himself.

And then it was time to kind of rush around and get ready for ballet, their first classes since before Christmas. Girl didn’t really want to go, but once she was there it was fine. While they were in class I drove over to the library to return a whole pile of books and pick out some new ones for the kids. I chatted with Miss J (our favorite librarian) for a minute, about when I’d be able to make it to the book club next, and about our upcoming Homeschool Boardgame Day on Wednesday, the first meeting.

I picked the kids up from the ballet school and headed home, just in time to have dinner and get them in bed. I read them one of the new picture books I got from the library, something really nice called, “I Lost My Tooth in Africa” (Girl has her first wiggly tooth, and Boy always has one these days). Then I read Boy a section of the book we are reading about how cars work. And now they are sleeping. I’m genuinely looking forward to this semester. I think it will be a good one.

Day 83: A warm January Sunday

The first thing I noticed when I took the dog out this morning was that it was warm. Really warm. The dog, for her part, noticed that it wasn’t raining, so right after she ate, she pretty much insisted that I take her out to play. I took her for a walk and let her run at the park down the street. She chased two crows, but came when I called like a good girl.

Papa had spent the night sleeping in a chair in his office at work (since he had to be there at 1am and then back at 6am), so he spent the later morning sleeping, while the kids took turns on my laptop. Girl was all about PBSkids.org, Boy was all about his coding lessons. Both things went very well. I read Boy the first chapter of our woodworking book, which was all about trees and wood. It rained on and off.

At one point, when it had cleared up and Boy had taken the dog out back, we heard a thump on a roof, and a bald eagle flew from the back to the front, low, with what looked to be one of our squirrels in its talons. We told Girl it was a fish, though, to keep her from being unduly upset. I went out back to see if Boy had seen the eagle (he hadn’t) but I stayed outside with him. I sat in a chair and looked up at the tree tops, watching songbirds and woodpeckers and crows, listening to bird songs.

Then Papa and Girl joined us, and we all stayed out for a couple of hours, playing this and that.

When we came back in, I realized that I was late to meet a friend, and more or less yelled something over my shoulder to Papa about making dinner for the kids on the way out the door. I met my friend at a bar, we had a late afternoon beer and a plate of fries and talked about things. Then we walked around town in the warm, warm January evening, still talking, before I drove the minivan home and found the kids all fed and in their jammies with teeth brushed, watching TV with Papa, waiting for me to come home and read them a story and get them in bed. Another Sunday.