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.

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

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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.

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