Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The First Day of Daddy's School (and our homeschooling day)

She's wearing my favorite sweater from 3rd grade.
Yesterday I had our morning mapped out.  I mean totally mapped out.  I'd made the lesson plan for Sadie's day and as I looked over it I pondered... "This is too much work.  Oh... Well... We don't have to do it all...  I mean, we'll just see how it goes..."

And suddenly I was sitting at the dining room table and it was nine o'clock in the morning and she'd finished all of her work and was asking "what's next" in that cheerful, school's so fun voice and I was thinking that maybe we shouldn't have started right when we got up, even though it had seemed like a fantastic idea at the time.

Paul was at school at this point, and I stared out the window and evaluated the thunder heads and the oppressive humidity in my kitchen and decided that going on a walk (or even outside to play), just at that moment, with my slow moving bunch, wasn't the greatest idea ever.  Because while the internet said 30% chance of thunder it felt, on and off, like the sky was going to open up at any moment and pour.  At least it felt that way inside my living room at 9 am.

And when I say that we're slow moving I mean seriously slow moving.  Like molasses.

Then Patrick settled in to a three hour nap (courtesy of his waking up way too early) and the vague possibility of me changing my mind and heading out with the three of them disappeared completely.

So Sadie and I sat down, with a little magnetic board that belongs to her sister, and I started teaching her Japanese.  Because that would take up some time, right?  And why not pass on some of these languages I spent so much time studying in college to the kid while it's still super easy for her to learn (for the record I studied Japanese, Mandarin, isiXhosa, French, Spanish and German because if I have a chance to learn a language I apparently just can't say no).

I was surprised to find that I could still read the words in the book (more easily than I could have when I was actually struggling through semesters of it in college... did the knowledge finally sink in somehow?) and we picked out ten words to learn and one letter and then three kanji, which she sat and copied over and over again because she decided that it was fun ("here write this three times" turned into writing it all day long and showing me every time).  And all I can say is that maybe this will make writing her own letters a lot easier, because if she can remember the correct stroke order for a kanji she can remember which way an S faces.  At least I hope it helps. Because there's been a battle going on between the 3s and 2s and Ss that just isn't pretty.

That brought us up to like 9:30 when I broke down and put on a documentary on butterflies and birds and bats and bees by Disney and Maggie and Sadie stood in awe right next to the TV as monarch butterflies covered trees and a bat nursed its baby while flying and eating out of a cactus flower (Paul didn't find the description of that to be nearly as impressive as I did).

Then it was suddenly lunch time, or at least 10:30 when everyone starts asking if it's lunch time and assuring me that it in fact is and that they're starving to death even though they just ate a peach and an apple and a handful of peanuts and raisins.

Patrick finally woke up, and trailed Maggie around the house like a bumbling puppy, trying to avoid her stomping red boots, and yet unable to stop himself from following them around everywhere.

And while I made lunch I checked in online and wondered if the whole world had gone crazy (did it feel that way to anyone else?  It just felt like every where I looked someone was arguing with someone else...).  It felt that way to me at least (note to self: when that starts happening, just close the facebook window).

The lightening storm finally arrived late last night, and the flashes of light and rolling thunder seemed to go on and on and there is now a puddle about four feet wide outside next to the curb that I will be keeping a certain three year old far, far away from today.

And that is pretty much our first day of this new year (okay, the first day of the tenth week of school for our homeschool since we got an early start, but the first day of 3L for Daddy!).

Today I'm a bit more prepared.  I went to Staples and bought a huge amount of their cheap copy paper and made a week's worth (by my estimation) of things to do in addition to our hands on stuff.  I'm hoping we don't finish them all this morning... and I'm starting later... so at least we won't be done by 9!


  1. Your homeschool day isn't all that unusual. Sometimes we have days where we are done with - what I think is a full day of work - in about 45 minutes. Then other days it takes much longer. It's why on Sunday nights I make my "10 minute box" - a box of activities that takes about 10 minutes to do. They are sometimes sill scavenger hunts - like find all the blue cars - or line up the ponies from smallest to largest. Other things are, "find everything in the house that gives off light and take a picture" or randomness like that. But kids love to learn. Nicholas learned German so quickly. He and his dad can talk back and forth with what I struggled to learn. It's just kids.

    And the 2, 3, S, 5, battle gets easier - but because of practice and making them redo it when things go wrong.

    happy homeschooling.

  2. I'm homeschooling my youngest at least for the fall if not the whole year due to trying to catch her up. She has dyslexia. We started our program (it's more of a remedial deal than a full curriculum and she's 10) on June 14 and it's gone well except for this week when she had a half day Vacation Bible School. (yes we're Catholic but it's an awesome camp) I enjoyed reading about your first day and it makes me feel like I have company. Please keep blogging about it along with all your other stuff!


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