Category Archives: Homeschool

Learning at home with a second-grader and a kindergartner.

This week in homeschooling: When homeschoolers play hooky

I knew Poppy was going to spend a few days with her grandparents this week, but I neglected to send any schoolwork with her. At the rate we’ve been missing days lately, this school year will last ’til mid-June.

Monday

Poppy spent Monday with her grandparents, and most of the stuff she and Pete do on Mondays is together-work. So we took the day off.

Tuesday

Poppy got home on Tuesday. It was pretty late in the day, though, so we took Tuesday off, too. (This was not the plan.)

Wednesday

It was the one and only day that we actually completed all of our assigned tasks!

Thursday

The kids started a couple of outsourced classes — drama and US history — on Thursday. The classes take a good part of the day, so our Thursday schedule at home is pretty light. And yesterday it was especially light, because we were busy with other things as well. By the time we got home we were all ready to have a break, and suddenly we were ordering pizza and watching “The Great Mouse Detective.”

I think next week we’re going to try to get a few things done before we leave for class. That’ll require me to get up when the alarm goes off, though.

Friday

We don’t have any outings planned, so hopefully we’ll be more on the ball today.

Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!

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This week in homeschooling: We rebounded from the holiday break with minimal discomfort

Monday

Is there any Monday more loathsome than the Monday after Christmas break? I think not. We had a very, very slow re-entry to schoolwork this week. After multiple breaks, a trip to the library and a jaunt to the playground, the work the kids normally finish by 10:30am was still looming over us at 5pm.

We started the morning by listening to a “Story of the World” chapter that covered Metacom (who led the Wampanoag and Narraganset in a war against the settlers and came to a rather terrible end) and Pennsylvania founder William Penn. I’m not entirely sure why they shared a chapter.

Poppy is still reading “Harriet the Spy” and working through its corresponding study. She says “At least now I have something to say if someone asks me my least favorite thing about school,” if you were wondering how well that’s going. She had to list four adjectives describing Harriet for Monday’s assignment, and we practiced by describing one another. She said I’m “strict” and “comfortable (because ‘sweatshirt-ish’ isn’t a word),” while Pete described me as “funny, huggable, blue-eyed and hungry.” All of which is true enough, I suppose.

Tuesday

Between an appointment for me and tae kwon do followed by afternoon playdates for the kids, we didn’t get as much work done as we should’ve. Pete did his spelling and handwriting, and he finished his first-grade math book (he started it midway through last year), but Poppy didn’t do much of anything.

Wednesday

I had another appointment on Wednesday, but it was the only major interruption in the day so we were able to get most of our work done. Poppy took a break from spelling lessons for the first part of this year, but it became apparent that she wasn’t ready to abandon them altogether. So on Wednesday she resumed her spelling studies. The kids also started memorizing “Casey at the Bat,” and we started reading “Family Poems” (selected by Belinda Hollyer) together. For history, we tried to talk like William Penn-era Quakers for the afternoon. The kids did not enjoy it.

Thursday

Our schedule has changed a bit for this half of the year, so our at-home schedule is a little lighter than it was the first half of the year. It was a breeze to get through yesterday, even though we took multiple breaks. Next week the kids start a couple of outsourced classes; we’ll see if I lightened the workload sufficiently.

Friday

Our co-op’s council had its monthly meeting this afternoon, and it was at out house. That meant that any schoolwork we were going to do needed to happen before the meeting. There are many council-meeting days when that doesn’t happen, but this week the kids were focused and cooperative, and they finished everything on their lists. It was rather refreshing.

Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!

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This week in homeschooling: Mama has a meltdown

Monday

Our Mondays are very laid-back now that co-op has ended for the year. Just the way I like it.

The kids were finished with everything but their MCT 1 language arts by 10:30am. The only reason they didn’t get to that earlier was that I decided to revise my schedule for the program, because we’d gotten way behind on what I’d planned to do with it. That’s what I get for tying things to specific dates. It was nearly noon by the time I’d finished and printed my now date-free revision, so we waiting until after lunch to settle onto the couch for predicates, subjects and Latin stems. We finished up around 1:30, and the kids had the rest of the day to do with as they pleased.

Tuesday

Pete wanted to do his work from a Super-Spy Fortress on Tuesday, so our first order of business was to build a Super-Spy Fortress. (Sidebar: He’d be a huge fan of Fort Magic, if anyone’s looking to give him a rather expensive gift.) Once the fort was completed, he took his books, a pencil and a battery-powered lamp inside and got to work. I was admitted to the fort to help with math — because today’s lesson introduced a new concept — but he did his handwriting and spelling on his own.

Poppy, meanwhile, chose to work at the table as usual.

Other things that happened on Tuesday:

  • We finished “Sarah, Plain and Tall” in the morning, and the kids weren’t ready for it to end. Poppy found the conclusion “kind of abrupt.” I love the book, but I agree with her assessment.
  • We stopped at Sonic on the way home from tae kwon do for slushes. Pete dropped his on the garage floor, and sadness ensued.
  • The kids continued to enjoy working on Code.org.
  • Suddenly it was 4pm and there were a few lingering things yet to do. And so the kids did them, and then they were done.
  • Wednesday

    Poppy and Pete did all of their work on Wednesday, but I neglected to write anything down about what we did. I do know that we started our new read-aloud book — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” — on Wednesday.

    The kids are about halfway through their art class, and they’re starting to bring home projects. The class is focused on “FUNctional art,” and all I’m allowed to say about exactly what they’re doing is this: The grandparents are going to be getting awesome Christmas gifts this year.

    Thursday

    Sometimes when people learn that we homeschool, they say “Oh, I could never do that! I just don’t have the patience.” To which I laugh and say, “Neither do I,” which is completely true some days.

    Yesterday was one of those days.

    Yesterday I reached my breaking point after yet another round of the children complaining about their schoolwork. Most days I more-or-less-calmly explain to them that there are things in life they have to do even if they don’t want to, and math/spelling/grammar/writing is one of those things and let’s just get through it and then we’ll move on to something else. Yesterday wasn’t most days, though. Yesterday was the day I yelled and stomped and grounded everyone for life. Yesterday wasn’t pretty.

    After I’d apologized to the kids for my tantrum, we talked about my expectations for them. We talked about how frustrating it was for me to be the object of their irritation so often, and we talked about finding and holding on to kindness in all of our hearts. And we agreed that until they show some major improvements in their attitudes, they won’t be using any of our varied electronic devices.

    The kids did end up doing the rest of the work without incident, and them karma twisted my back into knots and I spent most of the evening on the couch with a heating pad.

    Friday

    Li'l Louis Quatorze surveys his kingdom.

    Li’l Louis Quatorze surveys his kingdom.

    Poppy and Pete still have a couple of things left to do today, but it’s been a much better day than yesterday was. They’ve been polite to me, and they’ve been kind to one another. They’ve been playing with Pete’s castle set since just after lunch, and no one has asked for permission to play a single video game.

    The highlight of the day so far has been our history lesson, in which we took turns being Louis XIV getting ready for his day. The 10-course breakfast included raisins, marshmallows and tortilla chips. I’m relatively certain that isn’t historically accurate, but it was fun anyway.

    Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!