The children take a virtual trip to Pearl Harbor

We crushed this can last week using the power of science. Because Pete was studying air pressure.
We crushed this can last week using the power of science. Because Pete was studying air pressure.
We’re getting tantalizingly close to our Christmas break, so of course now is the time I’ve decided to crack down on the rampant morning electronic distractions. Pete has been diving directly into Metroid on the WiiU when he wakes up in the morning, and Poppy has developed a mild obsession with some Australian dude who opens packs of Pokemon cards on YouTube, and both of those things have been making it difficult for the kids to get started on their schoolwork in the mornings. So on Monday night I gathered up the WiiU controller and the iPad, and I changed the password on the computer.

I went to bed expecting a mutiny on Tuesday morning, but so far as I can tell neither of them even noticed the stuff was gone. (Although they certainly will now, because Poppy reads all of my posts. Hi Poppy!) They’ve been more pleasant about getting their schoolwork done, and they’ve been getting along with one another unusually well. I think we’re going to stick with the electronics-free morning routine.

At Pete’s request, we started reading “The Hobbit” for our family read-aloud this week. He’s listened to it 1,000 times as an audiobook, but I don’t think Poppy has ever listened to the whole thing. The opening pages have piqued her interest. Here are some other highlights of our week:


Poppy had finished 75 percent of her schoolwork by 11am, and Pete spent most of his day working with his Odyssey of the Mind team. It was a weirdly hands-off day for me.


This was our first electronics-free morning, and I was shocked that the kids didn’t even ask where the iPad or Wii controller were. I was far less shocked that our morning went much more smoothly than mornings past. The kids got most of their work done before 10am, when we headed out to a meeting. Pete met with his spelling tutor and Poppy had a piano lesson after that, and then the afternoon was full of tae kwon do, followed by writing homework and science reading.


Poppy spent the majority of the morning at her Wednesday classes, while Pete and I went to chess class and got out allergy shots. Once we got home, we took a short break before the kids settled in to watch a virtual field trip about Pearl Harbor that was produced by WYES in New Orleans. It was a very informative program, and the online polls they included kept the kids engaged.

Watching the WYES Pearl Harbor virtual field trip.
Watching the WYES Pearl Harbor virtual field trip.

The kids went back to building a cat village in the basement after the virtual field trip, and after that they both tackled their math lessons.


Thursday was our only “normal” day this week, which I guess means that staying home and doing schoolwork is no longer our normal.


Poppy is doing the first part of her tae kwon do testing this evening, so we’re going to take it pretty easy today. So far, the day has been dedicated to cleaning. Specifically, the kids are helping one another clean their rooms while I sit in the floor and read “The Hobbit” to them. I’m getting the good end of this deal.

In future-schooling news, I’m signed up to teach a geography class to a group of middle-schoolers in the spring. I’m looking for some exciting materials for that, so please let me know if you have some wonderful ideas or sources!

Want to peek into some other homeschoolers’ lives? Check out the weekly roundup at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

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