Thursday, April 1, 2010


Like anything else in life, there are many difficulties with homeschooling, and many advantages to it.

This week, homeschooling was a good thing.

While our school district was out for the official Spring Break, this is what it looked like outside:

Yes, that's snow. Perhaps worse than the snow was all the bitter wind.

It made us all want to be one place: home.

So, it wasn't much of a stretch to do school around here, especially when my kids are too young to know that all the other kids in the neighborhood aren't riding the bus this week. And we'll rub it in one week when we pack up the ole Tenement on Wheels and go riding off into the distance, while the rest of the world is sitting at school. At least that's what we tell them whenever we're doing something fun during public school hours.

Punkin' is busy reading books, writing letters to Jeannie (our Compassion child), and even took up piano this week. She asked me to teach her how to play a song on the piano and without trying to discourage her, I told her to try and sound it out with her ears instead of trying to memorize Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. (I knew she could do this because just a few weeks ago, I was singing a little ditty and she started singing a harmony! Of course, I ruined the moment by squealing with delight. And she hasn't done it since.) Anyways, this is what she has been doing all week (other than languishing on the couch with The bowl):

Punkin also spent a lot of time reading her newest chapter book and helping Sugs read her first book ever (Hoo-ked on Puh-honics Work Ed for Muh-he - Brian Regan plug, couldn't resist.). She was so cute and proud, as was her mama and papa.

Sugs and the Little Man (who Real Gil now calls TTB - Ticking Time Bomb) spent a lot of time fighting playing together. I even had them doing school for a while.

After scoring these at a garage sale, the kids have loved playing with the Discovery Toy bugs. They sort by colors, then by bug type, and then, they try placing them on the various pattern cards. When they tire of using this set the way it was originally intended, they do what kids do best and improvise, mostly with MagnaTiles - our all-time favorite toy around here - by building houses for their bugs. And while they are busy, I happily snap pictures and sneak away to type.

We pulled out scissors, glue, and a few WalMart preschool workbooks, and the two had a blast.

Especially the Little Man, who used kid scissors for the first time. [After poking me in the face with adult scissors. I acted in complete maturity when I tossed the adult scissors down and growled my way to the bathroom mirror, while the Ticking Time Bomb cried. Apologies said, he told me "I 'give you." All was well again.]

We also made bread. Call me Betty Crocker. And it was even whole wheat, for all you healthy people out there. Before you go getting all insecure out about the fact that I made homemade bread, let me show you the results.

Yes, it tasted amazing to all of our queasy stomachs. But the hole in the middle made it a little tricky to eat. I call it "Resurrection Bread" and this is the empty tomb. Or something spiritual like that.

For a former public school teacher who swore she would never homeschool, this week has been - dare I admit it? - fun.

I have discovered one other benefit to homeschooling. Last night, I sat on the couch and watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, wherein he tries to reform the cafeteria food of a public school district. His fight seems doomed, but the whole idea is an interesting one. Or a disgusting one, when you consider the food being served from the school cafeteria. Poor kitchen ladies are made to be villains, especially Alice, but all in all, it made me proud of my whole wheat bread, even with big gaping holes in it. Don't ask me if I've watched Food Inc. yet, because I haven't? I am sure it is an eye-opening movie, just as everyone tells me it is. But I don't have the energy to fight the processed food battle yet. Baby steps, baby steps. Give me another month and I'll report back.

When all else fails on the homeschooling front, I fell back on one tried-and-true entertainer. I pulled the cars out of the garage, closed the garage doors (important step!), and let the kids ride bikes, scooters, or anything else with wheels in there. They threw bouncy balls all over, colored with chalk, and ate crumbly cookies that I never serve inside the house.

Good times around here. Hope you are having good times too. One thing we have yet to do this week though - dye the eggs. Do I dare? Have you dared?



Debbie said...

I love the idea of putting the kids in the garage to have fun!

No, we haven't colored eggs yet. I don't know if we will at this point. I want to.

Jolanthe said...


You probably don't want to hear that it's been in the 80's here for our spring break. Abnormally so ~ but we're enjoying it!

Love your naming of your bread ~ too funny! :)

Raising a Happy Child said...

Visiting from Preschool Corner. You had snow, we just had unseasonably cold weather. Great idea to let kids out in the garage - maybe one day ours will be clutter free, so we can actually have some play space there.