School continues here. At home. Every day. EXCEPT! One day they go to A's house and this week they got to swim in her pool during breaks and at lunch so I had two very happy children when I picked them up.Unfortunately, next week is the last week for swimming as they need to drain it for the impending winter. It's already feeling very much like fall here. Leaves are falling, the deer have all turned gray and the nights are chilly. But the biggest indicator of fall is that the stores are full of pumpkin everything. Lucy's turn to cook with me was this week so she picked out a vegan frozen pumpkin pie to make. Oh my goodness it was delicious! We made the crust and baked/cooled that before she whipped up the filling. It was so delicious and creamy that you would never know it was completely vegan.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
I don't normally post things from other writers but this post was so poignant and pinpoints exactly what I wish I had written. From one artist to another, I appreciate her thoughtful analysis of what the Trump presidency has done to our humanity. It's not about Democrats or Republicans anymore. It's about what it means to be human. And the funny thing is, I don't even see joy in the people who do support Trump.
~Warhol Caldwell (Lauren)
Friday, September 11, 2020
To say Kate and Lucy were thrilled is an understatement. They are so very happy to have a friend over that they were vibrating on Tuesday morning. The only flaw in the plan is that A is in a different homeroom than Kate and Lucy so that means for at least 2 hours during the morning, all three of them are in separate zoom calls. And none of them seem to have breaks at the same time so I had to point out that "At school when you have a break in your class, you don't wander over into another person's class and start chatting...it's the same in homeschool even though she's sitting at the same table." Sigh.
The good thing is that they do have the homeroom meeting together as both CI teachers do that together with all 40 kids.
Then it was individual work time until noon. Next time I'm going to have A sit in Kate's old spot directly across from Lucy as Lucy just could not keep from looking at A's screen to see what was happening in her class.
I'm thinking that the half hour all-school meeting first thing in the morning is well-intentioned but ultimately I'm inclined to bail on this in the future. To be sure, a lot of things are going very well or as well as can be expected in this unusual atmosphere. The teachers are killing it every single day, keeping them engaged in their tiny screen boxes and providing opportunities for small group work in break-out rooms. But I'm looking for ways to minimize screen time and trim unproductive activities. I think the 8-8:30 meeting is an obvious choice.
Moving on...last week was gorgeous and sunny but a little cool so Brinkley found a warm patch to sunbathe. I had no idea he was doing this on the table however.
Friday, September 4, 2020
Thursday, September 3, 2020
1. One 15 minute movement break that is supposed to include a bathroom break, a snack and something other than sitting is not long enough when your day starts at 8am and doesn't end for lunch until 12:15. I know they're trying to cram everything in for the morning but gosh it's a long haul.
2. I have been very impressed with how computer literate my two are. They find where they need to be and criss-cross between platforms with relative ease, figuring out how to simultaneously be on the zoom call while pulling up work from another app. It's been amazing to watch.
3. Hungry, tired and glazed over children do not make for happy children in the afternoon. Getting them outside in what has been gorgeous weather is even harder now that they are catatonic in front of screens for 4 hours every morning. I thought it would be easier but it seems that the roots they grow in those 4 hours becomes harder to pull out with each passing day.
4. Part of the problem is that they are starved for the company of their classmates. All they want to do at lunch or after school is jump on Hangouts or Roblox so they can chat and play with their friends, even if it is virtual.
5. From 8-8:30am is a Specials Showcase that technically I don't think is really required and I have mixed feelings about it. One the one hand, it does get them up and moving if they pick the gym teachers. The problem is there are two zooms and it's a potluck so you never know what you will get when you log on. If they happen to pick a more sedentary zoom meeting with a different specials teacher, then I'm not super excited about an additional 30 minutes spent staring at a screen listening to a presentation.