2021 Homeschool Week 8 | February 22

Awhile back I made a post walking through one day of our homeschool, and I’ve been thinking about sharing something like that again. This week, we had two days in a row that were quite different, and both wonderful in their own ways. I thought it would be a great opportunity to show a couple examples of what our time spent can look like. 

I often share about the things we do, sometimes showing how topics overlap or how we multitask to keep our quick brains moving along. Because we don’t follow an all in one curriculum, I’m always sharing resources and how we interact with them. I’ve talked about classes we’ve taken; how our Kiwi Co. subscriptions have filled science and geography/culture exploration; our Science encyclopedia providing a great introduction and overview of concepts in a more interesting way than textbooks I remember; math on Khan Academy with video explanations and straight-forward simplicity; reading in many topics, styles, and at different “reading levels”; and other short-lived and recurring activities or interests. I’ll continue to share these things.

After last week’s snow, we had sunny, 70 degree days this week. It’s Arkansas, so of course we did. While we enjoyed the snow on the ground and taking advantage of a rare opportunity to play and sled in it, seeing the sun out inspired me to step outside to see how warm it was. I was hot in a long sleeve shirt, and I instantly knew this was a day to get outside. The previous day had been warmer, enough that the remaining snow melted, but everything was muddy and wet. I got a bonus project of washing mud-covered dogs, the same day I got a migraine. Ugh. 

Our morning started with me trying to catch up on last week’s blog post – I’ve been days behind the last couple weeks and trying to gently allow it instead of panicking. Myles hung out in his room and let me know he had finished The Cloud Searchers (Amulet 3)* and started The Last Council (Amulet 4)* from the Amulet 1-8 Box Set*  

*This is not a trap; it is an affiliate link, and I may earn a commission from its use. Thank you for supporting the time and effort I put into providing this content. I only recommend products I have used.

When he came out to chat, I reminded him I wasn’t quite done and suggested some other things he could choose from if he didn’t have any other ideas. He chose to pull a workbook off of his shelf, and look for words in a word search on “beginning blends”. I don’t push worksheets, and I don’t believe he has looked at this workbook in months. He ended up carrying it around and even took it in the car with him later in the week. 

When I felt satisfied with my progress and discovered the weather, I suggested we go downtown to walk around in a new environment and play Pokemon GO for an easy, fun activity. 

I haven’t mentioned my relationship because I haven’t talked about myself so much until recently. Is it on topic? Probably not, typically. In the context of how our day flowed today, I’d say it is. We picked up my…why does boyfriend feel like such an awkward word for someone I’m in a relationship with at this stage of my life…to enjoy our activities, and he participated in the rest of our day. 

We played our game, walked around a bit, and ultimately ended up in an open area to run around. Myles found a few remaining piles of snow, and they enjoyed throwing or punching at the snow in midair. He ran and climbed and made up stories about people nearby while claiming a secret hideout area. I sat and relaxed until the migraine tried to take over again. 

Punching the last of the snow. Why not?

We went home and made a quick pizza, and decided that we would watch Kiki’s Delivery Service,* one of our favorites that we haven’t seen in awhile. Before it was over, Myles pulled out his laptop and started playing Chuchel, a game I mentioned he just finished again last week. He gets attached to things and likes to repeat them. Very relatable!

He played for awhile after the movie, we talked, and casually hung out. When we were ready for new stimulation, we chose to continue watching the show we’ve all been watching together, Cobra Kai. I mentioned a couple months ago that we had watched all the Karate Kid movies after starting some karate lessons on YouTube, and Cobra Kai has been the follow up to all of this fun. 

(When it’s just Myles and me, we’ve been watching through the Arrowverse, which includes many shows now and lots for us to catch up on. We had watched some of Supergirl and The Flash when he was younger, but Arrow seemed a bit intense. When we did try it, he liked it, and we started watching through the shows in an order suggested by a fan’s guide.)

*This is not a trap; it is an affiliate link, and I may earn a commission from its use. Thank you for supporting the time and effort I put into providing this content. I only recommend products I have used.

The next day was quite different, aside from me spending the morning finishing up the blog post late. Myles had a new class that he had missed the first session of Monday (oops). He decided to log in and try it out to see how he felt about it – that’s usually how we interact with new classes now, from a place of curiosity and not pressure to attend. 

There were lots of videos and things to catch his attention, and he seemed to enjoy it when there was enough going on. Occasionally it was too slow for him, and he would say it was boring. We’re learning how to manage the “boring” parts of life by adding the stimulation we need. If the class is otherwise entertaining, do I just need something to do with my hands while my ears and eyes are occupied? 

Nothing steals enjoyment like the level of stimulation not working for you in those moments. Learning how to identify and communicate these needs is crucial. Words like bored and lazy don’t encompass the depth of the needs not being met. With awareness, sometimes there’s a simple solution. Sometimes we lack interest, and that’s to be respected as well.

Since I was still working when class ended, Myles pulled up Khan Academy and worked through a math lesson. He informed me he had done a typing assignment before class as well. Then he decided to play Chuchel while I wrapped up the final details and hit publish. We had agreed we would make lunch and choose something to do together until his next class.   While I made us toasted ham sandwiches, we listened to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Book 5* and continued listening through and after eating, until we reached the end of the chapter.  

I asked him if he wanted to work on his Atlas Crate or look at the next science topic; he chose Science: A Visual Encyclopedia.*

We read the next pages on Water, putting together concepts previously explored such as the states of matter and how water behaves in ways we typically interact with unlike some of the other elements we had recently explored like hydrogen and oxygen, which both have extremely low boiling and melting points that we wouldn’t experience outside of a lab.

We finished moments before Magical Potions started, and Myles agreed he would watch without making the mess again this week. His teacher is expressive and entertaining, while sharing an abundance of interesting information verbally and by slides she shares with all of ingredients, science, and process for completion. This is likely the best session of this class we have attended, while others have also been quite enjoyable…and one was so annoying to Myles that he just instantly quit after hearing the teacher’s voice. Have you been there? 

*This is not a trap; it is an affiliate link, and I may earn a commission from its use. Thank you for supporting the time and effort I put into providing this content. I only recommend products I have used.

I had a scheduled grocery pickup, so we went for it, dropped off some eggs from our chickens to my grandparents, and came home to realize most of our order wasn’t actually placed in the back of the vehicle. While I called and handled getting the items replaced, Myles went for one of his favorite new YouTube channels, JustJoeKing. 

He had his first Elementary Spanish class at 6:00, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to take it anymore. I suggested logging in to see what it was like before switching plans at the last minute, and he agreed he could do that. His instructor spoke constantly, repeating sounds, showing stuffed animals while stating the animal’s name, and making statements in Spanish as she went along. It seemed to keep his attention, and he tried repeating along after I suggested it. 

I was still busy dealing with groceries and planning to squeeze in a trip to pick up the rest between classes – not a day I needed an extra outing or scheduled item on my agenda, but then really, no day is for my personal preferences. So we did go back to the store to get the groceries they had left out, and we came back home just in time for his next class: Your Immune System at Work. Again, I had to put away groceries and organize, finally getting a chance to prepare dinner as well. I listened in as much as I could, and I continue to appreciate how this teacher presents information. I will look for her name for future classes and feel confident about signing up for them! 

We’ve really had a number of great teachers with Varsity Tutors, and I mention our classes often because we receive great value from them.

We had so much more going on this day, but it went pretty smoothly, even with the grocery mistake. I felt relief at finally being done with the delayed blog post, and we were refreshed from a fun day previously. 

We spent the last bit of the evening winding down with the next Arrowverse shows, as mentioned above, and stayed up a little late to decompress after a busy day. 

The next day flowed beautifully, and I personally spent most of the afternoon organizing and cleaning up around our home. Myles helped me clean up and played between times I asked for help. He’s really good about that, and I appreciate how willing he is to participate while also being able to entertain himself when there’s nothing immediately needing his attention. It wasn’t always this way, but the more we allow things to flow, the more this works for us. 

This particular day, he would show up and say “checking in!” to see if I had anything for him to do. When I’m in my own thoughts, I’m overwhelmed by someone talking at me before I’m ready to listen, which is how he would enthusiastically start. I asked him if he could address me first and give me a chance to be ready. It worked beautifully and turned out to be kind of cute too. I’m also really careful not to create shame for the behavior that I respond negatively to, instead asking for my needs to be supported. 

We had spent the morning finishing the last half of our final book in the Death Note manga and looking over the remaining Adventure Cards in our Atlas Crate. I mentioned both of these in detail in my post last week, including images of the Adventure Cards to show the information covered. I also mentioned feeling hesitant to share about Death Note because of the content, but as we were wrapping up the series, I realized what an interesting way this has been to explore some deep philosophical concepts.

I’m still contemplating the way I will share information here, which will likely shift with my interests from time to time as well, as it does in my day to day life. I plan to share the thoughts I culled from last week’s post if I get around to it without it feeling like too much pressure. 

Do you like it better when I share a walkthrough of our day instead of just the topics and content? A mix of both? 

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