Swimming along (Day 5)

Today, we started the Physical Education element of our home education program.

Luckily, we have a membership to the YMCA and we enjoyed swimming laps together for about 30 minutes before Butterfly started her first time at an afterschool program.

It is possible that you might have said to yourself just now, “wait, what?”

Yes, Butterfly is in the afterschool program at her sister’s school for a couple of reasons. One of them is that as we were driving around this weekend, Butterfly said very quietly from the backseat, “I need to be around more kids. I like some of the homeschool, but there isn’t enough kids to be around.”

When she speaks quietly, that’s actually her version of an impassioned plea. So, my husband and I agreed that she could go to the afterschool program for 2-3 days/week, which would give her 8-12 hours to play with other kids and socialize with peers (especially kids from her ethnic background) and would give me a few hours to breathe, plan, and oh, yeah, actually get stuff done. Because I had a silly idea that me being home meant I would have all this time on my hands to do the things that I hadn’t finished or gotten to or that needed to be done.

Guess what?

Turns out I’m a full-time teacher, administrator, nurse and principal – there is no downtime when the student is around.

So the swimming was great exercise for both of us AND I was able to get a few hours of my own.

I promptly took a nap.


Cooler heads prevail (Day 4)

So, the temperature dropped (YAY!) and this meant that Butterfly and I slept in for a bit today.

Well, SHE slept in. This was the first time I had been up and “by myself” in the morning for a while, so I made coffee, checked my e-mail, planned meals for the week, did dishes, got all of our supplies together for the day and by the time she was awake – voilà! – I was a regulated, calm human person.

Did I mention I hate mornings? Oh, I hate mornings. Until I had kids, I would sleep until the last possible minute and my husband always left early to give me my space because I am not a nice person in the morning. I pretty much hate everyone. Now, I know hate is a strong word. But it is the correct word in this place. More than once, my loving, totally morning-person husband would wake me up and I would, halfway asleep (but still able to speak coherently), clearly state “I hate everyone. I hate the world.” Poor thing.

But now that I have children, I have had to learn to mostly ignore that part of me that wishes that all of creation would leave me alone until about 9:30am. Because the kids…well…they like to get up EARLY. And they want you to be part of every moment of their waking life. And “go back to bed” doesn’t really work. I’ve tried it. I can feel them wistfully staring at the doorway, just waiting for me to roll over so they can yell, “We know you are awake.”

They kind of remind me of our cats.

But I digress.

Butterfly doesn’t usually like mornings, either, but she doesn’t want to be alone once she is awake, so this was a treat of a morning, and the cooler weather helped us to have a nice day together.

We even got to use our linking blocks for some math!


Better Day! (Day 3)

Today, things were a little better. We were able to finish the bulk of our work and it seemed like Butterfly was more open to some of the ways that we were approaching things. I had allowed her to write her own “to-do” list (based on mine) in her Student Planner (link to the one I got her HERE), but I found that she hadn’t copied things correctly and it was actually causing her stress to not be sure what we were going to do. So I made a plan with her that next week I would be the one that would put things into her planner, with my very neat handwriting :).

One of the things that I was most excited about in our Curriculum was the Anatomy and Physiology studies. I know that seems pretty advanced for a 3rd grader these days, but Butterfly has asked a lot of “why” questions about anatomy and physiology and it seemed like the curriculum we got had a lot of life and earth science, but medical science can be really interesting, too.

So today, we drew the Anatomy of a Cell.

2013-09-06 11.04.15

It was a better day.


Wait, I have to do this every day? (Day 2)

You know that thing they talk about called “The Honeymoon Period?” Doesn’t that last for a little while? Like, more than…

A DAY???

Well, whatever it is supposed to be, it was on Day 2 that the novelty started to wear off for Butterfly and she realized that there was some work to be done.

And she didn’t want to do it.

And that sort of didn’t make me want to do it either.


We had to go to our separate rooms for a little while to adjust our attitudes. And cool off, because it was literally 86 degrees in our home (we have no real air conditioning in our apartment).

I had made a mistake and took her to a cooler location to do some work, but, as happens any time she is around other people, she took up her job of #1 Stare-at-people Person, and any hope of focusing was out of question.

So I learned.

And prayed for cooler weather.

And was thankful that I had planned in pencil, because I had to erase and adjust a lot that day.

The First Day of School (Day 1)

Well, we made it to the first day of school.

Butterfly was excited to get started and she got dressed while her older sister got ready for her own adventure of finding a school to which to go (we had been un-enrolled by the last school, but no one informed us).

Here is a first day shot of our new homeschooler!


I had taken the advice of several sources and planned my week in PENCIL so that we could change things around as we found our rhythm. Luckily, the novelty of staying home with Mom was pretty high that day, so we were able to get a lot done.

Our Course of Study for Day #1

  • Singapore Math (she hated math in school, but this program shows a lot of visual representation of items so she can get into it)
  • Windows of the World – Introduction to Praying for the World
  • Review of John 3:16
  • Handwriting
  • Blackbird Reading and Story analysis – “The Hundred Dresses
  • Reading (30 min)
  • Maps & Globes – 17 pages about maps & globes (!)
  • “Passport” Application (actually completed the day before)
  • Geography Pretest (my darling daughter knew 0% of any geographical anything – nowhere to go but up!)
  • Properties of Ecosystems – introduction to such terms as “biotic,” “abiotic,” “ecosphere,” and “population” – a little heavy for a 3rd grader, but we have all year to get it down 😉
  • Anatomy and Physiology – She got to color while I read to her…Hey! Wait a minute!!!
  • Wee Sing – the cutest little song about saying “Hello to all the Children of the World!” – cute until you end up humming it in your sleep (**true story).
  • Art Lesson #1 – Monet

So we did all of that by 11:30am (!!!!!) ate lunch and then trundled off to the Y for Physical Education, which was…Swimming. Butterfly and I swam laps for 25 min and then came home to get ready to pick her sister up from school.

We were both on our “best behavior” so it went well, but I’m already seeing that there is too much packed into the day, even if we were able to finish it in 3 hours.

But, today, I’m counting as a success!