Homeschooling PE. What could possibly go wrong?

I enrolled Butterfly in the local “Homeschooling P.E.” class at our YMCA. It is two days a week for an hour and it is $0. That’s right! Our membership covers the cost!

Now, an important part of this plan is the idea that this mommy/teacher/principal/housemaid would get a chance to actually work out. Like on machines. With headphones. And no little people whining, “Mooooooooom! Stop! You are running too fast!” So I packed my bag of workout gear and got ready to sweat.

Butterfly was not nearly as excited as me, sadly. Partly because she was the only African-American in the room. I didn’t realize that was going to affect her as much as it did, but it turns out that it bothered her a lot. She mentioned it a few times on the way home and once to Dad and Sister on the way home from After-school that day, so I knew it was a biggie.

That being said, I DID get to sweat for 30 minutes, and I made an appointment with a trainer for the next session to set me up on the machines (Seriously, if you have a good YMCA near you, this is kind of one of those things that it completely worth the bucks, IMHO).

So after a sorta-successful first session, I got really “ahead of myself” and decided that I would try to get to an exercise class 45 min before Butterfly’s class while she hung out in the child area. I checked her in, she started to color, I high-tailed it upstairs to the class, walked in, and…quietly backed out as I realized it was an Active Seniors Stretch class. God bless each one of them, they were stretching while seated in a folding chair. Not my vibe.

Sooooooo, plan B.

I grabbed Butterfly and we went to the “Teen Room” and we started working out on the circuit machines. They have a great system, kind of like a Curves, where a horn sound blows every 90 seconds and you move to the next machine (sorry, Curves. I just blew your secret to the dudes. Not that there are many dudes reading these posts, I think). I don’t know what kind of “Teens” are going to this room, but lemme tell ya something, those are no sissy machines. I am one strong gal (just ask my husband who helps him move the heavy stuff), and these machines were giving me a bit of a run for my money. But then, to my delight, at the end of the circuit were CARDIO machines. That’s right, I was going to get to sweat after all!!!

So Little Miss Butterfly and I floated over to the Elliptical Machines and started doing our thing. I told Miss B that we would do it for 15 minutes and then I would take her down to the Homeschooling P.E. class. We were good for about 4 minutes until I look over and my darling daughter is gasping and claiming that I am killing her. Which is clearly not true, because I was more than 3 feet away from her and we all know that it is impossible to give someone a good death stare to the side when you are bopping up and down on an elliptical. It’s fact, people.

And then we came upon a perfect example of why I am truly not a “good” teacher. I told her that it wasn’t killing her, but that she had to stay on it. She cried. I denied. For 11 minutes, tears streamed down her face and I insisted that she stay on the machine.

Folks. I am a coach.

Not that coaches don’t teach, but I realized that the same “you can do this, stop your negative self-talk and let me hear you say that you can do this” speech I was giving her was what I was repeating at least 5 days/week during this year at the table as we worked through the lessons.

So, I’m going to stop beating myself over the head about not being a good teacher and accept that I teach in a different way.

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.

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!

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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!