Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

Busy, Busy Day

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Man, we got a lot done today!  I had no idea I would feel this good after being this productive.  I can’t even begin to describe how good it feels.  I usually slack off during the day, but I guess homeschooling has brought out the best in me again.

So I suppose I should begin at the beginning, which had me launching out of bed to throw my clothes on, have Oz ready Nika, and fly out the door.  I managed to wake up thirty minutes from my scheduled appointment today.  I ended up walking in the door at the exact time my appointment was supposed to start.  Thankfully it only takes me fifteen minutes to walk there, so I had time to get dressed and ready.

After that it was on to homeschooling.  I got home and meant to get them all set up to homeschool.  Unfortunately, my plan to start the day with computer time was all for nothing because A.J. ran down the charge on the laptop playing Pixel Quest yesterday, so it was dead when I went to set him up on it.  He learned about it in school and I just can’t keep him off of it.

img_20170206_104719_703Instead of working on the computer, like I had planned, A.J. did some of the lesson tests from his math program.  Somehow I didn’t equate the lesson tests to being for each lesson, somehow, so I didn’t have him do any of them.  Today I had him go through the lesson tests and then he corrected the problems he got wrong himself.  I love this program because it’s so incredibly easy for him to check his work, and that’s one thing I remember being cautioned time and time again in math, “Check your work!”

img_20170206_113606_252Luca even sat down to do some book work today.  That was a huge victory for me because Luca has the focus, I don’t know, name something incredibly unfocused.  Whatever that thing you named was, that’s what Luca’s attention span is like.  Luca will do well for a while, but realizes it’s more fun to be silly, so I get that instead of focus.  However, this Primary Phonics program has done wonderful things.  Luca seems to have all kinds of focus for it, and already knows the format of the lessons well enough that I don’t even need to read the instructions for more than just the story.  The rest Luca’s got without any need for help.

img_20170206_125658_407As if getting the kids through school wasn’t enough, I actually made lunch.  I know, it’s not much of anything I had to work for, but I did it, so that’s something.  They had peanut butter sandwiches with celery.  The celery then got slathered with peanut butter or cut up and used as a scoop.  As it turns out A.J. is just okay with celery, Sander hates it, and Luca loves it.  I guess I know who the rest of the celery is going to.  A.J. at least eats fruit and carrots.  Sander, on the other hand, doesn’t want to eat anything from the fruit and veggie side of things beyond applesauce.  Luca is the opposite and will eat pretty much everything.  I have no idea how I’m going to feed these kids healthy lunches, but I guess if Sander wasn’t eating the fruits and veggies at school, I’m really not offering him anything less here.

My only major flaw was thinking Luca has a much bigger stomach than is reality.  Luca is always eating, so I keep thinking, “Just feed Luca big meals and problem solved!”  Problem not solved…  Luca couldn’t finish all the food and ended up taking a nap with a very full belly.  Next time I know, give Luca a quarter as much, and then it will all end up gone.

IMG_20170206_144514_154.jpgLuca and Sander took a nap while A.J. worked on the computer.  We learned about Mesopotamia and the states of matter.  We then did a quick and easy experiment of bringing some water from solid state to gas.  It was super easy to throw some ice cubes in a pan, heat them up, and then watch the steam come off of them.  A.J. liked that experiment even though he already kind of knew what was going to happen.  He’d seen ice melt and steam rise off the tea kettle, but still, it was fun.

Then it was time for jujitsu.  We went through our usual scurry to get everyone dressed and ready to go.  Sander lost his shoes…again.  A.J. was ready way too early and didn’t want to wait.  Luca was generally chaos, as usual.  I packed the bag with La-La, my Kindle, A.J.’s uniform, and drinks for everyone, then we were on our way.

I think Sander and Luca are going to be problems in the same class.  Sander’s clowning and distraction tactics keep Luca unfocused.  Twice they had to be separated today.  The first time Luca was moved while one of the techniques was being demonstrated.  The second time was after a fight when Sander was being nothing but silly, which was making Luca think it was play time.  That’s the hardest part, Sander shows Luca it’s time for play, not work.  Then Luca runs with it.

As much as I hate to say it, I think they both got exactly what they needed.  Sander was put with a kid that was no-nonsense and had no problems holding Sander at bay.  This seemed to frustrate Sander enough to keep him focused.  Luca was put with a kid from A.J.’s class who gave just enough resistance to make Luca work for it.  Luca was supposed to push him from his knees onto his back, then get into the side control position, then demonstrate the technique they’d been learning for the whole of last week.  It took a few tries to get Luca focused, but Luca was starting to pick up on it.  I have a feeling with a few weeks and being pared with kids that don’t view it as just play, Luca will start to get it.  So Sander was forced into a position where he had to focus and Luca was encouraged to actually demonstrate technique and skill.  This could be good for both of them, so long as they don’t get paired together anymore.

img_20170206_192139_146After the class, while A.J. was in his class, the two actually demonstrated that they could play together.  They took turns playing Fruit Ninja on my Kindle while A.J. was in class.  I don’t see them play well together often, but it was good to see.  Maybe my eventual goal should be to get them all Kindles and set it up with audio books from the library so they can listen while class is going on.  It’s an idea…

A.J. has a long way to go in his class.  He’s far too timid when it comes to the other kids.  He doesn’t want to get pushy and assert himself and he’s very hesitant to actually put his hands on the other kids.  He’s either big on personal space or he has completely no understanding of personal space.  It’s on or off with him.  In this class, it’s on.  We need to teach him to turn it off so he can engage, but that will come with time.

I’ve also come to the understanding of why the boys in the class kind of leave A.J. out of everything.  Everyone thinks A.J. is a girl.  I know, he’s a boy with long hair so we should expect that.  His coat is a girl’s coat.  I get it.  But everyone thinks he’s a girl, even the instructor, and that’s awkward.  All I can do is hope that he gets it in time.

A.J. isn’t the only one everyone thinks is a girl.  Everyone thinks Luca is a girl too.  Of course, with Luca’s hair in a half ponytail and wearing My Little Pony, it’s not hard to figure where they’d get that idea.  I’m of the mindset that if Luca wants to correct them, Luca will.  But today that wasn’t going to happen.  I was informed that Luca was using the girl’s bathroom today because Luca is a girl today and most definitely not a boy.  Okay, I’m cool with that.  Whatever makes you happy, right?

After all that I still managed to come home, make dinner, and get everyone (but Luca who is watching television on a Kindle at midnight, mind you) off to bed.  Tomorrow I have one more appointment right before lunch time.  Here’s hoping it’s as motivated of a day as today was.  That would be awesome.

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

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