Homeschooling During Covid

August 19, 2020 at 12:53 am (Education) (, , , )

We’ve always homeschooled, thank God. Educating this way has been the biggest blessing of our lives. Post-divorce, during single motherhood, it was the easiest way to spend the most amount of time with my kid while staying on top of her education. In homeschooling, a little bit of time goes a long way. As a public school graduate, the public system always seemed like for every second of education occurring, there were hours of waste. Homeschooling is efficient, we cover a lot of ground in less time.

“Play is the work of childhood,” and I want my kid to have lots of play time.

During the chaos of sheltering in place, school getting canceled, and whatnot, the only thing that changed for us was me going to work (I got laid off a few months before I was planning to quit), and attending our extra curricular activities. A good chunk of our daily lives looked the same, just more relaxed. Way more relaxed.

Now, in the midst of so many of our friends dealing with school district uncertainty, virtual public schooling, Zoom courses, and a plethora of other dramas–we’re going on with life business as usual. Our co-op is so small and cozy, and several members already recovered from Covid, so we still get to meet as usual.

So what does our Classical Homeschooling life look like?

At Home:

We started a formal Spelling curriculum last year, just using McGuffey’s Speller and memorizing wasn’t cutting it for us. The Workout Spelling books are fantastic and I highly recommend them.

We’re flying through Math-U-See Delta and using Singapore 3A on review days to keep all those math skills sharp. (We do math every day, year round: Math-U-See we maintain her appropriate grade level and Singapore we do the year before. She tested above grade level on her end of year CAT last year, so we think this routine works for us.) We finished the Mensa K-3 reading list this summer and have been plugging away at the 4-6 list and loving it.

As a family, we’re making a point to learn more recipes in the kitchen. I quit buying bread at the grocery store this month and am officially baking all our bread myself. Something I’ve always loved to do, but not had the time and energy to maintain doing it regularly. Now we both have a routine and baking and cooking has been a magical experience instead of a stressful one. She has to help with a minimum of one meal a week, next semester I’m increasing it to three. Hopefully by next year she’ll be making more things on her own, but as it stands if she goes to college with only what she knows now, she’ll be eating a lot of waffles and french toast.

She’s still working through the Botany science curriculum she started this summer in addition to helping me prep for the Introduction to Chemistry and Physics science class I teach at the co-op. We have a stockpile of MEL Science kits we can’t wait to dig into.

At Atrium:

The kid’s course load isn’t light, by any stretch of the imagination, but so far she’s loving it… Early American History, Critical Thinking & Logic, Introduction to Chemistry & Physics, Poetry, Writing & Rhetoric: Fables, Fix It Grammar, Song School Latin 2, Art, Kung Fu. (I’m teaching two Latin classes, the science class, and Kung Fu. Course load sharing with other moms is so fun, as every morning I get a well deserved coffee break while the other moms are “on deck.”)

Extra-curriculars:

So swimming was a great choice for us for 2020. Dipping kids in chlorine seems like a pretty safe choice and the kid swims like a fish now!

I’m not going to lie, I’m a tad envious of her piano lessons. She’s rocking them and composing music like there’s no tomorrow. She graduated the Let’s Play Music program amidst a pandemic and it was worth every penny and then some.

So, if you’re homeschooling this year for the first time ever and need help, message me. If you have ideas for things we’re covering, please share them! (Your favorite DIY science labs and dinner recipes are welcome!)

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Shelter-in-Peace

April 24, 2020 at 2:56 am (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, , , , , , )

Quarantine—or Shelter-in-Place—has meant many things to many people. Most people are scrolling Facebook incessantly. I’ve done a bit of that, but no more than usual, which is still too much. The memes have been great, but the complaints I have found unusual, even though intellectually I understand them.

My mother is an extrovert, so I am accustomed to inexplicable loneliness in others when they are left to their own devices.

I’ve been poor, so I relate to the sudden lack of income and the terrifying limbo of not knowing where your provision will come.

I’m curious to a severe degree, and I can comprehend boredom, even though I usually manage to find a way out of it fairly easily…

You see, I am an introvert who was more than happy to have a good excuse to cancel all my plans. Being a non-essential worker—a bookseller—I have lost my nearly thirteen year stint, and I’m actually happy, relieved, and overjoyed to be home every day. As a homeschool mom, my one desire was to spend my days trapped on my property with my kid reading books and right now, I’m living the dream.

Since Corona virus has hit, all we’ve done is actually live our best life.

We’ve spent hours in the garden literally watching the lilies bloom, observing the shockingly not-so-slow metamorphosis of caterpillars to butterflies. We’ve read an obscene number of books off the Mensa reading list for kids, are digging deeper into our Latin studies, memorizing new spelling and vocabulary words we never had time for before, and relishing the fact that third grade math wasn’t just learned, but mastered.

I’ve spent copious hours on ancestry.com, wikitree.com, and prowling books and resource materials here at home learning about my family history. I’ve had the pleasure of baking whatever I want whenever I want (key-lime cupcakes, anyone?). I’ve almost completed a short story anthology for my book series, I’m nearly done with a granny square blanket out of old forgotten yarn, and the only thing I’ve failed to do is maintain my blog and my workout schedule because I’ve been so busy enjoying everything else and it’s hard to share the living room.

The gist of it is: I’m a weirdo who is loving being forced to stay home.

Since my last post, I finished a biography on Margaret Thatcher, a summation of the demise of classical education, a fascinating biography on Amerigo Vespucci as well as some of his original writings, another installment of Cahill’s armchair history series, a terrible account of a transition from “protestantism” to Catholicism (written by a guy I’m convinced was in cults and not a protestant denomination at all), an essay on magnetic currents, several of my favorite children’s chapter books (The Pushcart War never gets old), and one of Prebble’s brilliant histories of the Scottish clans. (Please, take a minute to follow me on Goodreads.)

I suppose my point is this: I know it can be scary… pandemics, shady governments, untrustworthy reporting, not knowing what’s next… but there’s something beautiful about actually stopping to—watch the lilies bloom (and, of course, read a good book).

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