Finding little things

Today was a flurry of getting some homework done, and packing the kids up for their dad’s house. Week on/week off would be unsettling enough for an adult, so you can imagine how challenging it is for kids. Things get forgotten (despite me reminding them to put shoes on several times), whathaveyou.

So I typically have to tidy up behind them after they’re gone. So I can have a marginally less messy house to enjoy for a brief respite. Years ago, I found these cool math wrap-up’s for practicing math drills/facts. We have addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. The kids used them for a bit when homeschooled, a short time after they started school, then things started getting taken or packed away.

Today after the house was silent, I found one of the math wrap-up’s on the coffee table (next to cello rosin, we live wildly here!).

I think my 11yo dug them up from the cube wall in the basement where I have various activities and supplies stashed.

This particular one was division. I know I’ve seen the multiplication one up here somewhere, too.

Learning can be done while hanging upside down off the couch. Which, yes, has happened more than once. Plus the tactile fun and constant movement with these helps my sensory seeking 10yo focus a bit more. Win-win!

Chemistry with colors

People think learning has to be boring.
Absolutely not. It’s much easier when you’re engaged and involved with what you’re learning, and it’s not dry and boring.

Today? More colors!

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We tried tried different crayons, designs, length of time in various colors.  Even used a purple bath bomb to dye, with great success.

Art and PE, plus decompressing

What people don’t seem to realize is how stressful school can be for kids. The expectations are insane. I can’t even imagine, I barely remember any standardized testing more than once every few years growing up. Then the PSAT and SAT. Not quarterly. Oof.

Making a transition from public school to public-school-at-home is a shock. Going from public school to homeschooling is a shock. Some amount of decompression is needed for kids to reorient and gather their bearings. Getting right into it may work at your board meeting or brainstorming meeting, but kids need a little more finessing. Meeting them where they are as it were.

So, I’m sure, some people immediately dug into things. I chose to observe. Changing up the whole schooling dynamic is going to result in some chaos of sorts, and I’ll be honest, I’ve got enough going on in my life. I’m glad I’m an essential worker so I can continue to provide for my children, however it means I have little time for nonsense. 140 emails from every single teacher and principal my four children have in three different schools, plus the school district notificarions and letters? Definite flashbacks/triggers to other email issues I’ve had in the past, and fairly overwhelming. Moral of the story? It’s okay to decompress. It’s okay to chill and take your time. Life will still be there to deal with the next hour, or next day.

Moving on, I came home from work one day, to find this amazingness going on due to leaving my kids to their own devices for the morning.

Here is the start.

Touch your toes, and don’t fall off the balance beam.

Seriously one of my favorite parts, the floor is lava. Stay on the clouds. For real.

Follow the rainbow outlined face duck, over the bridge, to the yellow dotted road? (I just dig the cool lily they drew there.)

Variation of tiptoeing… then hopscotch of course.

My other favorite part, jump the pineapples. Not sure why. Just, pineapples.

Then jump through the store and into a puddle or lake at the far end.

Numerous contests and races happened on this chalk course.

For those wondering why this is cool? Well first off, duh, the floor is lava, and you jump pineapples. Second, this kept kids busy and outside for five hours. No joke. They got their wiggles out. Got a ton of fresh air and vitamin D (great for immune systems).

For those keeping tabs, this is Art, Physical Education, Physics, and Math.