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.

Blurg

I had started typing away, on my shrunken little tablet keyboard, and poof.  The browser crashed, and away it went.  Sigh.  About on par with the day.

I’m worn out.  Today, it’s been a combination of getting details squared away for a 60+ person trip to a local theme park as a not-back-to-school shindig (who knew unlimited refill drink bands would create drama?!), breaking up fights betwen the kids, getting more handwriting pages ready for my lefty of an 8yo, cajoling the 4yo into a nap with a timer after his fifth screamy meltdown of the day, keeping an eye on the 6yo and my tape dispenser, and cracking the whip on the 8yo and 10yo who keep trying to think chores are beneath them.

Besides which, I’m still planning out stuff for our own homeschool year, getting stuff ready for the herbal remedy class and hands-on boy craft class I’m teaching at co-op this year, rearranging swim lessons because our co-op day changed, trying to get ahold of my cow guy to make sure he hasn’t forgotten me again this year, and pulling together some freezer meals for a friend who just had surgery and another who’s due with a new baby anytime this month.  Oh, and it’s harvest season.  So the canners have been making noises every so often as we gear up for the big push in a few weeks. No rest for the wicked I suppose.

The smaller school planner

My two planners.  My general everything planner on the left.  The new-this-year co-op planner on the right.
planner01

First up, the printouts of class schedules.  Because we’re always looking for someone or somewhere.  With that many kids and the classes changing so often (and most of them not used to classrooms period!), it gets interesting.  Having these printed out have been helpful.
school01

Next section is for my Lego classes.  Each week, I give them a different challenge.  Build something with animals.  Use only one color.  Create a building.  That kind of thing.  Then towards the end of the hour, they come up and tell me all about their creation and I take their photo.  Here is where my notes about their creation reside.
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My freezer cooking class.  The syllabus I sent home with the kids with specifics and all that jazz.
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And then little pocket thingies for the actual recipes.  I might put the recipes in order of when we do them, if/when I figure that one out myself.
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Next section is my plans for my herbal remedy class next year.  I need to gather up the supplies all this summer, definitely wasn’t something I could pull together in a week.  But with the pre-planning done now before the height of harvest season (when co-op begins again!), that’ll be one less thing to freak me out.  After this, I have a blank section for another potential/eventual class idea, and blank paper to insert elsewhere as need be.
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And because none of my posts can go by without me mentioning food…
Chicken stock!  Yup, I get gelatinous blobs more often than not nowadays.  Takes time and finding the method that works for you.  My stock is yummy though.  This is concentrated stock from two chickens.  Takes up a bit more than 3/4 of that half-gallon jar.
chickenstockgoo