House projects are continuing, due almost exclusively to Absurdist Partner. The last few days I seem to specialize, when at home at least, in panic and jibbering. We've had two frosts, at least, but have I managed to get the raised bed together? No. Planted the bulbs (which is a huge project where I have to take out hostas planted on a ridiculous sun-filled southern exposure -- oy, I will never understand that one)? Of course not. Nor have I put the composter together, though I did order it, which was on my list. I think I'm only getting items off my list that I can do on my computer. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that my left hip aches and I get these pains all the way down my left leg. I assume it's sciatica, but oh! it hurts more when it's cold. I did my favorite workout and did not push it or anything and was so sore, not in my muscles, which felt fine, but in my joints. I'm old. What's more, I did not take care of myself when I was young. Meh.
So we got a late start with homeschooling because of when Absurdist Partner stopped working and all the craziness around here, but start we did. And Absurdist Child and I would do things, but it never seemed official, never seemed like enough, like I was supposed to provide school for 6 hours. Then I decided to look to the wisdom of the interwebs about how much "seatwork" a first grader should be doing: about 1-1/2 hours. (Absurdist Partner reminded me: they do a lot of things in school that are not academics, so the focus on at-home academics can be pretty short at this age.) So it turns out, everything's fine. And instead of really needing to make sure he covers all these subjects, the important things are these:
- Reading: Especially with his eye problems, reading can be a challenge, something he doesn't jump up and do. But he needs to practice.
- Writing: He loves to write lists, but there's always on unlined paper and in full caps. He needs to work on his handwriting, and we have a great book for this: Handwriting without Tears, which is especially good for left-handed children.
- Math: We started with Life of Fred, which is this narrative about a five year old professor at KITTENS University. I find it charming, and they sneak in all sorts of cool info about Archimedes. But I learned a very important lesson: just because I'm into it doesn't mean my kid's going to be into it. AC loves numbers and, crazily, computation, so Life of Fred's narrative style with very few problems was just not really his thing, though he'd do it occasionally because he knew it made me happy. So when I finally figured all this out, I went researching different math curriculum because I'm a bit concerned that his knowledge is too piecemeal. (For example, he knows how to carry and, less reliably, how to borrow, but is confounded if you ask him where the tens place is. He is clearly gifted in math as well as logical reasoning, our little litigator-in-training, and gifted kids often just know things without knowing how they know, but I do want him to be able to answer those kinds of questions.) I got Singapore Math. He sailed through the first assessment test, but then had problems with only specific aspects of the second, so we got him the books for 1B, and he's been sailing through it. Honestly, I think I'm going to let him skip the repetitive stuff. I can't wait to be able to sit down with him and go through this one particular workbook lesson, but with all this busyness, it hasn't happened yet.
It will get better, I tell myself. And in any case, Dory's always right: just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
Have a great day, everyone! And a lovely weekend.