Off to an intentionally slow start

I have nothing on my calendar for today – thank goodness. I don’t know how I always get so busy, but it is exhausting.

We started “school-lite” this week: math and Latin. That’s more than enough. I really do like easing into the school year. My two boys are using DIVE videos for the first time, so we’re figuring out how that works and also doing time management.
Two subjects, four students.

But to give you an example of the challenges I face, one student who has no desire to do math or Latin and who thinks that giving me a hard time will – I don’t know – make me decide that we should just skip those subjects? Really, I have no idea what he hopes to accomplish. Anyway, he was showing me just how difficult math is by wrinkling his brow and acting constipated. And what exactly was the problem that was giving him such trouble? Complex algebra? Long division? Word problems written in French?
9 + 8
I told him he should have picked something just a tad more difficult if he were going to pull such dramatics.
So, this is why I am glad we’re starting off small. 90 minutes more or less of school is good for the first week, especially when nobody else in the area has even begun to think about it.
One other sure sign that school has begun in my house is the antics of the younger crowd, including Jenny who is not learning Latin and whose math takes all of 15 minutes. Peter keeps begging for a playmate, so we will work on following the full school year routine I laid out which actually has someone assigned to him to keep him occupied. Jenny’s downtime has been relatively benign.
Here is her self portrait taken while waiting for Katie to finish math.

She took a half dozen pictures of the sunroom: things on the wall, the ceiling fan. Harmless, quiet self-absorption. Wish she did this more often.

Mary, of course, is the biggest trouble-maker. It’s her age-appropriate nature. First she got her hands on the white-out pens. Fortunately, I own some Goof Off. The linoleum looks just fine now.
Then it was the magic markers. She currently into body art. And even washable markers take several days for the ink to get off skin. I buy markers once a year – at the beginning of the school year. When they’re gone, they’re gone. If the kids can’t keep them put away and monitored closely when in use, they will be gone very soon.
Then it was the half-eaten yogurt all over her and the dining room table.

If you look closely, you can see the lines from the markers. Her legs are twice as bad.

Right now she’s soaking wet from playing with soapy water in the sink. It’s what I have to do to type a blog post. The floor is wet, too, but this is an easy cleanup compared to hand soap rubbed all over the bathroom mirror, another of her favorite pastimes. She’s bored now, and thus ends my writing for today.

5 thoughts on “Off to an intentionally slow start

  1. A little toothpaste on a washcloth is good for marker (or Kool-Aid) stains on skin. And she'll be minty-fresh, too!

  2. LOL. Nice slice of life. I miss home schooling. I was such fun. We always used Saxon Math too. Your marker policy sounds wise.

  3. Were any of the older ones quite as busy as dear wee Mary?
    I'm with Rosemary, love the marker policy. Brilliant! Even though my kids are in public school now and 11, 13, and 15 – they are slobs and untidy kids!

  4. Oh Michelle, your posts make me laugh! For the first time this school year I did not buy ANY markers. My older children never take care of them and it's too much temptation for a two-year-old. Thinking of your family as always!

  5. She's sure got skinny arms for a kid with a wholestickofbutter eating habit. Maybe I should go on the chunk o' butter diet?

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