April 8, 2020

Homeschooling strengths, I got this - or not

Curly started making these in the family room,
 but they needed to be knocked down to
accommodate movie nights,
so I realized that she
 has taken to tucking them
 into the corner of her room.
Never thought of myself as much of a homeschooling type - feared knew I would become way too frustrated and turn my children off of learning.  What I have discovered is that they do just fine learning at home - some of this I am involved in and some of it, not so much.  For example:

architecture - Curly has been actively building her houses out of magnet tiles.  If you linger too long nearby, she will subject you to offer you a tour.

cooking - All of the kids meals were edible, unless you count Lad's meal of zucchini boat pizzas.  It was a tough time to learn that Reg does NOT like zucchini.  He gagged and choked as we told him to quit being such a wussy and just eat it.  Have I mentioned our family has a prerequisite of thick skin?  It would have been smart if he had left the pizza fixings on the vegetable (tired of typing and misspelling the z word), but sadly he scooped the pizza parts off and then gagged on the withered up z.  Coach took a video of him gagging which has provided him with much amusement.  This is good because as I mentioned we don't have Netflix and cannot watch stuff about that weird tiger guy.  

music - Still working on Ed to get him to learn ONE godforsaken Irish tune on the piano.  He claims he was no good at the piano, but folks - he took lessons for years and he was decent.  Really.  I will continue to withhold food work on him with my endless charm.  The other musicians include played a tune, well sort of:  Lad - Bodhran,  (Irish drum), Tank - wooden flute, Mini and Curly - fiddle, and Reggie - concertina (looks like a small squeeze box).  

I told the kids it would be great fun for them to play a tune together and then have Coach come in from out of nowhere and fake Irish dance.  Can you say viral?  I kid.  The kids think I am weird and dumb, so there's not a chance in hell they will go for it, but trust me here - Coach has been around Irish dancing enough that he 'knows enough to be dangerous' - a catch phrase that reminds me I am happy to not be part of the business world anymore.  Anyway, if I can get Coach to demonstrate his fake-ness at the dance I will share.  Positively hilarious.  Maybe we can get Kari  join in with her fake dancing via ZOOM.

Cute masks right?  I hope
someplace finds a use
for them.  
sewing - I guess my future grandchildren can be grateful for all of the costumes I sewed and saved, because not sure these two will stick with this.  Mini seemed to like it but she keeps breaking the thread which she refers to as the string and has to wait for me to re-thread the needle.  Sweet Jesus- my two grandmothers performed a simultaneous roll-over in their respective graves.  

art - This is Mini's gift.  Pure and simple.  Sadly, she was in an art class at school this semester and now is not able to have the supplies she enjoyed there, but she is still using what we have at home to do what she can.  She was really, really loving that class.  Said it was a great way to relieve stress.  She will not likely have space on her schedule the rest of high school to fit in another art class.  Maybe in college?
This is a charcoal Mini did of Curly.  I should have
 uploaded the baby pic of Curly so you could see that
it looks quite a bit like her. 
This pic I took looks a bit distorted.

writing - Since Reg is the least likely to do schoolwork (even Tank has upped his game knowing college is around the corner), I told him he needed to write something today.  Like I do not know what happened, but Reg was once a great student.  Sigh.  

Reggie actually
wrote a DBQ.
 I made the photo
very small, but
I was thrilled that he
followed directions
and managed
not to write in
 his usual microscopic
 size penmanship.
I ordered Ed to come up with a decent prompt for Reg.  It was something like:  Describe one thing that is inconvenient about the pandemic and two ways in which you have made good use of your circumstances.  He actually wrote something and it wasn't terrible.  Nothing like a small glimmer of hope in pandemic times.  

rationing/math - I have got this one down pat.  "Don't eat dinner food for lunch, damn it!"  "Only 2 cups of milk per person per meal, PLEASE!"  Plus we 'attended' palm Sunday mass on Sunday in our family room with a YouTube video or something Coach connected to the TV.  

Afterwards Curly got close enough to see that 44 people disliked the video (this sent many chuckles through my irreverent little offspring - someone disliked church.  That's funny shit) and I am quoting Curly here, 

"What?  1.9 people liked it?  How can you have 1.9 people?"  
Mini set this still life up in the living room
in February and then created this out of
pastels at school.  It is her fiddle and Reg's
 concertina and my grandmother's old footstool.  

Then Mini pointed out while completely flabbergasted:  "See the 'k' after the 1.9 - yeah, that means thousand."  

Then Mini turned to me with eyes bugging out of her head, as if to say:  "You need to step up your game here." 

So, see- math lessons are all around us and we are gaining on it.  

cussing - No one is better than me at teaching their offspring this anti-stressing approach to life and all things pissy  No. One.  

cleaning - I give up.  Our half-grown ass children are unteachable here.  No.  Really.  I have officially stopped caring.  Tempting to create a vlog of sorts and expose you to the apparent changing area/upstairs hallway littered with their clothes - why?  Or God forbid the children's bathroom - I shudder.  No, I will not over-share with a video record of the state of the house.  

See, I got this.  Oh, and they are studying cinematography too, because of the number of movies they are watching.  I could go on.  

Who the hell needs school?


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I have always known that I would never be good at homeschooling. And now I know for sure. The kids are responsible for getting online and attending their classes and responsible for doing their homework and submitting it. One of them is on top of it, the other waits until the last minute and it drives me crazy. I've decided that I am not going to change this child's genetic makeup and said child will just have to learn the hard way. Although, this child consistently gets things done but always at the last minute. It is MADDENING.

Other than regular assigned online classes (3 hours 4 days a week) and all the assigned homework (which seems to me to be the same amount as at school although the kids say it seems like more, I am doing nothing to add to their education. We are all just trying to maintain our sanity. I guess I really should try to teach them something but I have zero motivation to do anything like that right now. Basically, I am keeping them fed and in clean clothes and I am considering that a WIN! I would love to see a video of coach dancing!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I used to threaten my girls that if they didn't do well IN school, that I would home-school them myself. This always ended in all of hysterically laughing because we know, I'd be terrible.

I think your kids are very talented in so many ways; hello, that art?? Amazing. And the little house too.
Cinematography could be a very lucrative field to go into, so act like they're studying that art too.

I find I'm cussing a lot more than usual; the F bomb is an 'every conversation' word now. HA. Thank goodness I'm in the comfort of my own F'ing home.

The video said it was "private", so no watching of the gagging.

I do love that your kids all have some sort of musical talent; that is lacking over here. YES PLEASE on the Irish music and Coach dancing part; we NEED THIS!

Marie Smith said...

Our daughter has two young school age children and a three year old. She has learned she can make a lesson out of everything. It’s a great way to get housework done!

Kari said...

I HATE MATH. There. I said it. WE HAVEN'T DONE MATH THIS WEEK. There. I said it.

Also, I would love to make my ZOOM debut by displaying my Riverdance moves. Just give me the word and I AM ON IT.

You're doing just fine. Kids learn from things like swearing and watching CNN and washing hands obsessively.

Anonymous said...

That art is beautiful! You’re doing a great job, Mom.

Ernie said...

Beth - I am doing nothing to expand the knowledge of my high schoolers, although Tank has started with a tutor for the ACT test - which was always on the agenda. I have also told Mini that she should be utilizing his ACT review books for a few minutes every day to just be a bit more prepared. I might see if I can stage a sneak attack video of Coach. Quite sure he isn't going to do that willingly - and not sure we have that much beer in the house. :)

Suz - love that threat. If I threatened my kids that way the slackers might work harder JUST IN CASE I was serious.

I agree, I find Mini to be an amazing artist. I have dappled in it, but she is amazing. My sister Ann is an honest to goodness artist and could have attended the art institute of Chicago but my dad would not pay for her to draw pictures. Her nurse degree has been very lucrative. My grandma's sister was a real artist. It must be in the genes - as I tell everyone who asks where Curly gets her curls: 'Like all good genes, my side of the family.' Ha. Not true. Coach is the reason the kids are cute. :)

I do manage to switch my potty mouth off while babysitting. Thanks goodness. When I first started sitting Mini looked at me all wide-eyed and said 'You are GONNA have to stop saying bad words then.' She was like 9. Ha.

I just went in and fixed the video - I think. Please let me know if it works now. I think it is funny because they are all hollering at Reg (wearing his uniform: Savage sweatshirt, wink wink) for messing up. I can never remember what I need to set youtube at in order for friends to see it but maybe not the world. It is not the gagging video - that is on Coach's phone. I think it is too unpleasant to share.

I was denied music lessons when growing up - well, that's not true. My folks said they wouldn't pay for more lessons so I would have to take from my brother Pat. He was a pompous ass. After many bent tin whistles, I gave up.

I will make it my mission to arrange an impromptu dance off with Coach.

Marie - My sister Ann always thought my house was too messy when she came over. She babysat for me once and then when I got home was laughing because she taught Mini who was about 4 how to windex something. 'Come on Mini, show Mommy how you can do a little squirt squirt like I taught you.' It is a wonder we aren't closer.

Kari - Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel about math. Ha! Now if only I knew how to work ZOOM AND if I could simultaneously get Coach to dance. Ha. As far as searing goes, I think some of them are taking notes on how NOT to behave as parents someday and I am OK with that.

Gigi said...

Mini's art is AMAZING!!

Ernie said...

Gigi - Thanks! It is awesome that she has already learned that she can use art as a time to relax. (For some of us the pressure of trying to draw is anything but relaxing).

Bibliomama said...

Well I want the gagging video which I can't see at all, AND the coach dancing video which apparently doesn't even exist. That picture IS amazing, and the kids playing something the is recognizable as music is pretty impressive - Tank looks so much younger than I expected. We have a very lax attitude towards swearing in this family (I got this from my own parents) as long as you're not swearing AT someone, so that really hasn't changed during this stressful time.

Ernie said...

Ali- Hmm I hate to deny the people what they want. I will see if I can get the gagging video. Tank is young looking. He is like a goofy puppy trapped in goofy puppy body. I feel like if the world embraced swearing a bit more, people would be happier in general.

Nicole said...

Wow, Mini is really talented! What a great picture she made! That is impressive!

Ernie said...

Nicole - I agree. I think it is awesome to have that talent. The art teacher was all over her wanting her to take more art classes, but she is on track to do many AP classes and doubts she will have time. Still, something she can always fall back on and use in various ways.

Suzanne said...

Wow! Mini is such a talented artist!!!!

Ernie said...

Suzanne - Thanks - I wish I could take credit for it. :)