Monday, September 10, 2012

Strike Day 1

I'm exhausted.  Summer vacation is over, so we're not really willing to let the girls sit idly wasting brain cells while the teachers strike.  So, we had our first day of homeschooling today.  It actually went well, but I managed to catch a severe cold, so I am now wiped out.

 So, here's what we did today...

We started the day with breakfast and cleaning the bedroom, especially the desk area.  I knew we would need a good spot for Hummingbird to work.  Then around 8:30 we did an hour long French immersion lesson.  I've started teaching part-time with Multilingual Chicago, so the kids are good practice for my classes.  We read La Chenille Qui Fait des Trous, and sang a song about the days of the week & ducks.  We also talked about the weather and numbers, ending the hour with a game of Bingo in French.

Next, we had a short art class.  First, we made sun catchers.  The girls came back from their summer adventures with this craft, but we never got around to it.  The paint was dried out, so we improvised with sharpies and glitter glue.  Upon finishing that, we took a walk for a photography lesson.  The girls each took pictures of the strike in progress.  We had to see it for ourselves, as the teachers were shouting outside our windows by 6:30 this morning.

By Hummingbird
By Hummingbird
By Hummingbird
By Hummingbird, only blurry one...
By Bumble Bee (she spotted the striking kids)
By Bumble Bee

By Bumble Bee
By Bumble Bee (her teacher)
Hummingbird was interested in practicing the zoom feature.  Thus, most of her photographs were from behind the teachers, and half a block away. 

Bumble Bee, on the other hand was up close and personal.  She spotted the kids and was curious to know why they were striking.  The teachers started marching to another nearby school while she was taking pictures, and we even saw her teacher.  I was worried they wouldn't like us taking pictures, but most of them smiled at us.  Her teacher even paused to say hello, and let Bumble Bee snap a quick shot.  We do like Bumble Bee's teacher, and I can't wait for her to return to class & relieve me.

Back to our schedule, we had P.E. & recess at the school playground after art class.   Then, we came home for lunch followed by spelling work for Hummingbird and puzzles for Bumble Bee and Grace (she's 2 and she's with us two days a week).  After puzzles, we put Grace down for a nap, and Bumble Bee took a bath and learned about what floats & sinks in water.  She really like this, and was very quick to grasp why the different objects floated or sank.  Math work followed spelling for Hummingbird while Bumble Bee finished her bath.

Next came reading time.  After 6 books, I was ready to collapse, so Bumble Bee got about 40 minutes of TV time, while Hummingbird continued her reading of Socks by Beverly Cleary.  Our day was almost to the end.  Hummingbird had to do a little social studies.  She played games on the Little Passports website and read up on the various countries visited by Sam & Sophia.  I made her name each country and its capital.  I even learned something new.  I never knew the capital of Australia is Canberra.  I guess I always assumed it was Sidney.  Bumble Bee had free play with Grace.

By this time it was late afternoon, and we had a science lesson.  Daddy made it rain in the kitchen!  He questioned Hummingbird about the water cycle & why it rains.  Then, he heated water in a tea kettle to steaming.  He held a pan of ice over it, and as the steam hit the pan, the water condensed.  The girls loved this and wanted it to rain on them.  Daddy was obliging and moved the pan over their heads so little bits of "rain" could fall on them.  This brought many giggles and squeals.

So, we got through one day.  I don't quite know what to do tomorrow.  Daddy has agreed to do another late day science experiment.  He's going to crush a can under atmospheric pressure...  I'll let you know how it goes.

The girls had fun today, but after years of wishing she could be homeschooled, Hummingbird decided today that she'd rather leave for school.  I know many of you out there homeschool, so if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. 


  1. Well, don't feel like you have to recreate a school day. Ours are starting school at 9 with prayers then a theology lesson by Father (the older four) or bible stories (the youngest). Then I do kindergarten work with the youngest - not more than 45 minutes at a stretch and Father starts the others off on their regular subjects. The oldest is doing Latin, and Vocabulary instead of Spelling, otherwise they're all doing History/geography, Science, Math, Spelling and Grammar. We make their assignments out over the weekend and post them Monday morning. They have all week to get it done. We have to do some hand-holding with some subjects (Algebra for the oldest - she's not a math person, and most things with #4) but we're trying to instill some autonomy this year. They're generally done by lunch and in the afternoon finish things they didn't do before lunch or work on other projects (knitting/crocheting being one). We go to the library once a week or so. So much learning takes place in a non-traditional setting. #4 loves meteorology so I tend to explain things while pointing out stuff on radar, etc. They all read and read and read. #3 tends to build things in the backyard. She's the one who has all her own tools and loves Home Depot. (She looks so fragile and frilly but she's very practical and technically-minded.) Anyway, I know it's different when they're very little because you can't just turn them loose, but it really all does get done. (:

    Good luck! I hope the strike ends soon.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts. We may well have a little more down time today...