More Reading, More Homeschool…and the Homeschool Room!

I know, I’ve been quiet here on the blogs for a while. Mainly due to family visiting. It was really great to see my father-in-law and our two nephews. Mo is eighteen and Eddie is nearly 23, and they are both wonderful guys, great fun, smart, and thoughtful.

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So I basically set aside homeschool activities while they were here and focused on Kansas City adventures. We hit a water park in Topeka (inside of Gage Park, a spot of interest for anyone who follows the Dark Tower series), visited a cave in Camdenton, ate out at our favorite restaurants, and even hosted a party last Saturday.

We did restart our daily reading adventures, however. This meant finishing a book, The Doll People, and then starting on its sequel, The Meanest Doll in the World (The Doll People). My problem with falling asleep when reading continues to plague me, but I’m valiantly fighting it off and learning to stop reading BEFORE I pass the point of no return (and have to go take a nap). Emily has asked several times as I was reading what page I was on. I would show her, and now I make a habit out of moving my finger along under the words as I read. She hasn’t done this in a while, and I always feel a surge of hope when she does, because it indicates curiosity and willingness to recognize words – all steps towards reading!

On Sunday, we rested and relaxed. We didn’t go anywhere and I managed to get quite a bit done on tidying and organizing the homeschool room. My goal was to get the big table cleared off. It was not very welcoming to anyone with stuff piled all over it. And I think I did pretty well…

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I pulled out learning/fun games that Emily has enjoyed in the past and put them here, in this newly installed set of shelves I salvaged from a dumpster (hey, it was FREE!)…

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And we moved out the broken desktop and put in a working laptop at her desk in the corner…

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Then the issue became getting her into the homeschool room, Which was a far more difficult task than you may think! I decided to be a bit sneaky about it. I want butt time – you know, time when her butt is in the homeschool room – more than I wanted learning to occur that particular moment.

Step One – Get her into the homeschool room

Step Two – Get her to return to the homeschool room

Step Three – Get her to want to be in the homeschool room

Step Four – Get her used to being in the homeschool room each day and liking the homeschool room

Step Five – Gently steer her towards learning opportunities

Step Six – Graduation and college!

Okay well, perhaps there are a few more steps between #5 and #6, but you get the idea.

I work, as most most of you know. Mainly my income right now is cleaning houses. It makes enough that we survive, and wouldn’t without it. But it also interferes, greatly, in our having any kind of a regular schedule. These days, when we return to the house, Emily is chomping at the bit to “go and play.”

This past weekend that ability to play was significantly damaged through no action of her own. The older sister of the neighbor boy Anthony, who I’m convinced has the makings for a psychopath (the girl, not Anthony), intentionally dropped a large weight on our front porch, heavily damaging the weights and leaving a mess, before she ran off.

This is the same girl who has thrown a brick at our beehives, taken great glee in picking up our chickens and throwing them, and actually killed several of her brothers’ pets through rather horrible abuse. On purpose. To say that we consider her dangerous and rather unstable does not even begin to cover it. I told Anthony that she was no longer allowed over at our house due to her behavior – although I did leave the door open to that being reversed if she came over and apologized and cleaned up the mess. Fat chance of that happening on her end!

She was angry at being banned and made a case for Emily to be banned from their house. I have little problem with that, since I don’t trust the girl, and Emily has returned several times crying about the girl hurting her and then laughing at her when she cried.

But there is a standstill, for now, of relations between the two camps. Neither party is playing with the other. So yesterday, when we returned from the cleaning, it was the perfect opportunity for me to say, “Instead of going to play, come spend some time with me in the homeschool room.”

And this was the perfect opportunity for me to Zentangle with her – now that we have the #3463 Zentangle for Kidz (Design Originals) book – and do a mix of crafts and art. Today I hope to look up some factoids for her on the computer – we’ve got a list of questions…

  • What do ticks eat? (I said it was blood, but we are going to double check)
  • What do mosquitoes eat? Is it blood or is that just to feed their eggs?
  • What happens to trash? (she thinks it is all recycled, I told her that very little is recycled)

And perhaps we will also do a learning game, like Learning Resources Money Bags A Coin Value Game. Something to get her adding, and having fun at the same time.

In any case, we are back at it, albeit sneakily on my part.

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