Diary of a Homeschool Dad: Week 3
What a week this turned out to be! Laura decided to take a chunk out of our schedule, so we had to do some on-the-fly adjusting. Here's how week 3 played out in our house.
Sunday - This marked the final service that is planned to be entirely online, as in-person church resumes next week. Which also means we've enjoyed our last sermon in shorts and bare feet! As everyone has gotten into a nice routine of getting up early, it is certainly much easier to be awake in advance of the early start time, and we all seem to be ready and willing to set those alarms even earlier soon to be in the sanctuary for real. Everyone's Zoom meetings went well and the older two girls (Mrs. Geo and Girly) even got some mall time in. Shopping is still a necessary event for the ladies of the house, you see.
Monday - With our local school district actually beginning classes today, this was the first day that Mrs. Geographist got to teach her students. The load was supposed to be very light, but from what she told me everyone tried to log in at the same time and crashed their server. Half of the families weren't able to log in, which resulted in a lot of emails flying around to add to the mess. Girly and Curly were off to class as usual, while Whirly and I settled in to our little schoolroom to get cranking. Our Bible story this week is on Noah, which turned out to be mildly ironic. The tropics garnered some attention as Hurricane Marco decided to steer well east of our region, but where it would hook towards the west (before or after landfall) was anyone's guess. Lots of social media commentary about how 2020 was doing us wrong by sending two hurricanes into the Gulf of Mexico at the same time, but Cuba was kind enough to beat up Laura just a bit until her "older brother" decided what he should do. The kids' school decided what they'd do, however - they closed the school for Tuesday and Wednesday so everyone could prepare for whatever bad weather may arrive.
Tuesday - If this were a TV show, this would be where you'd expect to hear the ominous music starting up. Mom goes off to school and I stay home with all three girls. Whirly has an English test to take, so I kicked the older two out the door to bike around the neighborhood. A little exercise would do them good in case we get stuck inside for a few days like we did with Harvey, right? Mrs. Geo sent me a message that her school was closing at lunch, and because they have the grade broken into two separate groups, that means the same block of kids she didn't get to see during the first half of Monday still haven't gotten to have any class time with her. We took basic precautionary steps of clearing all of our outdoor items and moving some important items like the musical instruments upstairs, and my parents (who live much closer to the projected path) migrated our direction to get away from the storm. With their house standing barely 10' above sea level and only a couple of miles from a large body of water that adjoins the Gulf, they were definitely expecting the worst. Whirly didn't quite finish all of her Tuesday work, and it was quickly becoming obvious that Wednesday was going to fizzle as a real school day. At least we'll all be fat and happy after a huge TexMex dinner!
Wednesday - What do you do on the Gulf Coast when a hurricane is bearing down? Sit around and watch the Weather Channel! I took a few walks down to the neighborhood pier throughout the day to check on how high the creek was rising, and was a little surprised at the number of people who were putting up sheet metal over their windows. I'm used to seeing plywood, not metal. Because my parents emptied a lot of the perishables from their fridge, we ended up with a lot of spare food. They picked a hotel that's not too far away from our house, which means my kids got plenty of time with their grandparents as Laura swept through. It was a little after midnight when my parents lost the power and internet at their house, judging by when they stopped getting a signal from their security camera. By that point we'd all assumed they were going to dodge a bullet as the storm made landfall just far enough east to allow the winds to circle around and hit their town from the north, which may have helped push back against a weakened storm surge.
Thursday - Not a drop of rain here, and hardly any wind. In fact, a bit of trash wound up in my yard from Wednesday morning's garbage pickup, and Laura couldn't even blow it off my property! Judging by reports, we assumed everything was good at my parents' house, although they were without power. The TV channels were showing a lot of Lake Charles - my dad nearly took a job there when I was a kid, and we've been through it many times so I know it reasonably well...my heart goes out to those folks. Our church was pretty quick to announce that they want to take a team east to help out. Enough people from the kids' school left town that they opted to stay closed for a third day, but announced everything would be opened again on Friday. Mrs. Geographist was going to be out through the weekend, but got a call to fill in as a sub for one of Girly's teachers. Good timing! We got some additional time to hang out with my parents and they got to eat more of my home cooking.
Friday - Time to figure out how much catch-up we want to play. Whirly and I were left home alone as the other three girls all headed off for the same campus, so instead of starting the day a little slow (sometimes I'll let her play on the computer while I shower and change) I decided to get her started off on a bunch of assignments. But this wasn't going to be just another day - my dad let me know they wanted to drive east to check on their house and see what they could salvage from their fridge. So I packed up all the textbooks and some tools in the event I needed to help fix things up, and we loaded into their car. My mom decided to sit in the back with Whirly and work through some of her school subjects, which was admittedly a little hit-and-miss because she gets distracted easily. It's also difficult on the kiddo to have three adults in a car who want to add their input from time to time. But she got some good work done on the road, then lunch and some handwriting once we arrived. There was a little bit of wind damage, but we all agreed it could have been much worse. We filled two coolers with food, plus quite a bit in the garbage, and got out before the heat that naturally comes with no A/C started to cause problems. Once home, I got a very nice surprise - the first round of hard copy prints for Our Story With God arrived! I wasn't expecting them for another month or so. Time to celebrate!!
Saturday - Cello lessons are back on! Girly and I hit the concrete trail, as a local radio guy likes to call it, and I called a bunch of our 5th graders from church since they're about to promote up into the youth group next month. Seems like we didn't get enough time with them, but it's definitely time to forge ahead. My kid's teacher lives near the stadium where the local franchise plays football a few times each year, and we got a hard dose of reality as that complex was hosting a food bank distribution and there were thousands of cars lining up in every direction for assistance. Seeing so many hurting from a lack of food so soon after watching nature cause such destruction makes you realize that you're blessed, and there are so many ways you can help others. None of us can do it all, but we can all do something. Traffic conditions, a wreck, and my general bad decision-making skills nearly doubled the time it usually takes to get home, but we eventually made it. Two cars were due for their annual state inspection, so Mrs. Geo and I took Curly out for a drive. We dropped one car off at the shop, and headed over to the music store. Time to get a clarinet because she wants to start playing in the school band! But she doesn't want to stop piano lessons...so as long as she's willing to put in the time and practice we're going to let her run with both. Then it was time to take the other car to the shop for inspection #2, snag a car wash, and head home to fire up the grill for some burgers and hot dogs. A great all-American end to an eventful week!
Now to get some sleep before an early morning alarm gets us ready for church...