Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 30

This week marked a pair of milestones for the blog.  First of all, as you can probably tell from the title of this page, this is the 30th post of our weekly homeschooling journey.  Second, my website hit 10,000 views since its inception, which is kind of mind-boggling to me.  Thank you to everyone, whether you've only found me once or if you've seen every post since the beginning of Our Story With God!

Sunday - We kicked off the week with a pretty full house at church.  It seems that the significant drops in Covid cases in Houston, plus the increase in immunizations and general improvement in the weather, have prompted many folks to return to worshipping in person.  Our 5th grade class used up all available seats at the tables that were set up and we're starting to see some new faces that haven't been around all year.  It's definitely a good thing!  Girly had a return to youth choir, and both Curly and Whirly were able to go back to Bible Drill in the evening.  February definitely finished on a high note.

Monday - Mrs. Geographist and I were up before the sun once again to work out at martial arts.  It's certainly been a long time since I needed to be up by 5 AM for anything other than vacation trips!  After dropping off the older girls at school and getting cleaned up, I set about getting started on my work week while Whirly and mom got cranking on school.  After school Girly drove to her cello lesson, in what is becoming a pretty standard routine for us.  So far we're over a third of the way through her necessary hours behind the wheel and she seems to be doing as well as can be expected.

Tuesday - This dad was back in the teacher's chair as Mrs. Geo was off to school to teach.  We've been really focused on handwriting, multiplication, and general discipline as Whirly approaches her formal evaluation with the private school, but that doesn't mean we're ignoring things like reading, heritage studies, and science.  Using martial arts as physical education, not to mention a way to develop both her mental growth and circle of friends, has been a total positive.  The teachers are so great with the kids, and maintain high standards in a caring atmosphere.  After school was over, Curly had her usual clarinet lesson - this time without the challenge of brand new reeds.  I was also made aware of the big news in Texas when my wife informed me that the governor had rescinded his order for businesses to require masks, while also allowing a return to full capacity.  While most of the economic damage has already been done by this point, I nevertheless appreciate the attempt at allowing those who feel safe doing so the freedom to act on their viewpoints without fear of prosecution.  Social media informed me that not everyone felt the same way.

Wednesday - I have been working with one of the leaders of the martial arts studio to put a few maps together of Dickinson, TX in advance of that town's Italian heritage festival, and so I took advantage of some free time after our morning workout to drive around to see some of the sites.  Mrs. Geographist and Whirly handled some of the early school activities in the meanwhile, and then late in the morning we all headed up to the school for kiddo to test for what grade she would enter when she goes back to school in the fall.  Her favorite teacher EVER is now the elementary school's vice principal, so Whirly was completely at ease.  She got to pick where we ate lunch, so she opted for America's favorite chicken sandwich joint - "My pleasure!"  During the afternoon I was finally able to donate blood to help shore up the local supply that had recently taken a hit during the widespread power outages, after which I came home to an empty house.  The girls had all gone off to church for midweek activities, allowing me to play catch-up on several work requests.  Got to make sure the job always gets done!  The school called and discussed our options with Whirly, and after I had a chance to discuss with both our church's children's minister and Mrs. Geo, we decided that it might be the better option to allow her to extend her 3rd grade year.  While I have the sense she could gut out everything that would be asked of her if we kept moving her along, we all figured that granting her time to work through things would firm up her foundation and give her the best shot to thrive going forward.

Thursday - Well I was going to try sleeping in just a little bit until I got something of a rude awakening.  Mrs. Geo was about to head off to start a new long-term sub position but had to come back inside to let me know water was streaming down the driveway from out of our flower bed.  Nearly two years ago we had a similar situation, so it seemed pretty obvious what was happening.  I called up the property management company of our rental home to get a plumber booked, and then got on the phone with the city so they could shut our water off for a while.  Before they arrived I took a quick shower and then filled up several jars and a tub with water, just in case we were dry for a while.  Whirly and I were able to get quite a bit of school work accomplished before martial arts, which turned out to be a good thing because the remainder of the day was a mess.  Coming home from our martial arts lesson, I spoke with my father-in-law (who had come to our side of town for his first Covid vaccine shot) and he wanted to swing by to take a look at the problem.  We ended up digging a hole nearly 4' deep next to my garage where our water line enters the house, getting quite muddy in the process, before realizing the situation was a bit more complicated than we could address.  Fortunately, however, within 20 minutes of him leaving my house we got a response back from a plumber who was on their way to fix the problem.  Two men from Atlanta arrived right as I was heading out to pick up the girls from school - they had been doing extra work caused by the big freeze that struck the state, and we were their last job before heading back to Georgia for the weekend.  By the time Curly had returned home from her piano lesson with her mom, I had finished cooking dinner - biscuits and gravy with bacon works well any time of day - and the guys had completed the repair and restored our water.  Girly and I headed off to her second cello lesson of the week (necessary due to a schedule conflict the following Monday), and a physically exerting day finally came to a close.

Friday - With the wife off to her second day of the new sub job, I'm settling back into the routine we had in the fall semester.  Get up with the older two girls, shuttle them off to school once they eat breakfast and pack their lunches, return home to get Whirly's day going, catch a shower and start work, and then juggle the rest of the day's activities as necessary until the rest of the crew arrives back home.  This was a slightly different day for a couple of reasons, however.  First, my work bonus arrived first thing in the morning so I took some of it and paid some things off before we got into the more mundane activities.  Second, because we found out that after a month of waiting, my dad was finally being transferred to a Houston hospital for better care.  Those are reasons to be happy and grateful!  Kiddo did manage to work through the distractions, however, and wrapped up her school work right as it was time for me to go sit in pickup line at school.  We had a bit of a celebration dinner over a large pile of tasty BBQ and then returned home to get ready for my mom to spend some time with us while my dad gets his treatment.

Saturday - This marked the one-year anniversary of my last day to go to my downtown office before it was shut down due to the quarantine, and it was a day for me to get acquainted with the inside of several cars.  We started out with a grocery store run in Mrs. Geographist's SUV, and my mom had arrived at our house by the time we returned.  Once the food was all put away, I drove her in my car up to the hospital where my dad is staying, which involved some creative traffic avoidance along our usual route.  Once I was back home, it was already after noon.  Mrs. Geo decided to take the younger two kids to NASA for the afternoon while I took Girly to her monthly group cello lesson (yes, that's three in a week).  For that trip, we took her SUV, so I was able to log mileage in all three of our vehicles.  After the lesson, the oldest princess and I snagged dinner together at her boyfriend's favorite sandwich shop - I don't know why I let her talk me into these things - before heading home.  At last my mom let me know that hospital visiting hours were over so I hopped into my car to get her for my final drive of the day.  Whew!

The next few weeks are going to be interesting, so you'll want to stay tuned to see everything that happens!


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