Diary of a Homeschool Dad - Week 38

I don't think I ever thank each of you enough for taking the time to read through what I write.  Whether it's the Biblical, historical, or general day-to-day topics, I always try to put interesting content on the website so it's gratifying to see the number of hits on the site continue to rise.  April broke my own personal monthly record, and I'm hopeful that May can maintain that heat.  If you haven't checked out the devotional I wrote on this blog, Our Story With God (which is now published and available at many retail outlets), or my series on the history of Boston, I would welcome you to browse around those pages as well.  Back to the dad diary, however...the end-of-year activities are heating up, and for several of these they represent the first events of their kind in a very long time.  Let's make our way through the week together!

Sunday - Our 5th grade classroom got a makeover this week, as we are once again allowed to have large group time before breaking into small groups at tables.  The response from Curly and the rest of the kids was terrific!  They really seemed to respond well to getting to move around and learn in different settings.  On the way home we hit up a sandwich shop that I'd had once at work.  The wife and I both had their lobster rolls, which were pretty good, and judging by the parking lot it seems like the place really needed and appreciated our business.  We didn't end up going back to church for evening activities, and instead visited the old rental house in an effort to get more of our things packed up or taken to the curb.

Monday - The older two girls were off to school, while Whirly got cranking on her studies at home.  It's honestly a bit difficult to know how hard to push her or how much to fill her days when I realize that she's going to be repeating most of this curriculum next year.  For the time being, it seems best to make sure that she is grasping the process and continuing to try her best at each subject.  My work requests took a noticeable uptick this week, so there were a few times when she had to work solo for periods of time or do things in an order she didn't prefer.  After school, Girly had her usual cello lesson but for some reason she didn't bring her instrument or music.  In fact, the only things she did have were her boyfriend's jacket and a phone.  Teenagers are funny creatures sometimes.  Fortunately her teacher had a spare cello and copies of the music that kiddo hadn't completely memorized in advance of her recital.

Tuesday - Each Tuesday, I have a work conference call scheduled one hour before Whirly and I start martial arts.  Usually I have to turn off my video at some point during the conversation so that we can eat a snack, toss on our uniforms, and drive over to the dojo before my coworkers finish talking.  Since a new security setting has disabled my work phone's camera, however, I was off the hook and was limited to only participating on the audio!  After we got home and cleaned up, we both got to work once again until it was time to bring the older two home from school.  Curly had her usual clarinet lesson, and she's nearing the point when she'll stop seeing her band director/private teacher each day, so practicing at home will certainly seem to require a little more attention to detail.

Wednesday - This was one of those days when there wasn't much to say, other than there was a lot of work to be done.  With all of the girls heading off to church in the evening for the last night of children's choir for the year, however, Mrs. Geo didn't even bother coming back to the house after picking the older two up from school while I stayed home and kept churning out maps.  My only breaks were when food was delivered, and then again when I gave the dog a bath - we've been trying to fight a hot spot on his back leg, which has led to a change in diet, some OTC medication, and frequent washing with a soothing, medicated shampoo.  Before quarantine began, this would've been the kind of day when I would stay in the office late into the night and come home after everyone was asleep.  Now, however, there's the benefit that I at least get to see everyone before they go to bed, even when I'm not able to hang out.

Thursday - Our trash days in the new neighborhood are Mondays and Thursdays, and as I wheeled our can to the curb I couldn't help but notice our little neighborhood animal friends were wandering around the street.  With a nearby pond apparently luring them over from the nearby creek, several Mallard and Muscovy ducks have taken up residence (including one that seems to live in our neighbor's flower bed) and a random cat frequently moseys up and down our block.  Not pictured is the hawk that also patrols the area - he doesn't bother this crew, but any smaller birds, rodents, etc. would do well to keep tabs on his whereabouts.  The animal life is something we thought we'd miss after moving away from the old neighborhood but we seem to have retained at least a few friendly critters.  At martial arts, Whirly and I once again accused our black belt trainer of attempted homicide, as his workout had us all gasping for breath before it was finished.  As usual, I took Curly to her piano lesson after school, which gives us some good time to chat, sing with the radio, or otherwise be silly however we choose.

Friday - Each Friday we get an email update from the kids' head of school that highlights campus activities, achievements, etc. and recently has included how many weeks are left in the school year.  We are certainly approaching the finish line!  Whirly finished strong with a few tests to wrap up the week, and Mrs. Geo took Girly out after school to get her hair trimmed before getting a bit of shopping done.  We all met up for some Tex-Mex at a restaurant we hadn't tried before, and then wrapped up the day by making another trip to the old house to put some items on the curb for Saturday's heavy trash pickup.  My mom made her return to staying our house after spending several days commuting from her home to the hospital where my dad is staying, which I hope was able to provide her with a little rest.  We continue to hope and pray for my dad's medical situation and my mom's peace of mind through it all!

Saturday - This was a busy day.  I started off early by waking up before my 5:50 alarm, and peeled Whirly out of bed so that she could make it to power training on time.  Halfway there, however, we realized that her curriculum notebook was still at home so we got to head home and take a mulligan on starting the morning.  With so much rain they didn't get a chance to run outside, so all of their usual exercises were done inside.  Back home, the rest of the family began to stir.  My mom made an early departure to have breakfast with my dad - a special request from him, since he was going to have to start a cleanse in preparation for surgery and wanted something special before the fasting began.  Mrs. Geo left for Vacation Bible School training at church, where she met with the workers in her class to prep them for how this year would transpire.  After picking Whirly up and making sure everyone was clean, fed, and dressed, we all headed out the door to Girly's cello recital (complete with a driving lesson, this time with little sisters in tow!).  Because she was the last student that her former teacher had, she hadn't been able to perform in any recitals since middle school, but she rose to the occasion and performed very well in both her solo and the group setting.  After all of the day's activities were complete, we headed up north to deliver some boxes and other moving supplies to Mrs. Geographist's sister and brother-in-law, who are in the process of relocating.  We enjoyed catching up with them and trying out a favorite restaurant of theirs, which is housed within an old train depot.  Once we were full we at last headed home and got ready to start another busy week.

Whew!  This is much more the pace of life we prefer to maintain, so this will continue to be quite an enjoyable time for us.  I love seeing my kids get to experience these kinds of events, especially when they've worked so hard and finally get to perform!  Let's see if next week can keep the exciting pace going.


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