Week 6 of Fall 2016 – After Vacation

Anyone with kids knows that right after vacation can be… challenging. The kids are used to breaking the daily routine and being constantly amused by new and different things. The parents have to catch back up on keeping the house clean, feeding people, and work stuff.

It’s nice to be home… but you miss the beach pretty quickly.


  • Kid #1 participates in a game called Druidawn, which involves freewriting.
  • Kid #2 wrote in her new cursive handwriting book. It’s fun because it’s copy work with cheesy jokes.
  • All three kids began their monthly Bravewriter project:
    • Kid #1 is writing a catalog of items you would need in a zombie apocalypse.
    • Kid #2 is writing a story about a candy store. She’s writing it all herself, and plans on transferring the completed book to a blank book I got her from Bare Books.
    • Kid #3 is writing a story about an alien. She narrates it out loud to me and I type it in my Chromebook in Google Drive. Then I read it back to her and she corrects things that make so sense, and I copy it into her blank book for her. She’s going to add illustrations.
  • We’re working on watching movies and shows together. This week we watched:
    • Three episodes of Monk.
    • The first half of Harry Potter 2 — though I fell asleep on the floor. I’m fighting an awful cold/sinus infection thing and every once in a while I just can’t move or think at all.


  • Math games, like “I’m thinking of a number” where I say “I’m thinking of a number that is 12 less than 67” or something like that. Some great ideas for games like that in the Kitchen Table Math books.
  • We played the Race Track pencil game, which helps demonstrate inertia and acceleration. I’ll write up how to play sometime soon, I hope.

    Race Track Game
  • Sometimes math practice just happens randomly. When we went to watch Monk, we used the old XBox to play it… but when we started it up, it decided it needed to install an update. So while we were waiting, we would read off how far it had updated (such as 45% done) and I’d ask the kids to figure out how much more was remaining. It’s so tempting for young kids to answer “65%” to that, so practice is always good!


  • Nature Study — found a morning glory in the back yard and  identified a random volunteer bird seed plant that looked like corn as Broom Corn, which is a type of sorghum.
  • A Kickstarter I backed arrived — Snatoms! Made lots of things and  learned a little about how molecules work.

    Oh no, some water fell on the floor!
    Oh no, some water fell on the floor!
  • Their grandmother printed out a neat page about why leaves change color in the fall and which pigments show which colors. Kid #2 sat with her for a while and learned about reflection and absorption of light and how seeing works. (Yes, it’s handy having another scientist around the house!)
  • Both younger kids also learned from grandma how hearing and other sensory stuff works.
  • Kid #1 and Kid #3 played with hydraulics — tubing, syringes, water, various connectors and stuff.

Social Studies

  • Continuing our study of ancient Rome, the kids made some aqueducts.

    Testing her aqueduct
  • We read the next chapter in Story of the World.
  • We watched the first presidential debate.
  • When I was half asleep in bed because I felt awful, Kid #3 snuggled up next to me and watched the first episode of The Greeks with me. Well, she watched it, I fell asleep. But before that happened, she quietly asked me really great questions. It was nice.


  • We got flu shots, so we talked a lot about how flu shots work and why we needed to get them even though we’d probably be fine if we got the flu. (The flu is, in fact, miserable and awful, and other people need us to protect them through herd immunity.)


  • Drawing practice by all three kids.
  • The younger two also painted with acrylics on canvas.
  • Everyone decorated their aqueducts.


  • Kid #2 and I went to see Swan Lake. It was lovely. She loves ballet so incredibly much.


  • Coming home was hard. So they convinced me that they needed to go to one of their favorite parks, which has a huge castle play structure, and a ship, and all sorts of other weird non-standard equipment to play on. It was nice that they conspired together to come up with excellent persuasive arguments. (Oh no! More LA!)
  • Kid #1 rode his bike every day.
  • The girls went to soccer practice and dance classes!

So, to summarize:

  • Wow. I thought it was a pretty light week, but look at that!

What interesting things did you do this week? (Or two, or three?)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.