Get out!

In my last post, I think I mentioned how relaxing our mornings have become since we started homeschooling, with the ability to sleep past 6 and enjoy a breakfast that’s not rushed before easing our way into the work with a little couch reading.

Well, today didn’t exactly go that way. It’s Tuesday, and ever since Kiki was a baby, we have tried to spend a least part of each Tuesday with Grandma. I really want to try to keep this up, even though The Boo’s afternoon school schedule complicates things. Also, Kiki had TWO activities on the docket for today – a monthly Nerf Club session about 40 minutes away and a theater class downtown. Of course, there was also actual school work to be done.

I’m not yet so well-planned that I can just pull out a folder with the day’s assignments all set up, but I took about 10 minutes to get enough stuff together to take to Grandma’s house. Some of it was online, so we just packed up a laptop and The Boo and headed over. Once Kiki found a quiet place to focus on her work (and a math program she particularly enjoyed), she was happy on her own. She was actually so enthusiastic about that math program that I’m considering adding it to our curriculum to break up the workbook tedium.

The best part about going to Grandma’s house, of course, is that she insists on feeding us lunch while we’re there. And today she actually sent home some food for our dinner, too. Thanks, Mom!

I also envisioned Kiki doing some of her work during the trip to and from Nerf Club, but she wasn’t into that idea, preferring instead to play Minecraft. Whatever (or as Kiki has been saying lately, “Whatevs.”). I just reminded her that she still had to finish whatever work was left before getting to watch TV at night. She was OK with that.

Nerf Club was quite an operation. The lady who runs it is in her fourth year (and she runs some other big homeschool groups, as well), so she has this down to a science. Between 40 and 50 kids ages 8 to 18 play organized games, such as Capture the Flag or Last Man Standing, with their assorted foam dart guns. And there was a huge assortment – of kids and their toys. There were strict rules about which brands you can use (all the darts need to match, since the club operates from a single pool) and there could be no modifications other than purely cosmetic ones. While watching from the observation room, I worried a little that Kiki would feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of kids, but she seemed to do just fine, even talking to a couple kids that I saw.

I like that it was such a varied group age-wise and it was a good boy-girl ratio – more even than one might predict. There were times when the gameplay seemed chaotic, but the organizer had them all listening when she rang her cowbell and everyone did a great job helping clean up the gym afterward.

The best part to watch was just before cleanup, when a small group of kids was called into the center – kids with September birthdays (including Kiki) – for a small recognition. They got candy necklaces with a foam dart charm, and then everyone sang them the happy birthday song … just before opening fire on them with every available dart. The kids loved it. It was a nice little thing, and I think it helped Kiki feel like a real part of this huge group.

We got home just in time to get The Boo off his bus. There was just enough time for a quick break (Kiki squeezed in today’s copy work) before we took off again for theater class. Kiki has been wanting to take a class like this for a long time, so she was very excited about it. And I enjoy the fact that it’s a very short walk away from the library. I got in some steps on my pedometer and some chapters in my book club book. Kiki was extremely bouncy when she got out of class, which means she had a good time. She said they did some improv today and get to be animals from Disney movies next week. She chattered all the way home about what she’d like to be (some kind of cat – duh).

After dinner, she finished up today’s work – except for history, which we’ll do tomorrow – in enough time to enjoy a nice TV session with her great-grandmother before bed.

Right now I’m enjoying how flexible we can be. I wonder if I’ll feel a little insecure about not getting stuff done later on. If I get that way, I’ll just have to come back and read this post to remind myself that we’re not competing with anyone. With five weekly activities and at least three monthly homeschool groups (for now), we’re building up plenty of XP – and raising our fun score while we’re at it.

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