Friday miscellany: 6 weeks in

Today’s homeschool check-list wished everyone a happy six weeks. There’s not too much else to report. I’ve started recording my podcasts at night, and using the mornings for writing. I’m crashing toward my ebook deadline. I could definitely use a few more ideas/short profiles of folks managing teams remotely so feel free to reach out with those (laura at laura vanderkam dot com).

We are trying to convince the baby to nap in his crib or bassinet, rather than in the sling or while being held. So far this is not going well.

This weekend I hope to do two family walks, run twice, dye my hair (I was doing this at home before it was cool!) and do some work at set times. This is in order to keep work from being an option all weekend. (This is also the subject of my weekly Forge column at Medium!) It will probably be one early morning and one window when my husband covers.

I’m reading Roger Kahn’s The Boys of Summer — I need to get moving on that, since it’s a Libby pick and will be due in a week. What can I say…it’s often easier to scroll. I have taken to looking at dollhouse furniture on Instagram. I would like to own a really nice dollhouse some day but in the meantime, looking at pictures of tiny furniture is incredibly soothing.

I’m also doing Lego projects with everybody except the baby. Two space craft, the Hogwarts Express, a Lego Friends pool party thing. I have ambitions to teach the older children various life skills (scrambling an egg!) but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m curious if anyone else has had success with using quarantine time for imparting such lessons…?

Photo: Just chilling…

11 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: 6 weeks in

  1. Four Lego projects at once – wow! Do you tend to keep builds intact? We’ve ceded a massive amount of basement to various Lego sets — the space adds up over time!

    For kiddo life skills: my oldest son (9) loves baking fairly complicated projects, thanks to the Great British Baking Show. We’ve told him that in the next year or so, we want to add cooking skills to his repertoire, then put him in charge of dinner one night per week. Little Brother will be sous chef. A mom can dream, right?

    Current life skills they’re working on: loading and unloading dish washer, vacuuming, and “folding”/putting away own laundry. It definitely lightens the load.

    1. We had great plans for school from home to include typing practice and for our oldest to learn photoshop. Neither has happened. The kids did power through the unopened Christmas LEGO sets (Hogwarts express as well) and our son’s poor screen time regulation did earn him the permanent chore of cleaning the cat box. So some life skills. Also a lot of 4:30 pm margaritas for mom and dad.

  2. I love your seasonal bucket lists and it’s always something we look forward to doing in our family. I’m wondering in how you adapted spring and if you’re adapting summer to current circumstances. We did an easter parade in the backyard, got a projector and white sheet for the outdoor movie we probably won’t be seeing, a slip n slide for our pool experience…. just really curious how you’re marking the seasons even as options are limited 🙂

  3. Commiserating on the baby napping! My seven month old has gone on a bassinet strike and I think I’m developing a sore neck from sleeping with her on me. But I’m trying to savour the warm baby snuggles while I can… We may sleep train once this is all over.
    So far, I’m taking advantage of being unemployed to teach my 8 year old some cleaning skills- right now, she does the bathroom, windows, and laundry. Also we’ve learned some hand sewing and some basic cooking. (I do worry that perhaps I’m teaching her too many stereotypically female tasks… So maybe we should learn to mow the lawn and use power tools if this continues). Also- Not a very useful skill, but I’m also teaching her to write in cursive. I think we’ll handle touch typing next. It seems odd to me that they have to do so much work on the computer but they aren’t learning to type- the hunting and pecking is driving me crazy.
    I love this list from the Edit Your Life podcast of “100 Life Skills you can teach your child in five Minutes or Less. ” Replacing the toilet paper roll is of particular importance in our house.

  4. The 11-year-old and 13-year-old are responsible for making lunch twice a week, when both adults are working from home. Their time management skills need some honing, but everything they’ve made has been edible and eaten by all four family members — something I can’t say when the husband cooks (he likes it spicier than the kids).

    The main skill I’m trying to teach the kids is that THEY are responsible for what goes on in their lives. We’ve got a lot of self-directed stuff between school, classes and sports, so my goal is that they learn what works best for them while still meeting basic requirements for a parent who wants to know what’s going on and who wants them to succeed. This morning’s conversation with the 11-year-old focused on how he’d like to be asked about the status of his assignments/tasks. His response was roughly maximum every other day with questions like, “When will you be doing XYZ?”

  5. We haven’t done much extra during quarantine so far. But once school is finished, the energy we’ve been putting into school will go into those types of things since our activities are all cancelled for the next 9 weeks. Those days will get really long otherwise, I fear.

  6. Hey Laura- We used the Snoo at night and found that the stroller was the savior for a nap for the baby that wanted to be held. I have the Uppa Baby Cruz and it was a great “solution’. We would walk outside or back in forth in the living room and she would be out, strapped in and I had a few more hands free options. I know that car seat naps in the house are a NO, but stroller naps worked for us.

  7. What’s helpful for me is to assign each of my big kids a meal. Right now my oldest is “dinner helper” and often makes side dishes with/for me, depending on level of difficulty. Tonight I’m throwing him in the deep end with the entire meal since I’m giving lessons over Zoom. 😁 I’ve been doing it this way for several years now.

  8. We haven’t done any specific “life skills” lessons with our 7 year old, other than his normal, pre-quarantine chores. He does things like feed the dog 2x a day and check & fill her water dish, unload the dishwasher, clean his room, do his laundry, clean the toilets, clean the mirrors, take out the recycling, and collect and take out the household trash.
    Cooking he will do with a great deal of assistance- he can measure ingredients, chopping with a small knife, and so on- but using the gas stove is not in his wheelhouse yet. Maybe I’ll be more comfortable with that in a year or two.

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