(My) School is in Session! And, Home Ec Returns!

I have officially taken matters into my own hands, and I began homeschooling today. I needed some sort of routine, not only for myself but also for my children. Here was the situation: I was on the couch with coffee, thinking of maybe turning on Bravo to waste away the early morning hours while the kids were asleep, and, lo and behold, they were awake! And again on their iPads.

I started to feel pangs of guilt and was torn between Million Dollar Listing and being a good parent. It was a tough one… Ha! But, I am proud to say, I yelled up the stairs, “Kids! Get dressed! Brush your teeth! We are having school today!”

Breakfast is served (Dannon smoothie), and pencils are sharpened!

They were confused. “Wait, what?” That’s right, peops. Make the bed, pull your act together, and we are done with this lackadaisical, sedentary, gluttonous behavior (I was sort of talking to myself). I had them each pick out a chapter book. She picked Junie b. Jones, and he picked out something about sharks and walruses, one of those “Who Would Win?” books. You know who is winning today? ME! I kicked it into high gear, created some math worksheets, and I taught her about carrying over and subtraction. (Oh, and I had to use my fingers to count once. That’s kind of embarrassing? Shhh).

She even got dressed in a glitter headband. I think she was excited!

We did reading, wrote an essay (okay, a few sentences about the problem in the book and the solution), math, and then…get this: I had them do laundry! That’s right. This school brought back Home Economics. Remember that? That’s kind of old-school. Well, it SHOULD be mandatory curriculum, because my children are seriously lacking in the folding laundry department, and I could use some little elves to help around here.

Remember when our parents had kids just to do chores? I feel like I was born with an apron and a dusting mitt on. (Sorry, mom. No, you did a good job, but I mean so did I…with cleaning).

Cursory folding job. Grade: B-

It’s only 11:00, though, and they are done with school. Next up: recess outside. I guess this is a half-day. Contact me if you’d like to sign up for my school. There will be an (A) cohort and a (B) cohort, scattered drop-offs, mercurial schedules, lots of emails, and no remote learning. Mmmkay? Oh, and have them dressed ready to do chores!



Al’s Camp: How to Thrive at Home in Uncertain Times


imgres-1It’s funny. I was going to start this blog about three weeks ago, before all this COVID-19, and when I didn’t have as much childcare fodder to share. And, now, due to school being cancelled, and it being basically, shall we say, summer, I have much more to talk about! It’s summer vacation in my house! Whee! So we started camp: Al’s Camp. That’s right. You may not have heard of Al’s camp (?), but it’s pretty darn fun, and I could use a little coin right about now, so if you want to sign up in advance, I can give you my address and just go on and send a check.  And, fun fact: Al’s Camp is not just for kids; it’s also for adults. It’s kinda like those yoga retreats…Kripalu? I mean, sorta, minus all the B.S. Here is how Al’s Camp goes:

  1. Just wake up when you want and, really, it’s totes okay if you stay in your pajamas all day. Know why? Because mommy is in fuzzy blue penguin pants that she got for Christmas at Job Lot and a one dollar clearance sweater, size XL, from Walmart.  And, also? We/I don’t have to keep doing laundry that way. Right? Yes, let’s be sustainable and not waste water, and we will just turn those suckers inside out and wear lobster bibs while eating so as not to stain. Shut ya’ dresser drawers. PJ’s only.
  2. Devices are allowed while mommy is working–or just until the retinas are a solid red. We  have testing in the first floor bathroom to see if eyes are bloodshot. If so, we will all take a break in the backyard and play Rover-Rover, I Hope Your Eyesight Isn’t Over. With parental permission, we can apply Visene, but we need those permission slips in STAT.
  3. The special meal we cook is something called “Hodge Podge.” What’s that you say? Yes, you may have missed that page in Gwyneth Paltrow’s #Goop cookbook, but believe-you-me, it’s solid. It really is a composition of: whatever’s in the fridge that the kids want to eat, coupled with some sliced apples, carrots and peppers. Totes healthy! So we got them veggies in there (and I don’t mean just veggie chips (’cause those are a staple around here), and we have child satisfaction at a 10 with like a Dannon Cotton Candy Smoothie (guys, no, it’s a smoothie, so it has to be healthy even if it’s cotton candy flavored. Um, can we say natural flavors??)
  4. Happy Hour starts right at five (for those of us who are 21+ of course). That’s correct. As soon as I hit shut down and log off from working remotely on the computer, I head straight for the fridge and get it going. Oh, and there’s so much to choose from, because mommy had to stock up. And not only that, she had to take off her sommelier beret and lower her wine standards, and sophisticated palette (hah), in the quest for quantity over quality. I have embraced the magnum of vino, which I heretofore had no interest in, lowered the bar, and accepted my lot. I now am fine with it. I taste fruit forward, cement, cherry balls, you name it. All in that magnum. Lower the bar, people. It’s not that bad.
  5. We have a moment of mindfulness at dinner when I lead grace. I encourage all chewing to stop immediately but am okay with like a piece of chicken or a macaroni being hidden under the tongue while we give a quick shout out to the higher-ups.

So that’s just a quick snapshot of what it’s like these days around here at camp. As we share in our social distance, it’s helpful to see how others are carrying out their lives and offering suggestions. Please feel free to print these out and share them with others! And defs call get on the wait list for the second session of Al’s Camp. It’s legit filling up fast. Not even joking. Serious.

‘Til later, stay safe.