“It’s not fair. Nafisa doesn’t have to do school work today. Why do we?”
“Because Nafisa’s school is closed, and yours is not.”
Snow days around here can be rough. The boys’ sister gets to sleep in. Their friends can spend the day sledding. But Zach and Ezra have to work. With all of our travel, our love of skipping school to go to a museum, and our very distracted way of working, we can’t afford snow days.
But the snow was calling out to us all day. And we had a friend over. So we worked a little, shoveled a little, worked a little more, played in the snow awhile, walked to Starbucks for hot chocolate, and came home to work a little more.
Like yesterday, we got very little done. The boys’ friend worked on the iPad on PopMath while they started with a few multiplication worksheets . I’m not typically obsessed with multiplication. Or worksheets. But I realized a few weeks ago that I had forgotten to put any multiplication problems in the morning worksheets binders I made for the year, so I decided to cram it all in during Christmas break. That sounds merry, doesn’t it?
Off to shovel a bit and then play with the dog in the backyard.
Since she had the day off, Nafisa and I left to get her first checking account set up. Jeff stayed home with the three boys to watch Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude, a documentary about a brilliant clockmaker who finally solved the “longitude problem.”
I came home to find them all playing Minecraft and promptly sent them outside to shovel some more.
The boys and their friend all read two pages in a kids’ magazine about the Asante king in Ghana. This reading, along with finishing a fictionalized diary about the Angolan queen Nzingha, and watching two documentaries, were assigned for a class all three boys take with me on Mondays. Their friend finished Nzingha while the boys worked on final projects for that class.
Zach continued to work on his Safari food web project. Unlike yesterday, he worked on it happily, and it didn’t bother me that all he got done was coloring in some animals and choosing background colors to serve as indicators of where on the food chain an animal is.
Ezra and I fought over whether or not he could switch projects. He has been saying for three months that he was going to do his project on weapons of ancient Africa. At the time, he justified this choice by saying that “the two things I love most in this world are fire and sharp things.” But except for arranging to go to a forge to do some cold smithing, he has done no work on the project. When he realized today that he still knows nothing about ancient African weapons, he begged me to change his topic. I wouldn’t let him and he whined and complained. We eventually found some cool websites, he photocopied pictures of weapons that he found in a book on the history of weapons, and he dictated the beginnings of an essay to me. I let him dictate because his dyslexia makes writing so laborious that it’s not usually a wise choice. Sometimes, he dictates straight into the computer, but he was already so frustrated that I decided to help him out.
Resources Used in Today’s Work