Homeschooling started on a Sunday in early August, definitely not in the States anymore. We weren’t ready but the kids were, so we started with a discussion about date and time formats, how they’re different here, and why.
But I got criticized for being too repetitive and went on too long in the day-end recap, eliciting feedback.
We opened the can of worms that is military time, and how date and time conventions are meant to reduce ambiguity, a hard word. The example that if we say ‘meet me at 8,’ why that might be confusing. The fact our neighbor the mechanic said the storms would start at seibzehn, (1700).
We tried listening to the German audio tapes but Charlotte, a kinesthetic learner, was bobbing her leg and insisting she already knows German and why do we have to keep repeating?
Took a walk with notebooks and cameras though it was very hot, to ask questions about what the girls saw and how scientists do the same, ask questions — pose theories. What makes the walnut tree a walnut tree? Charlotte had me pocket some nuts and carried a leaf with her through town; Lily photographed beetles.
Met one of the oldest Besigheimers, Jonny, who took his name from the American soldiers who imprisoned him at the end of the war and gave him cigarettes and chewing gum, treated him nice he says. Told him we were going for ice cream, so he gave Lily a five Euro bill and we all tried each other’s flavors, listened to a Simon and Garfunkel tribute band warming up for an open air concert, later.
Stopped to read some street signs in German and speculate what it could mean, beginning with the suffix for Strasse (street) and Gasse (way). Covered half the word and asked Charlotte what Kirch could mean, what it sounds like if you sound it out — and she got it on the first try, “church”: Church Street.
The girls did math worksheets and later, watched videos from the Khan Academy on their new $200 laptops we bought at Best Buy back in the US.
They want more substance from their homeschool curriculum, and school six days a week. So Dawn and I need to set aside more time for lesson planning, and already have newfound appreciation for those who teach as a profession. They have the desire to learn now, and we need to rise to the occasion.
Ended the day watching lightning strikes from the second floor classroom we’ve set up that used to be a TV room/library, but the girls were more interested in YouTube videos, figured they’d seen enough of the lightning, though we don’t get it back home.
Had a conference call with our friends who are renting our house to discuss an action plan for a rodent infestation that started in earnest upon our departure, and too bad we can’t solve it with a cat, they’re good for that.
Dawn and I agreed although we weren’t fully ready to start school it served as a kind of test to understand how we’ll go about this, teaching two kids with different learning styles and different grade levels, and no doubt we’ll all learn a lot and really appreciate our free time outside the classroom, will be tired at the end of the day.