This is how we’ve spent our last couple of evenings:
- Puzzles and brain teasers. I ordered an escape-room-type game from Finders Seekers. We cracked it open to find ten different puzzles, from algebra to ciphers to logic. The kids loved it. So did I, but Mr. December kept urging me to step back and let the kids solve the puzzles.
- Reading about biology. Last night I sat down on the couch to look through It’s Not the Stork before reading it to the kids. The cartoon characters got E’s attention, and soon I had three eager children leaning over me, hanging on every word I read about anatomy and reproduction. Afterward N peppered me with questions all the way up to bed.
- Watching documentaries. This was the only thing that required some… firmness… to get the kids to join. We’re watching What Darwin Never Knew. Once we started watching the kids were really into it.
- Playing games. Tonight we tried a new game called Idiom Addict. You have to guess the English idiom from a phrase made up of its synonyms. Like, “You are howling vertically beneath the incorrect evergreen” would be “You’re barking up the wrong tree.” Word games are totally my thing; tonight I was gratified to learn that they appeal to N and K as well. The amount of new vocabulary they heard tonight was huge.
So despite my kids’ infuriating habit of watching the clock every afternoon waiting for “school time” to end, they’ve just spent two evenings learning math and logic, health, science, and English. And that was in addition to the work they did during “school.” I love that the line between “school” and “home life” keeps getting blurrier; the more muddled the distinction, the more time the kids actually spend learning (and the less time they spend eyeing us suspiciously and asking, “Wait a minute, does this count as school?”). Just… please, don’t tell them they’ve been learning outside of school hours. OK?