Cait’s Quarantine Day in the Life ~
Written by Cait of My Little Poppies
I had planned to start school the Tuesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but life had other plans.
My daughter woke up with a bit of a scratchy throat and I decided to test her for COVID before carrying on with our various activities and, you guessed it, she was positive. It seems apropos to share an atypical homeschool day in the life in light of this most unusual timeline, am I right?
And so, I present to you our 2022 [quarantined] homeschool day in the life:
The importance of flexibility, plus some silver linings.
If there’s anything I’ve learned while homeschooling during a global pandemic, it’s that it’s okay to slow down and try to be as flexible as possible. When I saw that positive line, I figured my daughter might start feeling lousy and that, in all likelihood, the rest of the family would topple like dominoes.
Add to this the fact that my husband (a critical care pulmonologist) was covering the ICU all week and weekend. (You can imagine how long those days are right about now!) With the possibility of a cruda-licious week on tap, I decided to scrap all homeschool plans and set the bar very, very low.
As it turns out, only two of the five of us tested positive and the two that did were fine in under 24 hours. In retrospect, we could have had a normal homeschool week (except for outside activities), but we ended up having a beautifully slow, restorative week filled with connection over game boards.
I wouldn’t go back and change a thing!
Cait’s Quarantine Day in the Life
We enjoy slow mornings over here. Our morning routine during quarantine looked like a typical week.
I wake up before the kiddos, grab a cup of coffee and my happy lamp, and then plunk myself on the couch to catch up on what’s been happening in the Never Board Learning community overnight. Once I’m caught up, I read until the kids wake up. This (afflinks) was my quarantine week read and it’s fantastic!
I used to read aloud to my kiddos first thing every morning. This tradition, which we call Coffee and Books, is our favorite homeschool routine. This homeschool year has been interesting because I now have a teenager. The child who was once up before dawn is now the last to descend the stairs each morning.
I still read aloud to the kids, but these days it happens during or just after lunch.
Over the holidays, our family jumped on the Wordle bandwagon. Wordle is the first thing my kids do when they wake up in the morning, followed by this math puzzle and this calendar puzzle (afflink – a Christmas gift from a friend).
If the teen is awake and morning puzzles are completed, we listen to the KidNuz podcast followed by Bird Notes and/or The Daily Poem if a new episode is available. If the teen is not awake, my little two work on their math and piano.
My 12-year-old uses Nicole the Math Lady and my 10-year-old uses Beast Academy Online. My teen completes his math (Art of Problem Solving) later in the day.
On a typical afternoon, we eat lunch and I read aloud to the kiddos. Then, my children work on assignments and projects related to their core academic courses. We also have a variety of extracurricular activities.
During our hunker down week, our afternoons were different.
We ate lunch and I read a picture book or two. Then, we cozied up by the fire and listened to a chapter from this fantastic book (afflink) on Audible.
Next, we watched a science documentary. Right now, my kids are enjoying Welcome to Planet Earth featuring Will Smith. We watched Encanto one of the days, too, but the absolute highlight of our hunker down TV time was attending a virtual concert Yo-Yo Ma performed for frontline healthcare workers, made possible by Project: Music Heals Us. It is a quarantine silver lining we will never forget!
After our Audible and TV time, we played a game while listening to the Encanto soundtrack. This was another silver lining of our hunker down week. As a gameschooling family, we try to play games daily, but we can never play as many as we’d like due to outside commitments!
We played Scrabble multiple times daily during quarantine. This is a milestone because my younger two have not expressed an interest in Scrabble (mama’s all-time favorite game) until now. When we play, we keep the Scrabble Dictionary nearby and the kiddos are allowed to search it when they are stuck. This results in an enormous amount of spelling and vocabulary practice!
We also added a new variation and it is called Scrabble Squats. We were missing our hikes with friends and were feeling antsy, so we created a challenge where you squat the number of points you earn on each turn.
As I sit here and type it out, Scrabble Squats doesn’t sound fun, but we had a blast! In addition to Scrabble, here are some other games we played during our hunker down week: Sagrada, Azul, Clank!, Triominoes, PicWits, Gobblet, Machi Koro, and more.
Later in the afternoon, my children explored various projects. My oldest is studying chess and trying to increase his score on chess.com. He’s also working on several WWII fighter plane models.
My daughter learned to blow huge bubbles, do a split, and she learned to walk on her hands. Plus, she connected with her buddies over Zoom. My youngest is currently creating a stop-motion animation with help from his siblings. All three kiddos are learning needlepoint.
My goal during our hunker down week was an early, healthy dinner so that we could all get to bed on time. This was so easy to accomplish without our evening activities. We made lots of soups in the crockpot (this was their fave), which worked out great because Dad could get a hot meal when he got home from work (usually after we were fast asleep).
But before we hit the hay it was time for one final round of Scrabble by the fire. Okay, okay, maybe two rounds. And this time, instead of listening to the Encanto soundtrack, we played while watching Jeopardy! to see if Amy Schneider can keep going. (Yet another thing we wouldn’t be able to do during a typical week!)
And that’s what an atypical [quarantined] homeschool day in the life looked like around here over the past ten days!
What you don’t see here…
The internet is a funny place and even though this was far from a typical homeschool day in the life for us, I want you to know that there is a ton of stuff you didn’t see.
That list includes but is not limited to things like sibling squabbles, raised voices, messes, mountains of laundry, and Christmas decorations yet to be taken down.
This is real-life homeschooling- and gameschooling- in all its beautiful, sticky, messy, wonderful, ugly, and quarantined glory. I wouldn’t change it for the world. (Unless we’re talking about the pandemic part of it all. I definitely want off that bus!)
My, how the days have changed:
- 2021: Cait’s gameschool day in the life (with a 9-, 11-, and 12-year-old)
- 2020: Cait’s gameschool day in the life (with an 8-, 10-, and 11-year-old)
- 2019: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 7-, 9-, and 10-year-old)
- 2018: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 6-, 8-, 9-year-old, and puppy)
- 2017: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5-, 7-, and 8-year-old)
- 2016: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 4-, 6-, and 7-year-old)
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What is the game in the picture at the beginning of your post? It looks fascinating. I couldn’t find it anywhere in your blog. Thanks.
I wanted to know this as well!!
Sagrada! It’s a gorgeous one from Floodgate Games. One of my favorites!
Teenagers do change the rhythm! Thank you for sharing your day. I love the flexibility of homeschooling as well-especially, when life happens. 😉
I’m going to save you some time and link it here. It looks really long, but well worth it (to those of you willing or not) (and I don’t know about you, but once I get my kids up to speed and I actually get off this site, I’m pretty sure we all would find that article helpful).
I was out today for my kids’ annual field trip day. And since last year they didn’t go back to school, it was also a birthday for mine… it was more like our birthdays. So me and Cait headed into town with three of their oldest friends, including her daughter-in-law who I haven’t seen in 3 years and a friend of hers (Cindy – she knows how we feel because she is the one who actually pulled the trigger on buying and delivering our oldest son’s plane ride to Ohio two summers ago. Oh yes baby, we have grown up.) So there we are sitting around some sushi at Mango & Bee. With drinks, chips & sambal and a whole lot of excitement. So I get home and my wife who doesn’t…
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