Our first day of actual-schooling was a success. The kids have checklists on the fridge of their morning chores, their subjects, and a "housework" box, too. They can select a chore for the day from another list. (Is it not obvious that I like lists?)
We did writing, reading, math, and science. We took a mile walk, too. Once their lists were all checked, they had free time. Nate lost his temper and broke a pencil, so he had to repay the pencil by doing another housework job. A website I have found useful is the Charlotte Mason blog. The free e-books about "How to Start Homeschooling," "Smooth and Easy Days", and "Masterly Inactivity" are readable in one sitting. Look to the right margin for those titles.
In summary, the kids learned how to write a detailed letter, how to hyphenate on the syllable, what "awe" and "awesome" mean and how they are over the top in describing everyday objects, how to solve for an unknown (yes, algebra on Day 1), that there are three kinds of muscles in the body, and that losing one's temper has consequences; also, arguing takes up more of your free time than cooperating.
It has been good.
Tangentially, having good toys comes in handy when the kids act out. A few days ago, Nate lost his Macbook when he swatted his sister. Being a boy driven by gadgetry, he dug out his hand held gamer, the DS. For Christmas he received a Scrabble-type game: Bookworm. This game not only kept his attention, but it taught him new words. He typed in the letters "S O U" and it told him a "sou" is a type of French coin worth a small amount. There's learning happening, here! There's spelling (!) and vocabulary (!) and hand-eye coordination as he tries to build words before the time expires. Homeschooling sure is swell when it works without my even trying.
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