add it up

In Philly you can fulfill “time” spent “doing education” in days, or hours. Since the Days hold no set requirement of Hours, I’ve always held myself to hours, figuring it was the more rigorous standard.

It was also, pre-COVID, effortless to fill (900 hours), because they had a lot of “extracurricular” activities. Obviously “extracurricular” is a misnomer when everything you do is outside a classroom. Am I really not supposed to give Béla credit for removing a splinter no one else could get — once he started using the tiny surgical tools that came with his suturing practice kit from Santa? Health and Safety.

It is harder to log hours when your daughter is no longer a hair’s breadth away from being an overworked stage child, but we had taken care of that before the pandemic. It is a shame, though, to literally spend over an hour of animated conversation — two preteens and two adults — rocketing around on topics starting with Patty Hearst, realizing there’s a Steely Dan song about the Magna Carta, and then, just —

But that doesn’t show up in the spreadsheet.

As if to personally plague me, both of my kids will get extremely excited about projects that sound like they’d be fantastic if anyone ever finished them, and then do 80% of them and trail off (or, actually say they “thought” they’d finished it when it’s pretty demonstrable that they did not). We are working on follow-through, and this is a level of accountability that they are so unaccustomed to that when I give further direction to continue they kind of wobble away, holding onto furniture for support.

Yes, Béla, I did think it was achievable to illustrate that Zevon song as a comic book. Has it been a year or so? I think a rough draft in its entirety is due now.

They work more independently and they do more standard academic work than they used to; playing with rare earth magnets and celtic knot dice counts as math when you’re eight but at twelve not as much. I love that Claude has the teen book of New York Times crosswords; she has also started to participate in Fleisher Art Memorial’s virtual Teen Lounge, which I think will be exciting when it eventually moves to the real, vaccinated world.

Claude had a writing prompt for a study assignment for the NME which I think is going to lead us to watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead this weekend. I can’t really snapshot her writing and share it here any more without her permission but I’m hoping she gets back to me on that.

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