Archive for tuesdays with mooch

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: My Kids Don’t Always Pick Up Their Clothes

The most common question I get asked is, “If your parenting style is so relaxed, how do you make the kids brush their teeth, pick up their clothes, practice piano, and such?

Let’s get this part out of the way. I wouldn’t call my parenting style relaxed. I’m not laid up with coffee while my kids run amok. I’m scheduling, driving, teaching, helping, cheerleading, cooking, counseling, and loving all day every day.

The short answer is: I don’t make them do those things. I don’t like nagging. The girls do things for us, and we do things for them. I don’t keep track of how many socks I’ve picked up or books I’ve put away any more than the kids keep track of how many times they’ve made me breakfast (almost everyday), brought me my iron to take, or cleaned out my car. We all work together. I’m instilling the idea that if you see it needs to be done, please do it. We’re a team.

I remind occasionally about toothbrushing, but ultimately it is a choice. They know the consequences of not brushing their teeth. The youngest came and asked me to have a turn at brushing her teeth the other night because she didn’t feel she had done it well enough. They haven’t had cavities, but if they did, they’d be paying the co-pay for those visits. Responsibility and accountability are huge in this house.

I told the eldest when she was six to please wear socks with her tennis shoes. I explained what would happen if she didn’t. She chose not to and got a foot fungus that smelled disgusting. After spray and powder, it went away, but the lesson will never disappear. She’s worn socks in all the four years since until recently when she started losing socks (or the dryer ate them … we can’t tell). I told her if she kept misplacing socks she would have to wash them in the sink, buy her own new ones, or go without. It is in my job description to provide food, clothing, shelter, education, and love — not to fund carelessness. She chose to go without once she had used up her laundry. Her fungus is back and *she* bought spray the other day to treat it. I hope the smell didn’t knock out her friends at dance class yesterday.

The girls don’t do any extracurricular activities that they didn’t choose themselves. If they don’t practice, the money for the subsequent lesson comes out of their own pockets. If it continues, that activity goes bye-bye, unless they’ve made a commitment to a team or are under contract. I refuse to hound kids to do something they claim they love.

These are not fights that I want to have with the girls. If I inform them, model good behavior, and remind them occasionally, they’re smart enough to make the right decisions. If they don’t, that’s fine! I’d rather them make mistakes now while they’re under my care and tutelage than later when the damage could be irreversible.

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: The Power of Ten

Last week, Fuss focused on the number ten. We didn’t do it in a Sesame Street “Let’s count to ten” fashion, because that would have made us both fall into a math-induced coma. In a rich conceptual way, we explored addends that equal ten (2+8, 4+6, 9+1, 5+5, etc.). We also reviewed counting by tens, counting to ten in Spanish, and playing with tens in money. She spotted tens everywhere — the air conditioner, the clock, the oven timer.

Making Tens on the Montessori Addition Strip Board

Adding up to Ten

Art in Tens

In Language Arts, Fuss is learning about possessive pronouns, possessive proper nouns, and when to use apostrophes. Science-wise, she’s been interested in why and how water boils, how fish know when to stop eating, and how long it takes cars to slow down from various speeds.

Mooch reviewed expository writing last week. She wrote a paper on parents being some of the most tired people. There were three revisions and one typed final. She is loving Saxon math more than Singapore but is starting to feel like it repeats a lot. I think she needs the repeating. We’ll see how it pans out. Singapore moved much more quickly, it was at least challenging. Now she feels like she learned all the stuff she’s doing now last year. To stave off boredom, I purchased an Algebra curriculum on the side. It should be here next week.

Mooch decided to randomly make a doll this week

Mooch learning to draw manga characters in her free time

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Spanish Role Play

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Homeschool Today

  • A conversation with Mooch about true forgiveness, trust, and grudges
  • Gymnastics for Fuss
  • A piano lesson for Mooch
  • Our weekly trip to the Culver City Farmer’s Market
  • An overview of seasonal fruits
  • A study of the digestive process for Fuss, replete with a story, worksheet and episode of Magic School Bus
  • Circle Time in English and Spanish
  • An episode of Word Girl
  • Making pizza with Fuss

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Visit to Tehrangeles

Last week, we visited Tehrangeles for Mooch’s ongoing study of cultural geography in Los Angeles. There is a video below of that trip! She is now studying indigenous Californians, including the Chumash and the Patayan.

The girls rekindled their interest in our tree blocks, and have been setting up scenes and telling elaborate stories. Fuss is learning all about silent “e” and the earths inner core. She asked Hannibal about it while driving, and he always emails me stuff he can’t answer easily, so I can teach it in homeschool. She’s extremely interested in what she’s standing on, and what is underneath. I theorize volcanoes are next — or plate tectonics.

Mooch has drafted a new schedule that will up the practice of her instruments (drums, piano, and voice) and include Shakespeare memorization. She was inspired by her favorite artist, Bruno Mars, during his halftime show. It didn’t take much reorganizing. She just moved her reading to right before bed. She is rocking out on the drums, and she has already memorized her first scene in this semester’s play, Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Enjoy the video!

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