Corona Diary 27 May 2020

Home School Wednesdays are for catch-up and personal focus. So that means no new work and no video tutoring.

Why use a tutor? Here’s a practical example from today.

Use of a tutor makes it more difficult for a kid to push back on me, particularly a kid who loves completing her assignments.

Towards the end of recess, I asked our Alpha Tween to come into the house first, and alone. This lets me get the most challenging kid transitioned to her next assignment without any distractions, and inside a quiet house.

Up next was DEAR (drop everything and read). This can be a tough transition. Over the next five minutes…

“This is too tough, I need an audio version of this book.”

Sweetie, you’ll need to take that up with Mr. R. I think you should probably read this first block for him.

“This is too tough, I already read this morning.”

Sweetie, you are at page 30 and Mr. R wants you at page 120 by Friday. You don’t want to have to read 70 pages tomorrow. Why don’t you read 40 pages now.

After she settles and the reading is done => Sweetie, I want you to know why we read a lot. We read a lot so we can teach ourselves. Being able to read well gave me an enduring advantage in my life.

What I didn’t say => I see myself in her.

I need challenging goals, and accountability, or else I will default to the path of least resistance. To avoid a constant battle against the easy way…

  • Schedule it
  • Create a daily habit (of one small step)
  • Do it first
  • Ask, “What’s important now?”
  • Place myself in an environment where I want to set an example

Bella’s key session was vowel sounds and Peter Rabbit on PBS Colorado Classroom.

It’s been taking us about double the video run time to get through the lesson. A total lesson of 40-45 minutes is a LONG time for her to stay focused so we isolate in the house. It went well.

More Bella => After two weeks of “strictly the minimum” contribution, Bella’s been cleaning everything! I’m glad I didn’t push when she wanted to take a break.

Lots of positive feedback, and a bit of extra pocket money, when she goes above-and-beyond.

Two thoughts on regulating (the speech of) others…

When I get the urge to control someone else, I remind myself to direct that energy into making myself a better person. I have an endless (!) amount of material to work with AND I have a better chance of making progress.

Second, I remember a Peterson quote along the lines of, “If you dislike a type of speech enough to regulate it then you’re going to really dislike the sorts of people who will end up regulating your speech.”

The quote reminds me of my time at McGill University and the folks who controlled our campus press. A lively bunch, who were deeply convinced they knew what was best for us.

Science Wednesday saw us make LED Flashlights from Mystery Science. Huge hit. Positive, negative, batteries, switches, current flow… fun.

Before Science, we watched a travel video on Shanghai. Each kid gets a pencil and paper and we do Q&A at the end. I choose videos on places where I’ve worked, or lived, in the past.

Lunch, Shanghai and Science took up a three-hour block of our day.

I’ve been working on my essay topic for the week => Marriage.

It’s not quite where I hoped to get it. Might hold off on publishing as our 15th wedding anniversary doesn’t arrive until July.

Writing my essays has me re-reading my most popular stuff. WordPress lets me see what connects with y’all.

Next week is the 16th anniversary of meeting my wife => I wrote How I Met Your Mother for my kids. It is one of my favorite pieces.

Here’s my absolutely favorite piece => The Person You Will Become. It’s about getting to better.

I borrowed Bella’s chef hat for Taco Tuesday.

I am guessing the stress of this crisis has many going one of two ways…

All the bullshit is gone.


All I’m left with is bullshit.

Find the win.