Day 81: Day “Off”

June 4, 2020

I have mandated PTO today. On the docket:

❏ Patient notes (6)

❏ At least one work-related phone call that is not going to be fun

(Sounds like great PTO, doesn’t it . . .)

❏ Figuring out some reasonable academic plans for A&C over the summer. Annabel has requested “non screen learning” ie workbooks. Mostly I just want them to read a lot AND write about what they read (obviously at different levels). But A will be entering 3rd grade and should probably do some practice math as well . . .

❏ 3 more months of photobook photos

❏ Work on Best Laid Plans

(Also: workout, meditation, etc. I should have gotten up earlier (@$&(@#U).

I also want both big kids to do online typing lessons! Maybe voice recognition will take over someday, but I can’t imagine they would ever regret becoming more efficient at this skill. Many options here.

Still feeling extremely blah and sad. Maybe Q3 will be a Quintile of just . . . not much. I HAD A BLANK PAGE IN MY PLANNER YESTERDAY YOU GUYS. For me that is . . . not a good thing.

I mean did June 3 2020 even happen?

PS: I looked at my podcast feed yesterday and realized it was mostly an echo chamber of white privilege. Not bashing the pods I listen to but . . . I’m ready for some fresh and more varied voices. I just added Code Switch (you already know Gene Denby if you listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour — and he’s great) and First Name Basis. Other suggestions welcome.


  • Reply Ali June 4, 2020 at 8:33 am

    I have been really pleased with Kumon workbooks for my kids. They hold their interest and seem to have better content than a lot of the workbooks out there. My kiddos are so mad I am making them continue to do (minimal) “school” during the summer!

  • Reply JKDublin June 4, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Thirst Aid Kit is a VERY fun podcast hosted by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins – really worth checking out. They discuss desire in pop culture, usually with a comedic lens, while also exploring representation, otherness, etc.

  • Reply Alissa W June 4, 2020 at 8:52 am

    I use the summer brain quest workbooks for my girls. They have Pages for math, science, grammar. Plus there’s a chart with stickers for them to track their progress.

    • Reply Nicoleandmaggie June 5, 2020 at 7:40 am

      Also recommend brainquest. We’re on a summer one right now but also go through the regular ones, basically in order of grade level. The summer ones are a little more difficult in terms of critical thinking, in our experience whereas the regular ones are pretty standard.
      My 7 year old is doing:
      Main idea (scholastic)
      A Spanish workbook
      Singapore math (this teaches math differently than brainquest or what they’re likely getting at school)
      Hard Math for Elementary Students by Glenn Ellison (good for gifted kids)

  • Reply haya June 4, 2020 at 8:54 am

    i remember having some super fun typing games when i was in elementary school though i can’t remember any names (and i’m sure what is available now is totally different!). my computer teacher rigged up something that would cover the keyboards so we couldn’t see while we were typing; it really did the trick for me.
    i kind of still like to do typing speed tests every now and then so i can see how fast/accurate i can go!

  • Reply Amy June 4, 2020 at 9:29 am

    I’m wondering what is feels like to be Black and in the public online space right now with an influx of new, White followers. Does it feel genuine or like a gym on Jan 1st?

    I’m not saying that you in particular are doing this, but I am seeing lots of White friends and family posting lists of Black accounts and brands they are now following. They are often rather sizeable lists. The stated reason is diversity, but if you aren’t interested in these accounts as individual humans and just want to have a Black face pop up in your feed every now and again to make you feel inclusive that is really, truly problematic.

    • Reply Alyce June 5, 2020 at 9:07 am

      I imagine that the black people who are publicly discussing these issues want to their ideas to be heard and acted on and they want their following to increase. The people who aren’t trying to establish a public presence and doesn’t want strangers following them will probably move to private settings.

  • Reply Omdg June 4, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Found a resource on paragraph writing for second graders on outschool. Also, can’t say enough good things about Kahn academy. Our ap has even started using it to prep for college entrance exams in Brazil.

  • Reply Jessica June 4, 2020 at 9:40 am

    For math, I think the absolute best program is beast academy. They have books, but I would get the online version and let her do the 2nd grade level over the summer. My 7yr old has been doing it since virtual learning started, and I have been so impressed with the problem solving skills he has learned. It may not be completely independent, as some problems can be pretty hard, but my son loves it and will work on it on his own for hours sometimes (I am not affiliated with them in any way. It is just the best thing I have found since school at home started)

  • Reply Danielle June 4, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Podcast rec – Still Processing with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham

    • Reply Kelsey June 4, 2020 at 10:20 am

      yes second this I love them

      • Reply Anon June 4, 2020 at 11:54 am

        Third this. Absolutely love Jenna and Wesley – I wish they were my friends in real life.

  • Reply Dominique June 4, 2020 at 9:46 am

    This looks like it is a good place to start for podcasts.

  • Reply Irene June 4, 2020 at 9:52 am

    For Cameron – have you heard of the Endless Learning Academy App/game? My 5 year old used an early version to teach herself to read at 3 but still loves the newest version which also includes Spanish and music and will request to play instead of TV. Really!!! We love that thing.

    I don’t have suggestions for A but my daughter is learning a ton of math just from her allowance and purchases. Not why we instituted it but huge added bonus.

    I would also just….not worry about it too much. Good on you for having resources available but I personally think that emotional health is key right now. For all of us really!

  • Reply Emma June 4, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Podcast Recs: The Vocal Fries, Imagine Otherwise, Intersectionality Matters!, Chasing Encounters, and Unstandardized English. Scene on Radio also has a good series called “Seeing White”.

  • Reply Jen June 4, 2020 at 10:04 am

    My daughter’s teacher gave us a BBC website link to a kid-level typing game. She likes it.

  • Reply Mckenzie June 4, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I love the podcast Throughline. Listening this morning to their episode on the history of police brutality.

  • Reply Kelsey June 4, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I recommend The Nod podcast They are no longer producing new eps (they moved to a private platform I think?) but the archives are great. I would start with The Hairstons two part episode and then the episodes labeled “best of”

  • Reply Dana June 4, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Prodigy math is a fun, free online math game. It could work for both of your kids. Writing will be our summer focus around here but I do want to start my son on a typing game too.

  • Reply Emily June 4, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Code switch is awesome. I also love the diverse hosts of Hysteria and Call Your Girlfriend, and I second the rec for Still Processing (pop culture focus). For politics from a black social justice oriented perspective, Pod Save the People is the absolute best.

  • Reply Canuck1 June 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    All My Relations for an indigenous perspective podcast is so good! The first episode alone really impacted me, and each one I listen to I learn so much.

  • Reply Brooke Leigh Kent June 4, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    This is such a difficult, heart-wrenching, soul-searching time for so many of us. On a much lighter note, all 3 of our kids love Typing Club. (As you said, touch-typing is a skill that they will never regret having as adults.) On math, we’ve had all 3 of our kids (rising 3rd, 6th & 9th graders) do Khan Academy for years — such an excellent program w/ great videos & practice problems. In other areas, maybe A&C would enjoy some of the courses on Udemy? They have a huge selection of everything from art to music to history to programming, etc. We asked each of our kids to pick a programming language they’d like to learn, then bought them a class for that. On Udemy, our 9th grader is taking a beginner’s guitar class + a Python class + a Dart class + a Flutter class (Flutter is such a simple language that you can use to make cross-platform apps or websites), our 5th grader is taking a Dart class + a Flutter class + an artificial intelligence class, and our 2nd grader is taking a beginner’s ukulele class + a simple Python class. They’re all self-paced, and the classes never expire. Plus, you can typically google for coupons for 40-50% off the class’s list price.

  • Reply Victoria B. June 4, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    Podcast Rec: Snap Judgement

    Kid enrichment stuff: Do you subscribe to any magazines for them? I loved Highlights and Ranger Rick when I was younger. NatGeo Kids is a good one also.

    Also, maybe you and A can read the same chapter book and discuss afterwards – like a Mom and Me book club.

  • Reply G. June 4, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Podcast rec: Intersectionality Matters (

  • Reply evamadera June 4, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Podcast rec: Latino USA (from NPR) absolutely fantastic and a beautiful view of Latinx culture. Also, Throughline (another NPR podcast). It helps explain current events by looking at the throughline in history.

  • Reply Sam June 4, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve been enjoying The Good Ancestor Podcast by Layla F Saad.

  • Reply Nadine June 5, 2020 at 3:57 am

    I just discovered this amazing woman today- via a very powerful Instagram story (not sure how to add it here). Patricia’s podcast,

  • Reply Nadine June 5, 2020 at 4:01 am

    Hopefully this works, we all have so much work to do. Just glad we have strong women like this to educate us;

  • Reply susan June 22, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Podcast rec – Ear Hustle, also Throughline (NPR).

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