Category: Homeschool

The Story of Mama and Colin, by Colin

The Story of Mama and Colin, by Colin

Today at school, Colin dictated this story to me during ‘writer’s workshop.’ Enjoy 🙂

We were walking to a picnic place. We sat down and we were just starting our picnic and then something bad happened there was a big flood of water.  They we went to another picnic place and then a bunch of family of mosquitos came and tried to bite us. Then we went to another picnic place and another bad thing happened. We just sat down and there was a bee family. One bee got honey from the flower and carried it away and then all the bees tried to sting us. And then we went to Rio and went to the park and they had a nice picnic place in the grass. There was no play structure but we could still play on the grass. We put out the picnic blanket and then we had yummy food that was chicken and broccoli soup with noodles. When the picnic ended they went back to the apartment and saw their Daddy and sister and brother. The end.


Soccer Day by Sean

Soccer Day by Sean

Yesterday we had to do school because we skipped a week of school when we were at Iguacu Falls. After school, me, my Dad and Colin went to the park. Me and Colin wore our cleats and our Neymar Jr. jerseys. When we left our plan was to go to the park with the soccer goals, so we started with soccer.  I juked my Dad and some other kids like a million times.

This is a picture of me and Colin dabbing.



After soccer, we went around the lagoon on bikes. We had done it once before and this time it was less tiring because we raised the seat higher so my legs and arms didn’t hurt. It also had a different bell than the other bike. It was basically the same bike otherwise.

After we went around the lagoon I was climbing a tree and I tried to put my foot on a branch and I stepped on the side of my thigh with my cleats. It hurt and it made a purple spot. We played more soccer.

Then we went to a mini museum. I was like “yeah, that was fun.” My Dad took a few pictures of what we saw at the museum.


(My Dad says this one is Brasilia in 1960)


(This one is Rio in the 1880s)


Today is Sunday and it’s pouring so we’ll probably go to a movie or a museum. I hope we go to a movie.

Tchau Tchau


Getting the hang of (some) things

Getting the hang of (some) things

On Friday night, the entire family slept for 12 solid hours.  Thanks goodness. Feeling much more human, we exited our apartment in the Ipanema neighborhood around 1:30PM to the bright sun and bustle of the local Cariocas out for their Saturday errands and shopping. Around the corner, we discovered a ‘farmer’s market’ type of situation, with fruit, vegetables, flowers, plants, and to the kids’ delight (not), every part of a chicken you could imagine. Not quite ready for truly local shopping, we headed to our current favorite corner spot “Polis Sucos,” which is a juice bar (including “boosts”) that also happens to serve chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, and of course, filet mignon.

On our path to becoming more comfortable in the local ‘hood, some of the terrain we’ve covered in the past few days includes:

  • Buying groceries at the local grocery store (and trying to figure out how to keep the family (mostly Jim) nourished since peanut butter costs more per ounce than the aforementioned filet mignon)
  • Finding a good ‘local’ that has food we all like, shows the world cup qualifying matches, and serves all 4 local cerjevas (which, truth be told, as far as we can tell are the exact same beer in 4 different cans)
  • Purchased 2 soccer balls so that we can work on our moves before we start challenging the locals 😉
  • Walked the strip between Ipanema and Copacabana, soaking in the local customs and styles



  • Got a sarong, because we were the ONLY people at the praia Ipanema with towels


Today was our first day of homeschooling too! The first ever lessons of the Lutz-a Learning Academy, Inc. (a Delaware corporation) began this morning at 10AM local time. (Cecelia and Jim named our school). We planned to start earlier, but one of the instructors, (his name starts with a “J”;0), overslept.  In addition to reading, writing, science, and math, our daily instruction will include circle time, “phrase/word of the day,” yoga, cooking, music (we started shopping for percussion instruments for our samba band at the flea market yesterday), and of course, MANY field trips.


Today’s ever-important phrase of the day was: Eu tenho que ir ao banheiro.  A good one for all of us to know.  For homework, we’re all going to practice using it at home and while we’re out and about this week.

Today’s field trip will be a bus ride (first one!) to the Rio botanical garden, giving us a good short tour of the surrounding area and introduction to ~6500 flora and fauna species 🙂

Of course, no one ever said it’d be all caipirinhas and rainbows…we’ve had a few stumbles this week and are sure to have some more.  Some of the coisas this week that have dampened our rainbows temporarily:

  • Basic things take more time when you don’t speak the language
  • Drinking water doesn’t come out of the taps-we’re getting used to planning ahead with water
  • You don’t put toilet paper in the toilet-it goes in the trash (we’re learning)
  • New food can be intimidating (and yucky when your parents make you try it)
  • We are not the best futebol players on the beach (but we’re going to work on it!)

Tchau for now!

Happy Labor Day 🙂