Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why Half the Day is Gone and the Kids Haven't Done Any Schoolwork

For most of the school year (not counting December and this time of year, when summer is beckoning) I am pretty strict about school work. We do it every day I have it planned, which is pretty much every week day, unless I know far in advance (when I am planning lessons 6-8 weeks ahead of time) that a day will be so busy that school work will be impossible--such as field trips or family visits or the like. We rarely even take a sick day.

This is not to imply that we are up, scrubbed, fed and doing school at 8 am....that is just completely ridiculous for my family. Rather, the kids get up when they feel like it (for Ben and Julia this could be any time between 6 and 8, usually on the earlier end of that span, and for Emma it's around 8:30 or 9:00--like me--and for Rachel, well, 10:00 is about the norm) and they have breakfast with Matt before work, and they read and play and whatever they want (excluding TV or computer, which are not allowed before school work is complete.) When I get up, I get dressed, do a few chores such as tidying the kitchen, setting Rosie My Beloved Roomba to work, throw in a load of laundry, make beds etc...I also make coffee, sometimes breakfast, and check my email for a while. However, we get started by 10 or 11 am so that we have everything done and can have most of the afternoon free.

Well, this morning we were thrown off. Part of it is that Rachel is sleeping over at her friend's house, so it doesn't feel like a weekday. (I think this is the first sleepover she's had during the week not in the summer...) I slept till 9:00 because it's a cloudy, drizzly day, so my room was darker than usual. When I woke up, Julia, Ben and Emma were fully embroiled in a very involved pretend game. They were using the big stuffed horses, swords, costumes for armor and princesses, and had made a fort of stools and pillows by the fireplace. I had a lot of mail to catch up on, so when I was dressed, coffee'd, and had the house straightened up, I sat down and went to work. Then I did some laundry and folded some, emptied the dishwasher with Julia's help, put away some things waiting for the basement, etc.--and all of a sudden it was noon! I made lunch--fruit salad of strawberries, mango and kiwi, grilled cheese and cream of potato and spinach soup (leftover) for me, Julia and Ben, and for Emma I heated up leftover chicken tacos.

After lunch I was about to insist that we begin school work--enough is enough, it's getting late and all that jazz. The kids were drawing and I figured they do more than enough of that. Then I noticed what they were actually doing. They were....making a library for various "guys" they play with! Tiny books with drawings and writing inside, on everything from ice cream cones to helicopters to ladybugs to ballet dancing to jousting....they were arranging them on the piano so the toys could go to the library and choose their books for the week.

Kind of a homeschoolerish game! The way I figure it, Rachel will have catch up work to do from yesterday and today when she gets back from the sleepover, so Julia and Ben might as well join her!



j-m said...

awwww...I love this! You have to take a picture of the library when they're all done...and frame it. What a wonderful memory.

Henry Cate said...

Our daughters tend to wake up between 6:30 and 8:00. We ask them to do have breakfast and get dressed by 9:00. I try to do a little planning with them every morning before I head off to work. It isn't heavy duty, I just want to get them in the habit of thinking about their day and deciding what to do, rather than reacting.