The Schedule That Seems to be Working

left side of the face of a clock

I’m writing this at 4:30 in the afternoon, with school just finished about ten minutes ago. The morning went beautifully. We all got up around 8, had some playtime and ate breakfast and started school a bit after 9. The younger boys were done by ten, and the older ones and I spent an hour going over a few different subjects. By 11, we were ready to go for our bike ride.

The ride was fun. We have been biking over to another neighborhood and visiting a cat that is usually out and about. Today we took a different route and met a different kitty who was most happy to make friends and get petted. Unfortunately he started chasing us when we tried to leave and we were concerned that he’d follow us to the main road and get hurt so we had to fly on outta there. I was glad when he stopped following us.

After biking, the boys played outside with a caterpillar they found. I’ll try to take photos of the mansion they’ve built and post them soon. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done. I made lunch and called everyone in around 12:30. Shortly after 1, I was ready to start the youngers’ afternoon block but they were both in the bathroom for extended visits so I grabbed the older boys and we did our math and grammar as well as planned out their afternoon requirements.

It was when I called the little guys that things got a bit rough. Boys who were playing happily in their room suddenly were demanding something to eat and drink. I told them they could have a snack as soon as we finished; if we got out a drink now we’d have to worry about spills since we are using the dining room table for school. And we’d just finished lunch a half an hour earlier so I thought they could zip through their work first.

That call made me unpopular for sure. Both boys started crying so I sent them to their room to cry in bed. I followed and sat down at the computer and worked on a Spanish lesson on my own. They got very quiet behind me so I stopped and asked if they were ready to start school yet. They’d both forgotten the drink/snack thing but started complaining in general that they didn’t want to do their schoolwork and started crying. Again.

I calmly asked if they wanted to stay in bed for a nap or get up for school. Neither one was sure what his answer should be. Captain Earthquake asked The Manager’s opinion. He said he’d like to nap so I immediately dropped their window shades and gathered a few pillows on the floor. I declared “Naptime, then!!” and lay down. Interestingly there was very little objection so we all went to sleep for well over an hour. It was past 3:30 when we got up. They all seemed cheerful, so we headed to the table.

I had them get out their coloring page for history which they worked on while I read to them. Next, we got out their math page and some plastic bear counters for math. They acted out some story problems and then filled in some answers on the page in crayon. Purple seems to be the color of the day. I’m impressed with how much they’ve improved on writing their own names in just 3 weeks.

The afternoon school session took less than 25 minutes. All that crying and angst over such a short time. Sigh. I guess the fact that I didn’t lose my calm at all is a good sign, and maybe they really needed a nap today. It’s strange because they haven’t napped since they were 3 with any regularity. I loved the nap. 🙂 Naps are my friend. I asked if we would nap again tomorrow and wasn’t given a clear answer, so I guess we’ll see what happens.

I’m hoping that things continue to get smoother for them. One key may be all the work I’ve been doing to keep the lessons light and fun. It never fails: once we get started they have a fantastic time and are tremendously proud of whatever they create. The work is so easy for them; I remain convinced that I’m not asking for too much and that their resistance is more a product of watching the battles of the last several years than anything else.

We’ll just keep working through this, one day at a time. Today ended well. That’s a good thing.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who struggle with homeschooling.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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