We had a good start this morning. I cranked a little NeedtoBreathe. I love them and their love for Christ. I love his raspy voice – it reminds me of Kings of Leon (another favourite of mine).
I also tested out a new breakfast recipe: Apple Pie Oatmeal. The kids all finished it without issue, but told me they didn’t like it as much as my usual baked oatmeal. That’s not surprising, since there was barely any sugar in it and the apples made it quite tart. All in all, I will attempt it again with a bit more flavour (cinnamon and apple) and a bit more sweetness (perhaps I’ll try some honey).
Then things went south. And fast. The kids all went up for their Morning High Five (Jessica’s tip that we successfully implemented about a year ago) and the fighting, whining and crying ensued. It was Ugly with a capital U. I did my best to keep my cool, but I turned Ugly pretty quickly too. I was yelling way too much. I gave them the “I really want to be home with them, it’s important to me to do that but sometimes I just want to walk out the door” speech. Nope. Definitely not my finest moment.
In the end I took away all their electronics time indefinitely. They don’t get much to begin with, but what little they had is now gone. When they prove they can interact respectfully without physical violence, name calling and screaming at each other, they can begin earning it back.
By the time we got to our prayer and devotional time, I was a mess. I apologized for my behaviour and asked them what we could do to work on our respect. We talked it out. Eden prayed specifically for kindness. Suddenly it became a whole different day. Hallelujah!
Now the kids are working away on their respective school work, napster.com is playing Beethoven.fm, and I’m a happy mama once again.
Here’s what school looks like today:
Our 10-year-old, Gabe, is working away on his spelling workbook. I love spelling because it’s good work-alone work. I need to find a bit more of it, actually. It’s a sanity saver.
Our 8-year-old, Caleb, was asked to write a paragraph about one of his favourite things. Writing is our biggest struggle in school, so I have gone back to basics so we can work on paragraphs in bite-sized, manageable chunks. It still allows them to practice their printing, their structure, their spelling, vocabulary and grammar. Plus I always let them choose what to write about so it’s a subject of interest to them. I’m hoping these simple little projects spark a bit more of a desire to write. (Please God.)
I had Caleb write his first draft on his little white board. Hint: kids love writing on white boards and using colourful markers to express themselves! I like it because it helps with my quest to use less paper. I take photos of their work instead. This was a great turning point for us this past year. We have two large white boards for working as a group, but the kids each have a small white board in their bins and a set of small white board markers for their pencil case. The board has primary lines on one side and is blank on the other. They are made by Expo.
I corrected Caleb’s work for spelling and punctuation, and he’s now printing it on a piece of paper for his notebook. He wrote about our dog Murphy.
Our 4-year-old, Eden, was beyond thrilled to start Explode the Code – Primer A last week. Our boys used this curriculum when they were younger and I was happy to discover that she loves it just as much. She couldn’t wait to move on to the next letter today.
Up next? We fell out of our math groove and really need to find it again. Math is one of those things you really need to stay on top of, or it’s lost and you spend weeks in review. I know that in my head and I’ve said it for years, but still… we fall out of our math routine from time to time and need to find our way back to steadiness and fun with that subject.
Oh, now Caleb is done transcribing his paragraph and the kids are off to enjoy snack and a short break. (I don’t even hear any fighting! YAY!)
And that’s how our day looks today.