Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Mr. A and I have been discussing homeschooling in greater depth this last year. In particular we've been talking about the challenges I'm finding as the kids get older. I'm struggling to balance academics and daily life with all the important things that are coming up as the kids grow into young adults - autonomy, independence, emotions, control, respect.
Mr. A has a fairly black-and-white outlook whereas I'm definitely a colourful kind of girl. This last calendar year I've been waffling from one colour to the next trying to find a groove what we all fit into. Mr. A is very patient. Long story short, I haven't been very successful. So Mr. A has swooped in and handed me a solution.
We've started into the New Year with a New Rule. Normally we're a little like pirates around here - tending toward guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. So you can image how the kids sat up and took note when Mr. A announced a Rule when they were expecting a discussion.
And a simple and silly rule it may seem: no screens until your day's schoolwork is complete. But it has trickle-down consequences. I can't concentrate on schoolwork if things around the house aren't taken care of. If I have to take care of everything then it takes me a long time to get to the books.
Today was essentially Day #1. Mr. A is back to work which means that our holidays are over. The rub is that the kids' peers have another week of school break; they're under the self-imposed impression they have another week of free time. (Never mind the three weeks they've already had off!) So in typical Mrs. A fashion, I toed the middle of the line. There were no screens until today's school work was finished...but I let the kids police their schedule for the day. They started to get antsy about 1pm when we hadn't hit the books and I was still doing post-holiday housework.
In the end we accomplished what we needed to. And the kids pretty quickly picked up on the principle the Rule is meant to accomplish.
I'm so thankful for Mr. A's problems solving tendencies. (Sometimes I don't feel very thankful - like when I mention something in passing and he swoops in with 4 different solutions to pick from when really I was simply venting and just needed him to say soothing things. But really, I do appreciate this man skill he has.) And in true Father Knows Best style, my kids tend to tune in when Dad speaks up. So I hope this New Year's New Rule helps to get us into the groove we're all looking for.