Aug 22, 2011

When grumpy rules the roost

Breaks in routine are tricky, whether short or long. Whether "back to school" or "back into homeschool" after long holidays, or sickness, or just "busy in the rest of your life" breaks.

With last week's Gyuto monks' visit and final drama performances (including November's first ever vocal solo) we are out of whack. Today was the first day "back" into our usual routine. Naturally, there was resistance...and it was vocal and grumpy (adults and children alike).

You are not alone
From the tone of an email message from a dear friend this morning, there was also resistance being felt in other home schools! It happens. Sometimes no-one wants to play.

Losing rhythm is hard
Here is our game plan when the "No!" to "school work" (for want of a better term) is getting in the way...
  • Stick to your guns but relax your academic expectations 
  • Expect compliance but change the activity into something really irresistible like painting, or cooking, or music, or a read-alouds where you read them an amazing book and then they draw what they remembered/got from it
  • If it helps, I think the sticky yucky days are ultimately good. Kids naturally test your resolve - will you be like some grumpy school teacher and give-up? Show them how much you believe in them and BE KIND
  • Just require your child's commitment to any activity and work together to make a learning team again :) from raking leaves together through to turns reading an assigned novel
  • More of a break can help - maybe you could go out to a cafe for a treat and take along a workbook, puzzle book, jigsaw, novel etc
  • Praise all work efforts and admit how breaks are hard for adults too
  • Finish projects off if you can - a sense of satisfaction is everything on days like these

What did we do today?
Did our daily half hour of maths (not negotiable - our kids get crankier without it); 30 minutes on Rosetta Stone French; finished a Lego castle; finished the Ancient Egyptian pectorals we have been trying to get to for a month; weaving for July on her new loom; guitar lessons for November on the newly donated guitar (thank you so much Terri!); tidying up the bead collection for me.

By the end of the day, tempers have been tamed and moods balanced, and we are ready for our usual routine tomorrow (well, maybe!).

How do you survive breaks and re-starting?

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