There are days when I relish in my homeschool; my daughter in 5th grade sits and does everything we have to do that day, and my son in 2nd grade does the same. The children are done before lunch and smiles abound.
Today was not one of those days.
My daughter rolled out of bed at 9, grunted hello, and disappeared to parts unknown. I finally tracked her down in my bathroom with the comics from the Sunday paper. I asked why the late wake-up and was answered with “I couldn’t sleep … now will you let me use the bathroom???” (Please note: She was sitting on the edge of the tub most decidedly NOT using the bathroom.
Teresa is a great kid. I don’t hear lots of complaints from her, and she puts up with the interruptions from her little brothers with a fair amount of patience. But when she gets up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed it can be so hard to start our day off and get some learning accomplished.
After eating her breakfast, which took her an hour of serious stalling, I decided the best course of action would be some computer work since she usually gets through that faster and would – I hoped – have the least amount of whining in her sleep-deprived (so she said) state. I set her computer up and set her off to work
And then the fun began! First, she couldn’t get the mouse to work. After a battery change she claimed she couldn’t hear the website. I tried not to point out that the volume button on her monitor was right in front of her but managed to bite my tongue. A few minutes of blessed silence, and then I heard a little voice say “Mama? I have a headache from reading. Can I be done?”
At this point I was a tad frustrated. At first I sweetly told her to get back to her work. Ok, I might be exaggerating a little bit about the sweetness. I was satisfied that work was being accomplished after an hour of no complaints, until I looked in at her. She was sitting at her computer with her eyes glazed over, and I’m fairly certain she hadn’t gone past the first page of her work.
I walked in, turned her computer off, and told her to go get her coat on. Despite her look of curiosity I told her nothing other than to get ready. Once she was ready I sent her outside with her 2 younger brothers and 3 bags and asked them to collect the best looking of the fall leaves from outside. She immediately perked up and set to work.
When the kids returned with their treasures we ironed them into wax paper and hung them up. Then we went online and looked up why leaves change colors, and I had her write a small paper about what she learned. Did it take longer? It certainly did. But it was so worth it.