Learning Can Be Fun

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Do you have a hard time keeping the kids educated during the summer time?  I find it’s difficult to keep them in a learning mode when it’s all about play time and no school.  Above is a regular evening of sitting him down to do some math, not so happy face.  I can’t blame him, they work hard throughout the school year.  I remember how much fun our summers were as kids, but I also didn’t have such a hard time picking up things I’ve learned like my son seems to have.  So it’s something I struggle with.  I’ve started making it a part of our weeks.  At least every other day, which I believe is fair, we make sure to read, write and do math.  After all practice is what keeps us up to date on things.  Some days he fights this more than others, but parents can’t give in.  I have to be stern about it or he’ll always try to wiggle his way out of it.  The other day I said, let’s play school and this was such a hit.  We took about an hour and I had my son and daughter play the students.  I was Mrs. Studdlemuffin, but they didn’t like that name lol.  So I shortened it to mrs. Muffin. It was funny to me and they smiled at it.  We did some homework, had a pretend recess, had a fake trip to the zoo, had science class, did more homework, fake lunch, more homework and then it was time to go home.  Of course we shortened the time for everything, first homework page was about 10 minutes, fake recess was about 5 minutes, fake zoo trip was checking out our dogs who were pretend lions and tigers and then going outside and looking for lizards and beetles, 10 minutes.  You get the point, make it fun.  Lunch was a quick snack of grapes and strawberries and by the end of the hour, we had done some educational work and had fun along the way.


Teacher Conference & Okay Parenting

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Today was the 9th day of first grade for our son.  He’s had a surprisingly hard time adjusting to this new school year.  I understand it can be overwhelming for young ones however, i’m not quite sure that his daily tears are normal. He starts talking about not wanting to go to school hours before bedtime and then as soon as he opens his eyes in the mornings.  I don’t see any other kids crying when they are dropped off.  So I’m left wondering, what is going on?  We’ve talked to the teacher prior to this, I’ve called the school counselor who has met with our son, and the only thing my little one says is that he misses us. Wow!  We miss him too but not to the point that we are shedding daily tears 😦 .  It hurts me to see him sad, to leave him in tears and it sets the mood for my days on the wrong foot.

He has also shared an incident which occurred during last school year that makes him nervous.  And it’s all my fault.  What did I do?  In my okay parenting, I made a mistake and wrote the wrong thing in his school planner.  This is a planner that the teachers refer to daily to see if the child is going to go home as a car rider that day, or if they are staying in the after school program.  One day, I wrote down that he was a car rider incorrectly.  What happened was that he waited until the last child was picked up and then no one was there for him.  So a teacher, told him to go inside to the after school program and to wait for his parents.  When I picked him up, he immediately told me what happened and I felt horrible.  How could I have made such a careless mistake?  In my daily rush after work, and after picking up my two children, its a rush to get home, feed the dogs, walk them, start dinner, get the kids in the shower/bath, do homework, write in my son’s planner, fit in a gazillion other daily chores and then get them ready for bed, I goofed.  I’m human and sometimes I do Okay Parenting and its been a struggle not be down on myself about this.

How can I get my child to understand that this was a mistake that I will not let happen again? I think we are okay because he hasn’t mentioned this incident in the past few days, he is still stuck on his idea of missing us.  In trying to calm his anxiety, I’ve gone from calm and collected, understanding and full of patience to screaming banshee trying to make him strong but  n o t h i n g  has worked thus far. Today we had a teacher conference and he seemed perfectly fine with the teacher, smiling and looking comfortable so that was re assuring to us.  I asked if he was making friends and she said he seemed fine.  It’s still early on so we have hope that he will soon be more relaxed about this necessary part of life.  We tell him about the importance of education and that mommy will be taken to jail if he doesn’t go to school, lets see if this sinks in 🙂  Man i’m telling you we are trying everything.  Today Daddy took away his Nintendo DS and told him he will not get it back until he stops crying every day.  I am praying that on the tenth day, tomorrow there will finally be, no more tears.