Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One a Day!

We have started a one subject a day school this summer.  Obviously, we don't take the summer off.  We've actually managed to get more done when we concentrate on only one subject at a time.

School starts at 9 am each weekday.  Each day has a subject that both of the girls work on.  History and Science are the same and we work as a group.  Math is leveled differently, but we still all sit down together, my attention divided.  The only days I am having trouble with is the day I do Spelling with Ginger.  I'm slowly trying to figure out how to entertain Sugar since Spelling is NOT something a student can do by herself. 

We have been working on this schedule since mid-May and we are fully in the swing of it.  

1) Prep time is easier on me.  I usually have stuff ready and printed at least 8 lessons in the future for any given subject.  I just pull out what I need for a day and we work on it.
2) The girls know what is expected of them.  Tuesday is History and they know and therefore feel in control.
3) We finish a lesson every day.  Sometimes Math gets carried over because there is just a lot of it.

Cons: (If you can even consider them cons.)
1) Everyday at 8:30 the girls start asking about school that day.  
2) Yeah, I tried to come up with some, but I have none.  I really like one subject a day school!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Closet Rescue

Recently, all the girls in the house decided that we needed fewer clothes.  Crazy, right?  The younger girls were overwhelmed when it came to putting clean clothes away.  Drawers would just not close and the clothing bar was jam packed and hard to see what was what.  So we gathered up perfectly good clothes that still fit and sorted them into 2 areas.

We did each closet as a group.  We started with shorts and alternated keep and donate.  Keep 3, donate 4, keep 2, donate 3, keep 4, donate 2.  It was all really random.  I think we kept roughly 10 of each clothing item, which is still more than they need, but choices are good.  We kept more shirts, but again, sometimes you need choices and my smallest frequently changes her clothes for no real reason.

We did Ginger's closet first and Sugar was allowed to take a few 'can't live without' items to her future clothing boxes.

The girls were better about throwing things in the donate pile that I would have.  I did get upset when they wanted to donate something that they BEGGED me for in the store.  I guess that means I need to disregard more of the begging.  

I would say we removed at least a third of the girls clothing from their closets.  Drawers now close, they can see what pants and shirts they have, and now the same 3 pajamas from the top of the drawer will not be worn over and over and over until I wonder if they have enough.  

I wonder if I will work in my closet or just let it go for now?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TV as a Commodity

The economics of making things scarce.

I took 2 economics classes YEARS ago.  Some of the lessons actually stuck with me.  Scarcity for example.  Even perceived scarcity.

All the parenting gurus and books and doctors say that you should limit TV time to 2 hours for young children.  I think this is an excellent idea, I just accomplish it very differently that people expect.

Our TV is tuned to PBS nearly every waking hour.  (Mostly educational cartoons.)  Yet, my children watch their 2 hours or less of TV, because it is not a commodity.  Since it is always available, there is nothing special about it.  It is not a reward or a treat.  It is not something they have to work for or beg to get. Instead they beg to turn off the tv and listen to music.  I LOVE that!

TV is not scare, so they don't care about it.  Computer time is a different story right now.  Ginger loves playing games on the computer.  She only has a small windows of opportunity because she does not have her own.  When her chance comes up, she stares and gets obsessed and distracted and nothing else matters.  

Sugar gets no computer time, so she is always wanting to play on the iPad.  She is very good at the touch interface, but the keyboard and mouse are just a tiny bit beyond her.  I'm just not ready to prove that she could figure it out if I allow her a chance.

I am thinking out scheduling computer time in the future, because there are 2 children and not enough computers for everyone.  Some things are just scarce because of having to share with a sister.  Thus my children will learn about scarcity too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Scrapbooker, I am not

I started a 8x8 scrapbook for my first daughter, Ginger, before she turned one. It was to show her entire 1st year 1 month at a time. I finished it 5 years later.  Last week.  Really.  

I also started and finished Sugar's at the same time.  Only 4 years late.  

I have been good about taking the photos and the footprints to show them how much they have grown.  Making the book, I found, was much more involved.  I drug my husband along to Hobby Lobby to pick out stickers.

I have plans for a second year book done by month.  Maybe I will finish in the next year or so. At least by the time they leave for college. I need somewhere to put all the foot prints we made, after all.  After that large endeavor, the girls will get 1 page a year. All of year 3 boiled down to one 8x8 page.  I think I have the perfect crying shot already picked out for Sugar.  

I learned my limitation and the girls will have a billion photos when they are grown but 8x8 pages with stickers?  They can make their own.  Where would I even store them?  

I love my daughters and I keep a box of sentimental things, but if I were to give them a stack of 18 books when they finally moved out of the house I think they would wonder who I had paid to make them.  I prefer to channel my love different ways, maybe the scars on my feel because of stepping on legos and barbie shoes, or the gray hairs I earn when they hit puberty. For now, they will have to live with cookies on the fly and random attacks of the kiss-y monster.