Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting it off my chest

Things have not been going so smoothly lately, the kids have once again become experts at procrastination and driving their mother batty. I just don't know how to handle their constantly sneaking off and their constant chatter and bickering. One morning I found myself sitting by them, repeating over and over, "Be quiet. Be quiet. I said be quiet. Stop fighting. I mean it. Be quiet. Stop talking. Stop talking. shut your mouths. please. Be quiet. SHUT UP!" I so wish I was kidding. They seriously sat for hours just chattering, bugging their siblings and accomplishing absolutely nothing. Even when I separated them it wasn't any better.
These are intelligent kids who are 10 and 13. You would think that they would figure out that if they just finish their assignments then they get to move on and do something else. Something fun maybe! And mommy won't yell. And they could do something else! Apparently that reasoning is beyond them.
Not entirely beyond them though. Today, R (10), is determined to finish his weeks worth of work, so 3 days worth in one day. Daddy told him that if he did that he could rent a video game. He got up at like 7 and did 3 French lessons and has now finished 3 math and 3 handwriting assignments. Yeah baby!
His older brother has yet to show his face. He is awake, but is still hiding in the bathroom. He has been giving me some major attitude lately. Last week he was p.o.'ed all day because I dared to give him a writing assignment. He figured he should just be able to write about whatever he wanted. (Which they often do) Another afternoon he was mad because I asked him to do a good copy of his report. How dare I? Obviously I don't ask for good copies near often enough. And actually I had required the good copy be finished the week before and had asked for it every day since and he was dragging his feet. So I wouldn't let him out of his chair util it was done. I am so mean.
Between them they missed 3 or 4 taekwondo classes last week because they were not finished their assignments by the time we needed to leave. I decided that there would be no more extra-curriculars until they started getting their school done. I am sick of waiting all day for a small amount of work to be done. It is ridiculous.
I am sure that being pregnant is not helping my attitude any, I think I have far less patience. I hate that. And I don't want school to mean fighting and yelling. I want them to love learning, which they do. They just don't want me to expect them to actually do anything. Which is not acceptable.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Our Week Off


So far our week off has been pretty productive. The kids have worked on poem memorization, played Age of Empires, played street hockey, entertained their siblings....

Wait a second! Juju just read his first book, all on his own! A little book called Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka. Yay Juju!

On Tuesday we went to the library, I gave the boys each a list of types of books I wanted them to bring home. I got the list from The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and her mother Jessie Wise. Jessie used to give her kids this list when they were young.
1 Science book
1 History book
1 art or music appreciation book
1 practical book (craft, hobby, how-to)
1 biography or autobiography
1 classic novel (or age appropriate adaptation)
1 storybook
1 book of poetry
They did okay, R was really into it. The classic novels were the hardest to find. Weird.
Now they are all reading up a storm.

I got 2 cd's about the life and music of Bach (Classical kids: Mr. Bach comes to call and Introduction to the Classics: Bach) and we are going to listen to them this afternoon while they get out their drawing books they picked and practice drawing (comics I think)

We have been listening to the Secret Garden on cd, so good!
R. has always been interested in cooking. When he came home with a cookbook yesterday, I was reminded that even at 6, he was always bringing kid's cookbooks home from the library. He has already planned a 3 course meal, so I am going to help him make up a grocery list and put his meal together.