Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My brain's around here somewhere...

Alrighty then....
It has been a while since I posted over here. That is mostly because I have been busy teaching school, actually teaching for a change. And this baby making is taking all of my excess energy and apparently continuing the tradition of zapping my brain cells left, right and centre.
I have been continuing my use of a weekly schedule for the boys, broken down by subject and day. It has been quite helpful to all of us to know what we should be doing as well as keeping track of our progress. Even better, when daddy was off of work last week he was able to do much of the learning facilitation in our house. Yay for me!
Today is not a great day, I gave up around 1pm. I told them to eat lunch and then ignored the fact that instead of returning to their schoolwork that should have been done before noon, they went outside to play. (wow, that was a long sentence!)
I could hear all four of them out in the yard, playing, laughing, having fun and I made an executive decision. To let sunshine and laughter feed their souls for a few hours, rather than to continue being a nagging mother who was stealing their joy and sparkle.
Plus, Daddy said that he would make sure they got their school work done tonight if they continued giving me a hard time. A beautiful out for me!

I have taken the list thing a bit farther than just our weekly checklist. I am finding the constant nagging I seem to do, utterly exhausting and ineffective. Last week, I must have repeated the same instructions to my eldest about his math about 8000 times and he was still ignoring me. I started furiously typing on my laptop. I wrote out step by step instructions on how I wanted him to complete his math lessons. Same thing with cleaning the kitchen. They come out yelling, "I'm Done!"
So I question them. "Have you put the food away?"
"Um, let me go check..."
45 seconds pass
"I'm done!"
"Is the table cleared and wiped?"
"Um... let me go check..."
90 seconds later
"MOM! I'm done, can I play Guitar Hero?"
"Did you wipe the table?"
"Oops, I will be right back."

And on and on it goes for 45 minutes at least. Sometimes it will be 20 minutes between the 'I'm dones' and then they won't have actually done anything in the meantime. I am so sick and tired of it.
So I wrote the 'I'm Done' kitchen checklist. It is extremely detailed, step by excruciatingly small baby step. I guess we will see how that works. I am hoping that at the very least it will cut down on the screams of, 'I'm Done!'
I am now working on detailed instructions for all the other jobs around here as well as all of the school tasks I require of them. I am hoping they will help, but I am sure that I am delusional.

3 comments:

shay said...

brilliant! Just totally brilliant!
An "I'm done" check list, of course! YAY for you.

Sniz said...

Wow can I relate. Your house sounds just like my house. I have a binder of "I'm Done!" lists where I've broken down every single household chore into tiny steps, then walked through those steps with the kids, then showed them where the lists are so they can refer to them when they do the chore. Um, I wish I could say it worked for more than a couple of weeks. But the reality that I am so loathe to face, at least around here, is that the only chores that are done are the ones where I stand over them and watch while they do them or actually physically check every little thing through out the day. Yeah. It's like that.

Hang in there, Kristen. You're a great, wonderful mother.

LoriD said...

Your checklist is sheer brilliance! You could laminate them so they can actually make the checkmark each time.