You might remember my post a few weeks ago with a desperate plea for suggestions on how to make our Monday school days less painful, and even a little bit fun! Thank you to all of you who responded with great ideas. My hope is that this blog isn’t simply a way for me to post pictures of my kids and “our perfect life”, but to be part of a supportive community that shares ideas, so thank you!
Last Monday I was sort of off the hook because it was Ila’s birthday and we had a day off school. Yesterday was my first Monday with my new approach. I have decided to not even attempt to sit down at the table for school first thing. I asked that the kids be completely ready: dressed, breakfasted, beds made and rooms tidied, and chores done by the time I got home at 8:30. To my surprise they were actually ready so I took them out to Five Rivers Nature Center. We go there often so it is a place they are all very familiar with.
It was chilly and I wanted all the kids, including Kairav to walk the whole time, so we chose the short 1/2 mile Beaver Trail, which is loop around a pond, and then headed into the education center to watch the birds and look at the owl and the turtles.
We headed home around 10:00 to start the “school” day. I had laid out all of their materials before we left so the transition would be smooth. They had a quick snack and got down to work with no complaining.
I think the fresh air and running around was a great way for everyone, myself included, to start the week. We had a great Monday which I think will set us up for a good school week. The kids are excited to have a good week and keep reminding each other about staying focused so that I don’t yell. Even the little ones amused themselves and stayed (mostly) out of trouble.
In addition to starting the morning differently, I also spent about 1.5 hours at the library on Sunday afternoon laying out the whole week. If I start the week off with a solid, yet flexible, plan everything goes much better. I know exactly what I want to cover and have realistic expectations of the kids. I decided to have a week of some inside reading and writing work, but a lot of outside hands on stuff. The kids haven’t had a break week since Christmas, and I think we are all feeling a little bit burned out and ready for a break- which comes next week!
So this week we started the farming and gardening block with both Ishaan and Ulka. Ishaan will do a more detailed study of seed development, plant and flower structures, and pollination and both kids will keep a gardening journal and help with the planning and preparing of the garden. We started some seeds inside yesterday. Today we will turn the compost and start getting the garden ready for planting the greens and peas.
I am hopeful that this new way of entering into the school week will continue to work well for us. I feel bad that it took me so long to recognize that Monday mornings were a problem, but at least now I know and we can try to fix it.
Happy Spring to all of you. Go plant a garden- in your yard, on your fire escape, on your window sill- where ever you can!