There were so many days this past few weeks where I thought “yikes! We have barely did any schoolwork.” Then I paused and look back at what the kids have done. The boys – particularly my five year old – got entranced by the poem The Highwayman and have been reciting sections of it over and over. We read and talked about Afghanistan. We built a model of a viking long-ship and read stories about Eric the Red. We’ve read and talked about the residential schools and the Inuit people. My eight year old has been doing writing every day. My five year old is starting to learn piano and I’ve got him excited about putting labels on our map to show where different stories we’ve read take place. They’ve all been drawing lots and reading lots, and doing some math.
My eight year old has started working on a little store he wants to set up in our yard come spring, and he was counting his merchandise so we reviewed percentages, calculating out what different handfuls of products would cost if he gave different discounts.
We even had a really successful game where we stood next our kitchen map and pretended we were playing “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?” Do you remember that old television show and computer game? In our version one person would start to name clues as to which country a crook had fled too. The others would guess the country and find it on the map. Then it would be someone else’s turn to invent clues.
But really, the last few weeks have been very chaotic too. My two year old is getting more and more insistent about participating in everything and her nap schedule is very erratic. When we play math games often she’ll participate by handing everyone cards when they need to draw another card, but simply saying her name gets her to hand an extra card, and the boys know that so if one gets bored waiting for the other to take his turn he will simply call her name over and over and chaos chaos. She doesn’t want anyone else sitting on my lap, which makes it hard for the five year old and I to do his reading practice. It’s stressful and annoying and I just think, “please, may I find the the strength to get through this stage onto whatever one comes next?”
On top of that I dragged the kids out again on a social justice errand. We went with a group of others to deliver blocks of ice with $10.25 in them to two local politicians as part of a province wide campaign to raise the minimum wage. My children get a little bored of doing things like this, and the eight year old said that next time we go on a protest he’s going take his own sign saying “just do what my mom says quick so I can go home.” Yet I feel it important to take them out to events anyway.