Today we started early. I am trying to explain to the boys particularly that getting on with stuff as soon as we get up means that we are getting things done and they have more time to do what they want to do. That is leaping around the house, playing on the Wii, reading Calvin and Hobbes... Unfortunately even starting early seems to cause upset, pouting and astoundingly loud complaints of WHY?
We are having a lot of meltdowns at the moment. It is taking every ounce of my patience! At school if there was something they didn't understand I think there would be inward turmoil, but it would be pent up until hometime when I would bear the full brunt of their frustrations in one long rooooaaar. Now, probably because they feel comfortable at home, they feel quite able to strop and huff at the slightest problem.
Should I be pleased that they are relaxed and secure enough at home to meltdown? Or should I be concerned that they are not learning acceptable behaviour patterns! I don't know. My instinct says that if I am patient and repeatedly explain the benefits of being wrong that it will stop distressing them eventually. I hope...
That's the hardest thing about home ed at the moment - just not knowing. Not knowing if I'm doing the right thing. Oh the comfort of being able to blame someone else!
The nice part is of course spending more time with them. I had felt as though I had lost them when they were at school. So much of our day was rushing and shouting: Get Ready; Put your shoes ON; Brush your teeth; WHERE is your book bag?; We have to go NOW! Now we are more relaxed. The boys are up and dressed and teeth brushed by around half eight. Later than usual at the moment I think partly because of the dark mornings. (And partly I suspect because they are reading with torches after bedtime.) Now I know where they are up to with their maths, writing and spelling and such like. Now I know what enthuses them and what causes tears. And that's nice because they are so little still I think and I feel I should know all that stuff. I'll keep remembering that when I get frustrated :)
So things started well:
and more circuits...
Mummy I made everyone breakfast
...and then dissolved into lots of tears because lovely boy no2 didn't want to do STUPID FRENCH, and his lunch was HORRIBLE, and his sister was HORRIBLE AND HE DIDN'T LIKE HER ANYMORE! Oh it was fun in our house today. A day that really made me feel like reconsidering our plans. A day that made my heart sink.
Eventually a very reluctant LB2 agreed to come and talk to me. He looked very, very tired. It took a while of quiet talking but he caved in and gave me a cuddle. This is one of a few spectacular meltdowns of the past few days and I have wondered if there are other things going on - perhaps a growth spurt or a bug that hasn't surfaced yet. He is almost, but not quite yet six and a middle child so there's a lot going on there without the whole growing stuff to boot. Deep breaths...
But eventually the day got better when lovely boy no 1 (who is seven and a very important half) and I ventured out into the wet and melty evening to see a lecture by Richard Dawkins about his book The Magic of Reality. It really is a lovely book full of gorgeous pictures (if you get the hardback version) and a very simple (but not dumbed down) way of explaining things. The lecture really just talked through the contents of the book but that was enough to get LB1 very interested and I personally enjoyed the answers to the questions at the end. And as a bonus...