Yesterday and today were better days– the best we’ve had in two weeks.
Yesterday I sat the children down and asked them to help me make our days go more smoothly. I was able to pinpoint several key parts of the day that made me particularly crazy: spending my whole "rest time" picking up after them (or living with a house that looks like a tornado hit it), flat defiance from them when I ask them to do something, and needing SweetP to be happier when I’m doing one-on-one time with the big kids.
M offered that we weren’t doing any "fun" things during school any more. Fun things like what? I asked. Science experiments, she said.
Ok. Deep breath.
I laid out my ideas– that each of them would take 15-20 minutes each day to play with SweetP and keep her happy, so that later each of them could have more uninterrupted time with me; that we would resume our daily chores; and that the defiance had to stop. Or else. (Not quite sure what the or else is. Hmmm.) They agreed.
Last night, I laid out our best watercolor paper and watercolors, brushes, and watercolor pencils. And this morning, when each of them made their way downstairs, they asked, "What is all that for?
For you, my sweets.
They all painted for an hour– anything they wanted– while I read aloud to them. SweetP painted herself. And later, I had a good chunk of time to struggle through algebra with J. We’re learning as we go along.