Monday, 12 February 2007

Jigsaws, junk food and just learning to lower my expectations.

I feel like I should be making an entry in here today, but not sure if I can gather my brain cells together.

Monday is our busy day

It begins with the children doing some 'work' at the table in the morning and then the first of the day's activities is 'Games Club' at around lunchtime. Now, I consider this a good opportunity for the children to play games with other home educated children and generally do nice quiet educational brain-stimulating things, so that us parents can catch up on news and get a few uninterrupted moments of adult time. It's meant to be a nice treat for all of us.

So this is how the morning should go:
  • Children keen to do a bit of 'work' at the table
  • I pack a variety games, jigsaws, educational activities.
  • Children are cooperative and eager to brush teeth, put shoes on etc
  • I prepare nice wholesome things to eat.
  • We all get in the car calm and happy and on time (so as not to waste any of that precious 'adult time' that I look forward to).
  • We get to games club in plenty of time.
  • They play nice quiet games with their friends.
  • We all have a nice time.

The reality:
  • The children, using their best delaying tactics, take ages to get dressed do teeth etc
  • I rant on about how much more work those poor schoolchildren have to do each day and how lucky my children should feel to be home educated.
  • They get stroppy.
  • I get stroppy.
  • They do some rushed, resentful work at the table.
  • I realise that the rabbit hasn't been fed, I haven't had breakfast and we're going to be late.
  • I hunt furiously through the fridge trying to find something edible and quick for lunch. [Have the prepacked vegetable samosas gone furry yet? Damn! Yes they have and it's too obvious to get away with it. It'll have to be the fruit loaf again. Oh and a pack of rice cakes. No point taking any fruit - ds1 will have his tuck shop open and the kids will just want crisps and chocolate again.]
  • We dash out the door with a handful of jigsaws and I stuff them into the car (the children and the jigsaws).
  • I moan at them all the way to games club.
  • The kids avoid all the games laid out for them and instead decide to race around the hall screeching like banshees and taking turns to shut various children in the kitchen/toilets or chase each other with sticks around the playground.
  • They eat far too many crisps/chocolate/sweets that they've somehow conned me into buying.
  • They spill the drinks that they wanted me to make for them all over the jigsaws that they haven't played with.
  • They complain when we leave that they haven't had time to eat their lunch.
  • I grit my teeth, turn the car radio up loud to drown out the fighting children in the back and try to remember how 'lucky' we all are to home educate...

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