Monday, June 1, 2009

Surviving the Dog Days of Summer, Part 1

It is only the beginning of a summer that promises to be inhumanly hot and last 2-3 times longer than it should.

And I must tell you, the walls are starting to close in.

Sometimes my kids are really good at entertaining themselves - using their imaginations and playing together.

And sometimes they're not.

Sometimes, I can throw out some art supplies and they can stay busy and creative all afternoon.

And sometimes it's just an enormous mess that makes it's way all over the house.

Over the first couple weeks of our summer break, as the temperatures climbed over 100 degrees, these are some of the things that started to drive me crazy:

1. The whining whenever it's suggested that anyone help around the house
2. The belief that Mommy is responsible for providing exciting entertainment at all times
3. The unwillingness to read or do anything else that could remotely be related to schoolwork
4. An inability to be patient with one another
5. Constant and scathing criticism that the snacks I prepare lack imagination.

So I took my problems to God and began to pray about them in a very spiritual way. Something along the lines of, "Dear Lord, I'm thinking about running away from home so please help!"

As a result, there have been a couple of things we started that I thought I might pass along. Here is one of them:

Big Kids in Charge of Storytime

Grace and Caleb are pretty excited about being put in charge of a preschool/storytime for their little brother. They are the teachers (but I am the principal) and every week they sit down and plan out what stories they are going to read Joshua and what songs they would like to teach him.

Oh, and what snacks they're going prepare, because that's their department now.

Grace lists what things they need from the grocery store or the library for the week and then runs storytime for about a half hour every morning.

Joshua enjoys all the attention, Grace and Caleb get to develop some leadership skills and practice patience with a sometimes less-than-cooperative student, Grace practices reading with expression for the enjoyment of others, and - best of all - I get a little break.


Raise Them Up said...

I can SO relate to the things that drive you crazy. And I'm thinking your idea is a wonderful one! I'm having my older guys read to my little guy, too!

Great post!

Sharon said...

Oh nice! I only have one but it sounds like you found a great way to get them to entertain each other!

Somewhere In The Sun said...

Hi, I saw your link on WFMW. I really like your ideas and plan to implement them with my boys. I think it will be great for them to read to their little sister! And letting THEM plan their snacks will sure cut out the complaints. Thanks for the great tips!