anyone else struggle as much as I do with whether they're DOING ENOUGH?
Sometimes the day goes whizzing by, and we don't seem to have accomplished
a lot. It's so much work just keeping up with household chores
that to sit down and "do stuff" with my kids adds an impossible amount
of pressure. After groceries, meals, dishes, laundry, mail, answering
phone calls, planning, organizing, cleaning... the day is GONE!!!
Some days are absolutely wonderful and the kids keep themselves busy,
moving from one thing to another... I stand back and marvel at their
ingeniousness. But other days, they need me to intervene, constantly.
Hoo boy, yes. I have MANY days
when I feel totally inadequate and I'm absolutely certain that I have
not done Nearly Enough. On those days I try to make a mental list
of what I DID accomplish... maybe the kitchen is still a wreck and the
living room needs to be vacuumed, but I did rock a sick child or do
a puzzle or whatever. I am convinced that my children are not
going to grow up and have as their main memories the messy house (although
it is almost always messy), but that they will have in their memory
banks those times we spent together.
One thing that helped me was...I sort of "automated"
the meal planning chore. I picked out about 14-16 dinner menus
that were reasonably quick/easy to prepare, that everyone liked.
Then I put those recipes all in one place handy, and when I shop once
in 2 weeks, I plan two weeks worth of meals. Write 'em on the
calendar. Buy the ingredients. And now I don't have to think
about "what's for dinner" anymore, just look at the calendar each morning
and defrost what I need. I figure if we don't have the same thing
more than once in 2 weeks, we won't get too tire of it!
When we look back at our day, we know exactly what
we have done, and we think we know what the kids have done. I
know for me, if I really stop and write down everything they have done
in a day, it is some list. Don't stop at 3:00 either. They
didn't stop until bedtime; think of what happened in the evening hours
Well, you have now described my life. Add to
that the guilt of having to leave my family at 4:30, 5 nights a week
to go to work, and we are exactly the same. But...every day I
look at what God has done with my kids and I thank Him that I have the
opportunity to have them home with me. I think that it shows what
a great mother you are that you are concerned if you are doing enough.
I try not to look at it on a day by day basis, but more like on a weekly
or monthly basis.
Yes, all the time. Next question? : )
When I start thinking about doing enough, I remember
this statistic (I have no recollection as to where I acquired it):
If your child is a disruptive male, he is more likely to receive 15
minutes of specific instruction from the teacher. This is opposed
to no specific instruction from the teacher. Specific instruction
is referring to one on one time with the teacher.
Just thought I'd refresh everyone's memory of a typical
class in public school. Let's try 9th grade with Suzy Strutter:
Wow Carol.... I think your post sums it up.
I, too, often feel we don't "do" enough. Yesterday, we didn't
get around to "doing" school at all, but every time I checked in on
Arwen, she was working on a project. She brought home a box of
fair ribbons from a farmhouse attic and went through those: all for
some woman named Blanche Dear who raised chrysanthemums and got trophies,
awards, and even flowers named after her. Arwen is poised to do
a whole project on Blanche Dear, including trying to locate her (which
might end up in a cemetery, the ribbons are 28 years old) and possibly
locate her mums. My daughter who hates gardening is interested
in a stranger who perfected mums. Later, she was sitting on her
bed with 3x5" cards, making notes for her Louisiana report (self-imposed,
again). And she practiced clarinet. Of course, my logical
brain tells me she's just doing all of the above to get out of doing
what I TOLD her to do, i.e. clean her bedroom -- the dishes, the dirty
clothes have piled up again and I refuse to do her laundry or dishes...
(I have no idea what Levi did yesterday, read about war on the Pacific
Ocean all day)
Bravo, Carol! I agree with your characterization
of public school having a lot of wasted time. When I was in college
getting my education degree, we were flat out told the stats on "Total
School Day" vs. "TIME ON TASK". (Filed away somewhere, but something
like 6 - 7 hrs vs. 1 - 2 hrs.) The point was for lesson planning/pacing
so we wouldn't plan too much. (This was geared to teaching ps.)
Funny thing, when I taught ps I worried more about "doing enough" because
there were so many darn interruptions, schedule deviations, testing,
parties, etc. :-)
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