Monday, September 28, 2015

the one about the little red hen

"get into the kitchen right now!"  i say with visible restraint, my voice low and my teeth clenched.  i'm frustrated, trying desperately not to yell.  "everyone sit down on the floor and do not say one word."

it is time for fall coffee, my friends. 

we've been doing virtues every morning.  talking about them, memorizing them, singing songs about them, praying about them.  they are inspiring little lessons about being helpful and diligent and self-controlled, things that i wish i could just WILL my kids to have etched onto their little hearts.  and right before lunch, i think to myself, i'm just going to suggest that they clean the play room while i make lunch and tidy up our school stuff.  i'm not going to make a big deal about it.   so i say, "okay kids, i'm going to make lunch and then we'll start our new read aloud, it'd be super helpful if you guys just cleaned up down there while i work up here."  no timers, no rewards promised or consequences spelled out.  my hopes were way up there.

this guy is crazy about dressing up. 

fast forward 20 minutes: the lunch plates are ready and i tuck our school bins back where they go and peek down into the play room to see everyone going about their own playing business and NO clean up has happened.   that's where the beginning of this post begins.

"momma? can i sit in the patch of sunlight to do my planner?"
"yes, always."

i continue my rant while they sit looking up at me, their butts planted on our postage stamp kitchen floor, the three of them squished between the refrigerator and the oven.

"i am going to talk and you will listen.  when i am done, you  need to take your lunch plate outside with not one word." i take a deep breath and get my inspiration from the infamous hard working chicken.

fall soccer in colorado is a beautiful thing. 

ian climbs this rock while avery practices. 

"i feel like the little red hen, guys."  ian snickers, but i am dead serious.  avery gives him a sideways glance and elbows him in the side a bit.  she knows. 

"i'm the hen and you guys are the dog and the cat and the duck. and i'm standing here saying "who will help me??"  and all i hear is "not i".  

some devotional prayer journaling for our family. :)

"you guys HAVE to help me.  i cannot do all of this on my own.  i need you."  i'm tearing up now, they are nodding their heads in sorrow and begin their "i'm sorry's".  i shush them  and send them out the door with their lunch.  and say the words no homeschooling mother should ever say.

"i'm not reading to you right now."

he is a delight to teach reading. i'm not exaggerating.  he loves it and asks to do one more lesson every time we finish one.  

20150911_104836 from mandy houle on Vimeo.

this whole teaching kids to clean thing is kicking my butt.  oh my word! it's daily, hourly really!  i believe they need to and they should and it is a character issue that will help them all of their lives if they develop this habit at a young age, but the consistency it takes to have them tidy up after themselves all day long is WAY harder then teaching math.  ;)

they do have their sweet moments.  coloring and audio books.  one of my favorites. 

20150911_170442 from mandy houle on Vimeo.

tips and tricks?
would love to hear them.

press on, friends.

oh, and Proper just released it's 2013 vintage.  it's not sold out yet, but it will be soon.  that might help with the whole parenting gig. cheers.


Courtney Cassada said...

you're doing an awesome job, mandy! seriously. you're such a good mom. and you love your kids so well. i could give some tips, but i think you know. be consistent. get rid of stuff (so there's less to clean up!) use as few words as possible cause they know what the expectations are by now. you are LOVED!

Mandy said...

Such encouraging words and you are so right about having too much stuff!! We are cleaning out the entire playroom and i am going to be super picky about what gets put back in there! So much love.

Sandi Elsberry said...

This grandma will help with not giving the kids so much stuff. You are an exceptional mommy to my three grandchildren. I love you so much. Hang in there!

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