Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas break and the dreaded week after

I can not express how much I love Christmas break. This year was better than ever because I decided to take a full two weeks off and to not even THINK about school 'till it was over. A couple times when the kids seemed stir crazy I considered giving them school to keep busy, but quickly forced those demonic thoughts out of my head and told them to play more video games or watch another movie. We enjoyed our break, IMMENSELY. 

Starting school again after Christmas break is always rough.

This week...has been hellish.

This is the week all those homeschooling moms say, "why do I do this again?" and by the weekend are ready to lay in bed for two days straight after drinking themselves into a stopper because on Friday they started drinking at noon to just make the pain go away.

I have come up with some neat tips and tricks that you can tuck into your ammo vest, this list was compiled mostly with what not to do methods I discovered by doing them. That's how I roll.

Firstly (for the kids) DON'T constantly loose your temper at them right away in the week (like I did: do as I say, not as I do) . If you've come down with a nasty fever/cold like I got, perhaps TAKE A SICK DAY as much as humanly possible or you will be an even more wicked witch than you normally are and nobody benefits from it. In fact, I have a feeling that anything you wanted them to learn that day will be eternally blocked from their memory because it was taught on such a traumatic day, so it won't matter anyway.

TRY even harder this week to be EXTRA CALM. This will benefit you, I promise. A calm mother helps to calm her children. Even if that means calmly duct taping your 4-year-old mouth shut and sticking her in a closet, that's fine. After all, she has soooo many new songs she wants to sing after watching an exorbitant amount of NetFlix cartoons during your 2 week vacation.

Use bribery. Again, something I totally forgot about 'till today, Friday (the booze helped me to remember). Bribe with all that 50% off candy you bought the day after Christmas, that's right, chuck your no sugar rules OUT THE WINDOW this week! Bribe with their new video games that you just screamed at told them they couldn't play for a year because they weren't getting their school done. Coax them by cutting out problems in their math, after all, they are all just. so. repetitive. 

Stay in your pajamas. One less thing to do. It's a good thing. (this is one of the things I DID do this week)

Extra coffee. Well, duh.

Make good food as much as you can. I know, I know, this is hard. But, it reminds your kids that you can actually be kind and they may even thank you for your delicious food when you sit down to eat as a family. Also, feed yourself!!! This is one of my biggest mistakes, but forgetting to eat makes for an extra chafed mama.

Try to get at least one date night in during this week. You need a break from your kids but an even bigger reason is that they need a break from YOU! Go out with your husband, your girlfriends, or yourself. Doesn't matter.

Apologize to your family (individually). If you had the week from hell like I did, take a few minutes to tell them how hard it was for all of you and how very sorry you are for loosing your temper so often. Also praise them for the great job they did in spite of having such a rough week. This goes a long way. Include a hug for good measure. Remember that you're not only their teacher but also their mom, your job is to nurture as well as teach. Something I often forget.

Buy extra pencils just for this week. Sharpen them, leave them in jars on your table. (thank you Amber for this tip) They will inevitably: drop, loose, snort, eat, destroy, disappear and break THOUSANDS of pencils during this week in order to avoid doing their work. Don't let those pencils win.

Air horn. Brilliant. Thanks, Aimee.

Don't shower. Again, less to do for you. (did do, don't tell)

And that just about sums up the practical tips that I have after my week is now over (mostly) and my brain suddenly makes it's grand appearance after being in hiding all week long. I shall try to read my tips BEFORE school begins after next years Christmas break. But I probably won't. I think I'm doomed to repeat this cycle for the next 12 years that I will be homeschooling my children. 10 years down, just 12 to go!!! If you have tips to add PLEASE indulge us! Add them to the comments below.

And don't forget, sweet mothers-at-your-wits-end, homeschooling is a sacrifice and a choice you made to benefit your children. Wear your yoga pants-greasy hair-no makeup badge proudly. And remember my wise husband's motto that helps me be a better, and less worried homeschooling mother:

"It's our job to screw up our kids education, not the government's. Have faith that even if we have some failings, we WILL do a better job than someone else can with our God given children."

He also asks regularly:

"Honey, would you like a beer or some chocolate?"

What a wise man.

This is a fairly good image except for the mom's cute top, clean apron and dressed children...what homeschooed kid 4 and under wears all clothes at all times?? And look at the little girls' hair, it's BRUSHED. Psh. Unrealistic.

Disclaimer: Please realize that this post is VERY tounge-in-cheek. I want to stress how much I adore my children and love them dearly. I'm the best mom they could have and I would never actually do anything to harm them. Please don't take this post too seriously. I personally think it's silly to have to say this, but wise husband has encouraged me to regardless.

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