Monday, March 8, 2010
Week 20, day 1
Monday: Language Arts. One Of Those Days. Rain. Reluctance. Irritability. It's hard to get a kid to cooperate when she's hiding under the covers. It was partly my fault. The covers in question had been in a pile on the floor, and I told her to put them on her bed. She couldn't see them from where she was sitting, and I snapped at her when she didn't get up and look for them (really, a sheet on the floor is a hard thing to miss if you're trying to find it at all). This caused her to huddle under the sheet and weep once she got it onto her bed. I apologized for snapping at her, but she was still a whimpering pile of misery, so I decided to start our review and hope that having something else to think about would improve her mood. It kind of did, but she dragged on everything else we did the entire morning. By the time we finished all our reviews and started language arts, it was already 11am. We introduced a new letter, which made both kids happy. But the copywork took forever (and I had the audacity to suggest that an "o" that looked like a 6 was evidence that P wasn't being careful enough, which resulted in a fresh outburst of tears). I got better results by running downstairs to reboot the laundry and wondering out loud if she could finish before I did. She read her reader fairly happily, though we had a few points of frustration. I think my perfectionism and her perfectionism played against each other to upset both of us. Even the activities I thought would be fun turned out to be frustrating (blindfold the kids and make noises behind them so they can guess what made the noise, but the kids thought it was more fun to sneak peeks; have P look through a picture book to tell the story, but she dawdled at every page and claimed not to know what happened although she eventually proved she did). I thought of giving it up after that, but lunch wasn't ready (I'd baked bread, and it was still in the oven, wider and flatter than I expected - see, even the bread was conspiring against me). So I insisted on the final copywork, which she did slowly and somewhat messily (though I did again require that the "o" that looked like a 6 be redone). The afternoon was happier - all our academic activities being over, the kids played outside in a large puddle for over an hour, and then P finished a sewing project - her first, a picture frame, and it turned out beautifully. I need to keep asking God to help me not yell when frustrated; it's a bad habit I've been trying to kick for years, and it's what ruined the morning.