Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Joys of Homeschooling (on a rough day)

There are, indeed, many benefits to home schooling. Today is a day when I find it difficult to remember what they are. While tidying up and trying to get the house in ready-to-show-to-a-prospective-buyer shape this morning, the two boys were supposed to be doing their lessons that they can do on their own. Early on, I had to separate them and put them into different rooms so as not to distract one another. Once I had things looking fairly good... load of laundry in the washer, dishwasher humming, boys quietly doing their lessons... I asked if I could trust them for the few minutes it would take to have a quick shower... "Oh, sure, no problem" was the cheerful reply.

Ten minutes into my shower, the younger boy comes running into the bathroom (trying to escape the wrath of his older brother -- who wisely doesn't follow him in). I tell the younger one to sit down on the rug and wait while I squeegee the shower and get dressed and ready...

Here's the story... not long after I headed off to the bathroom... the older one can't stand not being in trouble, so decides to spit water in the general direction of the younger one -- mind you, he had to go to the other room to do this --

This infuriates the younger one, who proceeds to spit water back at the older while running after him throughout the house... yes, water spit all over my nice clean house.

We've had a rough week... the boys were already doomed to early bedtimes tonight and tomorrow night and no electronic games for the weekend (their only chance to play each week) due to previous transgressions. I was at a loss as to what new punishments I could devise. So... the younger one, who would happily be a couch potato all day long if allowed is getting no TV for the day (many tears over that one). The older boy (who needs physical activity to burn off his orneriness) had the choice of running 50 laps around the backyard or no electronic games for the rest of the month -- meaning an additional weekend (his punishment was more severe because he was the instigator and was supposed to be the good example).

No surprise, (and better for him), he chose the lap running. Do you think this will count toward his physical activity for the President's physical fitness program?

Think of it... the day is only half done!


Matt said...

When we were homeschooled, we lost video games regularly. We also had to go to our rooms for various lengths of time, which was particularly horrid because the only things in our rooms were beds, books, and desks. We usually spent the time laying in the doorway of the bedroom with out legs on the door-posts like sad pathetic puppies whose owners locked them in their cages.

If we have kids and homeschool them, we will never ground them from going out with friends. Being around the family and in the house too much is usually what drives cabin fever into full blown aggression, and grounding only makes it worse.

lvschant said...

We don't typically use 'grounding' as a punishment for two reasons... the one you mentioned, Matt -- the kids need that interaction and fun with other kids...

the second reason is how very much suffering on our (the parents') part such grounding would require... we don't really like disciplining very much, so try to find things that are quickly meted out and quickly finished, yet still effective.

We had friends who were constantly grounded as we were growing up... it seemed ineffective and unfair in many cases... arbitrary, even. My own parents never ascribed to the method, so it hasn't really been a thing we've done either.

As well as the running laps thing, I also like push-ups for a minor infraction -- in my mind, it gives them a bit of exercise, helps them burn off a bit of physical energy and (hopefully) helps them to be ready to focus on their schoolwork a bit more... again... a relatively quick thing with some positive value as well.