Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Activities When Everyone Is Grumpy

My morning began like this...
The Star Wars theme song (the one where Darth Vader walks in the room) starts blaring in my ear.  My husband's phone was approximately 2 inches from my face.  Ugh.  Who wakes up to that?  I stumble out of bed, and go try to wake up, while my husband just keeps sleeping like nothing ever happened.  Gggrrrr.

I sat on the living room floor and tried to stretch out a little, when I see something out of the corner of my eye.  It's fall, and I am on high alert.  There are spiders and crickets and who knows what all over the place right now.  I practically fall over myself trying to get away from the two giant spiders I see.  I flip the light on, shoe in hand ready to attack...the pretzels my daughter dropped on the ground.  Ugh.

Having a stressful morning?  Nothing seems to be going right?  Your child has been up a mere five minutes and you are already fighting about something?  

My daughter and I have had our fair share of rough mornings since we started homeschooling.  Here are some of my ideas for dealing with days that just are not going as planned, and bad attitudes.

Grab a small basket.
Go on a walk.
Follow your child's lead.  
Look at the grass and leaves.  If there are any leaves on the ground collect a few in your basket.  If there aren't any on the ground, pick a few off the trees.  

Talk about the changing weather.  Is it windy?  cloudy?  

Getting outdoors is usually enough to improve both my mood and my daughter's.  

Take the leaves back home and sort them by type.  This took us about thirty seconds since we have 3 types of trees in our neighborhood.
Still have a grumpy child?  Sandwich a leaf between paper towel (on top) and paper (on bottom) and give them a little hammer (think Melissa and Doug wooden tool kit, but regular one works too) and let them hit the covered leaf.  Talk about what happens.

Glue the leaves to a paper.  You can be creative and make butterflies with drawn on legs and such or you can just glue a bunch of leaves to a piece of paper.    

 Thumbs are perfect for making leaves.  Print off (or draw) a tree with branches and no leaves.  Give him/her a green ink pad, and let them loose.

 Q-tips make great apples for a thumbprint tree.
 Don't worry if your child's finished product doesn't look like the finished projects on Pinterest.  My daughter decided some of the apples were falling to the ground, hence the long red lines.  Children do not need to color perfectly inside the lines for them to be successful in life.  :)  O loves messy work.  For whatever reason it is a great stress reliever for her, so when we are having a rough day, I give her art projects.

Ask for help at home.  Hmm, I have this black thing with wires.  What do you think it is used for O?  It has a dip in it for something round.  Here are some eggs.  Hey!  Do you think this contraption might be used for slicing eggs?  Show me how you would do it, O.  Children (at least my child) often feel unvalued at home, and like they don't have an important purpose.  Give them jobs they can do so they feel appreciated and 'part of the team'.

Go to the playground.  We always find someone there to play with, and O has an abundance of energy she needs to let out.  This girl is going to move mountains one day, mostly because she has the energy to do so.  :)

 Let your child play outside while you still can.  Enjoy the last of the warm days as much as possible. It really wasn't that cold out, but she wanted to wear mittens and gloves, so I handed them over.  Most mornings start with O playing outside on that teeny tiny tricycle.  She gets to be outside (her favorite place to be) and she gets rid of some energy.  She also has a few minutes of quiet to herself to observe things like the bazillion grasshoppers and spiders around our house.

Side note:  Yes, she has a regular bike.  No, she doesn't want to use it.

They are only little once, and you (and possibly grandma) will be the only one(s) impressed that they learned their ABCs at age 2.  It is way more important to live life and learn manners, respect, and thinking/analytical skills.

How do you survive a bad day of homeschool?

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