September 25, 2013 in Adventures in Parenting
The beginning of every school year is a crazy time. The kids have to adjust to new teachers, new classrooms, and new friends, and their stamina for learning has ebbed over the summer. At the end of the first week of school, my kids were exhausted.
I was exhausted too from writing checks, filling out paperwork, attending curriculum nights, and trying to wrap my head around their new schedules and responsibilities.
On the first Friday of the school year, after only a four-day week, I flomped down on the couch, turned on the TV, and zoned out entirely. I had a ton of work to do to get ready for a new year of Explore Art, but it was going to have to wait. Two of my three kids had homework assignments they needed to work on over the weekend, but those would have to wait too. They flomped down on the couch by me and we all lounged around like sloths, happy to have the night off.
But I’m an adult, and I knew I had an entire weekend of soccer games to attend, so as the sun gradually sank lower in the sky, I hauled myself up into a seated position, powered up my laptop, and slowly started to work.
A few minutes later, my youngest got off the couch, gathered up some markers and paper and set up a little work station right by me, using our coffee table as his desk. Without me saying a single word, he began his homework assignment that wasn’t due until Monday.
A few minutes after that, my oldest started wandering around the house with a pair of scissors. The next time I saw him, he was carrying a glue stick. Then I heard his voice from the other room asking where we kept the photo paper for the printer. He had started working on his own homework assignment…without me saying a single word.
My middle son, who was homework-free for the weekend, played quietly by himself and didn’t distract anyone from their work…without me saying a single word.
How did that happen, and how can I make that happen on a daily basis?
Was it because I was modeling a great work ethic?
Was it a reverse psychology event? Since I had told them they didn’t have to do any work, they naturally they chose to do the opposite?
Was it because I gave them free time to unwind a bit first, which I can’t do during the busy after school afternoons that are filled with soccer practices and homework?
Or were there supernatural forces in play that won’t reconvene in that exact manner for another 57 years?
I have no idea, but I enjoyed that Friday night quite a bit.
Here’s to a school year filled with homework nights like that one!