Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Adventures in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 living! We have been implementing this verse for the past month, and it has been working beautifully. The boys have had many good days, when they get their school work done before lunch easily, and just a couple of bad days, when they didn't eat anything but breakfast and water until 8 or 9pm.

Side note: Keep in mind that their school work is all independent, and takes them 1-2 hours to complete, if they are focused. We have chosen independent curriculum for a reason! I have four little people to care for, and a house to take care of, and laundry, and dishes, and food to prepare... I can not do all of my jobs well if I have to stand beside them and hold their hand while they learn. We are raising independent learners!

So, back to the update: I still love it. I don't have to nag, remind, cajole, bribe, anything. If they want to eat, they have to do the work. And they really like to eat.

As a reminder, here is our daily routine. When one task is completed, they may begin the next task.
Morning Hygiene

This week, I discovered that I need to begin Phase 2. Kitchen open/closed times. The reason for this is that if the kitchen is open (food is available) all day, at any time, then they have no reason to want to finish by a certain time. They just grab a sandwich at 2pm, which then leaves a mess for me to clean up. They try, but we have ants right now, so every crumb needs to be off of the counters, and they are boys... you get the idea. But if I say that lunch is from 12-1, and the kitchen closes at 1 and doesn't re-open until snack time at 4, then they whip themselves into shape and get busy! Or at least, that is the plan.

Today, they chose to play a game at breakfast time. I just watched, not saying anything, letting them enjoy their time together. I figured they would end the game and get busy. Nope. They messed around until 11:45, when I started talking out loud, to myself (ha!) about what I would make for lunch. Uh-oh.

There was much whining, crying, cajoling, bribing, nagging (all on their part), but The Mama didn't budge. A light bulb blinked on over my red head (isn't that how all genius happens?), and I decided to implement the "closed kitchen" idea. They had an hour to get their school work done before the kitchen closed. They could get it done if they worked hard. Did they make good choices? Did they use their time wisely?

They pulled out the watercolors. (I am editing this post to add that anyone who knows me knows that my eye started twitching at this point. One, rules were being broken. Two, paint. Enough said.)

So, lunchtime rolled around, and no one was done with their school. Hmmm...

I heated up my food, and my 3-year-old's food, and we sat down to eat, at which point all of the school work leaves the table for the day and has to be taken to the basement to be worked on. After all, we wouldn't want a drink to spill and ruin a school book, right? Oh, dear. The noises I heard! I sat down and calmly ate my lunch.

No one had finished their school work by the time the kitchen closed at 1pm. So, I gently reminded them that when the kitchen re-opened at 4pm for snack time, they needed to have their school work AND chores done in order to get a snack.

I have never seen my children work harder or faster than they did today. They finished up their last subjects of school work, and get this! They *helped each other* get their chores done so that they could both eat snack. Holy textbooks! I about fell over. Yes, I know, that's not proper grammar. But I did.

Rules and consistency work! It has taken me 9 years to figure that out, but it is beginning to sink in.