Friday, November 6, 2009

Trading Places

It seems that, at this time of year, at least where we live, attitudes start a bit of a downward spiral. It may be that it's getting colder (first snow today!) and we spend a lot more time indoors. It may be that the newness of the school year has worn off and we start getting into a bit of a rut. It may be that it's almost completely dark (ugh) by dinner time.

Whatever the cause, we've had more than the usual amount of whining, bickering and unpleasantness around here lately. I was pretty discouraged about it one day and, in thinking over possible remedies, I came up with the idea of switching places with Z-Man for a day. (Actually, I came up with a lot of ideas but that was, ahem, the only productive one.) Guess what? He was really excited about it! Actually, I think he viewed it as his opportunity for parent-sanctioned dictatorship but, hey, he was excited and sometimes you'll just take that, you know? He immediately started planning his lessons for the next day and filling mine and Little Man's activity boxes.

We had a great day! Z-Man came up with some great ideas! Here's my first activity box:

We're on Italy this week in our trip around the world (I'm way behind in blogging about it, but I'll get there.) Z-Man gave me the assignment to draw a map of the canals in Venice from Papa Piccolo. I think I did a great job, if I do say so myself.

My next box was a collaborative effort between Z-Man and Mark - thank you SO MUCH for the long division, Honey.

But he did have Z-Man work out the answers for his "teacher's answer key" so they got a little math in under the radar. Love that.

My third box was actually one of HIS assignments that he hadn't completed the day before. In order to complete it, I had to read chapter 4 of Daniel so naturally I read it out loud. In fact, I did the whole assignment out loud and then asked Z-Man to check it to make sure I had done it correctly.

Z-Man had Little Man sing the ABC's through twice with him for his first box. His second was this:

Little Man had to count the balls. Notice the smiley faces saying "yes" for each one he got right.

His third box was a treasure hunt! All these toys were hidden in his rice box (our version of an indoor sand box.)

After our work was done, we were assigned a game of football in the living room and then we watched a movie. Later in the day, I heard him telling his friend on the phone how awesome it was!

I think we'll definitely do this one again!

What are some other ideas for combatting bad attitudes? Comments are always welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes we just need to get OUT of the house. We go to ToysRus, or Target, or walk around the mall, just the 4 of us, checking out super cool stuff, lol.

    Other times, when the kids are particularly miserable we plan a play date with other kids in the family, or go to a movie (free at MVCC) or even dinner with Grandma and Grandpa.

    When we can't do those things we usually switch it up and even skip school for a day by making forts, playing games all day or reorganizing a room by completely moving things around. But my fave is definitely getting out of the house.