Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So far, so good!

Well, I did it. I revived the old chore chart and added a section for Dinner time. Cameron helps with dinner Mondays and Thursdays and with the dishes Tuesdays and Fridays; Cassia helps with dinner Tuesdays and Fridays and with the dishes Wednesdays and Saturdays; Greyson helps with dinner Wednesdays and Saturdays and with the dishes Mondays and Thursdays; and Sunday anybody is free to help with anything (or I also reserve the right to ban everyone from helping if I so desire). So far, Cassia has been the most enthusiastic chef, never leaving my side and constantly asking "What can I do now?" and Greyson has been the most enthusiastic dishwasher. He was eager to begin, a quick learner when it came to rinsing advice, and very, very hard to get away from the sink when we were done. Cameron was a good sous chef but would do one thing, leave, and then wait to be called back. The jury is still out on his dishwashing skills. I suggested that he get a head start on his job by putting the prep dishes in the dishwasher (which I had already gone ahead and rinsed, by the way) and he just gave me that "Do I have to?" look and disappeared. That's pretty much par for the course with his attitude in general when I ask him to do anything. I'm willing to bet that's just pretty typical 8-yr old though. What he needs to learn is that he can't just slink away. He has to do it. He is starting to get the message, I think.

The rest of the chart is going well too. Cassia is a dynamo and had almost all of her morning chores done before 9am. WTG, Cassie! Cameron has been doing the bare minimum and pretty much only when he's forced to. Greyson is avoiding the whole concept and going with the view that if he doesn't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist. He's three, so I'll let that one work for now.

Schoolwork is on the chart too and I really like having it down on paper so I can say, "See, it has to be done!" Math is always first and foremost and Cassia has been great lately with forging ahead and doing two or three exercises at a time. Cameron does one, or two if they're really short. A month or so ago, things were much different. I couldn't even get Cassia to finish a page without her dissolving into frustrated hysterics. It's strange, she gets these nervous tics - noises, stutters, and fidgets - and she wasn't doing them at all then but she was getting ultra frustrated ALL the time. Now she's recently started the tics up again but she has more focus and determination in what she does. If I had to pick between the two, I'd definitely take the tics over the hysterics.

Most of the rest of our schoolwork comes from 4-H lately. We try read history and science a few times a week, but it's really hard to find time when it's calm enough (Greyson and Linus) to sit down and focus. I have high hopes that we will be finding more time soon though. One of our 4-H Projects is a book club. The book for January is The Phantom Tollbooth and we've been having a great time reading that. I really enjoy the wordplay and Cameron, especially, thinks it's hilarious. We had a project meeting today for the Money Project. The kids learned about goods and services and where to find those things in the neighborhood, as well as how to lead people to them using a map.

OK, I'm sure I had something more eloquent to say in there somewhere but my thought process got interrupted and now the house is filled with the screams of one who is not very happy with his new molars that are coming in. Linus barely slept at all last night and he's been screaming a LOT today too. I really hope he decides to sleep tonight....

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