Monday, 18 March 2013

Messes and Motivation

We have a set of mini-drawers in our study - drawers full of paper clips, drawing pins, elastic bands, split pins, blutack and foldback clips.  It is a sad confession, but I love these little drawers of bitty bits of stationery: they make me feel organised, and appeal to the little girl in me who always loved things in miniature.  Apparently I'm not the only one fascinated by them either, as on Friday evening I walked into the study to discover that "someone" had tipped out every single drawer (except the blutack one for some reason) onto the floor and into a huge cardboard box!  I wasn't surprised to discover later it was a certain four year old assisted and doubtless encouraged by his seven year old brother.  It's one of those sights that you walk in on and just want to turn around and walk out again.  In fact I'm pretty sure I did just that initially. A bit later I did start trying to pick it all up, then I realised that was entirely the wrong thing to do.  So when the boys woke up the next day we had a "little chat" and I explained that as they had made the mess deliberately, they would sort it all out & put everything back into the little drawers (I swept it all into a big box so they didn't tread on anything by accident).  Initially Youngest was very reluctant (I'm not surprised: it was a total mess), so they've been doing a bit every now and then, and today I sat down with them while they finished it off - miniature order restored!  It actually turned out to be fun, and a great opportunity for them to do some maths (counting into groups of ten, as that was how I motivated them to do a bit at a time) and some sorting into appropriate drawers etc... as well as the very important lesson that if you make a mess, you take responsibility for clearing it up, rather than assuming that "someone else" (Mummy) will!

As a 'thank you' for doing such a good job tidying their mess, we then made some chocolate orange & pecan cookies together.  Pecans are amongst the few nuts that the boys will eat - I think it's because they're not as hard as most other nuts.  Anyway, the cookies were totally scrumptious!

Once that was finished this morning, Youngest got onto Reading Eggs and stayed on for ages... Middle had to wait until the afternoon to have his turn, so he took some time to do some more work on his lapbook (as did Eldest).  He has been getting less and less inclined to do it lately, even though he chose it himself - and I realised it was because he was finding all the writing too arduous.  I do want him to enjoy writing, and enjoy lapbooking - so  I made a suggestion that he liked: he dictated to me what to write, and I typed it up (his typing is currently even slower than his writing), then we printed it and he cut and pasted the printed text onto the mini flapbooks etc.  That definitely put the smile back on his face, so we were all pleased.  Even so, once this lapbook is finished I think I'll hold back on letting him start another one - I want to be sure he's really interested rather than having a 'good idea for a subject' and then rapidly losing motivation.

There were a couple of friends heading to a park meet today, & having had a fairly quiet weekend I was in two minds about whether or not to join them; I thought we all might need a spot of fresh air... but the boys seemed velcroed into their pjyamas, and mindful of Friday's decision to reclaim our time at home, I just let it slide. Instead we had a picnic in front of the TV, letting the boys watch the recorded 'Got to Dance' final... lovely stuff!

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