I really love Mondays. It's the start of a brand new week. A new beginning. Last Monday started out great. I had gotten everything I needed ready for school Sunday afternoon so I didn't have to rush around Monday morning. We got all of our morning work completed and had fun doing it. We had a great recess with some beautiful weather. But after recess it started to go down hill. Our afternoon can be a little chaotic at times with so many children at so many different learning levels. As I often tell them there is only one of me and seven of them (well six in our homeschool since Chelsea is at college) and as much as I try to keep everything systematic and running smoothly in the afternoon, sometimes one thing can throw everything off.
Last Monday that one thing was a missing Math DVD. Monday is watch your video day for Math U See. Each child's DVD is supposed to be kept on a certain shelf in our school room. Christian's was missing. A quick search on our movie shelf downstairs and the TV area upstairs did not produce the DVD. Time spent looking for the DVD got me both behind schedule and exasperated. We skipped over Christian's math since Anthony had already finished his and moved on to Spelling at which point Christian (already frustrated about me being exasperated over the math DVD) has a melt down because he could not remember how to spell any of his words from the week before and we had to review instead of moving on. Everyone else gets done for the day except for Christian's math which we decide to go ahead and do without the DVD. Apparently my method of explanation was not working, and by the time we were halfway through the math lesson I wanted to go and beat my head against a table for a long time and Christian was starting to cry.
So we declared school done for the day. It was time for a snack and a break, for me and the children. You see, it is not fair to my children for me to try and teach them when I am frustrated and exasperated. It is not fair for me to expect Christian to be able to pick up his math and just do it like his older brother. He is only 7 and needs me to be able to work patiently with him one on one.
When Mommy is frustrated so are your children. Our attitude plays a big part in how our day will go. If we have a happy, patient attitude, the day will go much smoother than if we are grumpy and impatient.
When you get to the point where you need a time out, take one. Even if it makes your laundry get a little behind or supper later will end up a few minutes late. Everyone needs some time to recharge and your family will thank you for it. Even though I know this, that doesn't always mean I do it. But my experience with Christian on Monday reminded me. I do not want my children remembering a grumpy impatient mommy who made them cry over a math DVD. 15 min of reading a book for myself and I was ready to take on the world again!
I also want to mention that sometimes putting away something that is causing a frustration for a child for a day or two or whatever can also make a huge difference. They can get frustrated even when we are having a good day and sometimes all they need is a little fresh perspective too :)
By the way, I found the DVD, apologized to Christian for being so impatient, and determined that Tuesday was going to be much better. I sat down with him every other day that week and worked every math problem with him to make sure he understood the concept and we changed up our spelling routine so it would be more fun to review those dreaded words. The rest of our week went great :)