Today is the first day back to school after what used to be called Christmas Vacation, which now goes by the more politically correct, but much less festive, Winter Break. The girls are still sleeping, as I am still in the stick-to-itive-ness phase of the New Year's resolution cycle and I am writing early, as I promised myself I would every day. If I make it for three weeks, this is supposed to become a habit, which, if it is anything like snapping my gum, or picking at small imperfections on my skin, should stick with me for life. I have some fear though, that only bad habits get stuck this way, as my yearly resolutions to be a better person and eat less fat have not ever really taken hold, even after some good three week runs.
But restarts are the order of the day, so I give myself credit for ignoring the siren call of Facebook and the many meandering diversions it offers, and diving right in to the down-to-business beginning of the new year, the mini "back to school" after vacation-- I mean, break
Last night, I rounded up the school stuff and made one last plea for the girls to get their over-the-break homework done. Actually, it was yesterday afternoon, because I can't stay up late any more, and, really, I didn't want to be looking for folders and backpacks once Downton Abbey came on-- new season for that too, of course. I had talked with the girls, especially Fiona, who came home two weeks ago with a forty page math "activity packet" and a small art project to be turned in today, about pacing themselves and not leaving everything for the last minute. I knew the art project could be done in an hour at most, so I set it aside to preserve it, and planned to do it Sunday morning, which is technically a whole day before the last minute.
The packet though, was a tougher thing. There is a part of me that doesn't believe in over-the-break homework--it is supposed to be vacation, even though they only call it break now-- so I had some moral pangs about hounding Fee to get it done. On the other hand, my best friend, who is a reading specialist, told me that kids can lose six months' ground over a two week break. Ouch! I was torn, but not torn enough to have it be an issue every day for two weeks. We started it Saturday. And it was painful. There was crying, begging, screaming, outrage-- and that was all me and Mike. Fiona had a very dramatic love-hate relationship with the whole thing, insisting she had to do it, but protesting that she couldn't, or didn't want to, or was too tired, or too hungry or too bored. After a day that included multiple time out sessions spent in her room reflecting on how wrong it is to talk back to your parents, Fee finally buckled down and got to work. As of this morning, we're at about 85% complete, and I think that's enough. Besides, it's time to round 'em up and move 'em out, back to school we go!
*Update-- the packet was completely untouched in Fiona's folder when she got home from school today: the work wasn't even collected! All that crying and misery was for nothing... I think I need a time out in my room to reflect on how important it is to let vacation be vacation-- I mean, break.
"Motivation Wall" from here. Downton pic from here.