So remember how we took off of school from Thanksgiving to New Years and how wonderful that break was for all of us?? 6+ weeks of cookies, cocoa, and Christmas music?? It was glorious.. and so that first Monday back at school was SUCH. A. BUMMER. Savan and Andrew dragged and fussed and cried and we put our school books away early. The next day, it was just as dreadful. After a week, I was done.
I couldn't believe it!! The rest had been so good for us.. but was it worth it if the getting back into routine was going to be such torture?!! At this point, I was thinking - we may not even take weekends off anymore if this is how hard it's going to be on Monday morning, ha!!
So, about a week later, after we had once again had a rough academic morning, we took a family walk. As the kids rode their bikes and scooters ahead of us, I talked to Wade about how difficult our 2017 schooling had started off. How in the world was I going to keep going like this, stressing about getting Savan and Andrew excited and ready for school again?!
My brilliant Wadie said, "Well... what if they started working towards a goal?? What if they got to pick a prize and after so many days of doing school with a happy attitude, they earned that reward??" My heart leapt then and there!! That made sense!! YES!! I remember doing positive reinforcement things in my classroom like this - popcorn parties, movie parties, extra recess, etc!! What better way for the kids to see that their hard work pays off than with their schooling?! Working hard now to enjoy the benefits and rewards later!! It was perfect!!! Kisses and hugs to my Wadie!! XOXO
And thus was born our "Philippians 2:14 Chart" - After each day of doing school with a happy and cheerful heart (with no grumbling or complaining!), the kids got to add a sticker/smiley face to their chart. They each picked a prize to work towards and when it was all filled in, the whole family joined in to celebrate!!
Y'all. This made all the difference in the world!!! Overnight, my kids became excited and ready for school.. looking forward to it, getting out their books and supplies right after breakfast, drying up any tears that threatened.. all for the sake of adding a smiley to their chart. It was a MIRACLE!! Thank You, Jesus, for my wise, wise hubby!! (Just to clarify - we do still have hard days!! There are days when smileys just don't happen. It's not perfect, but it's SUCH an improvement.. and I think there's a lesson even in that.)
Andrew's first prize?! A fishing trip!!! (He had said a popcorn party first, just like Van, but then changed his mind.. The OCD person in me couldn't stand the thought of scribbling out what I had already written at the bottom, so Fishing Trip just had to be understood, ha!!)
Andrew was the first one to fill in his chart and so we started making plans for our fishing trip in Jena!!
Gorgeous day. Beautiful boys. Pond full of fish. Now this is living. ;))
Doing school happily really pays off.. You get to hold squishy, slimy, dirty WORMS!!!
Getting everyone set up and situated..
Love you so much, all my little fishermen!!
We love our Emmalee.. she takes us for rides on the Rhino and even lets Vannie drive! ;))
First fish of the day!!
Poppa and Samuel had a good time cruising around on the 4-wheeler together.
Paw came out and gave Andrew a few pointers..
All the heart eyes in the world!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't get why it's fun to catch and release, but this little boy didn't mind a bit..
Andrew, Mommy is so proud of youuuu!! I love your eagerness to learn, your cheery disposition, and your zest for life!! I adore being your mom and am so thankful you are ours. Keep up the good work, my little boy!!