And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another First Day Behind Us

It was the first day of school at the Carter Chaos household. Last year we were so ready to start, so bored, so excited that we began a whole week early. I was so prepared. I even had lunches planned and fixed. We didn't get off to such a roaring start today...... Now I'm a planner so I do have the first few weeks planned out in my nifty Well Planned Day planner (see the sidebar for link!) but there were no lunches waiting in the fridge, the house isn't quite clean, and there were some grumpies chasing us into the classroom.

The best thing I can say about today is we did it. We finished. I did have a new reward/ punishment system all ready and they were excited about it and I expected that it would be all successful on the reward side for at least 3 weeks. Sigh..... both children "lost letters" today resulting in a loss of screen time and no hope for out new treasure chest at the end of the week. They couldn't make it 3 days. Heck they didn't even make it 3 hours!

Thankfully I know this is just a season. We had such a super busy, fun, rewarding summer that I knew it would be hard to tune back into school mode. We really didn't have the long, leisurely break that we enjoyed last summer. As Apple & Speedy will tell you it wasn't really summer because we didn't go to the beach. However, we will survive. We will prevail. And we wait expectantly for the next great blessing the Lord bestows upon us.

As for our new system, my kids are all into screens right now, computer, DS, TV, Wii, etc. They both have a hefty wish list of more screen items waiting for Christmas. I have grown weary the last few weeks of "Mom, can I watch a movie?" "Mom, can I play DS?" "Mom, mom, MOM!" and I knew it had to end. We also were very blessed to have lots of school supplies just bestowed upon us over the summer. One was a Treasure Chest and we received many items perfect to fill said chest. So I bought each child an inexpensive kitchen timer (the old style that you turn the dial) and I made each of them a laminated chart of 30 min increments. They have up to 2 hours everyday. Each day the word STOP will be written on the board for each of them in our classroom. If they disobey a classroom rule (#1 and #5 are "DO YOUR BEST") then they have a letter marked off. Each letter represents one of those 30 minute screen blocks. The Treasure Chest will offer 1 reward on Friday for anyone who can keep all of their letters all week. My mom says it's too complicated. I pray it keeps them from asking me if they can do screen time and that it efficiently controls the amount of time they stare at screens. I may have to make Apple one for reading too. A problem I never thought I would have! {Not really going to make one for reading but it is tempting.}

I have also made a jar of chore sticks but I don't quite have it figured out in my mind how to implement those yet. Plus I want them to get the hang of the STOP system first. We used STOP towards the end of the year last year in a much simpler form. They actually just lost 15 mins of TV time for each letter that was marked but it wasn't very effective because we weren't really limiting their time as much and it was kind of vague.

So tomorrow we wake up and pray for a smooth day of school! :)

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