Finding the holidays tough? Why not ramp it up by opening the book bag? And realising that you have squandered half the week on having fun when you should have been cracking on with the…holiday project.
“Having fun” is perhaps a little too strong. The bedding-down stage of any holiday is always a little tough on all involved – if also lovely to have your babies home. You’ve all just about settled into being around each other all the time – when you spot something in the hall. Hidden under the detritus of the day trips you have manfully taken your family on, there nestles the source of all discontent.
The book bag.
You open it with bated breath. It’s like remembering it’s spelling day when you haven’t even looked at the list, but many times worse. This isn’t ten measly words we’re talking about.
It’s a …project.
“Oh, look, darling, you’ve got a project on c-c-castles!” I trill at my seven-year-old.
Instantly the response comes:
“It’s not fair! It’s my holiday too! That’s LOADS! I don’t even know what a battlement looks like!”
And that’s just from me.
All I get from my son is a nonchalant shrug as he continues playing Cut the Rope.
That is, until I say, “5 minutes more, and then we need to start doing your writing.”
“I HATE writing! Why doesn’t he have to do any homework?”
He means his brother. Who is 5. But who, oh yes, it turns out, ALSO has a project.
I have a pair of projects. A couple of crammers. A hellfire of homeworks.
Why, why do we have to have holiday homework? I’m not saying my sons don’t need the extra stimulation and practice at schoolwork. But I literally have to coax and beg every written word or picture out of them. The holiday rhythm we worked so hard to establish is shattered by my incursions into their chillaxing time to do written work.
Yes, after many Tangfastics and TV ban threats, we get it done eventually. It’s nice to have a sense of achievement of having completed something more special than the standard worksheets and reading books. My eldest even won a star award from his teacher for his last project. Which made me incredibly proud.
But at what cost? Never truly feeling we can relax, until it’s done. Having at least one extra row a day with my dearest offspring over and above the usual mealtime / TV / putting shoes on rows?
Of course, we could do it all the first weekend and get it over with. But everyone needs a break at the end of a term or half-term, and I feel forcing them to start work when they’ve only just shed the school routine is too much for my pair.
Maybe it’s just us that finds it so invasive? Do you have any tips for making holiday projects painless?
A huge thanks to everyone who supports my blog, and to BritMums – I am thrilled to be through to the Final of the Brilliance in Blogging Awards.