Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Can I Live With the Coupons?

    I stumbled upon this blog one day with some wonderful, FREE, printable, Back to Homeschool Coupons.  I loved them.  I pictured them adding so much fun to our schooling; the kids could work together to hand in any coupon on any given week (but only one per week).  I loved the idea of being more spontaneous.  I loved giving the kids the freedom to chose where we do school or what we do for school some days.  I loved the IDEA of them.  I printed them out on colored card stock, cut them out, punched holes in them and threaded them onto large rings so the kids could tote them around.


    The coupons were met with enthusiasm and we read through them together.  They got excited at the idea of a day for swimming, a day for board games, a day for doing school at the library, and even taking a day off from school.  They carried them all around the house the first week, reading, re-reading and plotting when to use them all.

   It's been two weeks and I'm not so sure I like them anymore.  I still think they are an amazing idea but I think perhaps I should have waited until January to give them to the kids.  They just aren't working well for us-- AT ALL!

   I did not take our homeschooling routine and lifestyle into account and these coupons are leaving me feeling angry, annoyed and anxious.   WHY? You may ask.   Well, let me tell you.

    You see, we've never been the type of family to jump back into our schoolwork because the calendar says it September or because all the local schools are back in session.  In fact we tend to put off "starting school" until October most years.  We often take September to enjoy lots of field trips, a family vacation and just start a slow meander back to a routine.  Over the past few weeks I've typically only planned one full day of school work each week..... and, of course, those are the days my kids are trying to hand in their coupons and get out of doing any of it.

   I wanted these coupons to be fun and I find they're leading to bad feelings between us all and the kids are feeling like I never really intended for them to use them.  Even though I sighed and rolled my eyes I did allow Ian to turn in his game day coupon today and really it was fine.  By the time we scoured all the shelves and pulled off all the games they wanted to play I realized we would be covering many, if not all, subjects through board games today.  Buy I still longingly looked at our pile of books and knew we would not be making  a dent in them this week either.

   We played Qwirkle and we used math skills to keep score, problem solving skills to figure out our next move and good sportsmanship to encourage each other.  We played Memory working on our memory skills.  We played American Trivia working on geography and history facts.  We played Scrambled State of America & GeoBingo World working on even more geography skills.  Evan and I played one of his File Folder Games for Reading working on learning long and short vowel sounds and really with most of the games Evan was reading the names of states and countries.  Alec played Sudoku working on his math & logic skills.  All three boys played Hangman at lunch and tried to stump us all with the words and phrases they came up with working on spelling and decoding skills.



    So all in all I guess it was a good thing to break out the coupons and get me out of my comfort zone; reminding me of the skills we learn through play.  We had a wonderful day of school!  

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