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We all know what they are. We all have them at least once in a while. We all wonder if anyone else has them.

It’s “one of those days.”

Maybe the toddler is being overly sensitive, and the middle boy is being easily distracted. The oldest is whining that she is the only homeschooler she knows who has to work during the day.  And even I want to be grouchy!

Actually, I am grouchy but trying not to be. And I don’t really want to work that hard on it because I’m busy trying to balance a budget and put together a grocery list with too little funds left for buying anything of substance.

I don’t really have time for “one of those days.”  But it’s here, and I must face it head on!

I learned a long time ago that on such days, it isn’t worth fighting with my children to get them to work traditionally. The work they get done will be shoddy, and I will stay grouchy. The toddler will cry all day. I will end up yelling at the oldest two and feeling miserable afterwards.

I check the gas level in the car and the air in the bike tires to decide which alternative activity we can do. As it turns out, there is enough gas in the car to go to the big wooden playground 20 minutes away.

I can work on bills after the kids go to bed and put a grocery list together while they play. The toddler’s nap is a wash, but he’ll probably sleep on the way home.

So we pack lunch, bikes, scooters, and the now smiling children into the car. On the ride, the happy children practice times tables orally, discuss the history of the slaves and their freedom, point out buildings that are old enough to have been standing during the Civil War, wonder what life would have been like on the plantations we pass on our way to the farm, and then spend the day in the fresh air of a wonderful little park.

We fly kites on the hill and look for clouds that remind us of animals. A stop at the library is a must so we can pick out a movie to watch together after dinner.

We make this day a day to remember because we enjoyed spending time together—rather than because we spewed our grouchy moods on each other.

The school to-do list will not be completely checked off and there will be work to make up, but I go to bed with a smile on my face.

Lisa Blauvelt (with her family and three dogs, two cats, a horse, pony, donkey, two red eared turtles, a fluctuating number of tadpoles and baby fish, and various other creatures collected by her adventurous boys) puts her education degrees to work at her home in the Deep South.  There she teaches not only her own children, but others who come to her home to learn. Her decade long experience in teaching children to read will soon be published as a 476 page guide for parents.

 

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