Monday, December 15, 2008

'Tis the season to negotiate

Mid-December in our house is when the children come to me and ask when their Christmas break begins. They get the kitchen calendar and the lesson-plan book and start their arguments or negotiations.

They begin with pointing out how much school work they have completed. I respond by showing how much is left to complete by the end of our academic year.

They move on to how much potential help they could be with housework if they had no school work. I remind them that this year is a calm year for us. For the first time in three years we are not moving; our home is not on a Christmas tour of homes; we are not hosting the annual Christmas night dinner for the extended family. And this year is an off-year for our big Christmas cookie bake. (We only bake dozens and dozens of cookies to give away every other year.)

Finally, because they know that from my point of view this is the weakest argument, they list everyone they know who is already out for Christmas break.

The end result is that the timing of the break remains the same: December 19 will be our last day of school work, and we will resume our studies on January 5. However, I agree to less daily work - only math and reading. And for reading, instead of their assigned literature they can read Christmas books. They may sleep in late this week, but they have to complete their work before 2:00 p.m. each day.

I think we're all happy with this arrangement.



Blogger Dominion Family said...

This is almost the identical situation I have every year and we are also only doing math and reading this week. I love the cookie idea. Ever other year seems like a good bargain.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Wool Winder said...

Do you build in some compromise room into the lesson plan knowing that this will happen every year?

7:31 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, in a way. I plan for 36 weeks of work. Depending on when we start and how many breaks we take our end time can can be moved up to early May, or extended to mid-June.

I don't care when we start or stop, but I insist on three months of summer vacation, and my preference is to start after Labor Day and end at the beginning of June.

But we are flexible... .

9:47 AM  

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