A friend had this as their status line on Facebook yesterday:
When most of what you do is because of what you think you're supposed to do you begin to resent. Happy is the person whose "wants" and "shoulds" coincide.
It made me think of one year in first grade. That particular year we had a heck of a class. The previous year teacher filled out a card on each child to be passed on to the new teacher. These were laid out on the table to form classes. Even number of boys/girls, even race distribution, siblings not together, special needs given to the right personality of teacher, etc. This particular year over half the cards we got looked like this:
Shelby's card: Do not seat next to Evan.
Evan's card: Do not seat next to Terrence.
Terrence's card: Do not seat next to Angel.
On and on it went. Figuring out a seating chart that year was like doing one of those slider puzzles you get as carnival prizes. There are only four corners in a room people.
All I'm saying is it was a difficult year. And so "literacy centers", as we had been trained to use them....weren't happening. They broke, tore, or destroyed every single thing we made to be used in center time. Laminating didn't help. Steel bars might have.
And so the Have To Do and Want To Do system was born. When your regular work was complete, you had to do a certain number of Have To Do tasks before you could choose from the Want To Do tasks. They were kind of literacy center type tasks, but they had to be completed at their desk. One at a time. There were very few privileges given to that class. By the way, some classes are just like that. Our school shuddered all the way to 5th grade with that group. I think we heard the middle school teachers scream the next year, but none of us were willing to go investigate.
Anyway, it drives me crazy when I hear Sweetheart talk about not liking school. What? You have it so good kid! One day she told me, "All us kids in my Bible class are sad that spring break is over. We don't want to go back to school!" I know she's picking up the "school sucks" attitude from friends who go to school but I'm not sure how it applies to her.
I promise all this is going to come together in a minute.
In the morning I am facing down a house that has fallen apart a bit over the weekend. I have to find the homeschool table again. There is laundry. Grocery shopping needs to be done. I am not looking forward to it. Where did I pick up this "housework sucks" attitude?
I realized today that my have to do's better become my want to do's or I am going to be pretty miserable in life. Sweetheart too. We talked about how you don't have to like school work, but you can still like learning. I think a lot of it is just that when you wake up, the day is not yours. I have housework. She has school. Neither is what we WANT to be doing.
I think this is where having a grateful attitude comes in. Counting your blessings is truly a great way to start the day.
I am blessed with a working washer and dryer.
I am blessed with the money and car to go grocery shopping.
I am blessed to be home to clean the house.
She is blessed to have a say in what she does in school. And in what order.
She is blessed to get to learn God's word in school.
She is blessed to get lots of play breaks and be done really early in the day.
Can counting your blessings turn "have to do's" into "get to do's"? What do you think?