Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Homeschooling a Child with Spring Fever

Ahh, the sound of chirping birds awakens me most mornings. It's a great thing. The weather wonderful and I can leave the windows and doors open during the day. Spring flowers are starting to bloom all around the house and the neighbors yards. Even the cats have taken to spending more time outside.

For me, this is a great time. When Sarah is done with her work early, we all get to go out and play. But lately, Sarah has been a bit mopey when it comes to her work. I started noticing it a few weeks ago. Then Daniel mentioned that his students go through a stage of Spring Fever right before Easter break. They get distracted and unmotivated. For Sarah, she just decided to spend 1 1/2 on every subject (and that was on good days)!

Well, last week I decided a cure had to be administered. I believe it was Thursday that she had an extreme desire to not complete her work. By 3 o'clock, I had had enough. I told her that her teacher sent home a note and she was grounded for the rest of the day! Since her teacher and I are pretty tight, I had no doubts that Sarah needed a bit of correction.

Most parents think a good grounding will do the trick right away. Not so with Sarah. She normally doesn't mind spending a day in her room too much. But, the weather is now warmer and the days are longer. And our back yard connects with two other backyards where all the kids play. On top of that, her room faces those backyards. Therefore, she can see and hear all the fun that her friends are having without her. It's a rough dose of medicine.

Friday came and went with a totally new attitude from Sarah. Things still were not perfect, but the work was completed. Now we get to Monday and the testing of the cure for Spring Fever came back in full. (Kids always like to make sure that we are really going remember previous disciplinary decisions.) So once again on a beautiful day, Sarah got to view the neighborhood kids from her window for the night.

I must admit to you that it is hard to make her stay inside on a lovely day. Children are meant to run free and have fun on days like that. But this medication strategy has paid off. Today she stayed focused on school, did her chores and went to play outside with her friends. I have a feeling that the rest of the week will be the same! And, we may even get to the park!

For the moment, Spring Fever is cured!