The end of the year burnout. Familiar across the board to any and all in the world of schooling. The weather begins to warm up (we still aren't quite there). Singing birds and flowers blooming, who feels like doing math?
It's not only the kids who are ready to be outside. My toes get itching for some dirt. I find myself staring outside at my bare garden as one of my children recites their lessons to me. Half paying attention, both of us yearn to be somewhere else.
No matter the call of the yard, a good mom presses on. Or she feels a need to press on so as to avoid the neighbors calling the authorities and turning her in for calling it quits in April. She has to get creative. It's the end of the year. My bargaining power has decreased to
nothing. Enticements like, "You can do spelling on the computer!" are met with eye rolling.
Enter The Mathmallow.
This would be a huge marshmallow. It's about the size of a 6 year old's fist. You probably have some in an opened bag in the far reaches of your cabinet. That's where I discovered ours. Remnants from our last fall night of s'mores, long forgotten and getting hard. These marshmallows have a hard outer shell, and a pretty firm inside too. In a house where sugar has become forbidden, this rock solid block of sugar is sheer temptation. Dangling it in front of any child will encourage them to complete their math in record breaking time. Thus, these sugar boulders are named, "The Mathmallow." They will make your days much easier.
Also, introduce your youngest students to the rolls of art paper that we never have time to use. Math drills aren't fun (which is why we need Mathmallows). If the aforementioned Mathmallow has already been consumed, then doing a math drill on super huge paper with crayons might work. It does for us.
We have also created an "End of the Year" paper chain. Instead of the green and reds that accompany such a chain during the Christmas season, this one is made with any old paper that you have around the house. The kids don't care what it looks like, they just want to rip it apart, piece by piece. You don't need to care what it looks like, because you want it to be ripped to shreds too. The daily delight of tearing one chain off is enough to get some of the kids to finish their schoolwork. Watching the chain shrink each day will help you make it through the rest of the year.
We press on toward our summer vacation which starts in 27 days.
But, who's counting?