Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cuddles, Love and Mrs. Cookie School

My three are home this week for their half-term break. I'm falling in love with the school calendar here. It's basically 6 weeks on, 1 week off and a much shorter break (5 weeks) during the summer than in most US schools.

I thought I might dread this week, especially as I've just begun a certification course in transformational leadership that I'm jumping-out-of-my-skin excited about. It's not The Passion Test yet, but once I'm through  (approximately 3 months) I'll be certified to coach clients toward success while finally achieving my own. I'll need plenty of practice to hone my skills, so contact me if you'd like a free session in return for a blog post or a Facebook shout-out for you non-bloggers.

Ear, Throat and Chest? Oh My!
I'm actually enjoying the time with my kids. The Boy is sick and needing constant cuddles (he's like a Koala bear even as I type). It sounds like a chest infection and he has a fever, so we're headed to the doctor in a bit (update: he has ear, throat and chest infections! Yikes!). How lovely that we can walk there in this spring-like weather that is the English winter. Lovelier still that with the National Health System I don't pay a dime for appointments nor for the childrens' medicines, which are dispensed on site.

We're immersing ourselves in board games, computer games, cuddles and videos and something the girls call Mrs. Cookie School. I have no idea how they came up with it, but back when I was a Kindermusik educator I would practice the songs and activities with them. Then, as they started preschool and began learning letters and numbers in a more organized environment (they'd been learning with me since birth, of course), they wanted the same at home on their off days. Thus, Mrs. Cookie school was born.

Worksheets, spelling practice, color-by-numbers where you have to do simple addition to get the number and all sorts of fun learning activities. They asked for it yesterday on their first day of vacation! I love my kids! So, for an hour we learned about George Washington and Abe Lincoln in honor of President's Day (have to teach them American History myself for the moment) and did two multiplication worksheets, two handwriting practice sheets and a silly tongue-twister word puzzle. I find great material at www.familyeducation.com - you have to register, but it's free.

It's fun to watch them learn and grow, to notice the differences in their learning styles and personalities. One girl is carefree and often careless, the other focused and meticulous. Both far smarter than me already with a love for learning. I take pride knowing that I've instilled a passion for learning simply by following their lead, their interests, their hearts.

Yes, I thought I might dread this week. But I'm loving it. Instead of trying to carve out time away from them, I'm stepping toward them in every moment. When I move toward them, they stop chasing me and my "me time" happens easily and naturally.

What is (or was) your favorite way to spend school breaks with your kids?


  1. I love how you said you are stepping towards them. That is how we should all be. I used to do "Mommy School". Enjoy your break with your children. :)

  2. I agree, the concept of stepping toward them is refreshing. Too many parents lament the time they miss on their own, but if you let it, the balance comes naturally.

    My kids are 8, 12 and 15. I step toward them when they're with me, and make sure I'm fully present. No phones, no laptops taking my attention. They at other times want to be left to their own devices, so that's where the balance comes.

    I love that you love motherhood so much.

    1. Thank you! I try to eliminate gadgets and be fully present with my kids for long blocks of time as well - especially for my little guy on his days off from school! Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

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