Friday, February 5, 2016

Day 7: Failure or Flexibility?

Because I stayed up (too) late the night before working on the math spreadsheet ... and because the person I was sleeping next to spent the night dealing with fever and chills, I was a tired, tired girl in the morning.  I hadn't made any Five-A-Days for the kids. So, here was the true test.  Our experiment met its first big trial-by-fire.

I do have a tendency to procrastinate.  Sometimes I choose not to work because the work seems overwhelming.  But sometimes I choose "fun" work (like getting a spreadsheet up and running) over less fun work (like writing out Five-A-Day questions).  The night before I was telling myself I'd get up early and do them before the children woke up (which I have done several times over the course of this experiment).  When that didn't happen, I told myself I'd find a time somewhere to fit them in during the morning, since the kids didn't have to do them until the afternoon.

The result was that everybody had Math 5-A-Days, but nobody had any language.  So, was this a failure of the system (or a proof that I don't have the character qualities for a system like this)?  In hindsight, I truly think not.

First, the night before, what I had spent about three hours doing was setting up the review-topics section of the spreadsheet for each individual kid.  Yes, this was fun (for me).  But just because I'm enjoying my work doesn't necessarily prove I'm being lazy, selfish, weak or [insert other pejorative character trait].  This was good work that needed to be done.  And it was one-time kinda work.  Maintaining the spreadsheet on a daily basis will take moments, compared to the hours the initial set-up process took.  (Good thing I enjoy that kinda work, right?)

Secondly, because the math spreadsheet was fully up and running, and the language one wasn't (still isn't) it gave me a great chance to compare the process of making 5-A-Days with and without a fully functional spreadsheet!  Getting math set up was fun and easy - look down the list of topics that need review, pick a few and make questions to fit.  Language, on the other hand, was daunting (and so never got done) because it was more of a mental effort.  Not as much of the planning was laid out for me.

So, in the end, I think Day 7 was a great success.  We did morning school smoothly.  And I had a chance to see what a great resource and tool the spreadsheet is!  Gives me even more motivation to get another (others?) up and functional!!

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