Half Term Antics
So after my last post of losing sight of what really matters. This half term has been a week of rest. However, I do find doing completely nothing stressful so at the beginning of the week I listed all the tasks that needed to be completed and what the expectations were for my ASD children. The rest of the time was free for them to spend as they wished. They pretty much wished to spend it on YouTube or gaming.
So my eldest had practise test papers to do, as he sits his mocks next week. He hates it because he see's home as his time and not for school work. He's not done any homework in secondary school because he gets so wound up over it. However, this half term I have gently encouraged him to do his practise papers and then I would sign in his electronics. By setting expectations at the beginning of the week and breaking tasks up, it appears to have worked - he has completed all of them! If you're wondering how he has managed to get away with not doing homework, he attends a specialist school for autism and we have an agreement not to make homework an issue with the school.
Son number 2 still had his computer science lesson to attend this week, as his home education timetable is different. He wasn't impressed but it was only an hour long lesson and he has 2 weeks to do his assignment. The younger 2 had optional homework on the suffragettes, which we did together. I'm not mean - the homework was fun, as well as educational. We discussed who they were and what they already knew. I then asked them some questions to make them think and explore the topic more. They then each had to find out 3 facts to write out and then we made cakes that said 'votes for women' on them.
Each child has chores they have to do each day as standard, but in the holidays each child has a turn at being my helper for the day, to get the housework done. This teaches them independence, as they will need these skills for life as an adult . Also I think it helps them to realise that even in your time off from school/work, there are still tasks that need to be done and completed. We live in a 5 bed house so there are lots of rooms to do. I roughly follow the organised mum method for cleaning but on the 5th day I don't always have time to tackle the extra jobs, so we tend to do a deeper clean in the holidays, when I have a helper. This is how it looked:
Monday = Living Room
Tuesday = Entrance Halls (we live in a town house)
Wednesday = Kitchen
Thursday = Day Out
Friday = Bedrooms
Bathrooms get done everyday by me (I live with 4 boys) and we do clean up after ourselves when we use the kitchen etc as we go. I do washing/drying every other day. Bed sheets/towels/throws in between clothing washes.
The weekend jobs are split into:
Mum = completing all washing drying, ironing, food shop
Boys take it turn to do = sorting out pants and socks, empty the bins, cleaning up dog poo in the garden and take out recycling including compost caddy.
The boys needed their hair cut this week. I have a clipper set and do this myself. My younger 2 are growing their hair so i just give them a trim. Son 2, doesn't care what I do as long as its quick and not fiddly. Son 1, complains whatever I do, but at least he let me do it and its tidier than before. I bought the clipper set and watched YouTube video's. I'd love to do a course so I can learn to cut their hair properly but they are quite expensive so I'll have to stick with watching tutorials. The reason I do it is, they hate waiting at the barbers for their turn, so they would rather me do it at home (saves meltdowns and stress) and it also has the bonus of saving money.
I have taken the younger boys with me, fresh air, exercise and nature. Its good for the soul and mental well-being to get out and walk around. The older boys are given the choice to come or not and they pretty much choose stay at home. I'd rather they come but in terms of priority, this is not as important to me as the other tasks.
So this week we had a few activities. Quiz and pizza night at church one evening, Inflatable Fun course in the pool, at our local leisure centre and day trip out to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens.
Father Christmas likes to be organised in this house. We want to bless our children with the gifts they want, so we ask them to complete their gift wish lists by end of half term. We also prefer to buy them what they ask for, rather than waste money buying them something we think they want but then don't ever use.
We ask them to think about their favourite chocolates/sweets, books, anything they need, what they would want (around £10-£30), small gift items (around £5) and larger priced gift items(£30+). They know family buy them gifts, so we try and think about different priced items to suit their budget. We then have a good idea of smaller gift items for stockings etc. At the end, I ask them if they could only choose 3 items from the whole list, what would they choose. There is no point prioritising buying a high priced item if actually what they really want is the smaller priced items and vice versa.
I break the list into sections as my older teens usually reply with I don't know what I want
Promotions start to run after the half term holidays, towards Christmas. This is also when a lots of the Christmas stock comes out. To make the most of our budget, we start early to get the best deals.
If Father Christmas would like to be organised in your house too. Here is a free Gift Wish List printable to get you started.
So, what Have I been doing in-between the above tasks to rest? This week's resting has included going to bed early, not rushing around in the morning, catching up on TV shows, reading blogs, Instagram and Pinterest articles, doing some deep cleaning with vinegar, lemons and bicarb of soda (yes I have been reading cleaning blogs), finishing off some pictures in my sketch book, reading my bible, writing lists of projects I want to do/make and playing a game on my iPad.
What have you done in your half term break?
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