"Practice makes perfect."
"The more you practice the better you get."
I think I sound like a broken record.
This week did not start out pleasant. Mondays are pretty busy usually, but this Monday was very difficult. Most particularly as I had a hard time motivating a certain son to practice the piano. He is really quite capable, he really enjoys it... but there is something about trying to motivate him to play his piano pieces 3 times over when he has already sat for most of the day at school. It just doesn't work. I should have realised that but I just kept pushing him... in the end I was incredibly angry, shouted at him...and I did not feel good.
I sat down with Tane and we made a plan. It was really hard to motivate any of the kids to do anything after school. They usually have a bit of spelling, maths and reading homework. Reading is not a problem with any of them, but the other stuff can take ages... and there wasn't enough time to even enjoy being with the kids...
The plan went like this. We all get up at 6am, have scriptures then breakfast, then Josh does his piano practice, while the other two get ready for school, and then Joseph does his homework while Josh gets ready for school. Somewhere in the mix there they also pack most of their own school lunch and get their bags ready.
SO far SO good.... The mornings turned out to be a lot more organised. I usually had done a load of washing and had the dishwasher on by the time we went to school. Not sure if we can keep it up during the winter months... but it did wonders for Joshua's piano practice. He whipped through his pieces in probably a third of the time it would take him after school, and he then would carry on practicing favourite pieces he had learnt in previous lessons. AMAZING!!
It has meant in the evenings we can relax more... the kids can read more AND they go to sleep earlier! which was another motivating factor to make the change.
By Saturday night I was sitting in the theatre watching a ballet (The tales of Beatrix Potter) with the 3 older kids. They were entranced. It was a local production with children ranging from about 4 to adults. The kids had friends in the show which made it even more exciting. As I sat there with the kids I felt extremely happy. Seeing their excited faces, watching them bounce up and down on their chairs to the music was a lot of fun.
When we arrived an elderly lady was sitting next to Joseph, he was jumping up and down on his seat and asked her "Are you excited?" She replied "Yes". It was evident that he was though as he started reading the programme over her shoulder. She didn't mind and explained all the scenes and acts to him.
It was such an awesome way to end what had started out to be a difficult week. I guess the kids are not the only ones who need to practice... I mean being a mother is pretty hard, I'm the first to admit it, but with 4 of them I certainly am getting a LOT of practice!