The Chip Method, Or How I Homeschool Without Whining

School has started back today.

Christmas break is officially over.

The Littles have buckled down, working hard at the kitchen table.  Princess is already completed her math and writing.  Tazzie is working on his math, and when he’s done, they’ll be doing some phonics work together, followed by his writing excercises, then reading.

Not a word of complaint out of them.

Now, before anyone accuses me of brain washing, having aliens come down and fry their little minds, or simply having freaky little kids, let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.

Truth of it is, I figured out their currency, and have gotten back to implementing a strategy that’s worked well in the past.

It’s what I call The Chip Method.

See, my kids, Tazzie especially, are electronics junkies.  Be it TV, Wii, or computer, it makes their world go ’round.  Add in music for Diva.

So, I bought a package of poker chips.  And announced that there will be NO electronics at all unless chips are earned via school work, or chores…and nothing can be earned via chores until school work is completed.

White chips are worth five minutes.
Red chips are worth ten minutes.
Blue chips are worth fifteen minutes.

It works amazingly well!

They also get chips for quiet time.

I don’t know if some would consider it bribery, but it allows me to limit their electronic addiction, and reward their completion of work, with no fussing involved, no begging or bugging for electronics.

And poker chips cost me a whopping $1 at the Dollar Store.

Win win!

Scenes From Our House I

Scenes From Our House will be an ongoing feature of the blog.  Essentially, small snap shots of the chaos and all around insanity that happens when you’re living Not A Stepford Life.
Tazzie was watching me take care of Boo, and announced, very seriously, “God should make babies able to talk when they’re born.  They could be born and say, ‘TA DAAAA!'”

Reading the Littles a bedtime story tonight.  I was sitting on Tazzie’s bed, with Princess on one side, Tazzie on the other…and Wolf was reclining on Princess’ bed.

Just as I finished the story, Wolf…’passed gas’.

Poor Princess started crying…”Daddy stunk up my beeeeeeeeed!”

A hug and some Febreeze later, and all was well once again in Princess’ world.

What Did You Do To Your FACE?!

Baby Boo isn’t sleeping through the night yet.  He’s getting better, sleeping for four to five hours at a time, even six hours (although that’s only happened when Wolf’s been on night duty.  I’m sure there’s some sort of male bonding/favouritism involved).

So, after being up at night, I’m considerably groggy in the am.  Especially before a few cups of coffee.

Honestly, it’s something of a miracle that I remember to put on pants *and* shirt before leaving my room.

So, there I am, the innocent groggy, pouring my first cup of coffee, and Wolf talks to me from in front of the computer.

I turn my head, pour coffee all over the counter, and yell, “What did you do to your FACE?!”

My husband has a goatee.  I like the goatee.  REALLY like the goatee.  I lends a certain ‘bad boy’ vibe, dangerous…And considering we have five children, a hint of danger and bad boy, (real or imagined) is a good thing.

Although, that may be WHY we have five children, but I digress.


He SHAVED.  Now he only has a moustache.

I *hate* the moustache.  Really do.  And he knows this.

He thinks it makes him look like Magnum.  (As in Magnum PI, Tom Selleck). 

He points out that he’s looking for a new job.  I reply that he’s not looking for a job as a used car salesman. (God forgive me, but that’s honestly what it makes him look like to me).

Diva, hearing this exchange, pipes up, “I *told* you Mom wouldn’t be happy!”

His reason for shaving?  “I was bored.”  Apparently, the man needs a hobby to keep from messing with his face.


The things I wake up to in my house.

Winter Is MIA

Wolf and the kids are serious winter sports fanatics.  Skating, sledding, snowball fighting, building snow forts and snow men…it’s all apparently neccessary for their mental and physical well being.  (It’s only budget constraints that keep them off ski hills, not my threats of heart failure at watching my children hurtle down the side of a mountain with fibreglass strapped to their feet.) Continue reading