Isrug Chag – The Day After and Our New Elective

I hope everyone had a wonderful Yom Tov.   We ended our Chol Hamoed with a mini birthday party for the now 9 year old (at a friend’s house!) and the two Big Boys had fun contacting more people on the radio together.  It was actually a very busy day on the radio and they just flipped from one frequency to another to another making contacts!

The last Yom Tov day was the busiest I think of them all.  I got the little one all pumped up on Sunday for dancing with the Torahs that after our “lesson,” he went around and collected most of our stuffed Torah collection.  I did not realize we had so many, Baruch Hashem, and I do believe he missed quite a few.  I am not sure where they all came from, for I only remember buying 4!  He came up to me and announced that he was going to take ALL the Torahs to shul to dance with.  I had to burst his bubble and tell him only 1.  He was amazingly okay with that.  And yes, he was sure to take the Torah of his choice (the BIGGEST one of course, and oh, it was red, just in case you were wondering,) both during the night and then again in the day.  Everyone had fun, we did not get home until 4pm!  I even let them bring over a friend after shul.

After all the treats, excitement and lack of sleep for boys, I have decided to put them to work immediately with school work.  We did not quite get a complete day in, but it was off to a good start and I think tomorrow will be even better.  We did, however, start a new course.  They will get the benefit of the great outdoors, exercise, comradeship and home caring all rolled into one.  In school, there are the required themes they have to cover, and then there are the electives that the teachers get to choose from to fill up the extra time.  My boys also have electives.

They have started the elective course on Foliage Raking. This is going to be an ongoing course, probably done several times a week for the next two months.  After that, I think there will be a course on Crystalline Ice Water.  This course will involve the gathering of the crystalline ice water with the use of hands, shovels and even the tongue.  We will also experiment with various uses of the crystalline ice water such as fort building and fort defending.  Perhaps even the use of it for house construction. This course will last at least 4 months and classes will be held several times a week at least, if not more.  Bet you cannot find these electives in a school!  To view some more great homeschool elective ideas, watch this video.

Aside from our new elective, we also had a huge case of Post Wonderful Yom Tov’d Ness.  In other words, children who have been on totally different cycles in eating, playing, and sleeping, and it finally caught up with them.  I knew that at least one boy was going to have a difficult day.  He crashed for a nap for several hours on Monday afternoon.  It did not help that he forced himself awake last night, after Yom Tov, to read in his room until after midnight. I knew last night I was going to have my day set out for me today, and that I was going to have to wake him up early to start him on a normal routine as quickly as possible.  If he was up early, he would actually sleep tonight and hopefully be almost his normal self for tomorrow.  Yes, it was a difficult day for him.  Everything set him off.  Unfortunately, I did quite a bit of practicing of my voice raising on him today.  Would have preferred voice training oppose to voice raising, but perhaps next time.

There is always good that comes out of everything.  His off attitude was just a heightened manifestation of where his attitude has been going over the last month.  Both Daddy and I have tried to check it and get it under control, but to no avail.  Today, after the voice raising, and his being upset at what he considered his harsh Mother, I stopped and had a little talk with him.  I have to admit, it is hard being a child, especially when you perceive yourself a lot more mature than your younger brothers.  One brother can get annoying and you just want him off your back.  You’re exhausted because you are reading a breathtaking book way too late and nothing seems to go your way.  Mommy seems to boss you around, and your brothers seem to always get away with things (in your eyes.)  *Sigh*  Yes, it is hard being the oldest.

I would like to think that my advice to him helped, just a little, for it did calm down a bit the rest of the afternoon and evening.  They all were warned they were going to bed early…. Well, I tried, however, they were all in bed at the regular bedtime, and yes, IN BED.  Now, I did not say asleep, and I did not say they stayed in bed.  Did have the little one come out because he was thirsty…. took several long gulps on multiple occasions before he finally went to bed and stayed there.  It really did not take that long for them to go to sleep.  I insisted that everyone was to be in their own bed.

Several loads of laundry have been done today (thanks in part to chores a poor boy racked up with his tantrums… I did fold all of the clothes for him,) the kitchen has been mostly cleaned up from some busy boys today by those busy boys (amazingly!) and now I’ll finish the kitchen, put another load of laundry on and do some exercising.  I think there might be some leftover time to veg and perhaps do some reading before my wonderful husband comes home from learning.

Wishing you all an easy transition back to your non-Yom Tov schedule!