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After School Enrichment & Some After August Plans

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A Simple Six: After School Enrichment & Some After August Plans

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

After School Enrichment & Some After August Plans

Oliver and I biked to pick up the children from school today. The trailer was already in trailer mode and I didn't feel the need to put it back in stroller form. I had no idea it was 90 degrees and humid outside. The windows were open and the cool morning air had maintained a decent 77 degrees in our house all day. With this heat, the ride up was rough. I had to stop about five times to let my muscles breath and just to catch my breath. I still partially blame the bike, as the last time I took Oliver up (on Brent's bike) I only stopped once for a short breather on the last hill.

When we walk home, sometimes the children (mostly London) complain. Mid week I know they are tired so we have tried to take the bus most of the way home and then walk a flatter shadier route. Last week I had the idea to give them something to look forward to each day to motivate them home, instead of threatening to leave them at school if they didn't continue forward. Before you get images of me cracking whips and forcing them up hills like mules, we do go at Avery's pace, stop many, many times for water and shade breaks and have only made it home once before 430PM, and we leave about 315 for the two mile trek. I think we certainly take our good sweet time. Yet I have raised a daughter not unlike myself, and she finds a lot to grumble about.

The Bribe
Mondays and Wednesdays we have to get home straight away for an early dinner with Brent. He has to return to campus for night classes so there is no time for any treats as we walk, just the usual breaks. Tuesdays we have decided, are library days. Gallaher Village library is on our walk home. There is a crosswalk at the corner and a lot of visibility get us over Norway. The library is also a very strong motivator for London. She's our bookworm. The deal is, no complaining on Monday or Tuesday and then we go to the library. So far it's working.

Today we spent about thirty minutes soaking up the A/C, refilling waters, snacking (outside), checking out books, reading magazines, changing diapers, and chatting with the staff. One of the gals said they were starting a Tuesday after school reading/activity group. I think this is something to consider. We might be able to get everyone there, get some homework done, have a snack and then enjoy an hour long library led session. I will let you know if we decide to participate. Tuesdays after school twice a month, we have Girl Scouts to contend with as well. So maybe the other weeks we could hang at Gallaher.
Snacking at the bike rack right out side the front doors of Gallaher Village Library

With Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays filled in, what were we going to do the other two? Thursdays we are going to use as our litter-gitter days. We are all appalled at the trash we pass on our way to and from Our Lady of Fatima. Avery always tries to bring some home. If I bring empty bags and hand sanitizer we can pick up what we deem to be "safe" to handle. I have been doing some of this, but the amount was just overwhelming to stop for every time I passed something, I wouldn't have gotten anywhere on time. If you have children, you probably realize that picking up garbage is not a motivator, but paying them for each bag they fill is. I offered them up a dollar each for every bag they stuff full. I think initially I might be out $3-$9, then maybe just $3, as we do have to carry it all home to dispose of. I highly suspect they will bore with this idea and I won't owe them anything, but I can continue my clean up efforts without them.

Fridays I am offering them play dates. Elliot is begging for friends to come home with us. This boy needs a jam packed social calendar. Every moment of everyday.  Provided they arrange them ahead of time and I can plan our transportation, they are each welcome to invite a friend over on Fridays. I think this will get them home quicker. The anti-complaint rule is also in effect. They can't complain Thursday when we are pick up trash or Wednesday when we just have to get home.

It's a good idea, but I don't know how much of it will work. The library seems to be having a positive effect so far, and we will see about the rest.

The Car-free Month is Ending, Won't We Just Drive the Children Home?
Brent and I have been in negotiations over our anticipated van usage after August is over. I am of the mindset that it's worked so far, why quit just because the month changed? Brent's more practical (thankfully) and he wants us to make a decision about using the car on an event by event basis, keeping in mind the comfort, safety, time and conveniences for our available modes of transport to each commitment.
We tried the other side of Norway today so we didn't have to cross back over at the intersection as well as making our cross back over to Woodland a more visible one. These poles are one excellent reason why we don't use this side of the street.

We don't fit. Thanks to a very observant and kind pick up truck driver, who stopped at Berry Hill Nursery (now closed), we were able to safely cross Norway to the other side and continue on our way home. The driver came down to us and stopped the car traffic in both directions to get us across.

The school commute has been the most dangerous and time consuming process this entire month. I have not given up on finding a better way to handle this situation, but as it stands we will most likely continue to carpool with friends, taking our turn to do some of the driving.

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At August 31, 2011 at 12:47 AM , Anonymous Cara said...

We'd love to meet you at the library sometime!

At August 31, 2011 at 7:28 AM , Blogger Stacy said...

Tuesdays :) I will let you know about next week.

At August 31, 2011 at 9:21 AM , Blogger Mike Smith said...

Enjoying your blog after finding it earlier this week. Could you share some info about your CSA? I have been looking for something like that around here, but have not been very successful.

At August 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM , Blogger Stacy said...

Mike, Thank you for reading. You are the first "non-friend" comment I have received, so a double thanks is called for here! Send me an email, asimplesix[at]gmail[dot]com and I will get you in touch with our CSA leadership. I know they are taking checks for the fall season right now, I don't know if they are full yet. I also have a contact for our egg co-op who sells herbs and garden produce (non certified organic). If you need some information about local meats, I have that too :) Just let me know what I can do for your you.

At August 31, 2011 at 11:39 PM , Anonymous Stephanie said...

I'm so impressed with your organization skills with your new lifestyle!! Kudos to you my friend !!

At September 1, 2011 at 6:21 AM , Blogger Stacy said...

We all knew they were in there somewhere. Thanks for reading, it's the greatest thing to know that someone is spending their time just for you. See you soon!


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