Today marks 2 weeks home. Two weeks with no school, no gymnastics, no soccer, no Awana, no playdates- the list goes on.... If you live in the US, the odds are you can relate to this since most of the country shut down in mid-March. Don't get me wrong there has been plenty of fun and relaxing happening.... and plenty of Nintendo Switch LOL
But the real focus here is GROCERIES! I don't think we have ever spent so much on groceries in one transaction. We didn't even spend this much when a hurricane was hitting Florida. At least with hurricanes its normally only a few days unless you get hit hard. The scary part was the transaction total was not what worried me. My kids are bottomless pits! Alayna is 8 and in gymnastics and Bradley- well he is a boy..... enough said? We would be back at the grocery store in no time buying it all over again.
The first few days were spent with me hearing "mama I'm hungry", "I'm gonna go get a snack", "I'm starving" etc.... I kid you not the one day Bradley ate 6 yogurts and 4 croissants! If left to his own devices he would go through a bag of frozen nuggets in one day! As an adult woman I call this eating my feelings, but they are just bored snacking! If I ate like that it would be like the freshman 15 all over again. Except it would probably be the quarantine 30- you know age + metabolism = tears
Additionally, they complained. The complaining about helping was going to send me over the edge. We are all stuck in the house and chores needed done. I would hear everything from "it's not fair", sibling spats on who should do it, "my back hurts", "I'm tired" etc..... What 2nd grader uses the excuse "my back hurts"?? My 2nd grader- thats who!
So Jimmy had an idea; a brilliant, wonderful idea. These kids were going to earn their endless snacks! We would provide 3 free meals a day and water since its sort of our parental duty to feed and hydrate the kids (insert sarcasm here). Anything else they wanted would need to be earned by doing chores. Empty the dish washer: $2. Help Daddy in the yard: $5. Fold all the laundry: $10. We proudly pay in Disney Monopoly money!
They were less than thrilled about the idea, but they quickly caught on that they should do cores without complaining and gasp- maybe do some things without being asked! You guessed it- if they get to it before we ask them they get paid more! Its kinda like time and a half LOL
Note: strategy is important! There are going to be some things your kids want, but should not have all the time. You know soda, candy, chips etc.... These items need to be expensive as heck! Healthier options like fruit & cheese sticks should be VERY reasonably priced.
The educational value you cannot put a price on. I know this sounds brilliant and hilarious at the same time, but it's been the best math lesson we could have done.
They are learning:
- The value of money
- Getting change back
- That money does not grow on trees
- That it is easier to spend money than to make money
- Jimmy even taught them a hard lesson that gambling was not so smart (only my husband would think of this). Alayna was smart and only bet a dollar. Bradley on the other bet it all and lost! No soda for you little buddy!
Let us know if you end up giving this a try. I can guarantee it will be the most valuable homeschooling lesson you provide your kids during the quarantine of 2020!