When the homework hits the fan (and 4 easy ways to make it stop).

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved homework.  I loved it so much I would make up school work for my siblings and play school for hours on end. Just being in that environment made me happy.

Yes, nerd, geek, yada yada, I know.

So when it comes to my kids, we've worked tirelessly to instill in them a love for learning that exceeds my wildest expectations. Mr. A loves anything to do with animals or nature and will sit poring over books about snakes and the solar system for hours. My sweet Babygirl loves letters and logged countless hours at the writing table in preschool.

So homework has just come naturally to these kids.

HA! Did you just shoot pumpkin spice latte out your nose? Yeah, me too. Actually I've never had a pumpkin spice latte, but I hear they're all the rage.

Homework time for us is quite honestly akin to torture for one child, and the most amazing, fun thing ever for the other. Wanna guess which is which?

Pobre Mr. A would literally rather avail his little six-year-old body upon the linoleum than acquiesce to our completely impertinent demands that he do, nee correctly complete, his homework. Tantrums, I tell you.  Are you listening, Mr. A of the Future? You made your parents insane.

I give you, exhibit Mr. A: 
What's this paper and pencil here for, mommy?

You're not going to make me do homework again, are you?
In the meantime, there's at least one little girl in this house who thinks homework is awesome and has been waiting since 3P-K for some that's not mommy's made up version of whatever big brother was doing. She's got her own, bonafide homework, and she couldn't be more thrilled.

So do you want to know our technique for getting ALL the children to do their work? And yes, I'm referring to our post-yelling and time-outing techniques. These are the ones that actually work best for us.

1) Bait and switch. I promise Mr. A a certain number of pages of his favorite book du jour (usually the library book that came home that week) for a certain amount of homework. This keeps everybody positive and thinking about rewards instead of punishments which is huge for Mr. A. I definitely have a reward-style kid when it comes to discipline.

2) Start early. The later in the day we wait to do homework, the more tired we are. I pull the homework from the backpacks as soon as we arrive home after pick-up. That way the information is still somewhat fresh for him (causing less frustration) and we've gotten it out of the way before we all get too tired.

3) Break it down. Or maybe break it up?  Whichever you choose, just be sure to take it a little at a time. Especially if you're getting close to Melt-down Town via Frustration Avenue. Take a break and come back to it later. Or even start off with a plan to complete one section per day until the homework is due. As with everything in life, it's all about time management, people.

4) Be patient. I mean like, preschool teacher, bubbly positive, encouraging, "you can do this" kind of patient. You'll sound incredibly annoying, but your child will appreciate the fact that at least one of you is keeping your cool. Even with math homework. Ok, especially with math homework.

I predict now that word problems will be the death of me.

For those who like pictures of their parenting help tips: 

And just one last thing. Can you remind me of these little tips when I'm sitting in the corner rocking back and forth, drawing stars and smiley faces on the floor with permanent marker? Kthx.

Hey, I never promised you'd save your sanity. Just that the homework would get done.

What about you? What's your best technique for getting through the homework rigamarole? Please do tell...

I'm Co-hosting the Social Media Mixer This Week!

Come check out some new blogs and make some new friends!

Welcome to the 16th week of the Social Media Mixer!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Week 15 - we had 150 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

Social Media Mixer-2

The Social Media Mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your blog posts and social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers. Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Saturday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Wednesday night at 11:59pm. A blog post will be chosen each week by each of the hosts and guest hosts and featured in the following week’s link-up! If chosen, a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be featured. It’s a great way to stand out among the crowd! One blogger will be chosen for 2 weeks of free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures!

Welcome your hosts!

SMM Hosts Aug 2014 (1)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Angel from Sew Crafty Angel | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Julia from Minivan Dreams | | Liz from Look by Liz Lewis | Kaitlyn from Three Sisters and Us | Shana from Technotini | Anni from Grapefruit Princess | Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter | Ce Ce from A Chicago Mom | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Holly from Southern Mom Loves

And welcome your guest hosts for September!

Avie from All Things Avie | Cyndi from The Decorating Chica | Danielle from Dancing with my Daughter | Emily from The Unextreme | Jennifer from Mommy Life After Ph.D. | Lauren from Life in the Wilde | Lori from Lori's Culinary Creations | Mila from Mila's Little Things | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Soro from Mom Swaddles All | Tara from Anything & Everything | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles

And here are the Featured bloggers from last week's Social Media Mixer...

Tiffany chose...

Never Say Never from Three Boys and a Mom

Before you become a parent, there is usually a list of things you say you’ll never do. That list looks different for every one, but I’m pretty sure grabbing poop with your bare hand doesn’t even make the cut. It’s just not something you’d think would be necessary to specify on a list of things you’ll never do.

Ce Ce and Anni chose...

Recipe: Calzone from A Little Bit of Everything

This delicious sandwich by Giada De Laurentiis is an ideal appetizer or lunch. Simply follow her recipe below and enjoy! I did substitute pepperoni for the prosciutto and I rolled the dough into a rectangle rather than a circle. The pizza dough is often found in the deli or bakery department of most grocery stores. You can now find gluten free pizza dough as well in some stores.

Shana and Avie chose...

Make This: Mocha Coffee Breakfast Shake from Style Island

I feel a little like Ray Liotta in Good Fellas. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a coffee addict. These days, coffee is like a religion in my household. I have several coffee machines, all varying degrees of effort, status, and needs.

Jillian and Cyndi chose...

9 Amazing Green Cleaners You Should Not Be Without from Wonderfully Messy Mom

If you are looking to make the switch to a cleaner, greener home, I have 9 solutions you should try. These can be found in your local grocery store or whole foods market. Some of these items may already be sitting in your kitchen right now! Not to mention these green cleaners are simple, cheap and best of all- EFFECTIVE!!

Angel, Mila and Holly chose...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cracker Candy Recipe from Glimmer Creations

These candies are out of this world delicious, and they are pretty easy to make. Be warned though, that the process does get a bit messy, but the result it worth it. They are delightful mix of semisweet chocolate, salty peanut butter and crisp, buttery crackers. Pure goodness that makes it hard to just eat one.

Danielle chose...

Let’s Do Lunch from Domain of the Mad Mommy


Jennifer chose...

Autumn Bucket List for Toddlers from How to Make The Sun Shine

The magic of summer has been replaced with backpacks, football, leaves changing colors, and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING! The end of summer doesn't have to equal the end of fun. Here is a list of fun fall activities you can do with your toddler to keep the magic alive!

Tara chose...

Laboring Away - DIY Blog Hop from 702 Park Project

I’ve found that a lot of furniture in our home is dark…whether wood or fabric. Most of the time it’s nice to have these hearty pieces, but sometimes it can darken the mood a bit. So to keep things fresh and summery year round, I decided to make over this sad little dresser I picked up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Silvie chose...

Apple Recipe Round-Up from Cooking with K

It's September and that means apple season! Apples are by far a favorite around our house. There are so many ways to use them, appetizers to salads, or main dishes to desserts! I have gathered up a list of some of our favorites. Hope you enjoy going through these. Go ahead and pin some of them when you hover over the picture with the pop up pinterest button.

Natasha chose...

Longing to be a Grandma from Looking on the Sunnyside

Can I be honest? I am a little jealous of my friends who are grandparents. They post pictures of their grandchildren, just gushing with the kind of pride that only a grandma or grandpa could exude. I look at those pictures and look at how much fun they seem to be having and I admit - I am jealous.

And the winner is...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cracker Candy Recipe from Glimmer Creations

Congratulations!! You have won 2 weeks of free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures! Please e-mail Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com for more information on your free ad space.

Stop by and follow our featured bloggers! We're sure you'll love them as much as we do!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
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Are you ready to start mixing it up?? Then, let's go!

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Seven Snapshots

Seven bits and pieces from the last week and a half...'cause I really do want to remember!

1) Reading The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to Mr. M and having him point to a certain gravitationally challenged egg, and refer to him as "Huh Dumpy." On each and every page. Repeated over and over until I say it after him in affirmation. I love toddler-speak.

2) Dropping my big kids off on the first day of school and then doing the mom version of the "walk of shame," which is essentially sobbing my way back through a parent-lined hallway. Totally not embarrassing. And totally didn't care 'cause I miss my babies and we're all trying to adjust.

3) Watching Youtube videos of the funny dogs from the movie Up! with my little family crowded around the computer. Babies in our laps. Huddled together. Big laughs from little people.

4) Watching a certain Babygirl open her birthday gift (a My Little Pony) from big Brother and turning instantly for the most sincere and genuinely happy hug I've ever seen one human being give another human being. She has the biggest, most tender, loving heart of anybody I know. Now if I could just keep it from ever getting broken.

But that's what brothers are for, right?

5) Watching that same Babygirl nearly burst into tears in the school office on the first full day of classes because she fell (over her own little feet) and cut the side of her sweet face with her glasses. She was a trooper though and we had her cleaned and bandaged up and on her way back to class in no time. 

Might start calling her Grace Jr. Wanna guess who Grace Sr. might be?

6) Coming around the corner from the kitchen just before lunch to find thing one and thing two laid out on top of the tables. 

Shhh, mommy! We're taking a nap. 

7) Starting preschool this week and getting in round 2 of school pictures to include all three older kiddos. 

And feeling thankful that there's a fourth.

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