Tuesday afternoon 2 brothers came for a sleepover with Daniel. This family homeschools as well which means we are not dictated to by school nights (though I must admit sleepovers in the middle of the week is unusual).

They played and caught up with each other Tuesday afternoon. Then we had a movie and Pizza night. At about 7.00pm some friends arrived with a telescope to show the boys Mars and its moons. Though it took some time to set up it was worth it – the boys had a glimpse, were amazed to see the moons of mars and off they went happy. It didn’t hold their attention for long but that little glimpse into the heavens was a highlight of the sleepover.

Joshua had rearranged the family room – moving the tables out of the way making room for sleeping bags on the floor. It was late getting into bed (thanks to Mars) but they woke up early as usual – 5.00am. They asked if they could watch another dvd – so I said yes.

They got their own breakfast and all did Daniel’s chores together. Then they went off and played. They wanted to make a rocket from cardboard boxes but thanks to our declutter over January we don’t have any cardboard boxes just lying around ready for creations so they went down to the cattle yards instead and pretended something down there.

Once they got too hot to play (it has been very heavy, sticky and yuk, with no rain for several days now) they came back inside only to be told it was time for a math lesson! The other visitor the night before was my Math Friend and we talked about teaching math and some of the key things that modern math needs today. So today we worked on ‘making a number’. We used Greg Tang’s book: Math-terpieces. I photocopied all the exercise pages so each child could work on the puzzles themselves. It was a great lesson.

We then piled everyone’s things into the car and headed to the library for a while. Then we dropped the boys off at the parents’ place of business and said our good-byes.

What a fun time by all. But unfortunately I didn’t take any photos.

The thing I have learnt over the years when we have other kids here is to have plan A and plan B. Plan A is what you hope for your children – you hope that they will play well, occupy themselves, be creative, resourceful, kind, hospitable etc. Plan B is for when those things don’t happen. My experience tells that they will follow plan A for a while but then things start to go awry and you have to step in with plan B. I have also learnt that plan B needs my focus and involvement.

Doing the Math lesson and the library was a plan B in a sense but I pulled it into play as a preventative step rather than a reactive – they were still playing so nicely. Plan B needn’t be corrective, or even as a consequence it is just reality – kids get at a loose end and things go downhill from there. It can be circumvented which means the whole play-date finishes off on a positive. Getting involved in your kids’ friendships is a good thing too – it sets the stage for relationships all round as they all get older.

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