Monday, July 25, 2011

All About Eric

Eric started school today. I know, I know ... most of you are still in summer school or just finished your regular school year.  My kids are on a modified year-round schedule so they always start back after only a seven week summer break.  I actually like it.  If I was independently wealthy, didn't have to work and could spend my summers living in a beach house on Coronado Island, I might feel differently about summer being so short. Because that's not the case, I'm happy to have Eric back in school - it keeps him entertained and gets him out from in front of the television set.

This school year I decided that we were not going to fight with Eric every day/night after school to get his homework done and get to bed.  So, I drafted up a contract that listed all the "rules" for the school year.  When I went over it with him and told him to initial and sign, his response was "a contract is something you have to agree to sign."  Good point.  He recognized the number one thing you need with every contract - consideration.  (He'll make a great lawyer some day.)  I was asking him to agree to a set of rules, with nothing in return for him if he complied.  We came up with a reward system that is payable at the end of the first quarter of school (in October).  After we agreed upon the terms, he agreed to sign the contract.  One of the rules was that he has to sit at the dining room table to do his homework.  I told him that the TV has to be off when he is working on his homework (but failed to include this as a term of our contract).  Eric immediately recognized my lapse and pronounced "LOOP HOLE"!  (Sometimes, he's too smart for his own good!)

In any event - Day 1 and we have compliance.  It helps that he doesn't have homework yet. 

A few pictures from Eric's day:

 Waiting for the bus 
(he is growing like a weed and is getting really tall)

First time taking the bus to school 

We ended our day with swimming lessons.  As ridiculous as it sounds ... living in Arizona where at least seventy-five percent (I'm guessing) of the households have swimming pools - Eric doesn't know how to swim.  (we don't have a pool).  Not only can't he swim, he is terrified of the water.  We've been wanting to get him in swim lessons for years, but could never get it done with our work schedules and Jack thrown in the mix. (Lame excuses, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!)  He's only had lessons for three weeks.  His first lesson, the swim instructor had to literally strong-arm him into the pool.  He told us the older kids are harder because they are stronger and they know more.  But, they also progress faster.  Tonight was only Eric's third lesson and he's progressed to the point where he is not afraid of getting in the water.  I told him he is going to take lessons for at least a year before he can quit. Let's hope he progresses out of the "Otter" class by then - where most the kids are two years old!

Waiting for class to start

swimming while holding onto a bar

At the end of class - he's smiling ... that is good!

Arriving home after swimming - it's been a long day!


worthy said...

He has really grown and I love the way he picked up on your omission from the contract :D
James was terrified of the water too, he was 12 before he learned to swim and even now he hates putting his head in the water. Sam on the other hand, has no fear - he's no idea how to swim but he loves being in the water.

Susan said...

I'm guessing he may follow in your lawyerly footsteps. I like the idea of a schoolwork contract. Might have to borrow that idea.

I think it's smart that Eric is learning to swim now. I'm sure once he knows how he'll love it and have plenty of opportunities to do so.

I really can't believe he's back in school already. Shhh don't tell but...I'm a little jealous.

Thanks for your comment Ann. I was thinking the same thing and have started the process to get my ENT's "approval" before contacting Dr. C. I don't look forward to a trip but think it is necessary.

bettyd said...

Ann - I have been reading your blog long enough to recognize that shirt from Jack. Maybe I'm not correct, but it looks familiar.

I need a TV contract with my 10 year old, but it is so hard since the parents are too much into TV. Is it wrong I let her watch Project Runway with me :)

Good luck with swimming lessons. It is a life long skill, so I hope he can keep up with it. It's not like the desert has a lot of beachfront or lakefront inviting him to the water!

Ann said...

Betty - yep, the shirt Eric is wearing used to be Jack's. Eric is surpassing Jack in size all the way around - his feet are twice as big as Jack's now!

Debbie said...

"Loop hole!!!" I love it. Enjoyed discovering your blog today quite by accident. Read through lots of posts and wrapped up my wanderings with a lovely visual trip to Ireland through your pictures. Wonderful! And what a great way to start a Sunday morning. Smiles to you this morning and thanks for those you put on my face! I look forward to checking in on your blog, had to laugh about the boys needing haircuts and you just trying to find the time. Oh how I remember those days gone by in my family. Have a lovely Sunday!