I did not catch the weather report last night.
So imagine my surprise this morning at seeing no less than two inches of fluffy white stuff all over my lawn. "Oh, yeah," I thought. "It is late November." And then I did a quick mental scan of today's calendar: Yes, Jeff does have time this morning to shovel before my Teachers' Tots kids arrive; I can stay cuddled under some warm blankets for the time being.
But the snow meant so much more to Rachel and Abigail, whose first reactions were literal shrieks of delight. I knew they'd want to play outside, and my first plan was to use that desire as a carrot: You can go out after lunch if you work hard this morning. But I quickly realized the futility of that line of reasoning. For one thing, they can always go outside after lunch if they'd like since we inevitably finish our schoolwork no later than 1:00. Second, their eyes were locked on the view just outside our patio doors all during breakfast; school was no competition for the first official snowfall of the season.
So I silently thanked God for the flexibility of homeschooling...and for the ability he's given me lately to roll (at least more than in the past!) with the punches. And then I offered up a realistic plan: "Girls, how 'bout you go out right after breakfast, and we'll start school at 10:00. You'll probably have some things to finish up after lunch. But after that you can go out again."
If only there were a "Mommy of the Year" award and they could have submitted the nomination at that moment! :^)
And that really was the best decision I could have made for our day. As you can tell, the girls had a blast enjoying the snow, then came in cold and satisfied about an hour later - just in time to peel off dripping outerwear, grab a snack, and be ready for our first lessons starting at 10:00...all without a word from me. And then we not only made steady progress through the day's plans, we actually laughed together through a good deal of the morning - what joy!
So by lunchtime, Rachel only had math still to do, and Abbie just had reading. And - unlike on other days when school spills over into the afternoon - they tackled the leftovers without complaint, knowing that the boots and mittens were waiting just inches away. We didn't read our two chapters in The Tale of Despereaux (an awesome book, by the way!) until after they'd come in again, but they were delighted to cuddle up with me for it then. So...yet another joyous moment in a very happy day.
And that's a great homeschool snow day: accomplishing all the planned academics while enjoying God's beautiful creation and a wonderfully healthy dose of family love to boot. :^)