Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Driving Miss Daisy or Driving Me Crazy

Have I mentioned how much we all love PTO days?  Probably.  But humor me, while I reiterate.

When we started homeschooling, the boys were younger.  Well, duh.  Four years younger.  Which would make them 10, 8, and 5.  They were like perpetual motion machines.  Like wild monkeys, hopped up on Red Bull.  Well, maybe I exaggerate.  And they've never been near a Red Bull.  But they were (and still are) very busy little creatures.

And (have I mentioned?  Why yes, I have...) very talkative.   Some days it was like having my whole life narrated.  And it wasn't necessarily a gripping, action-packed adventure.

Now, I love my boys.  But there are times I feel like I am drowning in them (and the peanut butter, the soccer practices, and the Lego creations.)  So while I felt drawn to homeschooling, I had a bit of trepidation about that whole together-all-the-time thing.

But then I had a happy thought:

Gramma and Grampa Grasshopper live just fifteen minutes away, AND had both recently retired.

And because they are totally awesome, they agreed to my sanity plan.

We call them PTO days - Personal Time Off.   About once every two weeks the boys spend the day with Grampa and Gramma.  The boys think PTO Days are for them, but I have a little secret.  They are for ME!  Uninterrupted time to do everything, anything, or nothing.

Granted, my need is less pressing, as they've grown older and more independent.  And they're hard workers when properly motivated, so they're good to have around when I have a big project ;D  But we still like our PTO Days.  I know I can count on Grampa and Gramma Grasshopper to feed them, have a good time with them, and keep them busy.  In other words, keep from sitting before the Eye of Mordor all day long.  The kids are happy and safe.

And they're learning all kinds of wonderful things.  Shooting rifles, hunting, burning, zip-lining...

... and driving.

Grampa Grasshopper decide it was time.

Since Gunnar couldn't reach the pedals reliably, and braking is kind of important, he started out with steering lessons on Grampa's lap.

Wyatt, however, was ready for the Real Deal.  Driving the Green Bean, our nickname for Gramma's Expedition Explorer, all the way down the driveway and back, more than a mile each way.

And Tate too! 
And yes, those are my boys, popping up out of the sunroof and hanging out of the windows.

Because, clearly, we are very concerned about safety.


The dB family said...

Oh. My. Stars! It looks like a blast! So glad that you're all about safety :oD!


melanie said...

A mile-long lane is much better than a hayfield! =)

Oh, and would G&G Grasshopper love to visit the currently warm midwest and teach my lovely girls some of those skills?? in my albino bean? =)

Felicity said...

Well... they look happy...!

I think PTO days are a great idea, unfortunately my folks live a bit too far away to do it much.

Traci said...

You are so spoiled!

Gramma Grasshopper said...

That Expedition is actually an Explorer - smaller and easier to handle ;). All the boys did GREAT on this first real try at driving. Wyatt will definitely be ready.......whenever Julie and Kerry are.

Q said...

LOVE THIS! My 14 y/o daughter drives a little every Wednesday - FUN! (But we have no sun roof . . . with my boys, probably a good thing!)

Jen's Busy Days said...

OH Yay!! Another mum of many boys! So glad I am not the only needing PTO days. I need to train my dh to take the boys more.

ROFL about the driving and safety of the passengers. I can just see all of mine doing that too!

We call one of our boys Radio Harry. He just keeps talking, talking, talking. Again glad to hear I am not the only one.

I will back to visit. But need to schedule our next week of school so better go.

Best wishes
Jen in Oz

Ann said...

Love it!