My other ramblings

How to name your spiders, and other ways to procrastinate

Home schooling has proved challenging in many ways, mostly due to my 8 year old’s expert procrastination strategies. He really does go above and beyond in his efforts to avoid doing his school work (and we are only doing the minimum amount set, as with the many and varied work avoidance strategies, it takes us all day). Social media does not help, when you see other people’s children managing to complete all of their badges for Cubs etc and totally smashing through school work by lunch you feel a little inadequate. We’ve given up on Joe Wicks and his morning workouts for now as they just don’t settle to any work afterwards. Their daily exercise falls loosely under the heading of ‘wrestling’ each other (usually accompanied by me telling them to be careful because we definitely can’t go to A & E), although they do also play outdoors quite a lot and go to the allotment.

Anyway, back to procrastination and the title of this post. My son (and husband-who was also a master of procrastination at school) came up with a particularly fun way of getting out of work when they were distracted by a spider in the conservatory. In our house, we’ve given up trying to boot out all spiders to the garden and taken to naming them. We ran out of names starting with ‘S’, so they used a reverse alphabet method to change the first letter. I’m going to share it with you so you too can have the fun of trying it out. What you do is select the name of a family member, for example David. Count how many letters it is from the start of the alphabet (or end if it as N onwards), in this case 4. Then go to the other end of the alphabet and count that many letters in from that end-we ended up with W. There you have the new first letter of your spider’s name, so ours was called Wavid. In our house we also have spiders called Dilliam, Quessica and Paren.

It’s like a parallel universe, but it only adds to the weirdness of the current situation in an amusing way. I’ve also added a file here which contains a game of procrastination bingo to play if you too are finding home schooling hard work. The prize for a full house is whatever you choose-chocolate, wine, 5 minutes locked in the bathroom. Bonus points if you get them all within the first 10 minutes of school starting!

procrastination bingo

What are the top work avoidance strategies in your house (for you or the kids)? And is it just me, or is it hard to be productive yourself? (This blog post is a case in point-it has been in draft format for over a week!)

12 thoughts on “How to name your spiders, and other ways to procrastinate

  1. Oh my goodness, so hard to do anything yourself! I’m constantly ping-ponging between one child in the living room and the other in the kitchen, trying to juggle access to the computer and printer, or the tablet, or turf them off said devices to focus on actually writing something. My 10yo is pretty independent, but my 7yo is getting increasingly needy and frustrated with everything. It’s exhausting!
    I spend a lot of time on my phone, playing Wizards Unite or browsing social media and news websites, because it’s the easiest thing to pick up and put down between the kids demands.

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  2. I get the impression that a lot of parents have just given up on home schooling, they’re just enjoying (or not!!) the time with their kids, so you’re doing well to still be trying! We call spiders in our house George, I think I started it when they were little to stop them being scared of them, we have everything from Georges babies to a grand-daddy of a George, depending on the size. My kids are in their 20’s and spiders are still called George 🙂

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    1. I love that they’re all called George! I feel I need to keep up homeschool as mine definitely can’t go back with the others whilst I’m shielding, even though it is hard work. We do fun stuff in afternoons and at weekends luckily! I’ll be glad when some semblance of normality returns.

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  3. Sounds very familiar!!I have one in his GCSE year… who has decided there is no point doing any work because he’s not doing exams and can’t be persuaded otherwise. And I have one in Year 7… who seems to be refining his procrastination skills. He was doing really well at first, up, organised and getting on with his work – but now he seems to be doing less and less. He’s quite good at just staring into space blankly now!! I’ve been trying to work from home (I do the school website so have been quite busy with that and other IT support for the rest of the school) and help him but I am possibly back to work install next week and Mr Patch will have to take over… he doesn’t realise how challenging it is!!!

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