We're in the middle of a month aptly referred to as "No School November" by my kids at work. This week they only have three days of school, last week was four, next week is (their normal) four and a half, and the week after is two, followed by Thanksgiving break. Then it's December (which will also be obnoxiously lacking days of school).
Besides the educational concerns I have with how little time CPS kids actually spend in class, as a nanny/house manager I also have an added layer of responsibility during these days--getting my own to-do list done while also keeping the kids busy/productive. News flash: it is hard to get kids (teenagers) to do things on their days off.
On Tuesday, I let them loose in the kitchen. I told them to find a recipe for whatever they wanted to make and write down ingredients we needed. Then, I took them shopping (and crossed off a few errands of my own while we were out). Once we got home, I divided the kitchen up between the two of them and acted as sous chef for both. I told them that as long as they did most of the work to make the food, I'd do most of the cleaning. We ended the day with spicy peanut sauce noodles and lemon bars. Maybe not the most common dinner menu, but it kept them off their phones and computers for several hours. Win!
Today I did more out of the house stuff with both kids--aka, driving them to various appointments and practices around the city. I don't mind city driving as long as I'm not rushed, so it was actually a pretty relaxing day for me. I also spent two hours in the DMV, where I practiced the art of stillness as I had literally nothing else to do. Another win!
(Despite my wins, I'm glad that tomorrow is a) Friday and b) a regular school day.)