By Tracy Heaton de Martinez
I admit, I am the mom that actually likes snow days. I understand that IPS is averse to cancelling school, and I completely support their efforts to avoid any academic delays and I am cognizant that our IPS schools provide safety and warm meals for many of our neighborhood children.
That said, I absolutely love letting our boys sleep in and then surprising them with the news that school has been cancelled for the day. I love making a big breakfast late in the morning, hanging out in our p.j.’s all day, playing games, baking treats, reading together and playing in the snow.
The heavy snow provided a gorgeous winter wonderland, a great day of sledding and a lengthy snow ball fight with our new neighbors before the dangerous cold settled in.
Our family considered ourselves to be quite lucky that we had power, heat, running water, cable and Internet access everyday. These modern conveniences are so commonplace that we rarely stop to think about our lives without them – until we don’t have them. We brought that awareness to our boys as we hosted friends one evening that had lost power for the day.
And while we were grateful for the chance keep our technology charged and ready to use, we took full advantage of the time together to play games. The types of games that we played did not require any technology. The games were even educational (maybe that was accidental; I will never admit that to my kids!) Our boys loved playing the games not because we kept score but because they enjoyed the challenge, they enjoyed being silly, and they simply enjoyed our time together.
We also took the time to read. We individually read our own books and articles, and we read a Harry Potter book together. We try to demonstrate to our boys that reading is fun, as well as a necessary part of our jobs, faith practice and volunteer work.
However, we completely failed at the “winter science” experiments. We threw the boiling water, and we blew bubbles hoping to see them freeze. Neither one of our experiments worked out the way we had read them about on the Internet. We tried to figure out together why these experiments didn’t work. We hope our failed attempts still provided an opportunity to learn for our boys, even if we were all a little bummed out.
We appreciated the winter break homework packet, as we directed our reluctant scholars to work on the packets each day. Admittedly, our appreciation for the packets may have been greater than that of our children.
So, I had my fill of snow day fun. We may not have needed this many days off from school, but our family took full advantage of the unplanned, unscheduled together time. Thank you IPS for making the best decision for the safety of all our children (and we loved it!)
About the author
Tracy Heaton de Martinez is an IPS parent. Her two boys attend Francis W. Parker Montessori School 56.