Saturday, October 27, 2007

What do we do all day?

Back at the beginning of the month my friend, Charity (you will find her at Cardiff Central), sent an email asking what the kids and I do all day. She also asked about any good websites. Well, me being the slacker that I am, I have never answered her questions. (Sorry, Charity!) I've decided just to do a post about it. Keep in mind my kids are currently 4 + years, 2.5 years, & 14 months old.

First let me say I am trying to be more disciplined about scheduling our activities. It's slow work. By schedule I don't mean going by a clock. In fact, God showed me last week that I put too much pressure on myself and my chickadees to follow a clock. If 10 am comes and some of us are still in pajamas and beds aren't made what difference does it make?

Back during the summer I bought a great book, Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families, about this very topic. I made a schedule but it has never really worked for us. Trying to make my children follow the schedule had me frustrated, aggravated and angry. Totally not the purpose. After prayer God showed me I was trying to use too many good ideas in my schedule and to relax and stick with the basics.

Just getting everyone dressed, beds made, and teeth brushed takes at least an hour in the morning for me. Remember my little troop requires a lot of my help. I try to send the boys outside to play when weather permits. Our backyard is completely fenced in and they have all manner of fun toys back there. This helps me a lot! When they are outside I do housework or computer time.

Rest time in non-negotiable around here. At one o'clock all three go to bed. The 2 little ones sleep for about 2 hours. Will lays on my bed (the boys share a room) and listens to Adventures in Odyssey cd's or reads books for an hour. It has taken a lot of training (and spankings) for everyone to learn they must stay in bed during this time. I really need that hour to recharge (and so do they).

The nice thing is I also have an hour alone with Will. Sometimes we read books together. For a while I read a chapter book to him. I really need to get back to that. We have also cooked together (remember the Apple Pie?). I learned after one attempt that I can't cook with both boys. My kitchen isn't big enough for separate work spaces and they compete and argue over who gets to do what. Sometimes we each work on our computers. We have an old laptop that has Wordpad and Paint. Will likes to "type" and draw on it.

We all do a lot of coloring. Plain paper & crayons are my friends. So are coloring books, scissors, glue sticks and play dough. The boys like to cut so I give them paper and let them go crazy. I have been working more with Will by drawing lines on the paper and having him cut on the lines. I've also been giving them catalogs to cut.

My recent discovery was the dollar store. I got tons of foam animal stickers, foam paper, foam beads, water color paint sets, and regular stickers for very little money.

My kids do well playing independently but it has taken a lot of training on my part (ie. ignoring the wailing and gnashing of teeth). Like now Ellie gets gated in her room by herself to play while I wash dishes or some other housework. I did the same with the boys and now they will play alone or with each other pretty well.

Here are some websites I like for coloring pages, games and activities: First-School Preschool Activities, Kids Answers, Preschool Activities, Preschool Printables, Simply Charlotte Mason, Teaching Mom.

I hope I answered your questions, Charity. We are a work in progress around here. Nothing is hard and fast (other than nap time). I'm always trying new things. I guess that's just part of being a momma.


darla said...

Hey girlie! Just wanted to stop and check in on you! I always enjoy reading your posts and still bummed about missing you in RI. Love ya

Marc and Charity said...

Yep, thanks! I have to get a gate for Bailey's room!!!

Julie said...

My kids are 9,7, and 5 next week. They still have daily "quiet time." When they got too old to nap, we just continued it as quiet time. Best thing I ever did for my sanity!

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