Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy Time - Our Schedule and New Plan

Last week I shared my "confession" about planning and not doing when it comes to Mommy Time! And I shared my relief when I found an "out" and a wonderfully easy schedule to follow. This huge sense of relief settled in and I am very happy!! :-)

Throughout the past week I watched how the boys and I "lived" throughout the day and wrote up a simple little schedule that includes both of my boys and the little munchkin too. So, here's are basic schedule for each day.

So, now let me share a little more detail about each of the times listed.

8:00-9:00 – Usually my boys are still asleep. The munchkin arrives around 7:15 and gets some play time and one-on-one with me. He then gets his bottle and drifts off to sleep J  Depending on when my boys get up, I usually get some quiet time that I use to just relax.  

9:00-10:30 – Both of my boys are up somewhere around this time – sometimes earlier, sometimes later depending on how well they slept during the night. They get breakfast and get to have playtime. This is their best time of the day which is why I left it as free play. They are happy and often play together well. This gives me time to get things marked off my to do list and work on any projects.

10:30-11:00 – The munchkin gets up and has his lunch; my boys are very ready for a snack (can you say meltdown’s? LOL)

11:00-11:45 – So, what is focused playtime? I have no idea ;-) I’m molding this at this point but with summer coming here are a few ideas: We’ll head outside and play – sometimes it will be directed by me with things like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, pin wheels and playing ball. Other times, they will just play. I can also use this time to clean out flower beds (which is a great teaching tool too!), and other outside chores . Or just read ;-) On days we don’t go out I want to use the time to sing songs, read stories, and just play with toys that are “educational” with the kids. They have lots of puzzles and other toys that we can do together. We also have some games that the boys are starting to get old enough for that I want to start pulling out. This is also a great time to use a sensory bin (when I have one made!) My mom made them a couple of "fun" quilts awhile ago that I like to use on the floor - we can count buttons and look for shapes and all that fun stuff. So basically, it's learning fun :-)

11:45-12:45 – Time to prepare lunch, eat lunch and clean up the kitchen. This is the time that I eat too. Once I’m done, I empty the dishwasher (sometimes Josh helps!) and I also try to get everything ready for dinner that I can. This helps make that “Killer hour” between 4:30-5:30 a little easier (We all know that hour – when everyone is tired and hungry! – the kids eat between 5:00-5:30; if Darryl isn’t home, I wait and eat with him)

12:45- 1:30 – Nate goes down for a nap making this prime Mommy Time with Josh. This is the specific time that we will work on our mommy time lessons without an extra pair of hands grabbing at things. We’ll do lesson plans and I also want to get him more involved with doing some baking with me once a week. He enjoys it when he gets to help so I’m going to incorporate making bread (or other items like applesauce) during this time once a week so we can mix it, bake it and have some for our snack. The Munchkin is usually still awake at this time so I will also use this time with him as well – he is intrigued with Josh right now and loves to do what he is doing.

1:30-2:30 – Both little boys are down for Naps and Josh likes to play or watch Nick Jr. Sometimes he falls asleep so this is kinda “rest time”. I use this time to have my quiet time/devotions, catch up on whatever I need to do or just relax too.

2:30-3:15 – Nate normally wakes up; he’s ready for a snack so it is snack time and he also likes to sit with me for awhile meaning this is prime story time. He loves books right now so I want to take advantage of the one time my "energizer bunny" is still quiet and read books together. He also LOVES to sing songs (Twinkle Twinkle is his favorite!) so we'll sing too :-)

3:15-3:30 – Time for the Munchkin to get up and eat

3:30-4:30 – I have this listed as more “focused playtime” – again, we will either be inside or outside. My boys will have a little more free time and I will use this time to read to the Munchkin, sing songs, and other small activities.

I tried to incorporate some one-on-one time with each one of the boys – it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily just them involved but they are the focus (i.e. Story time after Nate’s nap is for him but I’m sure Josh will often enjoy listening too BUT he can also just be playing by himself too)

As we all know, plans don't always work out so even though we have this schedule laid out for now . . it will change and some days, not be anywhere close to this! But if you "Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail"!!!!

I've really focused my Mommy Time more on where Josh is at than where the two little boys are at because he needs a little more for the simple fact that he is older. The little boys will benefit from what they hear and see us doing. Plus, reading to them is the key learning took at this point. When I came across this idea from 1+1+1=1 that is built upon one letter at a time, I knew this was perfect!! Josh knows his alphabet and can name the letters already so this just builds on that (If he didn't know them, this would teach those letters!)! There is a "bonus" to this technique too - once Nate is ready to start this, he can start with the letter A and Josh can continue work on whatever letter he is on - it won't add too much work to my day because they follow the same basic idea in each packet.

We will work on each letter for as long as I feel like :-) Not only does 1+1+1=1 give her printables/ideas for each letter, she also has links for other activities to do with that letter from a few other blogs as well. I do have a goal to work on each letter for 2 weeks incorporating memory work, hand work, and crafts over the course of the two weeks.

So . . after that very wordy post - we will begin May with the letters :

I'm looking forward to sharing ideas that I find AND that work for us :-)

Garden Challenge Update

It is hard to believe that it has been a month since the first post about gardening with kids!  We haven't made much progress because of this:

Yep, those are our tulips that we've been watching grow over the last few weeks.  We also have daffodils and day other flowers popping up too. This snow was the week before Easter . . . I had hoped to get out with the kids to plant some more things this week but we have had so much rain we have not been able to get outside. 

So some of the lessons we've been looking at come from Musings of Me - this little book seems to fit perfectly right now!
And also this Spring unit, again, from Musings of Me

My boys are enjoying stomping in puddles more than digging in the dirt mud - we are still holding off from doing any major planting as the weather people are "warning" us not to start planting yet as we could still get some more freezing temps. 

Things we are planning to do as soon as the weather is set for spring/summer:
-  Put together our container boxes for our garden
- Pick our seeds for the plants we want to put in - I am planning on taking the boys with and (hopefully) letting them each pick out one packet.  I don't care what they pick - we'll plant it and see how it grows!
- Plant the bulbs and Raspberry bushes I ordered and arrived (in the middle of a snow storm)
- Plant the garden seeds (Memorial day Weekend is when this is normally done here!)

Check out The Home School Village to see the Garden Challenge :-)