|Use this image to share this post!|
First, I created our mornings and afternoons to be the same routines but different tasks. That routine includes: getting ready, eating (plus a story read), housework, activities with the children, one-on-one time, and outside playtime. By limiting things to these main areas, the schedule and day is simplified a bit. Also, the repetition will be much easier for all of us to know what comes next in the day and transition more smoothly.
The second change I made was to incorporate much more one-on-one time. With three children three years old and under now, I'm finding much of the misbehavior to stem from a desire for greater attention. Their attitudes and behaviors improve quite a bit when they've been able to have either mine or David's undivided attention. This can be difficult to do in a day though. But, if I plan for it then it's more likely to happen. So, I've paired one-on-one time with time for independent play in the bedrooms. While I'm spending a little time with one child, the other one can be playing alone in a bedroom. We've yet to be successful with independent play, but we're going to really work on it because I know we're all at a point of needing some space (ie independent play) and one-on-one time. I have it scheduled twice a day so that we have ample opportunity to be together and it maintains the repetitive nature of the morning and afternoon routines.
Below is a copy of our current daily schedule. (Click the images to view larger).
- "Tiny Tot School" refers to activities designed for Annelise's age (1-2 yrs old). This isn't a formal academic curriculum but more so just simple activities. For instance, this week we sang "I'm a Little Teapot," learned the sign for "no," read Llama, llama Red Pajama, stacked blocks and played "cushion crawl" (simply acting silly crawling over and around big cushions/pillows in the floor).
- "Tot School" refers to activities for Tennyson's age (2-3 yrs. old). We use the "All Aboard the Animal Train" curriculum from My Father's World. Again, this isn't a strict, formal academic curriculum but just simple activities. For example, this week we sang a song and played a corresponding game, read a story, sang "This Little Light of Mine" with the hand motions, worked on a puzzle, and then ended the week with a yellow water exploration bin outside.
- "Morning Jobs" refers to helping to unloading the dishwasher and to helping move laundry from the washing machine to the dryer. Both children are able to do these tasks. My desire is for them to begin to have a role in maintaining our home each day.
- "Personal interest" during naptime- If I don't designate or schedule such as this then it likely won't happen! It also likely won't happen if a little one takes a while to go to sleep or wakes early from sleep. I've learned to hold this time very loosely. Sometimes I get the opportunity, and sometimes I don't (okay, most of the time I don't but that's just the way it goes!).
- "Afternoon cleaning"- For me, the housework is manageable if I work on a little bit each day. So, I aim to have two rooms tidied and one deeper cleaning task completed each week. I haven't had the children join me in this effort just yet, but I'm going to try to begin incorporating them by assigning them one simple task as I work (such as picking up blocks if that particular room has toys strewn about). We may be successful in them helping, but we may not. They will at least witness that tidying up is a normal part of the day. haha
- Anything else?