Friday, September 6, 2013

Lesson Two: Schedules or Lack Thereof

There is only one success… to be able to spend your life in your own way.
Where the Blue Begins (1922)
sched·ule  (skjl, --l, skjl)
1. A list of times of departures and arrivals; a timetable: a bus schedule; a schedule of guided tours.
2. A plan for performing work or achieving an objective, specifying the order and allotted time for each part: finished the project on schedule.
3. A printed or written list of items in tabular form: a schedule of postal rates.
4. a. A program of events or appointments expected in a given time: Can you fit me into your schedule Tuesday afternoon?
b. A student's program of classes.
5. A supplemental statement of details appended to a document.
     Well, that's all fine and dandy but you learn pretty quickly that you can only "schedule" so much with a toddler. Their attention span, unless it's a cartoon {or something they know you don't want them doing}, is only about 10-20 minutes. Plus, you have to make it REALLY EXCITING in order to keep their attention that long. Also, their happiness is set on some internal timer that changes daily. Good luck figuring that out! I have found that our greatest chance for success and happiness for all happens in the morning time right after breakfast. That is when I swoop in and get the majority of what I, the mom, needs to get done. Anything after that window closes depends solely on how much whining I'm willing to put up with that day.
Luckily, my little guy likes to learn and create. But even then, I better make it quick or it's going to be a "mommy project" and then who's really learning what the letter "s" is for?
Needless to say, our schedule is mainly dependent on him and his whims. You have to also add in, the real world and our need for food, fresh air, and friends. We can't stay home That'd be silly. So, we have two kinds of days. Home days and Errand days.
Home Days:
Wake up between 7-9am. Lie in bed cuddling, talking, laughing.
Eat something yummy for breakfast. {Pancakes, French toast, eggs, oatmeal, things that require time and cooking}
The kid watches some morning cartoons while I do some chores.
By now, it's around 10-11am. Now we go outside. We play with the dogs, draw with chalk, go find a park. If it's unsuitable to go outside then we travel down into the basement for some play time. He has a mini trampoline for jumping, an abundance of toys and books, I'll sometimes make a tent for hiding out and we'll watch a movie. It's always a good time!
Then it's inside {or upstairs} for lunch and nap.
Errand Days:
Wake up between 7 and 9am. I usually wake up before him on these days so I can get ready in peace.
Then I wake him up with kisses and get him changed and dressed while he's still half asleep and much more compliant.
Grab a quick something to eat. {poptart, granola bar or two, something/anything portable}
In the car by 10am and off to do whatever is needed to sustain us. He's much more agreeable in the mornings. {grocery shopping, clothes shopping, FRG things, lunch with a friend, the list goes on.}
I always try to have us home after lunch so he can still nap in a bed and not in his car seat. Although this does happen occasionally.
Evenings are the same for both. After nap, we putter around doing whatever while we wait for Daddy to come home. Then I make dinner {or the husband grills..yum!} while they get some play time in. Then it's a comfortable and relaxing evening as a family.
As for our homeschooling, on Home days, we turn everything off and get to work after breakfast. On Errand days, if there's time, I take it with us. Or, we work on it after nap.
So, we don't have a precise schedule. But I'm really okay with that. It's one of the joys of being a Stay-at-Home-Mom. As long as I plan right, I'm never in a rush. Which is good, because I don't do well in a rush. Not to mention, I'm usually about 5 minutes behind from the time I get out of bed anyway {Family trait. Can't be helped.}
Long story, short. Don't stress if you take on homeschooling. Especially at this age. Let them set the day and play off their moods. You don't want them to not like school! If they aren't in the mood at the normal time, just set aside some time later in the day. It will be okay. If a project you had all put together doesn't get done on the planned day. It will be okay. Add it in later in the week. I have a "free day" every week just for that. And if we get everything done then YAY! We really do get a free day. On those days, I'll get out an art-something that he hasn't played with in a while and let him create something new.
     Enjoy your days with your little one. Enjoy watching their faces light up when they finish a new project and see how proud you are of them. Enjoy the moments and enjoy your child.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a lovely post Mandy - I agree that schedules at this age are difficult. Now in our second year we are a bit more into a routine but that first year we did just as you are doing and it worked well for us. Being where I am I don't have to worry much about errand days - that is definitely more challenging.