Sunday, 17 October 2010

Theme your weeks with toddlers and stay sane(r).

I regularly post on Netmums, and other "mummy" sites, I use it as a way to connect with other Stay at Home Mums (we deserve capital letters! And a pay packet, come to it. ) Recently, i've mentioned how I approach a week with my two, who are 3 and 2, and had lovely positive feedback, so I thought i'd blog it. One of the most difficult transisitions from working to staying at home was the lack of structure. I found that, at work, teaching, i'd measure my success through results, lesson attention or any number of other measurable outcomes. At home, what do you get? Nobody says "Yes, you met that outcome!", there is nothing to give structure to your week unless you make it. To keep me sane, I decided to approach my week with son and daughter in a more structured way.

I get a theme. Sometimes they are suggested by son or daughter, sometimes externally. In the past we have had boat, dinosaur, baby, flower and vegetable weeks. Every Sunday, we think of a theme. Last Sunday was "Autumn". So this week, we gathered leaves of different colours, and used them to make collages of bonfires and leaf prints. We walked the footpaths and took photos of the walk, and compared them with Summer photos. We gathered conkers, and sloes. We made autum and halloween masks from papier mache. We read books on Autumn from the library, spotted evergreen and decidouous trees, and gathered beech nuts. In our discussions, questions came up I had to research: Why do some trees lose leaves not others? Why is it darker at bedtime now? and so on. It makes me plan the way I used to plan lessons.

This weeks theme, decided by daughter, is HAIR. Unpreposessing, at first. But she's really aware at the mo of hair. Readers will be aware that I am almsot bald due to medical complaints. Daughter has the only flowing locks in the house. She spent Saturday with family friends with hair, the Mummy had hair,the daughter had hair, I do not have hair. So, hair it is. So, it's Rapunzel, Micheal Finnegan, animals that moult, and the various uses of hair through history, as walling, bedding and quilt stuffing. Animals that grow and lose hair, animals without hair, porcupines: are quills hair? Why is some short, some long, men have short hair, ladies do not, and why some ladies have it or not. And why, what I have, is growing in grey. Amd what is it anyway? I wish I had a microscope. I think we'll use soem chicken feathers to make prints and collages, we'll take a trip to the barbers and have a haircut, and we'll see what happens when we plait Stellas hair wet and leave it overnight.

If you are bored of your routine with your under 4, I urge you to think of a theme, or get them to, and see what a week you have. My whole working life, i've never answered as many questions as now. When you focus and choose to direct the questions of your children as a SAHM, you are not making an easy life for yourself. Tonight, I looked up why the moon controls tides. This for a 3 year old who wanted to know why little magnets made no difference. "What if there were more magnets and the moon moved away a bit on its' line?" Er, hang on a minute. This weekly focus is less about them, and more about me. Kids are sponges, brain sponges. All we do is wet the sponge.

And the quilt? Yep, still going. It's too BIG (single bed size), I sew so slow, and I am positively , never, ever sewing another one by hand ever again. I do not think it will be finished for Xmas, even if i do finish the quilting, the binding will drive me spare. Sons' birthday is in January, and so maybe by then.....

1 comment:

Jan said...

Your children are going to be so clever ,with a wide range of knowledge ,and thats before they get to school ,or will you home school them ?Oh your quilt really is coming along ,hand quiting wow clever you Jan xx