Since I’ve already gotten the jump on goal setting and intentions for this year, I though it was about time to shake up our routine a little too. As unschoolers, we don’t have set subjects or curriculum we cover each day, but we do have certain activities and blocks of time that we do daily. We read daily, spend time exercising or doing yoga, go outside for adventures or errands, and have quiet time / tablet time in the afternoon.
Little Sis spends most of her day asking Big Sis to play with her. Big Sis usually will, but not always at the time Little Sis wants. A few nights ago Big Sis agreed to play with her after supper, and although it started off great, after a while the excitement and silliness had built and it was hard bringing them down for bedtime. So the next morning, I tried something different.
Little Sis and I did a few stretches and exercises together when we first got up. She was happy to make the connection with me first thing so she went off on her own to play for a bit. When Big Sis woke up a little later, I did a few more stretches and jumps with her. Then we all sat down while I read two chapters from a book we never got around to before Christmas. When they started squirming, I suggested to have playtime then. Their moods were relaxed and friendly and they played great for over an hour.
Early afternoon is still the best time for outside activities, field trips and errands, and quiet time usually follows when we return home. But I’m going to try and incorporate another connection moment in the late afternoon, before supper busyness takes over. Tuesday we had an afternoon cookies and poetry session that went over well! Other short activities to break up the afternoon include yoga, coloring together, puzzles, crafts, baking, etc.
Now that the playtime is taken care of in the morning, Little Sis isn’t asking Big Sis to play all day long, and calmer activities like coloring, Lego and reading can take place before bedtime and help prevent the big bedtime meltdowns.
Another bonus to our change in routine is that I’m now fitting in more physical activity during the day with them, plus I have more time to myself for self care, blogging and to tidy up during the day when I don’t have to tend to “I want to play with you / I don’t want to play right now!” squabbles!
Have you though about switching your routine around? Has it helped at all? We’re only a few days in, but the added stretching and exercise has already help calm our moods and increase my patience!