On Tuesday we began the Before Five in a Row curriculum. I'm using this mainly for Little Miss, although Bubby gets included he still likes to go about his own business during the day. The basic concept is one book per week and within each book the BFIAR guide gives you a plan of action for activities and learning opportunities within each book selected. I also found resources HERE and HERE for extra printables and lessons to go along with the books. I bought BFIAR on ebay for around $25 and I am checking out the books each week from our local library.
Our mornings are looking a little something like this:
8:00-8:30- wake up, make the beds and wash up
8:45-9:10- breakfast and read the devotion while I have them at the table
9:10-9:25- I clean up breakfast while they have some free play
9:30-10:30- BFIAR lessons and activities, reading, scripture, signing songs, music instrument play, and games.
10:30-11:30ish- Outside play time
12:30-1:00- I clean up and the kiddos play
1:00 -Down for nap time
1:15- Little Miss out of her room to go potty
1:17- Little Miss out of her room to get water
1:23- Little Miss out of her room to give hugs and kisses
and the list goes on.......
So that's a good picture into our day!
The reason why I felt it was time to start doing a planned program with Little Miss is that I noticed this summer that she was craving activity beyond 100% free play. I also found that during that time frame after breakfast when I was cleaning up the kitchen I would then move onto cleaning up other parts of the house, doing laundry, checking the interwebz way too much and before I knew it my kids were camped out in front of the tv and I hadn't engaged all morning. I needed structure. The kids need structure. Having a plan each day keeps me from falling into bad habits and allows me to hang up the apron, allow there to be dirty dishes in the sink and get on the floor and engage with my littles. I have found that when I start my day with focused time on them it get's it off to the right start and by the time we finish up lunch and I work on house stuff they are having a ball playing inside together they aren't craving that attention from me anymore because their tanks are full.
Little Miss is adjusting the way I thought she would. She of course is thrown off by not having cartoons on right after breakfast but with any habit it's getting better each day. The first morning she cried and threw herself on the floor and then this morning she didn't even ask. Once I begin reading the story of the week she forgets about the tv and is interested in the story. Bubby comes and goes as he's interested. I also have some games for him to play at the table while Little Miss is working on "lessons."
The approach is very laid back and go with the flow. If something else strikes their interest in the midst of what I had planned I just go with it.
At night as I'm prepping for the next day I pray that God would encourage me and help me to be qualified. I'm their Mother and I know them better than anybody else but sometimes the enemy likes to play tricks on me and make me feel like I'm not adequate. Then I think about the fact that it's ABC's and 1,2,3's, shapes, colors, and games right now. I don't have to worry about years down the road. We will figure that out when we get there. With lots of prayer and direction from the Lord he will guide our path. As for right now we will just take things one day at a time.