Yesterday I showed the schedule we follow. Throughout the day I spend some one-on-one time with each child but it’s usually for something they need: help with school, fixing their hair, helping them practice the piano, brushing teeth, reading bedtime stories, etc. I wanted to spend time with each one that was just for fun, just the two of us together. So I scheduled it in. It’s not possible to do it every single day so we do it once a week. Thursday and Friday afternoons are reserved for those times. The children get my complete undivided attention. Whoever I’m not spending time with takes turns watching the baby. During “our time” we do whatever the child wants to do.
The kids look forward to these times all week. I do too. At first I felt like I was a bad mother. Who has to schedule special time to spend with their children? Apparently I did because it wasn’t happening. I’d intend to do things with each child but something always came up. I was at home. My children were at home. But I was not with my children. Now that there’s a reserved time it’s easy to say “no” to any distractions. It is also a relief.
Cookie (6) almost always wants to sew clothes for her American Girl dolls, Ruthie and Emily. She chooses the fabric from our stash, helps pin the patterns, and sits on my lap pushing the sewing machine pedal while I guide the fabric. She’s a hugger. She needs that physical contact to feel loved. I think that’s why she chooses this activity more than any other because she’s on my lap with my arms around her while we talk and giggle and sew.
During three-fourths of the year (spring, summer, fall) Fudge wants to spend our time outside. We go on walks, weed the garden, count the flowers that have bloomed, swing on the hammock, lay on the grass and cloud watch, etc. She LOVES nature.
Truffle and Brownie like to do crafts, play board games, go on walks, or work on Faith in God or Personal Progress requirements for church. The majority of the unfinished projects I had lying around the house are now done because they enjoy working on those with me.
Semisweet and Bon Bon enjoy taking walks, working on Personal Progress goals, Family Search Indexing, baking, and sewing. We also like to talk about their goals for the future, plan out school work, and discuss books they are currently reading.
It has been so informative spending this time with my children. I’ve learned so much about their interests, their talents, their dreams, through our one-on-one times. I can see what special souls they all are. Who knew there would be so many unique combinations coming from the same gene pool?
The children also get quite a bit of time with Mr. FR. It’s just a wonderful advantage of living on a farm. Whenever he hauls hay, drives tractors, etc he’ll come and get whoever’s turn it is to go with him. They go in order, oldest to youngest, so there is no question as to gets to go next. The girls ask him gospel questions which lead to great discussions or he’ll tell them stories from when he was little. With the younger ones they’ll sing songs, tell jokes, or he’ll help them memorize scriptures.
I do have some children who are higher maintenance. My poor Fudge is surrounded by the two who seem to require the most focused attention, Truffle and Cookie. They don’t care why they are getting the attention – just that they are getting it which results many times in misbehavior or whining. We are working on it. And they are doing better, especially as they get older and are able to show more self-control. The one-on-one times have helped as well, I think. Sad to say, I have to be reminded to show attention to the lower maintenance children, like Fudge, more than I’d like to admit. I know I haven’t been doing a good job when she starts leaving “calling cards” here and there. She’ll draw a picture or write a note and leave it on my pillow or hang it on the fridge. Later she’ll ask “Did you see my picture?” These are her cues that she’d like some acknowledgment and lovin’. At these times I try to make sure that our one-on-one times are even more special.
Tomorrow’s post . . . Toddlers, Babies, and Schooling, Oh My!
Heart of the Matter has partnered with 16 of the most inspiring, lovely, and just plain awesome bloggers in the homeschool community to bring you 10 days, 160 posts full of resources for those starting out, burned out or need new ideas.
Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.
10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori | Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool | Delightful Learning