Sunday, August 15, 2010


Esmé's Mom here...

I've been test-driving our super-duper all-inclusive ever-so-thorough school schedule in the past week.  Well, not the school part, just the surrounding parts that enable us to squeeze in "school."  (Which might not look like school to many of you, but it's intentional learning time of a sort.)

So we've been enforcing wake-up, and bed-time, and outside-time, and quiet-time, and chore-time, and all that good stuff.

(Confession:  lately I've just kind of muddled through the day and considered myself accomplished if girlie is asleep by midnight and I've done at least one load of dishes and laundry during the day.  And the living room aka schoolroom is not totally trashed.  Just partially trashed.)

And I've relearned what I always learn when trying to follow a schedule.  There's NO WAY to fit it all in.  Or even a quarter of it in.  My daughter needs less sleep than I do.  And she doesn't DO schedules.

We're working through the issues.  I have high hopes.  I just need to adjust the schedule for the following factors:
  • From the start of bedtime to actual sleep takes 2 hours or more.  I should schedule 3 hours to be on the safe side.  After all that time, of course, Miss Esmé is hungry again, so we need to add a 1/2 hour to the schedule for a midnight snack.  And a rebrushing of the teeth.  And at least one more bedtime story to readjust to being back in bed after the snack.
  • Miss Esmé does not DO naps on a schedule.  We can work around this, of course.  I do the napping on her bed while she does "quiet time" with a stack of books.  Interspersed with  "Is it time to get up yet?" every 2-5 minutes   seconds.
  • I HAVE managed to adjust her wake-up time with all this.  I've been making her get up by 8 a.m. EVERY day (so naps and bedtimes would be easier??? - bad logic) - so now she is voluntarily getting up around 7:30 a.m.
  • We should be able to get in about 9 hours of actual "school" time a week.  Not quite enough for all the "curriculum" I had planned - I was hoping for at least another 3 hours.  So I'm working in some double-tasking.  Bible Story during bath-time, poetry reading during lunch, science during meal prep and outdoor time, phonics during art-time, subliminal math with audio CDs during sleep-time, etc.
  • Somehow the house looks even worse than it did before I got serious about a schedule.  I need to reevaluate the essentials.  Like take mopping and dusting and window-cleaning and toilet-cleaning off the list, since they don't get done anyway and just make me feel guilty.  Get back to the basics of one set of   clean dishes and clothes!
Yeah, I know all you moms of multiple kids think I've got nothing to complain about.  And yes, I'm truly grateful to get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  There was a time when that seemed like a heavenly concept.

So I think I'll shut up and go take a nap  enforce some quiet time.


Jacque said...

Oh boy! I could just leave you a whole book of comments right now. :) First of all - I love how you say 'intentional learning time' - that's how we do it too! Then I can totally relate to the super late nights sometimes. I always wonder if I'm the only mom that lets her 2 boys (ages 3 and 18mths) stay up until almost midnight at least 3 times a week... now I know that I may not be! And I totally love how you admit to napping with her! I nap almost every day with my boys and love, love, love it! :) I also agree with you about taking those silly little reminders (no offense) of doing the dishes, laundry, bathrooms, etc. off the to-do list. They can be so nagging sometimes! :) When I make a list - I tend to over-do it almost every time and then I just feel frustrated by all the things that don't get done.
Hope you had a great weekend and enjoy that 'quiet/nap time' girl! If you are a mom - I say you deserve it! :)

Marina said...

I would say dump the schedule and just see what happens naturally, find a schedule from that. i too find that when I create a schedule I get less done than if I had just gone with the flow. Schedule your intentional learning time in to make sure you get the hours needed to follow your curriculum and let the other stuff slide until they slide right in :)

Ticia said...

I've found one thing that works for me is not to have a schedule for learning, but goals for the week. That way I know what I want to do, and if it doesn't get done on day 1, it might get done on day 2.

Also, I'm working on playing a CD for my kids and that's when they can come out of their rest time. It's slowly cutting down on the "Can I come out yet?" questions.

Jennifer said...

What is all of the other stuff that fills your schedule? Are you still working? Is it the long, long commute to go to the store?

And I don't know how you deal with the sleep issues at all. I'd like to say that by 3 she shouldn't need 2 hours to fall asleep, but maybe she really does and is just that rare child.

Mrs4444 said...

I have just one suggestion. Sit down with your daughter and create a Visual Schedule (take photos of her doing each step of her bedtime routine, and then print them out.) Tell her that the routine is too long and needs to be revised. Let her help you select the photos for snack/teeth/stories/sleeping and put them in order. Then, follow the new schedule. Kids love the structure of checklists. Good luck!