I was just reminded again the other night about just how structured I am. I have been very proud of myself the last couple of weeks in being a little less so structured. I realized that being so structured was actually inhibiting my daughters' love of learning. I also wasn't feeling like I was getting "my time" in because the kids always needed me duirng the two hours they weren't supposed to need me! So, if you've read my schedule for the day you can see that I do like to have structure to my time. But our days really don't look like that anymore. This is what we do:
Breakfast and Devotional
Chores in the morning
Free Learning Time in the late morning and all afternoon
I will plan a few activities to use throughout the day. Usually a math game or activitiy; a reading activity or some sort; and then a history, science, art or music something or other. Then, when I notice the kids are getting bored with playing, I pull out an activity or we do some reading aloud. This time they are much more resonsive to what I have to teach them. I have heard virtually no complaining, whereas a couple of weeks ago it was, "Do I have to?" Yesterday my 5yo son asked if he could do some math pages on adding and subtracting. My 9yo daughter, who has claimed herself a nonreader picked up a book I'd gotten at the library and read the whole thing! I have been trying to teach A the concept of adding ten to any number without any success. Yesterday we played a fun game and the concept clicked in just a few minutes! And I'm not feeling interrupted during "my time" because I snatch my time in between while the kids are playing so happily together.
So, as much as I thought I would hate being so unstructured, I'm actually finding that I love it! I'm also better aware and able to give more to my children. I can actually stop and play a game when my 5yo asks. I am noticing that B is really entering in the love of learning stage but doesn't really know what to do about it (I will be having an interview with her to get her steered in the right direction). I'm just excited to see that this change is giving me the results I was so desiring a couple of weeks ago! Love it!