As the kids are getting older I’m having to make small changes in our routine to keep them stimulated. Out of the three Claire has had the hardest time this summer. I think she had an intellectual growth spurt, which I was not expecting!
Claire and Landen both went down to only occasionally napping around the age 2.5. I never dropped their “quiet time” though. As they graduated from nap time they went to rest time, then quiet time. For rest time I expected them to stay in their bed, they were able to pick out some toys and books to entertain them. During this time they probably napped half the days. Once they went down to napping even less they graduated to quiet time. For quiet time they are expected to stay in their room and play quietly. I kept bins of “special toys” in their room, they got to pick 2 toys from the bin for quiet time, I tried to rotate the toys out every few months for new ones (not necessarily new to us, but new to their room). I feel like their are many benefits for them as well as me during this time. They learn to entertain themselves and that it is okay to be alone. They also get a “break” from each other and a rest time for their little bodies. Each transition to a different stage did require training, usually a week was long enough to establish the routine.
This summer our regular quiet time needed some freshness for Claire. She was struggling to make it through the entire time. After talking it through with my mentor we made a few changes. Claire loves taking things apart… everything apart. this started when she was a toddler, shredding books. She destroys crayons, her headband holder we made together, boxes etc. So I was on the look out for some new quiet time toys, ones that allowed her to build and destroy and recreate. We got several sets so that each day she can choose a different one. Now instead of a bin, she gets to choose one special toy, her barbies and play with the other toys in her room. She also gets to listen to an audio book. After several weeks of trying to find an audio book that works for her age, we settled on the American Girl audio books from the library. The special toy, barbies and audio books are saved to use only during quiet time.
The other quiet time change we made is starting a Kindergarten curriculum. Claire and I started working through “My Father’s World” kindergarten curriculum this spring. We are in no rush to get through it, we spend about 2 weeks on 1 week of work. This week the curriculum became much more challenging for her, so we may slow down a bit more. We spend 30-40 minutes three days a week doing our “school time”. We do it at the start of quiet time, after Landen and Ian have gone down for nap time. This helps meet Claire’s intellectual needs while giving her some one on one time before she goes to quiet time.
It has been a struggle for me this summer learning how to help Claire through her growth and changes. I have recently found some fun in it too. She is maturing so much, we have spent time garage saleing together, sitting and independently reading together and just enjoying life. She loves having conversations and sharing life together.
Claire’s School Curriculum: My Father’s World