I love routine.
Routines really work for me. I am able to be more efficient, more productive and more relaxed when I have a comfortable routine.
Routines have worked for my children as well as long as a few conditions are met: Some things need to be flexible. Some things need plenty of time. Sometimes there needs to be options.
I have learned not to force the boys into my routine. I've learned to adapt to theirs. We've settled into a pattern that repeats itself day after day. It changes often. This is what our days have been like this summer with Bear at 2.5 years and Fox at 10 months.
5.45 am yoga or walk the dog
6.30 am get breakfast ready
6.40 am the boys wake up and we all have breakfast together
(Around this time Ranger gets up and helps with the boys while he get's ready for work. We spend most of this time outside.)
8.00 am Fox goes down for a sleep
(One-on-one time with Bear. Usually we spend half the time together and half the time working on our own things. This is the best time to introduce a new Montessori game or material to Bear)
9.30 am Bear and I have lunch*
* I know it's early! Bear is most hungry and most open minded about food at the beginning of the day. So we eat our main meal together after working up an appetite in the garden!
(Things vary from day to day in this time. We usually go out for a while to do grocery shopping, swimming lessons, bible study or spend time with friends. If we're at home the boys work on something from their shelves.)
12.30 am the boys have lunch then go to bed
(I'm usually pretty desperate to recharge by this time! I'm usually starving, thirsty, busting to go to the toilet, fatigued and overstimulated. I have to spend 30 minutes carefully getting myself back in order. For me the most important ingredients to a successful break are a big healthy lunch, a coffee and an episode of Gardening Australia. Sometimes a power-nap! Then I can get on with the things that can't be done with little helpers around.)
2.30 pm** the boys get up and have afternoon tea
** Bear's groclock turns yellow at 2.30pm. He is not allowed out of his room before then. They both usually sleep until 3-3.30pm
(Fox often wakes up before Bear which gives me some precious one-on-one time with him. This is the best time to introduce a new Montessori game or material to Fox.
This is our most difficult time of the day. This is the time when they demand most of my energy. Things that work include: setting up an art activity for Bear to do while I play with Fox, putting them both in the bath, a trip to the library, reading books or watching a David Attenborough documentary together.)
5.00 pm I cook dinner
(Ranger is usually home to play with the boys and it's cool enough to go back outside.)
6.00 pm we all eat dinner as a family then play outside
6.30 pm time to wind down before bed. We read together finishing with the bible.
7.00 pm the boys go to bed
Once the boys are in bed I load the washing machine, put away clean laundry, clean the kitchen, do a very quick general tidy-up, have a shower and collapse on the couch to relax with Ranger. Phew. Made it to the end of another day!
We're back! Hello!!
It's been a long time since I've posted. Holidays have come to an end. We're settling into a new routine and I'd love to share some things we've been doing at home.
We've been working in the garden!
Working in the garden with Bear is something I find easy and fun! It is something that comes naturally to me. It takes no effort to prepare and it engages Bear straight away. It is the cure for the anxiety I feel about all the Montessori things I am not doing! Seeing Bear peacefully at work watering strawberries or dead-heading daisies reassures me that we're doing ok.
The garden is a place where we can both do meaningful work side by side. We can take our time. We can choose our work.
It is a place where Bear can learn unconsciously and I can teach spontaneously. We talk about roots and leaves. We learn the names of plants. We watch things grow and ripen. We use all sorts of tools - rakes, secateurs, shears, shovels, watering cans, wheel barrows... We make compost. We apply mulch. We collect worm tea. We prune.
It is a place where Bear can be free and independent.
I get the boys outside as soon as they've finished breakfast because it is still so hot during the day. It is not long before the sun forces us to retreat indoors. The earlier we get out the longer we get to play.
Fox joins us for a while before he goes down for a sleep. Unlike Bear and myself he does not feel at home in the garden. Although he can crawl very well he doesn't like me to be out of his reach. He likes me to sit with him in the sandpit. Or he stands next to me while I'm weeding with a hand on my shoulder. I'm sure it won't be long before he too is comfortable and confident.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - our garden is a mess!! It is a work in progress. It is a long way from what I dream of it being. But I think that's part of the reason why we love it so much. There is so much for us all to do. We get to watch it taking shape. We all get to learn and explore along the way.
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.