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!
I feel like we've settled into a new routine. Finally each week looks the same. I get to enjoy Bear's company 4 and a half days per week. We get to spend 1 and a half days per week together as a family. Only 2 and a half days of work.
I used to be a routines and schedules person. Bear doesn't work like that! There's no doubt that he loves things to be predictable and ordered. But he also needs to take his time.
So our "routine" has morphed into a "rhythm" that flows along through the day when we're at home together. It looks a little something like this:
I wake and get started in blissful quiet. I take the dog for a walk and get as many chores done as I can before Bear wakes up. (Thanks to the Gro-clock I usually get a whole hour to myself in the morning).
Bear gets up and has breakfast
We brush our teeth and hair together and Bear gets dressed
We head outside - we go for a nature walk, feed the chickens, or just play in the yard
Morning tea then inside time
While Bear's busy working on something I do some work nearby. (Things like sweeping, dusting, folding, tidying. Things that Bear can join in if he's interested. Things I can put straight down if he needs a hand. Things that won't prevent me from observing him or distract him from some other work).
New in the "schoolroom" this week: food for the guinea-pigs and water for the pot plant.
Lunch then a sleep
Outing or more directed activity - we tried peeling banana pieces and chopping playdough this week.
Daddy gets home! Some time with Dad while I get dinner ready - usually playing outside, a shower or wrestling!
"Sitting Still" practice
Playing games together, usually outside
Teeth, nappy, PJs, then we all take the dog for a walk with Bear in the babybjorn
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.