Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Room Time

I bought over 100 e-books/pdf's a couple weeks ago and one of the books included was Jamie Martin's, Steady Days (she writes at Simple Homeschool and has her own blog, Steady Mom). I was excited to see it among the list of books I received and started reading it immediately. She is one of my favorites! She's real, funny and is a busy work at home mom who also home schools her 3 young children.

One of the things she mentions is having a routine, flexible to you and your family. She even gives printables at the end to fill out and make your own. I printed it off and started filling it out. So far, it's been very helpful. I consider myself a fairly organized person but our days weren't going like I thought they could, some days at least. I struggled to find productive things for the girls to do at times and just got frazzled. The flexible schedule has helped!

One of the ideas, in the schedule, that really struck me is what she calls "room time." This is a 30-40 minute block (morning or afternoon, whichever suits your family) where your kids go to their respective rooms and play independently. It's not punishment, it's just a chance for everyone to recharge their batteries. Let's just say the girls haven't taken to it all that great. I'm starting out in a 10 minute block of time (she says to start small if your kids aren't used to it) and that's worked well. We'll build up each week and hopefully it won't be an issue in a couple weeks. It's hard getting them up to their rooms, they fuss and think they're being punished. I explain, in a few words, it isn't punishment, but a time to play with your own stuff and not have to share. The girls spend ALL day together and some separation time is helpful to them. I know it'll be good in the long run.

Not only is "room time" good for them, to learn some independence, but it's good for this mama. I can catch up on emails, this blog, switch laundry, get lunch together or just put my feet up. I need a few quiet moments just like they do. Who doesn't?

I can see that this will be a good thing for all of us. We'll build up to the 30-40 minute block and I think they'll be disappointed when "room time" is over. At least that's what I keep thinking in my head. Who knows, maybe we'll do 2 a day.

What routines have you established in your home that make you feel less frazzled?


The Atwoods said...

Oh it's so great you're doing this! We do "Independent Playtime" with William and it's great! He goes in his crib with his toys twice per day for 30 minutes, and he really enjoys it! It does help that I put on the Raffi Children's Music Radio station on Pandora :) He loves dancing along to the sweet tunes!

Meghan said...

We LOVE independent play! I started with Lexie when she was 4 weeks old, and she has done it almost every single day since.

Max ... well, I was doing it consistently, and then I stopped. So a week ago we started working on it again, and he isn't so happy about it. But I set the timer for 12 minutes and ext week we will do 15 minutes at a time. He isn't on room time yet, he is still in the crib, but really he would probably do well in room time. Once he stops crying during IP in the crib, I will do room time.

It is so helpful, isn't it? For the last year I did Lexie's IP in her room, while Max slept for his first nap. But this week, I started doing it after his nap, so I can spend one on one time with just him. I love it! And it definitely help keep sanity. =)

(PS- I read your blog, but I always read from my ipad, and it won't let me comment from there, because it is RSS feed?? .. anyway, I do love reading it!)

Ginny Gafford said...

We used to do room time but it got away from me. Now, I wish I would've stuck with it. I feel it's important for them to have some separation as well, since they're together all day. I like the idea of music in their rooms too. I may have to implement that. They love to dance and sing. That make might room time more fun for them.

Ginny Gafford said...

Room time is becoming more important to me too. I need some sanity in my life, at least for 15 minutes some days!
I'm so glad to know there are others out there doing room time. I think the girls see it more as punishment right now but I know we'll get there. Instead of saying, "we're going to your room" I"m trying to say "It's time for room time" in a cheery voice so they know they can have fun!
Thanks for commenting! :)