“When children grow and develop in a positive, supportive environment, they are more enthusiastic, more willing to accept challenges, more persistent in the face of difficulties, and better able to set and achieve their goals. Support and guidance allow them to develop emotionally and socially in healthy ways. If given opportunities to make choices and decisions, and if learning to work in a self-directed way, they will learn to become independent.”
– Marilyn Chapman, 2000
This is, of course, the part of our day that takes the most amount of time to put together and plan and the part of the day that I get questioned about the most. My suggestion is to start slowly!! Begin with just one activity a day. If one activity a day is enough for your family, then keep it that way. If you feel that you want to try more, add one more activity at a time. I find that reading one book or poem and doing two to three activities a day works well for us.
Tips for a Successful Planned Activity Time:
1. I plan activity ideas on Sundays. After choosing a theme for the week (either from things that R has shown interest in or a topic that I think would interest her), I search Pinterest, Google, Instagram and my old lesson plans for ideas that I can adapt for R. Many ideas are usually too difficult and need simplifying, but are easily adaptable. I write out a list of all the ideas I feel would work well for us based on what materials we have at home or are easily made. I then split up the activities so that there are two to three activities per day. I make sure that I divide the activities in such a way so that there is only one activity a day that will take long to plan with the other activities being quick and easy to put together. Continue reading
This is one of the easiest times to plan for! After R wakes up from a nap and has a snack, we head outside. Here is a list of a few things you can do outside together (some are weather dependent):
1. Play in the backyard
2. Go to the park
3. Explore the forest
4. Splash in puddles
5. Go sledding on a hill
6. Visit a pool
7. Collect shells at the beach
8. Kick around a ball
9. Throw a ball
10. Play in a sand and water table
11. Climb stairs
12. Dig in the garden
13. Find insects
14. Chase birds
15. Roll or run down a hill
16. Walk a dog
17. Walk to the mailbox to mail a letter
18. Smell flowers Continue reading
Before answering this question, I want to share a bit about how I got to this point where I have a scheduled day with my daughter. When I first became pregnant, I had no intention of becoming a stay at home mom. I am a very passionate teacher and I absolutely loved my job. I always imagined that I’d continue teaching forever. Well, like people say, having a child changes everything. My husband and I have discussed our options numerous times. We have thought about getting a nanny or sending our daughter to daycare, but none of these options seemed quite right for us. The decision to stay at home with my daughter was not an easy one, but it is the right one at this time. At first, there was no schedule or routine beyond my daughter’s napping and feeding times. Most days, we were at home all day and we were both just miserable. I decided I needed to make a change. I knew I wanted to engage my daughter more in daily activities and I wanted us to get out of the house every day. I started thinking about how I scheduled my days with my Kindergarten and Grade 1 students and thought about what aspects of teaching I could bring into our home. A scheduled day consisting of four chunks of time is what I came up with.
I often get asked about how I plan my days and weeks on Instagram when other moms see what we get up to each and every day, so I thought I’d share my secrets here. Continue reading
“The ability of young children to control their emotional and cognitive impulses, it turns out, is a remarkably strong indicator of both short-term and long-term success, academic and otherwise. In some studies, self-regulation skills have been shown to predict academic achievement more reliably than I.Q. tests…
“…the key to developing self-regulation is play, and lots of it…”
-Paul Tough, 2009
Here is a look at how our day is mapped out:
During the early morning, R plays independently while I prepare for our outing and the day.
1. Outing ~ 10 – 12:00pm
Each day, we start off by heading out to places in and around our community. Sometimes we go out with friends and other times, we go on our own.
Goal: The purpose of these outings is to promote healthy emotional development as R explores and tries new things and learns to take risks. Further, morning outings also help with R’s social development as she learns to make friends and get along with others.
LUNCH & NAP
“An intellectually stimulating environment allows students to engage in such varied activities as exploring, imagining, thinking critically, reflecting, playing imaginatively, and representing ideas in varied ways”
– Marilyn. Chapman, 2000