This is part two (see part one here). I am discussing changes in the works for 2011 around here. All these items are actually sub-parts of one bigger “goal“ for the start of 2011. “My first goal for 2011 is a more structured day / more intentional approach to school”. Also, please do not fear for me, I am not jumping in to all this at once and most of the changes will actually be grown into slowly; some may not to be ‘seen’ for a time, but these represent my “intent” 🙂 my path.
BIBLE. For Christmas Big Brother received The SuperHero Bible. It is a “NIrV is an easy-to-read version of the New International Version written at the third grade level.” Big Brother and I are endeavoring to read though it – Genesis to Revelations – together. I talked about that here. I want Big Brother to have some experience the Bible as whole, not just the stories (though he knows many of them well). I want to start “forming hooks” for the boys both, but really Big Brother, to have for future learning; I want to start to demonstrate the Bible is a “whole” not just selected stories. I am in the process of looking for a Bible Time Line to hang on the wall so that we can start laying a foundation of the Bible as a whole; so we can visualize it all and the connections and the ‘flow’. This is something I intend to make a repetitive habit for the family; even once the boys are in school outside the home, we will continue reading the Bible, as a family, over and over again. I chose this version (not that it is a great translation) as a good starting point to make the language more assessable to the boys and also as one Big Brother (and eventually Little Brother) can transition in to reading on his own soon than say the NIV or the King James (both of which, of course, are better actual translations of the Bible as an tool of faith and the voice of God given to us).
Big Brother really is showing signs of reading readiness (sounding out the words on the products in the hardware store to “read what daddy needs”). He can sound out all the basic phonic sounds, and a few blends (ch, th, sh, st). He is at the place where he can sound out all the letter in the word, but it does not “become a word” for him. Any day now. I am so excited. Since Little Brother is going to start going to classroom 2 days week (2 hours each day) for more intensive speech time; Big Brother and I are going to use that time, an hour and 45 minutes after drop off and pick up of Little, for “school”. I am hoping that we can make good use of that block of time he and I have alone. I don’t plan to drive home and back, so we will see if the local library is open, or go to the bakery. A little phonics, some math and handwriting. Then he will earn, maybe PBS.com time on my lap top or maaaaybe once in a while youtube videos of superheroes (his love and reason for life right now). I am not going to push, he is after all just turned 5, and fundamentally I am opposed to an early push in academics. Nevertheless a little one-on-one time with momma to read, and do some phonics and the ability to practice his handwriting without Little on top of him, may be just the right thing for him right now. If not, we’ll change it.
Quiet time is going to start. Here is a blog about it — many many families do this, a regrouping time in the afternoon. This is still a really fluid concept for me and I am not sure either what it is going to look like here in our home nor am I sure how I am going to start. I envision a time in the afternoon for all of us to sit – no media – and read and relax. Little Brother gave up naps well over a year ago (sadly for momma as family nap was really helping me) but both boys seem to really lag in the afternoon and need a recharge; and I am thinking a chunk of time with books is a good habit for us as a family. It can grow into something more in years to come. Stay tuned I am still not sure this is going to work.
One day a week shall be stay home day – even PJ day. I have been scheduling the first quarter of 2011 and sadly so many days are already booked. Big brother has ST and OT and other appointments. Little Brother has ST. Both boys have classroom; we try to get to library one a week and I value their weekly playdates (this is momma time too since I get to hang with the other mom(s) and since I truly care abut the other children and enjoy time with them too. So I am starting to make off days on the daytimer as HOME. I feel strongly that the boys NEED time to be kids; time to play, to be lazy, to be mostly undirected. Entire days to wear PJs all day if that is what they want to do. I am not sure I can do it each week, sadly, but it is important to me to make sure the boys have time to be kids.
There shall be less TV. Very little else needs to be said, this is all momma. We limit quality and content quiet strictly, but quantity needs to be cut back (and content a bit too but not so much). This is feel is going to be a natural happening as there is more routine and more structure and more “other” in the day.
More memory work. The boys are both at that great parrot age – they love to repeat they love to learn the ending to things. Big Brother is entering the Grammar Stage and is already committing random stuff to memory. I intend for us to start learning (as a group, all three of us) more nursery rhymes; longer ones and then bridge into short fun poetry. From there I hope to start in on shorter Bible verses, and that of course I intend for them to continue, committing more and more of God’s revelation to memory as they years go on. Eventually I will broaden our outlook to longer poems or more serious poems (as opposed to rhyming silly children’s one). Momma will be doing this along with them. That is, of course, the long term plan, over years. For now I intend to start with more nursery rhymes and longer ones.
Yoga. The boys are, at some point, going to be doing yoga on a mostly daily basis. Now, right now – we have done it once in the last 2 week, and the time before that I can’t remember. So this is a long path for us, but some day I do want us to be ‘regular yoga practices” (exercise ONLY, not the faith or philosophy). Big Brother’s OT therapist suggested yoga for him; for body control, for core strength and for self-soothing and, learning to control breathing and emotions. I got him a 3 DVD set for Christmas when he was 3; and we’ve never done much with it; so we are digging that set out and going to try to “practice” each day. I have wanted to learn yoga (exercise only) for years so I am excited to drag the boys along with me; I do admit the challenge factor of yoga (or anything like that) is greatly increased by adding a couple of pre-schoolers to it.
Stay tuned – there are a few items left for a part 3 🙂