Friday, January 30, 2009

Homeschooling tip -- quiet time

No, I’m not talking about devotions, though that’s paramount. By “quiet time” I mean a daily afternoon rest for everyone, including mom.

This tip came from Gregg Harris at the first homeschooling conference I ever attended when I was expecting my second baby. It came at just the right time, because my eldest was just beginning to outgrow her morning nap, and sometimes wasn’t ready for one in the afternoon if she’d already had one in the morning, and I was trying to decide how to handle it.

The idea is that at some point after lunch everyone needs a quiet rest, even if they don’t need a nap. Some moms and children need the quiet space to recharge and get ready to face the rest of the day, but some need it as a discipline — because they need to learn how to be alone and still and quiet. I fall in the first category, and so do most of my children, but I have a couple who are in the second category. They also tend to get even more active and noisy when they’re overtired, and they need to be made to rest, or they’ll wear themselves out, not to mention the rest of the family.

As my children have gotten older, my own quiet time has gotten shorter because afternoon is when the three older children and I have time to study together. It was hard for me to make this transition, because I LOVE my quiet time, but it’s been necessary, and I’m sure when the children are all grown I’ll no end of afternoons to myself, and then I’ll miss our afternoon discussions.

When you have a houseful of children, finding an alone place for each of them can be challenging. My children have rarely had a room alone, but if you have two quiet-loving children they can each sit on their own bed (or in the case of a shared bed, one on the bed and the other on a pallet on the floor). When I have a child who is needing to be trained in quiet time, I usally give him a place on my bed, or a spot on the floor in my room, so he won’t be able to distract the other children. Any cozy place around the house makes a good quiet time place: under the school table, in a corner behind a couch or large chair in the living room, a window seat… Little children love little cozy places like that and it makes their quiet time a real treat to have a cozy spot to themselves

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