Monday, October 19, 2009

The Ants Go Marching One by One...

I'm still learning at this parenting gig.

I hope I can always say that. I fear that if I stop, it means I will not be learning anymore- never let it be said.
At any rate, I've recently come to this conclusion;

Having three little ones, it seems that doing things in threes is most efficient. Bedtime, send 'em all up to brush teeth and potty and jammie up. "Time to go...everyone get your shoes on and hop in the car."

It is quick. It is (sort of) efficient. It also can be chaos.

It's taken me awhile to get this one. Now that the boys are all big, knees and elbows fighting to get around the bathroom sink, I'm seeing that things almost always, always go better when I can teach them, work with them one on one.

For a few months I've been sending the boys to the bathroom one at a time at bedtime. It simplifies things. Bedtime is much quieter and more peaceful.

Yesterday I was helping the boys clean up their bedrooms. This is another thing that I've orchestrated as a group in the past, everyone goes up and I help each boy for a few minutes to get things put where they belong. But yesterday one of my boys was particularly distressed and needed extra direction. Things quickly turned to chaos for all of us, not fair at all for the boys who were just picking up their toys. Later on, it occurred to me that I would have done better to simplify by doing this thing too one-on-one. This would have completely given me the chance to work with my son and teach him to take responsibility for his stuff and space, etc. It could have not been chaos.

We've gotten down a great pattern of schooling one-on-one. We do our Classical Conversations as a group (which is great for practicing classroom courtesy) and then I work with the boys one-on-one in Math and Language Arts, because they're at different places- they're different people. It works so well for us.

How do you make a busy home peaceful?

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