Okay, those who know me well know ... I need a schedule. I love a schedule. I feel a little crazy without a schedule. I love plans ... I need plans. I need, need, need structure, schedules, and plans. It is a problem, but acknowledgment is the first step, right? Right?
Over the last few days, I've been thinking that I need to get us on a schedule. I'm not talking about the baby ... I'm talking about Katie Anne and me. (I have no desire to put the baby on a particular schedule because I have no desire to listen to him scream for a bottle until a predetermined time. Katie Anne and I, however? I don't think we'll scream if we're put on a schedule, but I could be wrong.)
What kind of schedule? Well, my preliminary (obsessive, think-about-all-the-time-for-three-days preliminary) ideas were:
8:00 - 9:00 Television Time
9:00 - 9:30 Breakfast
9:30 - 10:00 Daily Chores/Getting Dressed
10:00 - 10:30 School Activities (handwriting practice, cutting/gluing, etc)
10:30 - 11:00 Free play
11:00 - 11:30 Art Time (coloring, painting, play doh, etc)
... and that's where I usually stop myself and say, "No - no more schedule - this is NUTS!" ... and then I keep thinking ... just for fun ...
11:30 - 12:00 Free Play
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 1:00 Quiet Reading
1:00 - 3:30 Nap/Rest Time
3:30 - 4:30 Television Time
4:30 - 5:00 Games or Outside Time
and on and on and on ...
I also, um, kind of had a five day weekly schedule in my head of three days at home, one day "out" for errands, and one day "out" for fun activities like the playground or Bounce N Beans or a playdate, etc.
I think a schedule would be great for us and help us keep some order and regularity in our days. It would keep us from sitting in front of the tv for three hours in the morning like we've done a few times since the baby's been born. It would keep us from getting cranky from doing the same kinds of activities over and over like we've done a few times. It would help us get a lot more done. It would help me meet my goal of working on preschool skills with Katie Anne while I'm home with her this fall. It would also make us anal-retentive and obsessed and focused on being productive and meeting goals and watching the clock and not relaxing. Sound bad to you? Sounds great to me! However, I do have some control over my own obsessive-compulsive behavior, and I do understand that putting us on a schedule is probably not a good idea. Why? Because we do have a baby in the house ... and we don't want to be too strict with ourselves ... and I don't want my child to inherit every one of my neuroses ... and a little flexibility never hurt anybody. (Wow, that's hard to even type. Haha!) Still, I've gotten out a piece of construction paper to write this little lesson plan/schedule and post it in the kitchen numerous times in the past few days. I'm crazy! I know!
So... as a sort of middle ground for myself, I just decided to start working some of these ideas into our days this week at good times ... not at prescheduled times ... just to see how it goes. How has it gone? GREAT. Really - it has been great! I've loved turning off the tv and feeling like we've done something good with our time - especially when Katie Anne's working on preschool skills, making something, coloring or drawing, or when we're reading together.
On Monday, we got so much great stuff done during SJ4's big morning nap time. We did a lot of reading aloud together. One book we read was a nonfiction book about animals - What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? - and we had some great conversations about it...
Then we worked on some pages in our preschool workbook. We worked on writing, reading, and coloring using color words...
Katie Anne loves to work on her school skills in her little workbooks, and it gives Mommy some great multitasking time because she's so busy and engaged...
Then we worked on writing Katie Anne's name...
And can I just brag for a second? Look at how mature the faces of the people she's drawing have gotten ... realistic eyebrows, eyes, and smiles...
We spent an hour at the table, doing lots of great stuff - and I felt awesome when we were finished because we'd been so smart and productive! This success kind of makes me want to write out our schedule ... but I'm resisting and just enjoying what we're doing now. I can't guarantee I can hold off on planning (or overplanning depending on your opinion) our days, but at least we're away from the tv a little more and spending more time on fun, valuable things!