Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a privilege

Notes on my scheduling endeavor:

There is some disagreement among child-development experts as to whether or not schedules are good for kids. Generally, they aren't thought to be beneficial for the preschool set, since young children learn best through spontaneous (or facilitated) play.  Ideally, a parent or teacher sets out age-appropriate materials for the preschooler to manipulate, which leads to discovery learning.  Routines are more appropriate than schedules for this age group.

I model my homeschooling/home management schedules after the Manager's of Their Homes book, by Steve and Terri Maxwell. A few FlyLady tips and routines are incorporated too.  I write it all out in half-hour increments, mostly so that I can adequately address all of my goals. The entire endeavor starts in prayer, and then in listing goals for individuals and for the family.  Larger families need this especially.

For example, If I don't create a time slot for reading to my baby and for reciting nursery rhymes to her, these things easily get crowded out by chores.  The consequences of leaving these things out are that down the road, she won't have the bond with me that she needs, and she won't have an easy time learning to read.

Starting each homeschool segment in prayer is also very important to me, and if I don't make room for this,  it too, would get crowded out.

The children don't look at the schedule and feel confined by it.  I look at it frequently at first, as it helps me fall into a routine; once that happens, I can take it down.

Incidentally, there hasn't been a single day in which I was able to do all the things on the schedule.  And that doesn't bother me.  I see it more as a prayful list of my priorities.

Last evening because of Anna's teething, presumably, she awoke every half-hour after being put down at 8:00 pm.  I had to keep nursing or cuddling her back to sleep.  Tylenol would have helped, but now they say too much Tylenol in baby's first year puts them at risk for asthma.  The pediatrician used to give me a sample of Tylenol after every well-baby visit that included shots.  Now he doesn't, due to the new research.   I've been trying not to resort to Tylenol unless she can't fall asleep at all, or unless she can't nurse at all.

Anyhow, by the third wake-up, I had only blogged for a half hour, shuffled laundry once, and straightened up the playroom. The interruptions meant that I had to give up and go to bed with her before any sweeping got done, or before I could disinfect the counters or pick up all her toys.  Certainly, it was frustrating to wake up to crumbs and Cheerios and toys on the floors.  If I let myself, I could even cry about how frustrating teething is!

However, each time I cuddled or nursed her back to sleep, I also got to study her sweet face, with its delicate features and incredibly soft skin.  My heart jumped for joy as I saw her little mouth continuing the sucking motions, after she released the breast.  All was a reminder that loving and comforting a baby is a privilege--each and every time.

The things on my schedule will wait; they will always be there.  Nursing and cuddling her will pass away-- sooner than I can bare.