While reading the first book by the Duggars I ran across a neat idea regarding homeschooling with a baby in the house. Michelle (the mom) trains her babies when they’re very young to sit on a blanket for short periods of time while she does school work with the older kids. When I read this I was already researching MOTH and trying to figure out how we were going to better structure our day so that we could get the most bang for our buck when it came to our schooling hours.
I had also noticed that Parker was watching Sesame Street for a while each morning while I did history with the boys. When I stopped to ask myself why, it hit me that it was when he dropped that first morning nap that I had resorted to Cheerios, a sippy cup of milk, and a giant yellow bird.
Not feeling all that proud of this I worked feverishly on the schedule so that now Parker has two full hours of one-on-one play time each day. He has my full attention for thirty minutes every morning as I play in his room with him, using the same toys I used to enjoy with the bigs.
Each of the bigs also gets a 3o minute block with him so that means Parker gets special attention most of each day. There are two blocks of timea where he’s free to follow me around and do whatever he wants, and he usually ends up coloring. No more giant yellow birds for my baby! (This has been a fantastic result of MOTH.)
But for history, the bigs’ favorite subject of the day, I really wanted Parker to join us. This is the perfect time for blanket time. I had started training him back in December with the orange blanket. At first, only a minute at a time. Then we graduated to five minutes. Then I’d leave him on it and walk into the next room. By the time school started on January 3rd, he was up to 30 minutes and doing really great!
The first three weeks he did amazing. Very little fussing on the blanket. The past week or two has been hit-or-miss. It seems he’ll do great one day, the next, it’s an all out battle. But I see the benefit of him being able to sit for extended amounts of time so I will continue. The hardest part is not laughing at his antics, and keeping the bigs from laughing, as well.
Here is a blog post by another mom giving blanket-time a try. One of her points is that kids are sometimes given this directive in preschool when it’s time to sit on their rugs to listen to the teacher or to spend quiet time on their rugs. Love when she said, “we are just trying it at home.” Simple as that.
In case you want to see it in action, here’s a quick video of Parker during our history time. It shows some of the good and some of the bad…
(Oh, and one last thing… we do blanket-time on the floor 95% of the time. With the rough time he’s been having the past week or so I thought I’d try something different. And the author of the blog post I linked to above has given me some tips via email to help Parker stay better entertained on the blanket! Can’t wait to try them out!)