As we began the new school year I decided to revisit our existing routine at home as there were various changes that needed to be considered for 2018. I have been known to be very strict when it comes to routine- in fact, I was once called ‘an army sergeant mother’ by someone who is fortunate I happen to love her!
I had to learn the importance of routine through an over stimulated, reflux-colicky two month old that howled (for what felt like forever) during the first few weeks of his life. Yes, my son really eased me into the whole motherhood thing! What I discovered after reading a few books, was that my child cried at nap time because he had gone over his ‘manageable’ awake time, and when I tried to get him to sleep, his little brain and body could not shut down. This is how I learnt about awake times for babies. We then began timing his awake and nap times and lo and behold he started to settle faster and sleep better.
Routine for me has since been a given. When the boys started preschool at around three years old they were in bed at 7pm…yes even in summer when Hamzah would argue that “It’s not even dark yet?!” Having them in bed and asleep so early meant they awoke refreshed and ready for their day- and I got some very much needed me time. On weekends and during the holidays they were allowed extra time which made them feel more grown up.
Have you implemented dedicated reading time for your kids?
I know I am probably very late to the party on this one, but better late than never right?
This year Isa started Grade 4, and so we decided to talk about a later bed time. We negotiated a 20 min reading time before bed and bed time at 7-30 pm. It’s been working quite well over the last 2 weeks. Previously our reading time involved reading the daily school reader sent home- and between homework and Madrassah (religious school…like Sunday School for muslims), additional book time was only enjoyed on weekends and holidays. I struggled to find the time to schedule everything in, and Hamzah wasn’t reading independently enough, while Isa preferred his reader anyway.
This year in Grade 4, English Lit is done at school which was a happy coincidence. Hamzah has started to read independently (but still asks his brother for help when needed) and Isa is enjoying non-fiction books more than anything. He is currently going through a book by Miles Kelly called “1000 Fantastic History Facts”. He enjoys sharing what he has learnt about ancient Egypt (his favourite), the Greeks, and Helen of Troy.
Hamzah has started short stories by Enid Blyton. These are the same books I read as a child. When Isa started reading Enid Blyton he came to me one day and said “Mum, they don’t speak properly in these books!” I asked him what he meant, and he said “They asked her if she had any pennies??- and she replied “We haven’t any!- that isn’t proper English!” I chuckled to myself and had to explain that people around the world use English differently and that, that was actually the way they spoke many years ago when these books were written (1940’s).
Have you had to change your routine this year? And what books are being enjoyed in your home currently?