Monday, January 4, 2016

We have all reluctantly gone back to school and work today, and it means that the new after school year has officially begun. Here are some of my thoughts on how to make our time at home matter.

Christmas Vacations in Review

We had a nice break even though it was somewhat marred by sickness. We all had colds - my husband started his first, then Smarty was sick for several days starting on Christmas Eve, then I picked it up and was sick for New Year Eve. Luckily, we planned for a very relaxed vacation time, so we still enjoyed getting up late, playing board games, building with LEGO, and watching movies. Sometimes Smarty did not even get dressed at all, and she loved the freedom of unstructured time. As she grows older, she craves more independence while still wanting a lot of time together. I am thinking of how to accommodate this pull and push during our after school time this year.

After School Plan for 2016

One of my main goals for this year is to teach Smarty to plan her own time. This is why I want to give her as much unstructured time as possible, but with certain restrictions - she will still have limits on playing computer games (30 minutes a day). I really want to support the goals she set to herself - to spend at least 15 minutes outside every day without counting her recess time in school and her walking time to and from school. She also committed to doing 15-20 minutes of math on Khan Academy every day and to practicing her trumpet, since she wants to make senior band next year. In addition, we plan to cook around the world together this year and learn a little bit about countries that we pick, and we also want to have a dedicated family game night every week and explore our extensive game collection beyond our favorite games. We hope that bonding over board games and cooking together will continue even when our daughter enters turbulent tween years - it's hard to believe that she will be 10 next October!

Your Turn

How do you spend after school time with your kids?


shelah moss said...

Sorry to hear that you were sick over the break. Your goal of teaching time management is a great goal. It is one of the most important skills that a child can learn.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I like your idea of at least 15 minutes outside outside of school. We also had a very relaxed vacation, but there were colds in my house, too. Seems a bit inevitable come vacation time...

JL said...

We are aiming for the same thing - time management. But we have more unstructured time than most so we are going the opposite direction.

Ticia said...

I'm struggling to get that my daughter is turning 10 as well. Where did the time go?