Schedule for 3.5 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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First of all I would like to say that I have also posted a long thread in personal growth about depression so please bear with me and feel free to read if you think it might help clarify the point of this post.

Logically, I know that at 3.5 all my DS really needs is to be part of family life, to have plenty of time for free play, and to be read to a lot!

But I am suffering with depression at the moment following the death of my baby daughter 2 years ago. I won't go into details too much here and will try to keep this homeschool based.

I very much want to homeschool my son.
Some of the advice in the depression thread seems to advise me to re-consider this, at least temporarily. I can understand the point being made, that I would benefit from some time out, time for myself to relax and recover.
However, I would prefer NOT to put my son into nursery. I can ask family to watch him for a couple of hours maybe, thats something I very rarely do at the moment but would be happy to try it, to see if this helps.

I know we're not technically home schooling at the moment anyway, as ds is still very young, but I kind of want to keep him home, do pre-school homeschool and then follow naturally on to homeschooling when he gets a little older if that makes sense, rather than putting him into nursery and then pulling him out in a year or two.

A typical day might look like this:
8am: Ds wakes up, breakfast, dressed etc
9am-11 am: I do chores, put washing on, DS either helps out or entertains himself with toys, pens/paper
11am-12am: I prepare lunch, again DS either helps out in the kitchen, or plays on his toy kitchen whilst I cook
12am-12:30: Lunch
12:30-1pm: I clear away lunch things, do dishes
1pm: This is the time I generally set aside for something 'schooly' usually getting out the playdough and sitting with DS, rolling and cutting out shapes, letters etc. Or we might do some painting etc. This is the time I'm sitting with DS and concentrating solely on HIM and his activity. Usually this is between 30mins and 1 hour. One day per week we go to story time at the library.
2pm: I tidy away arts/crafts. DH arrives home from work. Free play for DS
3pm-4pm: We all go out for a walk with the dogs. Sometimes we go via playground for DS to have some time playing there.
4pm: One of us prepares dinner, free play for DS
4:30: Eat dinner
5pm: One of us tidies away dinner things, does dishes, the other one plays with DS
6pm-6:30: DS watches 'bedtime hour' on children's tv
6:30: I bath DS and get him ready for bed
7pm: I read a story to DS in bed
7:30pm: DS sleeps

This is all whilst I'm trying to 'heal' and overcome this depression. I am exhausted, but at the same time i'm worried that i'm not doing enough with DS. Does this look like an appropriate schedule? Any advise, suggestions would be welcome. If this is ok at this age, what about next year? I suppose i'm just struggling at the moment, and have lost my confidence in my ability to homeschool. I don't want his education to suffer. We very loosely follow the preschool curriculum on letter of the week, we do the weekly theme and learn the shape/colour of the week.
Sorry for waffling, DH is home today which is why my usual schedule is off.

Wife and mother to a wonderful son, a dear daughter now in God's arms after a brave 5 months of nicu, a precious rainbow toddler and tiny Angels due to mc. Living with a grieved but very grateful heart. Loving my family.
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#2 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 07:50 AM
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Looks good to me! I think you're doing plenty.

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#3 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 08:32 AM
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Sounds fine to me

Grateful mama striving to respect the two precious beings entrusted to me DD '06 and DS '09
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#4 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 08:55 AM
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You're doing great mama. Best wishes for healing. . . .
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#5 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 10:20 AM
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It looks great! I wouldn't worry too much about next year, because I imagine life will change things. But if you're trying to figure out how more structured homeschooling will fit in to today's schedule, I imagine that as he becomes more independent, that 2 hour free play time in the morning can start to incorporate some independent, school-like work time.

Jen, homeschooling geek of DD 9 and DS 6.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-28-2010, 10:54 PM
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Your doing great!
We do pretty much the same things. I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old who goes to K for 3 hours a day.
For us, the biggest challange is social both for me and the kids. Its tough because we cant really afford activities without a 2nd income.
Maybe add in a playdate once a week and going out on "field trips" if you dont do that already.
We try to go out to places like farms, zoo, gardens, historical places, museums. Anywhere you havent been before. I think I get more out of this stuff than he does but I tend to feel a little sad when im without adults all day. My husband is in law school and working so we dont see him often
I take them to 2 different libraries durring the week for story times, and barns and noble stories just because its a different person reading in a new place. We go to the park around 5 so there are more kids to play with.
Also sometimes grocery stores and IKEA has child watching so that could be a way to have her learn to socialize without you a little.
Good luck it sounds as though your doing a wonderful job!!!
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#7 of 11 Old 10-29-2010, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for these replies.
Feeling a little more confident knowing others have similar days.
He's going to spend some time with his grandparents today, and they are taking him to the museum so thats good, and gives me a bit of 'me time' to have a rest. Thanks again.

Wife and mother to a wonderful son, a dear daughter now in God's arms after a brave 5 months of nicu, a precious rainbow toddler and tiny Angels due to mc. Living with a grieved but very grateful heart. Loving my family.
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#8 of 11 Old 11-02-2010, 10:47 PM
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First I want to say that I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your baby daughter and all the sorrow you're experiencing. I feel for you.

I think you're doing great. I can understand wanting some sort of schedule and I think having a rhythm to your day is very important in the midst of your depression. I would imagine that some predictability helps and gives you things to look forward to.

I think storytime at the library is a good idea. Make sure you bring books home each time. Books will become a part of his life. If you're looking for other outside activities, something like Kindermusik is fun for both mom and child and may be uplifting for you. I didn't have a lot of outside activities when DD was younger...she was always an inconsolable baby/tot and I was fried from lack of sleep most of the time. But I loved storytime and kindermusik b/c it engaged me too and helped me feel better mentally and physically.
Other ideas may be available to you (depending on how much you want to venture out of the house) like free classes through your park district.
I also think that having your son involved in doing little chore-like things is fun for little ones. Give him a small spray bottle of water/vinegar and have him "clean" a sliding glass door or your refrigeerator door. Give him a brush and dust pan to sweep. Even though he may not be accomplishing much, it's fun for them to be involved. He can sort the utensils into the drawer for you. It's amazing how much they can do!

Best wishes in your journey towards healing. Take care of yourself.
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#9 of 11 Old 11-02-2010, 11:20 PM
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Looks like a good schedule to me! As long as your son is happy then everything is good.
Sorry for your loss, depression is hard to overcome but it can be overcame. You don't have to put aside your dream of homeschooling because of it, especially if you have supportive family/friends that are willing to help give you time off from time to time.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#10 of 11 Old 11-03-2010, 12:02 AM
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It sounds like a great schedule -- the only thing I might add (personally, especially since you shared about your depression) is some outside activities -- playdates, free play at a rec center, a mom group (such as MOPS, or whatever), we have a great cooperative "playschool" that involves the parents -- just because I know how helpful it can be for my mood to be around other adults, and develop a community with other parents -- and for my kids to play with other kids regularly. When it was just me and DD1, we used to get out most days of the week... jmho!

Mama to 4 girls    chicken3.gif5/05, 12/07, 9/09, 3/11   winner.jpghomeschool.gifhomebirth.jpg

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#11 of 11 Old 11-03-2010, 07:52 AM
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Oh my stars, you are doing fabulous!
I wasn't doing that much when my older boys were 3.5yo (they're now 7yo and 4.5yo). Just this July I started using an actual curriculum for me and the 7yo because we/I needed that kind of structure right now (PPD, was alone with 4 kids until my hubby quit his job, house on the market, etc. - so I get at least part of what you're going through).

There were days where the kids were lucky if I got out of bed long enough to get them hot food and I didn't sob for 30min-2hrs. Many, many, many days involved them eating cereal and turkey sandwiches and PBJ and yogurt (things they could get themselves), and I'd 'parent' from the bed upstairs while nursing the babe and getting up here and there to change diapers and put the 2yo down for a nap and such.

Only things I could add are definitely take up the family on watching your boy.
Having some time to yourself is good, even if it's sobbing or taking a nap in bed or taking a bubble bath or reading the trashy magazines at the bookstore - you need time to recharge yourself.
Bonus if you have some local friends there you can hang out with and just gab. Even if it's a playdate and all the kids are messing around in the yard and the moms are sitting inside watching through the window - it's *so* nice to have adult connection during the day (and the kids get to play unfettered, so cute with decently behaved children!). There's only so many conversations about legos and dinosaurs and why you cannot wear just socks and underwear to the grocery store today before you start to feel your own brain oozing out.
When I was actually pricing out mental institutions for myself, we broke down and started paying a friend (she does in-home daycare) to watch the older three for me to get a break. It wasn't exactly daycare/preschool and it was at our own pace with our own schedules, so maybe that could be a different option for you as well? My friend also homeschools, so at the time she had a 10yo boy at home that my 7yo adored, and she knew where I was coming from homeschooling-wise so to speak.

And then meals. This is a thorn in my side right now since we all have to eat, and it's all on me - whether I have to prep it myself or just make sure I've got all necessary items in the kitchen/pantry. Any way you or your dh can plan ahead with that? Like do a weekly (or bi-weekly or monthly) meal plan, have all the ingredients on hand for that week or two, prep everything on a weekend so it's either in the fridge or freezer ready to go? That alone can make things seem so much smoother, you know?

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
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