Without “Quiet Time” I don’t think I’d make it through the week! As a stay at home mom (survivor) and homeschooling veteran I feel like I should share how I manage my four different kids so I can get some silence during the day.
Sweet sweet silence. My introvert soul craves it. We can be having the best day and yet by the end of it I’ll get grouchy and tired without a stimulous break. I’m not saying every day the stars align and I get this gift, but it is definitely something I’m diligent about imposing if we’re going to be home all day.
It’s not just for me. My kids definitely benefit too. Some of them love structure and some of them don’t. The quiet alone time gives them some time rest too. For the ones that need freedom I to to give them more free play time to be loud and wiggly before or after. This is not their favorite part of the day, but it’s still necessary for them.
Quiet time is easiest to transition to straight out of infancy into toddler-hood by just continuing that afternoon or morning nap as a rest time. Sometimes they’ll fall asleep and sometimes they won’t. During the winter its such a great way of helping their bodies fight germs too.
If you haven’t had a quiet time habit, or because of the school shut down are now wanting to start one, here are my suggestions.
- Start short! Don’t force your 6 or 9 year old to be calm and quiet for an hour and half when they’re used to doing something else. Depending on their age and willingness start with 15-30 minutes and build from there.
- Keep everyone seperate. For large families this can be tricky. But as much as you can give everyone space so they aren’t tempted to talk to each other or play together. This is suppose to keep you from having to referee.
- No mess, no stress. Give them or allow them to do things that won’t create stress for you worrying about what mess it might make. Maybe forgo the playdoh, art project, slime, silly puddy, glitter, glue, beads, etc. You get the picture. Even if they’re old enough to use it reponsibily they might interupt your rest to ask you for something. This should be total independent time.
Quiet time will not happen on it’s own. Please don’t expect your kids to comply easily when you haven’t been practicing this. It’s going to be an adjustment. Be patient. They’ll need consistency to accept that it’s a new part of the routine.
For the visual learners here’s how we do quiet time in our house.
I hope this helps! Stay sane friends!