If you have children in preschool age, you are in what I like to call the “thick of it” , the most demanding part of a woman's life. If you also add older children and/or babies to the mix, you are on Defcon 1.
At any time war can be imminent and you need to be at maximum readiness when physically you could feel the most depleted. In this video I am going to share with you what I did while being pregnant every other year for over a decade. What works, is enough, is effective without spinning your wheels. The last thing you want to do is spend all your energy digging a hole in the winter when the ground is frozen solid, when you could have just waited until spring when you could have gotten the same result with a lot less effort and time. Before we jump into the tips, just know if you feel overwhelmed, if you feel like you lack support, encouragement, help…you are not alone.
So if you can relate to any of this, then let’s get started.
Child Training Focus- While I have regrets, one thing I never regret is that I first focused on Character and Training. I really see the fruits of that decision every day and how it trickles down to siblings as positive peer pressure. Now I also was a first generation christian, didn’t know anybody who homeschooled so I felt like I was learning alongside my kids and I treasure those times. I let academics wait a bit until they had obedience, kindness, helpfulness, down and worked on that bond so that they would naturally want to please their parents and understand why we made the choices we did. My two favorite resources were:
-Every child should know along the way
-Instruction in Righteousness
-The pursuit of Godly seed for the best explanation and how to manual on discipline that stuck with me
-Every Day GRaces
-Bible stories (although now I would say just read the Bible together every day)
-ABCs for Young People
How I particularly used Instruction in Righteousness was to pick one character quality, mabe one I saw was lacking either in me or others in the house and we memorized bible verses and used the punishments, read the stories etc.
Tip #2 Slow and Steady Get Me Ready
There is one resource I used from the time they were babies to 5 and it is so easy just one activity a week that does a lot in exercising their little minds and uses things around the house.
If you want to do something from an earlier age, I would say look no further than this one book. THe last year, year 4 the one weekly activity for the first 26 weeks is the alphabet and each week they have simple activities, book recommendations to go with the letter. It’s really an all in one baby to Pre-K book.
Basket of Books and Toys
Keep a basket of good books and flashcards by your favorite chair so as you sit down to nurse you can read them a book or explain a letter, I really loved using the sandpaper letters and letting them trace them. One way I would like to keep them near me while nursing was to have a basket of toys only available for that time. I would keep it in the closet and when I had to sit down for a while, I would pull them out and put them away once I was able to move on to the next thing.
Tip #4 Rotate Toys
I have seen kids bored with a whole basement of every toy you could imagine because they saw them day in and day out all day and after a while it just loses its appeal. By only keeping a certain amount of toys out #1 they appreciate them more and #2, when you rotate them it’s like new toys all over again. Over the years I became more of a toy minimalist sticking with just legos for the boys and dolls for the girls with little additions here and there, but i found you could get a lot more hours of imaginative play with that than the bigger bulkier items like kitchen sets, or train tables.
Tip #5 A Timer is Your Friend
A timer can be your friend. Young kids really have no concept of time. I favor that age to use timers where it visually shoes how much time is left. You can give them a worksheet, or a task to do and say I will come back and check on you in 15 min and they know you are coming back and not going to forget because you will hear the timer.
Developing a good work ethic.
Incorporate them into your daily life and routine instead of trying to keep them distracted and out of your way all day. Whatever you are doing there is something a preschool child can do, folding dish towels, washing fruit, making their bed. I have a list in my How to Run Your home like a franchise of everything a child is typically capable of at every age.
Pouring rice in a rice cooker, pulling weeds. Showing that you don’t stop until the job is done, is going to do wonders for when they start a program like RC or RC for littles. School is work and if a child is not used to working, you will have a hard time keeping them on task.
Read Aloud Lots!
Beatrix Potter, Help me be Good Books, Classic Start books and picture books. Reading magic in case you are new to reading aloud and need tips to make it more engaging and books to convince you to read aloud.
Now something I have been thinking about is combining all of these resources into one package and I would like your input. If this would be something in a Pre-K course or I was thinking of an email curriculum. Once a week, an email delivered to your inbox so you don’t have to buy anything that sits on your shelf, and each week it would include first of all some motivation/mindset tips for mom, an activity, a character study, book recommendations and it would be in written form and in a video because I know during that season life, a video explanation can go a lot farther. You could buy the year or pay something like $5 a month. If that is something you would be interested in, please let me know in the comments and make sure you are subscribed to my email list down below, because I always offer a first time discount on new products there in exchange for feedback.
Some of these are a little hard to find today, but I will link everything I can down below.
Let me know if you have ever used any of these resources yourself and if you have the same fond memories of using them too.