Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something To Do

I finally got my copy of the Charlotte Mason Companion from the library yesterday. Charlotte Mason is one of those methods I've heard about but have never really studied. I sat down to start reading today and was impressed by her idea that everyday we need to do 3 things for our children.

1. Give them something or someone to love.

2. Give them something to do.

3. Give them something to think about.

All those things seem fairly obvious but I was having trouble contemplating the idea because my kids' music was blaring and the boys were wrestle all over the room. Then it clicked and I realized that maybe if I gave them something "to do" they would stop making me crazy. I started by asking the older boys to design homemade Christmas gift tags. I cut up some card stock for them and then let them go to town creating their own designs. I cut some construction paper into different shapes and let the younger two do some free style modern art by gluing the shapes all over their paper. Everyone sat working industriously (and independently) until dinner time. It's always a hard balance, giving kids unstructured time to follow their own ideas and planning activities for them, but today was a good reminder that sometimes just giving them materials and an idea can help cut down on the chaos.

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