- We have a 7 year old, a 5 year old a 2 year old and a one year old. For the two little ones – they sleep twice a day during the week – 1 hour in the morning about 10:15 to 11:15 and 1.5 hrs in the afternoon (sometimes the 1 year old sleeps a bit longer. They also sleep 7:30 or 8pm till 7am. I find this keeps them happy and not sleep-deprived or grumpy. Sometimes they don’t sleep and play quietly on their beds for this time but usually they fall asleep and sleep until I wake them. This also ensures that they are not grumpy for evening family meal table and are able to stay up a little bit for daddy time (till 7:34 or 8pm)
- Also they are good and fresh for the weekend when we see friends and family, have lots of activities and generally a change in routine. They thrive on routine but I find its okay to change their routine on the weekends without too much effect. They can then have just one sleep that day from about 11 till 12:30 on days we have an afternoon outing or they can be up longer in the morning and sleep from about 1:30 till 4pm if we are busy in the morning. This also helps me to have more time to focus on school with the older ones while the little ones sleep during the week.
- When they wake up from naps during the week I have a snack ready to go – usually fruit and nuts in the morning bananas apples raisins and dry popped popcorn (with olive oil and herb salt) in the afternoons. This helps them recover from after nap potential grumpiness. Also if they wake up from their nap grumpy I just put a few toys in cot or books on bed and then they can wake up slowly and play quietly till they are ready to be up.
- With regards to discipline – what really helps me is having pre-determined consequences (see Teri Maxwell’s awesome book on Homeschooling with a meek and quiet spirit) and then to see each interruption of disobedience or grumpiness as a chance to invest in my child’s eternal soul. This is always such a rich bonding time. We all grow in character together and then I don’t get irritated by the interruption. The older ones know what to carry on with if I am busy they also have fun folders to do if finished while I talk to the offender.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11v29