It was a week full of soul fever. Part-ay.
This summer I took an online course with Kathy from Bliss Beyond Naptime called Simplicity Parenting which utilizes a book by the same name written by Kim John Payne. If you can't take one of her courses - which are amazing then run, do not walk to the library and pick up this book. It's been hands down the best parenting book I've EVER read. And I've read a few.
So, soul fever was rampant this week and once I recognized it my self said, "Self, dig deep and help these kids get back to balance." And then by Thursday there was no deeper to dig and I caught a bit of it myself.
So to help the kids get restored back to balance I pared down our schooling to what I felt to be the most supportive activities. Tons of watercolor painting, tons of story time, tons of unstructured outside time and tons of handwork. And extended rest time. Laithe took a nap every day this week and Guthrie took 3!
Everything was done within eyesight of each other - another way I know things aren't quite right. And there was a lot, a lot of cuddle time. Many of them tearful cuddles.
Guthrie tried her hand at knitting with needles and we spent time polishing nuts with beeswax polish - hazelnuts look beautiful by the way!
I set out wet on wet watercolor painting for awhile on Tuesday and then wet on dry painting all dang day on Wednesday and Thursday. The kids would just move back to it every time I set out a fresh stack of paper. I have big plans for the huge stack of pretty paintings we have now!
The one effort I made towards a truly structured activity was with our basket of nuts.
We observed them with our 5 senses, we graphed them and then the kids moved over to their art table to draw them. Guthrie ended up throwing hers across the room in frustration - the paper and pencil, not the nut thank goodness. And then she burst into sobbing for a full 15 minutes. And that was the end of the structure! Back to the polishing work smooshed between your brother and mom.
Poor kids. It's so difficult to feel so out of control! This behavior is such a rarity these days that this week has really been a jolt back to how things were for us a year ago on a regular basis. I'm so thankful for how things have changed in our home.
Not to miss the current event opportunity we voted on Monday for what we would have for lunch and what we would do after lunch. The choices were macaroni and cheese or sandwiches and then outside time, story time, or chore jar time. I only voted for sandwiches so we could talk about majority/minority- who in their right mind wouldn't vote for mac and cheese?? and going outside was a unanimous decision.
It was interesting that by the time Thursday afternoon rolled around, when I was at my worst, the kids were at their best and spent an hour(!) in their room cleaning and playing. With no redirection from me.
Responding to their needs is always worth it in my book - even if it means changing plans and not having any time to do what I want to do. Even when it is really freaking hard.
And today, no school today! John is home from work and everyone except me is still in their pjs. This afternoon I have big plans to have some time away from home. Podcasts and knitting and a cup of tea are calling my name. My introverted self has never asserted herself as strongly as since I stopped working, it's good for all of us when I respond!
Lovely weekend to all of you!