Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Red Rug Time

I love reading other mom's ideas for activities and little goals they have for their kids. So here's my new one that I will share with you. It's very simple.

Every day we are going to have Red Rug Time. Yesterday, we went in her room. I had her sit on her red rug, and I sat in front of her in a little rocking chair. I told her, "It's rug time, Nola! We're going to sit on the rug while mommy reads a book." Then I read her a book. She had to sit for the entire book. Nicely. Not laying down. Not getting up to sit with me. Kind of like how it would be if she were in preschool and it was story time. It was a very quick read. But it was challenging for her. She had to be reminded several times what we were doing, of course. But as long as she responded nicely to my reminders, she never "got in trouble". As she gets better at it, and I know her abilities for the situation...that may change. :)

After I read her a story, I gave her a book. I told her to read the book by herself, staying on the red rug because it's "rug time". This was very short, too. As SOON as she "got to the end" I said, "Good job, Nola! You stayed on the rug while you read your book. Ok, rug time is over! Go play."

My goal for this time is two-fold 1) that she learns to discipline herself to sit still and do something that was possibly not her idea, and 2) that she learns to entertain herself and complete a task without constant prodding or interference from me. We won't always read. Maybe I will give her a puzzle on the rug. Or let her choose between two toys or activities. The rug gives her a visual boundary that is smaller than, say, her room. The hope is that the skills she learns with the rug will translate to other situations such as "stay on this chair and play with your doll while mommy and daddy practice for worship team."

This idea is inspired by the Montessori Method of learning, and by Michelle Duggar. Montessori is a major proponent of children being independent and Michelle Duggar is a major proponent of children having self-control! (She writes in her book about her "portable playpen" that is just a blanket she keeps in her diaper bag that her children are trained to stay on and play nicely with just a single toy.)
I'll keep you updated on our progress!