We try to balance our days with a bit of outside of the house time, craft/play time, cleaning, cooking, eating, and downtime, all while (mostly) learning during and in between. Nap time was once a crucial part of our day, but it's been almost non existent for a while now. I thought I would be tremendously stressed skipping naps and keeping the same bed time, but it (surprisingly) has mostly worked over here. As long as we get enough quiet time, even if it's just us sitting around doing crafts together, naps aren't really needed. These days, she can easily keep up until her 8-8:30-ish bedtime without a tired fit or meltdown.
During our days, I'm a big fan of us doing things together, while teaching--- without forcing. And I'm also a big believer that accomplishing chores and tasks around the house (or outside of the house) doesn't have to take away from family time. We do things together to learn together. Our moods, our interactions, daily chores, and more--- she is learning from what she sees and hears. Each and every simple thing, she picks up like a teeny tiny, walking, sassy, but adorable sponge. It's awesome (and only slightly nerve-wracking). I never worried too much about M with things, she always seemed to be right on, ahead, or at least on her own time with things. Even though she didn't (want to?) talk until a while after two years old, she could do her whole alphabet by one and a half. It was easy teaching--- color time and playtime were learning time. Draw a Bird, color it Blue, draw a B, and so on. We did it over and over again, not for me, but because she loved it and asked for it.
And now, it's still the same, we learn by doing. She learns the responsibility of putting her toys away, be doing (half the time with us, half the time alone). She cleans her own table and place setting. Lets out the dog. Sometimes (completely voluntarily) makes her own bed, because she sees us make ours. Demands to cook. And cries when we forget to let her set the table. She empties the dishwasher with me and puts away the things she can reach (silverware, jars, and tupperware) by herself. We talk while we do it, we spend time together, and she learns. Without being obsessive, I like to find ways to teach her new things in our everyday (usually fun) projects. I'm not a teacher and as wonderful as I think homeschooling can be, I wont be doing it with Marlowe.... but the whole learning at home each and everyday thing (now and when she's in school)? It seems unavoidable, in the best of ways. In painting we learn colors. In reading we learn words. In gardening we learn about animals and science. In cooking, we learn food and precision. In coloring we learn writing. And in all of it we have fun. &during it all, I am happy and so is she.
The fun project in the pictures above are of our Kiwi Crate from last month. Are you reading, grandparents? KIWI CRATE gift. Holidays are coming up and I've decided a kiwi crate is pretty much the perfect gift for your grandkids (wink). I would opt for a crate over toys ANY day (seriously, no joke). Marlowe and I had a blast using ours. We split our projects (there's a few in the box) into different days and we had a blast each day. And it's totally a learn-by-having-fun project (ours was about flight). You can order one box at a time or you can order a whole subscription, sending a box a month to your favorite, lucky kid. Seriously, I just did you a huge favor, best gift idea ever. Also, I'm not a 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure if you sign up through THIS referral link and order a subscription, you get 10$ off your first purchase :)
**Marlowe's dress (and the giraffe too!) are from life's little thrills shop. (Thanks again, Jasmine!)