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Monday, April 27, 2009

How to Create a Daily Oasis in Your Home

Do you need a bit of quiet in the midst of a busy day? Do your kids need some downtime each day to collect themselves? Does everyone need just a little bit of "alone" time? I have a simple idea for you that will give you a daily oasis for your family: Read or Rest time.

The idea:
Provide your kids and yourself with a bit of calm and quiet each day by instituting a time of quiet reading and resting.This sets a wonderful rhythm to your family's day (and it establishes a good habit of daily reading). You spend the morning working or learning together and then have a little time to relax, regroup, and process what you've learned.

The Basics:
1. Select a timeslot that works for your family schedule.
2. Provide your kids with a good selection of books (personal collection, the library, etc.).
3. Determine the rules that work for your family situation (together, seperately, reading only, books on tape, quiet playing, etc).
4. Discuss the rules and enforce them.
5. Make it a regular part of everyday.

Here's how it works in my home:
Each day after lunch, my kids head up to their rooms for an hour of quiet reading or resting. Simple enough, right? The "catch" is in the rules...the rules are that everyone MUST be on their beds reading a book, listening to a book on tape, or just looking at a book...or they must be resting. Even mom abides by this rule, although my read or rest time is spent downstairs on the couch or in "my chair".

Some other ideas:
You might choose to allow pre-readers to play LEGOs or draw while listening to music or a story on tape instead of reading. Or you might decide that instead of doing a seperate read time, you all lay down together and listen to a book. (This might be especially nice if you aren't together in the morning and you need time to reconnect as a family.) There are many ways to make the basic idea work for your family! It may take a few days to reinforce the rules of Read or Rest time (whatever they are for your family), but I bet you'll find as I have that your kids really need and enjoy the time.

Do you do something similar to Read or Rest? Let me hear about it! Did you try Read or Rest - how did you like?

This post is part of the Carnival of Homeschooling hosted today by Susan at Corn and Oil. It is teeming with great ideas this week. Don't miss it!

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