Can I technically call it a “flashback” if it’s only a week ago?
What do we do when we are forced to be stuck indoors for two weeks with coughs and colds? Boy, we were passing bugs to one another, starting with Zachary who caught a cold as soon as he came home on the last day of school! (Just in time for the holidays.)
It felt as if the boys were exclusively on the television or iPad or computer the whole two weeks. But as I look through my photos and think back, we actually accomplished quite a lot despite being sick and stuck indoors. It wasn’t all screen, all the time. (Phew!)
My rule during the holidays was no screen time until after lunch and until Matthew (10 years old) had finished piano, multiplication practise, and working on a bit of his social studies school project. Zachary (4.5 years old) usually doesn’t hop on the screen until his brother does or unless he is extremely bored by himself.
This rule is broken at a rate of about every other day. While the boys do stay off the iPad and computer in the morning, they sometimes just prefer to be entertained by the television.
I typically leave the boys to keep themselves entertained when we have large chunks of free time, especially during holidays and weekends. Over time, they have come to learn that they need to fix their own breakfast while mommy enjoys sleeping in during the holidays, and then entertain themselves however they like with the exception of screens.
Alternatively, if Matthew my gourmet son prefers to eat something fancier for breakfast, such as a fried egg and sausages, he is more than happy to make extras for me and Zach. Although Zach started asking for hard-boiled eggs instead and I learned that while Matthew knows how to fry an egg, he doesn’t know how to hard-boil an egg. LOL.
When I woke up and went to the kitchen for my morning coffee, I was regularly greeted with dirty plates, opened jars of jam and bread crumbs on the kitchen island. Clearly they are self-sufficient, however they are not “closing the loop” of their work. Selective Montessori? No, I prefer to think of it as Montessori independence with a dash of just-being-a-kid. How could I not be thankful that my kids can make their own breakfast while I continue dreaming in bed? (Thank you Lord!)
… Or was it Daddy who fixed their breakfast before going to work, and not “closing the loop” while I was dreaming in bed? Hmm …
With loads of unstructured play time in the morning, (why do they get up before dawn on holidays and refuse to wake up on time on regular school days?), the boys usually play in the basement. When they are not immersed in Lego, board games or card games, they are usually pretend sword fighting or passionately debating which character is the best in Clash Royale. Nothing that I really need to get involved in. In fact, I remember thinking once or twice how slightly bored I was.
Anyway, in addition to pottery (pictured above), here are some of the other activities we did over the holidays.
Finding number bonds for ten using Montessori number rods (mine was DIY, but similar here.) And then drawing and writing about it. “this is numBr roDs”
Working on a giant floor puzzle of a dollhouse, a Christmas gift from a dear friend.
Now this is the most fun book I’ve ever seen. It’s a board book that converts into a play mat (as pictured) and also converts into a box-like dump truck that a preschooler can easily fit into and pretend to drive. Another awesome Christmas gift.
Zachary won in rock-paper-scissor, so they had to play his choice of game first — Uno. Meanwhile Matthew’s game of mini chess (with only 4 pawns and 4 other pieces) is waiting for when they finish Uno.
What about you? I’d love to hear about how you Montessori’ed during the holidays.