Can you recognise a toddler that is over-stimulated? Like a Duracell battery bunny he is wound up and ready to go. Well adults can feel like that too. Stimulation comes from our senses receiving too much information generally we see too much, we hear too much, we think too much, we touch too much and I guess for some people they can be sensitive to too much smell as well. When we are overstimulated our heart rate is up, we aren’t particularly focused, but we are intense trying to deal with all that is around us.
From my experience there is only one thing that will help fix an overstimulated toddler and that is peace, quiet and still. No doubt that is the same for adults.
My senses reached over stimulated this morning. My heart was racing and yet my brain wasnt really going at the same speed. There was noise it was good noise, there was activity it was good activity, there was information being received it was good information but it was all too much. And unless I did something about it there would be meltdown reminiscent of my toddlers meltdowns. Do you know the feeling?
So as I looked at what was going on around me, what was going on in my head I realised there is still some tweaking to go. On paper, and with an academic focus our routine looks pretty good it is doable and it is good stuff. But (as I keep reminding myself) we are discipling the whole child, we are living a life as a family (not a school) things maybe need to change. We are discipling 7 days a week.
Over the last few weeks Ive made some good changes, namely
- Moved independent discipline studies to the same time block for Nomi, Jess and Daniel. This gives me an opportunity to chat with one of them during that time but more importantly it gives cohesiveness to our day I know what everyone is doing because it is not scattered about the day.
- I moved our workshop sessions to Friday instead of Monday. Though Monday worked last year, because of the subjects each of the children are taking, plus community involvement this year we really need Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to be study days. Thursday I spend with Daniel and Friday will be workshop days (short term subjects where I teach, plus the subjects are more interactive)
In order to consider the whole of our life, the ebb and flow of family life and commitments, Peters comings and goings and his goals for the year we need to make yet another tweak. I am going to drop one more subject from our Friday Workshop sessions. Nature studies are going to have to go. This is a subject that I struggle with, that puts stress on me, the kids are so-so about it and it is simply hard work. So it is a natural one to consider. Why drop anything from our study list? I want to clear Saturday for different goals. At the moment Saturday is a chore day and an aspect of that needs to remain as we need to prepare the house for Sunday, a day of rest and relationships. But some of the Saturday chores could be done on Friday.
We are studying longer each day this year than we have done before so our afternoons are not so committed to creative projects which means we need to make the most of Saturdays for our creative pursuits.
My focus has been so intent on fitting in each of the studies / subjects that we wanted to do that I havent really considered Saturday but I need to. It is a day of our week and it brings unique opportunity to each of our childrens lives I just need to make sure that I dont crowd it out. My stress this morning was because of thinking about the lack of creative time in our week, and how Saturday was being gobbled up with plans. Things needed to change.
So now, Friday will be
- Workshop: Living Math and one more workshop subject (eg writing, computer, speeches)
- Independent table time (discipline studies)
- Bedroom Bless
Saturday will be
- Housework chores
- Prep for Sunday
- Creative time
- Josh is likely to study some more on Saturday but that is his season of life and he needs to manage his own Saturdays