Rest Time

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One of my friends requires her four (homeschooled) children to take an hour of “rest time” each day–even the 13-year-old. About six months ago, I decided that sounded nice, so I started working toward it. I don’t know exactly what her rules for rest time are, but here are mine:

  • No crayons or writing instruments (this will probably change when he is bigger, but for right now, he can’t be trusted).
  • Audio books are okay, and so is music.
  • Books are fine.
  • No blocks, cars, play food.
  • He doesn’t have to stay in his bed, but he usually does. It’s a floor bed, so he can get out of it with no effort if he wants to.
  • It lasts an hour, I don’t care if you holler or pee yourself.
  • Always potty right before!

We started this very gradually. The first day, I set a timer for five minutes, and told him it would be “rest time” when the timer beeped. I took him upstairs, put on some music, left him for one minute (I set a timer), came back to check on him, left him for another minute, and then said, “Rest time is over!” Then we had a special snack and played together. The next day, each half was two minutes. I kept making it longer by two minutes every day, until we were up to 60 minutes total, with a visit in the middle. Then I started moving the “visit” later by one minute each day. Once it got to where he was up there for forty-five minutes without interruption, he started falling asleep during rest time and taking the longest naps of his life–sometimes as much as an hour and a half! Now, it’s an hour with out a visit in the middle. He listens to his Winnie the Pooh audio books, or Sesame Street songs. Sometimes we hear him singing along. Often, he falls asleep around the midpoint.

I know it’s crazy, but I think he knows that he needs that rest. He rarely resists, sometimes cheerfully announcing that it’s rest time. I still use a timer to get him used to the idea. Timers seem to help him transition well.

Now if only I could get Petra on the same schedule…in another two years, I might be able to get a cup of coffee in peace!

 

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2 responses to “Rest Time

  1. Three cheers for rest time! I love the methodical way you went about it. You are one on-the-ball mama!

  2. Pingback: Petra is 8 months old! | Cinnamon&Sassafras·

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