Initially, I was going to write a piece about a common phrase that I hear all. the. time. about having young children, but I decided that my bitterness is just the congestion talking. So I decided to “put mind over matter,” and write about something interesting (to me) and fun. This will hopefully take some of the sting out of Snotmageddon 2014 and the flipping snow that starting falling today. Bah!
Without further ado…
As of January 2014, I have begun studying the home education philosophy of Charlotte Mason. I am completely enamored with it and the FREE curriculum offered by Ambleside Online. Crazy Pants is part of what is termed Year 0 because there is no formal instruction to be done (that comes anywhere from age 5-7). This is a time of “habit formation” and time spent out doors. This can be a pretty lengthy topic, so for a good synopsis, please see the Year 0 link.
One activity that is suggested to be begun with your Year 0 children is the habit of Tea Time (in case you haven’t checked out my links, Charlotte Mason is a 19th century British woman, so no surprises on the tea time thing). I read a blog a while back (I cannot remember where so I can’t provide the link) that talked about how having tea time could get a rough day back to focus. The writer made special mention about how it was especially helpful for her young ones in regard to attention because they were being asked to sit and be gentle with the fragile tea cups. I was drawn to this idea because of my particularly rambunctious toddler and have since been trying to establish Tea Time, albeit somewhat haphazardly.
This month, another AO mother stared a Tea Time Challenge for the month of February. The basic idea is that all of us participating will commit to one formal (well, sort of) tea time each week and we will check in with each other on the forums to share how it is going. The hope is to cultivate the habit of tea times and to reap all the benefit that might come from it.
I did our first tea time for the month yesterday. I busted out the only non-holiday themed table cloth in the house, laid it over the coffee table and made a plate of food with Teddy Grahams, mandarins, and baby carrots. I had a cup of Lemon Zinger and Crazy Pants had Kids Cold Care. He picked out The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter to be read. Some families will do picture study, poetry, Bible study, or composer study. I have read about others doing a combination. We had a lovely tea time that involved no actual tea drinking for Crazy Pants. He likes to dip his Teddy Grahams in his tea. It’s pretty cute.
Today he asked for tea time again, but I have come to discover that it is only so that he can eat Teddy Grahams. It’s ingenious on his part, but I’m not going to complain. He was very quick at putting away his things before tea time and even requested that I put the table cloth down. As I was preparing the tea and snack, I could hear him saying, “Daddy move yo phone” because he did not want the phone on the table during tea time. He even announced to The Man in Plaid that “this is tea time.” So cute! Even if it is only a rouse to get Teddy Grahams. Before we sat down, he brought over his Children’s Bible for me to read. I love watching him sit in his little rocking chair and dipping his graham crackers in tea he has no intention of drinking.
Here is a photo from yesterday:
Here’s to eventually getting Crazy Pants to drink the tea!