Friday, January 16, 2009

Solitary Time

At one of my Charlotte Mason book club meetings, we talked about the concept of "solitary time". I was intrigued and started to implement it right away. Here's how it works:
Once a day, ideally, I tell the kids to each get 3 things to play with. Then I give them their own space and set the timer for 20 minutes. The idea is for them to learn to play independently and entertain themselves. (This is something that must be taught when you're in a big family.) While they are playing quietly, I sit down at the dining room table, facing them, and have my Bible study. I must say, it's fantastic! They are learning an important skill and I'm getting quiet time in the middle of the day.

Try it and tell me what you think!


Stacy said...

We do this too! We call it "quiet time". I started it 3 or 4 weeks ago, and so far I'd say we do it about 3 times a week. It's harder with the little bitties, but here is what I do:

I put the 17 month old in the Pack N Play in the middle of the living room with a couple books and a couple quiet toys. Then, I put the 2.5 year old, and Emily (4.5) each in their own spots - on the floor or sofa with a couple books and a magnadoodle. I put on some soft music - classical, because that really helps with the youngest one. Then, I sit on one of the sofas and have my quiet time, or reading time. We do it for 10-30 minutes depending how well it's going for the youngest. She does not stay quiet the whole time since she talks to herself, but as long as she's happy then it counts for now, and she's learning the process.

I also do "blanket time" for Emily while the 2.5 yr old works with her speech therapist here at home twice a week. She has to stay on a blanket with 2-3 quiet things like puzzles, books or coloring. It lasts about 20-25 minutes and is a big help for me since I can focus on the youngest.

I look forward to when the "quiet time" is all really quiet, but I'll take what we get for now! :)

Dustinsdreamer said...

I'm so doing this! I have noticed a lot lately that my two are very dependent on each other for entertainment. I've also been working on longer attention span training. lol Really, they need to know how to play with a toy for more than 5 seconds before running to something else. This will be great! I can train for two things at once! :)

Angela said...

Been thinking about doing this for a couple of months. Thank you for reminding me! Doing it RIGHT NOW!

God bless,

Heather said...

Awesome idea! People compliment me on my 3 little ones (10 mos, 13 mos, 24 mos) being so still and content in the stores. I'm not sure how it is that they are so well behaved. I'd like to try this idea! Do you think 3 kids under age 2 could manage to sit quietly, independently of each other? Or rather, how long?

Rachel Marie said...

i love it! i did "room time" regularly with my 2 oldest when they were younger, but I've gotten out of the habit as we've had more and they share rooms. it was a great time for them to learn to be happy being alone. now my 2 oldest have rest time while the little ones sleep, but you've inspired me to work on incorporating room time back into our schedule somehow!

debhmom3 said...

After we graduated from "nap time", now we have "book time". Usually 30-45 minutes, they can just sit quietly and read or look at books. They think it is still school time, so they don't know they are just learning to sit quietly and be still.

Dr. G said...

We do this do. We call it blanket time. I spread out 3 small blankets. Everybody has to stay on their blanket and play with quiet toys or read books. We aim for 15-20 minutes. I usually do it while I am preparing dinner or lunch.

Ginger said...

Ah yes, Kelley, because you don't have helpers yet. ;) I don't prepare meals by myself anymore. I have lots of help now. For all those who told me it wouldn't get easier when the kids got older---

ecrawfor80 said...

We call it "independant time". They actually spend it in their rooms and mine so they each have a room. They love it! I like to put on a book on CD for them while they play with whatever they've chosen. We do this in the morning. On winter evenings we have blanket time also which we do in the living room. It is really helpful on hectic days!