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I feel like my life is wasting away...schedule help!


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I need help with our weekday schedule. I don't know if I needs tweaking or a total re-haul. Here's a skeleton outline of our day:

 

8am – The boys get up and play until I get up.

 

9-10am – I get up and take a shower. (I require at least nine hours of sleep and have insomnia problems. It would be better if I could sleep from 10-7 or 11-8, but it isn't going to happen right now.)

 

10am – We eat breakfast. DS1 (age 6) usually takes about 30-45 minutes to eat. We then clean up the kitchen together.

 

By the time breakfast and kitchen cleanup are done (especially on the days he has sports), it is usually about 11:30-12:30 and he wants a snack. Then he does a few chores, and/or hides in the bathroom reading, until lunch around 2. Then he's hungry again around 4. He's eating about every 2 hours and each time takes about 30-45 minutes to eat, plus cleanup time.

 

Out of the house during the school day:

 

Tues: 10-11 running, 2-3 gymnastics

Wed: 11-12 gymnastics

Thurs: 10-11 gymnastics

 

He also does martial arts and tennis, but they are during the evenings and weekends. I know this is a lot of sports (and basketball starts up in November), but trust me, he needs this amount of exercise.

 

I feel like I spend most the of the day waiting for him to finish eating and get a few chores done so we can do his school work. He's going through a growth spurt, and when he went through one in the spring, he ate 6-8 full meals per day, every day for two months! We can't seem to find a way to keep him filled up for more than 1 ½ - 2 hours, even with begging or forcing him to eat cheese cake, heavy cream, nuts, tons of meat, etc.

 

For the last week or two, we basically haven't even started his school work until about 4 pm.

 

Is there any way to fix this schedule? I feel like my life is wasting away, since I spend most of the day waiting on him.

 

ETA: Don't bother suggesting I get up earlier. I have spent almost six years battling insomnia and other health problems, and it just is not possible to do regularly.

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Why on earth is it taking him so long to eat?

 

If he is foot dragging, address that. If for some reason it is necessary for him to eat that long, he needs to learn to eat and work at the same time. He can do math, read, etc. while eating.

 

I'd also fix him plates in the fridge so that he can simply get out a meal, microwave it and eat. This eliminates prep and hassle.

 

So rather than snack-type foods, it would be a meat, veggie and fruit. I might even pack him lunchboxes in the fridge just to streamline all this.

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We've tried setting timers and only giving him 15-20 minutes to eat. We've tried ensuring he doesn't have books at the table. He doesn't seem to regulate his time very well and I really, really don't want to spend my entire day in the kitchen telling him to hurry up and eat.

 

Spacing meals farther apart seems like it won't work either. His brain shuts down when he's hungry and he has meltdowns easily.

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We've tried setting timers and only giving him 15-20 minutes to eat.

 

Keep at this. But just set the timer and leave until it goes off. Then he's DONE. Take the food away and get him moving to the next thing. If he gets upset and melts down, it's not the end of the world. IF you stick with it and are consistent, he WILL learn to eat faster. Don't get emotional about it. Just do it and keep moving.

 

Simultaneously, make sure the food you are giving him is fat and calorie dense. I don't mean junk food. I mean meat with natural fats, peanut butter, eggs, etc. If you are letting him have carby snacks I would not be surprised if he is eating so often. He needs lots of calories, especially with all the sports.

 

My son is 13 and 6'3". I really do get it. But you have to put your foot down about this or your life is going to be about his eating. You might also make a pitcher of smoothie and get him to drink it with his snack.

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Keep at this. But just set the timer and leave until it goes off. Then he's DONE. Take the food away and get him moving to the next thing. If he gets upset and melts down, it's not the end of the world. IF you stick with it and are consistent, he WILL learn to eat faster. Don't get emotional about it. Just do it and keep moving.

 

Simultaneously, make sure the food you are giving him is fat and calorie dense. I don't mean junk food. I mean meat with natural fats, peanut butter, eggs, etc. If you are letting him have carby snacks I would not be surprised if he is eating so often. He needs lots of calories, especially with all the sports.

 

My son is 13 and 6'3". I really do get it. But you have to put your foot down about this or your life is going to be about his eating. You might also make a pitcher of smoothie and get him to drink it with his snack.

 

:iagree:

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How long has this been going on? Does he have a time in his memory when he wasn't allowed to spend eight hours a day either eating in the kitchen or hiding out in the bathroom with a book?

 

Yes, I'm wondering the same.

 

And, forgive me, but it seems like you want it to change without changing anything. If there is no medical / developmental reason that requires him to eat for 8 hours a day, then YOU need to place limits and enforce them, if you want change.

 

I have poky eaters, too. There is a limit to how long they may sit at the table. If they're actually hungry, they eat. It sounds like he's not so much hungry as bored and looking for a "legitimate" time waster.

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How long has this been going on? Does he have a time in his memory when he wasn't allowed to spend eight hours a day either eating in the kitchen or hiding out in the bathroom with a book?

 

This round of endless eating started about 10 days ago. The bathroom hiding has been a bit of a problem that has recently gotten much worse. I think I need to stop getting him Tin Tin books from the library. We stopped getting out audio books a few weeks ago, because he will easily spend 4-5 hours per days hiding and listening to them if we let him.

 

I'm not feeling well and I'm sick of ignoring my other son in trying to police this one.

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I do think that if you did this regularly, you would feel a little better about how your day was spent.

 

Keep at this. But just set the timer and leave until it goes off. Then he's DONE. Take the food away and get him moving to the next thing. If he gets upset and melts down, it's not the end of the world. IF you stick with it and are consistent, he WILL learn to eat faster. Don't get emotional about it. Just do it and keep moving.

 

Simultaneously, make sure the food you are giving him is fat and calorie dense. I don't mean junk food. I mean meat with natural fats, peanut butter, eggs, etc. If you are letting him have carby snacks I would not be surprised if he is eating so often. He needs lots of calories, especially with all the sports.

:iagree:

 

Is it possible to have him be doing schoolwork while he eats? It sounds like his meals are sucking up most of your time, but when he's eating he's a captive audience for read-alouds, oral work, lectures, explanations, independent reading, etc.

 

I would also crack down on reading in the bathroom. My kids read in the bathroom, too, so I feel for you. But this really is where a ton of time is lost.

 

And is there any independent work that he can be doing in the morning before you get up? Maybe assign him independent work and tell him that it needs to be done by the time you are out of the shower.

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My boys are 7, 10, and 12. One is a gymnast (9 hrs/week in the gym) and two are swimmers (4 hrs/week in the pool) and I've battled with the same thing with them. They used to take too long to eat and they were always "starving." The thing that helped me the most is setting meal times and snack times (beginning and ending) in stone and not varying or extending them ever. (There is some variance from day to day, but never more than 30-45 minutes.)

 

Here's what I'd do:

1. I would have breakfast as soon as I woke up (unless Dad could feed them before you got up) and grab my shower after I'd finished eating, but kiddo was still finishing his meal. Don't clean up the kitchen just yet. Wait and clean up breakfast and lunch at the same time. I have my boys put their dishes in the sink and I put any food away, but I don't do anything else. You can start school as soon as you're finished with your shower.

 

2. I'd set lunch time at 12:30. Do the breakfast and lunch cleanup while he's finishing his meal.

 

3. I'd provide healthy snacks before and/or after each sport.

 

4. Snacks not related to sports time may be eaten at any time except one hour before a meal and they need to be easy, easy, easy. ie something that you don't have to prepare and that he can eat while still doing his schoolwork like crackers, cheese sticks, bananas.

 

Seriously, though, if you schedule your meals and snacks, his little body will get used to it and meals will not take as long. You may have a couple of days where he whines and complains about starving, but honestly, he's not starving, he's just hungry. You have to be strong and remind yourself that it's ok to be hungry sometimes and he's not going to die because you make him wait until the next scheduled snack or meal. I do think this is harder on mom than son, but it really, really, really works.

 

:grouphug:

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Yes, I'm wondering the same.

 

And, forgive me, but it seems like you want it to change without changing anything. If there is no medical / developmental reason that requires him to eat for 8 hours a day, then YOU need to place limits and enforce them, if you want change.

 

I have poky eaters, too. There is a limit to how long they may sit at the table. If they're actually hungry, they eat. It sounds like he's not so much hungry as bored and looking for a "legitimate" time waster.

:iagree::iagree:

 

(Sorry, didn't see this until after I posted and couldn't figure out how to insert it into my earlier post)

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I do think that if you did this regularly, you would feel a little better about how your day was spent.

 

We used to make a breakfast tray up for them and leave in the their drawer in the fridge so they could eat as soon as they got up. However, we had to stop because they were leaving such a mess in the kitchen and wouldn't clean it up. They were also sneaking food they weren't allowed to have. That's why they have to stay upstairs until I get up.

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We used to make a breakfast tray up for them and leave in the their drawer in the fridge so they could eat as soon as they got up. However, we had to stop because they were leaving such a mess in the kitchen and wouldn't clean it up. They were also sneaking food they weren't allowed to have. That's why they have to stay upstairs until I get up.

I get that. I'd be depressed to wake up to a mess in the kitchen. I'm just referring to lunches and the small meals throughout the day. In the morning while he is leisurely eating his breakfast, fix 3 sandwiches, 3 baggies of grapes 3 baggies of nuts, 3 baggies of cheese cubes. Then put them all in brown bags in the fridge for later in the day.

 

I'd also be interested in finding out if all the mini meals throughout the day were the same old boring fare if he would want to eat as often. I know that if I offered my kids a frozen pizza, tacos, soup, etc. throughout the day, they'd want to eat more often than just getting a PB and J some fruit and some nuts. Have you tried that?

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Can you shower in the evening so you don't lose an house getting up and ready every day? Can your kids eat their breakfast as you're getting up, or is there breakfast food that they could make themselves?

 

I would probably spend a lot of time in the evening prepping stuff for the next day so you can get school started very shortly after you get up. Your kids could even start some assigned independent work while you're getting up and ready.

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I'd stop the snacking. If he were in school he would get breakfast, lunch, and a snack after school. I think I often fall into the fallacy that I need to be giving my kids snacks all day. It seems wrong to say no to food, kwim? But, really, they will survive without it. I think your body also adjusts and gets hungry when you usually eat. So, if he is eating at fewer times a day, he'll probably adjust to that schedule.

 

I would do no prep snacks if you want to continue them (cheese stick, peanut butter crackers, yogurt, etc) so there is no prep or clean up. He could also maybe eat in the car on the way to or from activities?

 

I also suggest looking for breakfast options he can fix on his own. That way, he can get up and eat and then you can grab something quick when you get up.

 

I am trying to consistently shower before bed as well. I hate getting up at the crack of dawn, so I try to shave as much off my morning routine as possible.

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We used to make a breakfast tray up for them and leave in the their drawer in the fridge so they could eat as soon as they got up. However, we had to stop because they were leaving such a mess in the kitchen and wouldn't clean it up. They were also sneaking food they weren't allowed to have. That's why they have to stay upstairs until I get up.

 

Ahh... I saw this after I posted. I agree with maybe some independent work while you get ready. Have stuff laid out... grammar, handwriting page, math. Get up and say "start math" and then go get ready.

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but he still eats like he hasn't seen food in a week.

 

I don't understand. I thought he was piddling away time and eating in a leisurely fashion. That doesn't sound like 'he hasn't seen food in a week'.

 

Is he eating voraciously for 45 minutes several times a day?

 

If that's the case, you don't need a schedule. You need a doctor.

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My boys are 7, 10, and 12. One is a gymnast (9 hrs/week in the gym) and two are swimmers (4 hrs/week in the pool) and I've battled with the same thing with them. They used to take too long to eat and they were always "starving." The thing that helped me the most is setting meal times and snack times (beginning and ending) in stone and not varying or extending them ever. (There is some variance from day to day, but never more than 30-45 minutes.)

 

Here's what I'd do:

1. I would have breakfast as soon as I woke up (unless Dad could feed them before you got up) and grab my shower after I'd finished eating, but kiddo was still finishing his meal. Don't clean up the kitchen just yet. Wait and clean up breakfast and lunch at the same time. I have my boys put their dishes in the sink and I put any food away, but I don't do anything else. You can start school as soon as you're finished with your shower.

 

2. I'd set lunch time at 12:30. Do the breakfast and lunch cleanup while he's finishing his meal.

 

3. I'd provide healthy snacks before and/or after each sport.

 

4. Snacks not related to sports time may be eaten at any time except one hour before a meal and they need to be easy, easy, easy. ie something that you don't have to prepare and that he can eat while still doing his schoolwork like crackers, cheese sticks, bananas.

 

Seriously, though, if you schedule your meals and snacks, his little body will get used to it and meals will not take as long. You may have a couple of days where he whines and complains about starving, but honestly, he's not starving, he's just hungry. You have to be strong and remind yourself that it's ok to be hungry sometimes and he's not going to die because you make him wait until the next scheduled snack or meal. I do think this is harder on mom than son, but it really, really, really works.

 

:grouphug:

 

:iagree::iagree: I have gymnasts that eat all the time but never for long periods of time. I hope you find a resolution soon :grouphug:

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I feel like I spend most the of the day waiting for him to finish eating and get a few chores done so we can do his school work.

 

ETA: Don't bother suggesting I get up earlier. I have spent almost six years battling insomnia and other health problems, and it just is not possible to do regularly.

SAME HERE! I have gotten so downhearted about it. I have even thought that in school they can't eat so often, so maybe putting them in would fix it. kwim?

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Since it is not possible for you to get up earlier, here are some ideas . . .

 

+ ask dh to get up early enough to school with your son for an hour or two before you get up and get going

+ condense your shower/breakfast time. I often roll out of bed and start schooling within 5 minutes of getting up. (Dh gets the kids up, ready for the day, and independently schooling before I get up an hour or so later.)

 

Focus on priorities, Ie:

1) your sleep for your health. Got it.

2) schooling

3) sports

4) messes

 

So, I'd suck up the mess in the kitchen post-breakfast. It's a lower priority. Make it simple. Have a set breakfast agenda. I.e., just cold cereal and whole fruit. Have it out and ready on the kitchen table. The rule is -- the ONLY other thing they can touch is cups for water to drink and the one-liter jug of milk in the fridge for the cereal. (Keep a 1 liter or smaller jug with breakfast milk in the fridge. This way, if they fail to put it away, as happens, you are only out 1 l of milk, not a gallon.) If they break the rules, punish them OTHER WAYS, but stick with the rules. (No dessert that night, or whatever, but not by giving up.)

 

I'd move ALL sports to afternoons/evenings. Allow yourself 3-4 hours after you get up to get school done. THEN go out for sports. It may take a while to shift activities, but it can be done. I stopped doing day-time sports/activities by the time my kids hit 10 or so just b/c it got too hard to get school done. Plenty of families find loads of sports and activities to do w/o doing them during school hours. You can, too. PRIORITIES. If he can't do a club/team, so what, he can still be active, so find an alternative.

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I'm sorry the sleeping is such an isse for you. I hope you are seeking help for yourself on that issue. My D&B has sleep issues and They are horrible for him and horribly for the rest of the family. Please see a dr concerning the sleep if you haven't already. If anything could be done to help it would give you more wiggle room with the rest of te schedule. I can't imagine trying to make everything fit if I had the same activity load you have plus your sleep schedule.

 

As far as your ds and the eating... What medical issues have you had checked out. Start by ruling out medical issues. If there are some figure out what you must do for his health but do no more than that. I understand dealing with dietary medical needs. I have medically fragile children with feeding issues including feeding tubes, blood sugar issues (that trigger seizures and passing out), sensory issues, and more. So yes, if its a medical problem do what must be done but you can still take control.

 

Reading in the bathroom should end. How often he needs a bathroom break depends on if there is a medical issue. I do tell my kids no to going potty. I have kiddos who have totally used toilet issues to control their day. We checked thins out medically, found out they were fine and then I ended that. I felt like a meany. It was for their own good though.

 

Definitely rule out any medical issues. Take care of that for both of you. Then I think you will just have to make rules and get firm.

 

I will say all snacks for us are school friendly. We do not stop school for a snack. Meals are also learning time. I set a timer for 15 minutes and the. Read to them. When the timer buzzes we reset it for 10 minutes and the table is cleared and chores are done. The timer is amazing. I use it for everything. If they aren't done when the timer goes off the. Oh well!

 

Like I said, I did feel mean at first. It's been a good thing in te long run though. I'm sure your da is expected to hustle at his sports activities isn't he?

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I hope this doesn't come across as inflammatory. I think you need to put his heinie on an eating schedule. You get up at nine? What is for breakfast? Eat something quick, easy, and filling and have them eating by 9:20. Then, as someone else said, don't actually do a thorough cleaning. Just put dishes in the sink and any left out food goes back in the fridge or cabinets. Wipe down the table. Move on.

 

Next, I'd take my shower and have them dress (if they aren't already). If they have already dressed, let them have reading time until you are dressed. I would say you could be dressed in 30 minutes? So, if you eat for a half hour and dress for a half hour, and use 10 minutes to right the kitchen/dining area....you are all dressed, fed, and ready by 10:30. No need for a snack if he had a filling breakfast. If he truly seems hungry, and you think this is a growth spurt, have something simple (yogurt, cheese cubes, nuts) that can easily be popped on a plate and he can eat while he works.

 

Mine are bottomless pits and we eat twice before supper (breakfast and lunch LOL). We eat about every 4 hours. So if breakfast is at 9, lunch is at 1, and then supper is a little longer, around 5.

 

How old are your children? If they are past 8 or so, I'd think there could be some independent work that they could be getting on even as you fix/clean up meals. Things like handwriting, copywork, spelling or math games online, a math worksheet...something. Now, if they are younger, then I can see why that might not work. My learning delayed child is almost 9, but can't work independently. Of course, he is also working at a lower grade level, so less work overall. I give him super easy things like simple dot to dots, color by number, working on a 12 piece puzzle, etc if I need some time where he's occupied elsewhere. Math and reading work, any therapy work, I have to do with him.

 

Make free reading something you do later in the day. Pick a book for him to do for school, assign chapters, have him read and either summarize or have a worksheet of sorts that he does afterwards. My oldest two do this, then they have other books they read at bedtime for "fun". They can also read after schoolwork and everything else is done, if they choose.

 

There is no reason to let eating take over your school day. Eat to live, don't live to eat. Make sure you have enough protein in his meals and maybe that will slow down the munchies. Maybe keep a bowl of fruit (apples, bananas, oranges) that he can palm one while he's working on school.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by Ghee
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We are big on making him eat fat and protein.

 

My oldest is 6, and the other is only 3. DS1 can work independently if I have the timer going and give him say, 6 minutes to empty the dishwasher. If I don't stay on top of him every minute, he will waste ten minutes here, twenty minutes there, until hours have done by and he's done 30 minutes of work.

 

I think I need to ingrain in his head that he is to report to me after every single thing he does. I need to crack down hard on eating times. I guess I will have to "babysit" him at every meal.

 

Running (twice a week) will be over in two weeks, then we will be here 4 out of 5 mornings. I think that will help. I will also follow the suggestion of saving the cleaning until after his school work is done.

 

***Whine alert***

 

I'm tired of everything being a battle with him. He's strong-willed and has many "over-excitabilities."

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I don't mean to sound harsh or uncaring, but who is the parent here? It sounds like your son is doing whatever he wants. That means he is in charge. That has to change.

 

I have insomnia and I totally get it. If I could be productive during non-sleeping hours, I could conquer the world.

 

If your son has a medical need to eat that often, then let him eat. If you truly think it is a phase due to a growth spurt, let him eat whenever he wants for now.

 

To me your schedule doesn't need tweaking - it needs an overhaul.

 

Get up and take a shower - I just don't get how this takes an hour. You need to pare this down some. (I am a girly girl and do make-up, hair, etc. every day and it only takes me 30- 45 minutes.)

 

Breakfast – Unless there is a medical issue that warrants him taking so long to eat, I agree with the previous posters on setting a timer. He is controlling you.

 

Clean-up – Again I just don't get how this can take an hour to an hour and a half. Deep cleaning, sure. Daily washing one meal's worth of dishes, wiping table and counters should not take that long. Is there something I'm not getting here?

 

Snacks – Let him snack while doing school work. Thats what kids do in public school here, as well as in my kid's hybrid school. If he is truly hungry he will be able to multi-task on this one. Also, can he eat snacks before and after sports while you are in the car? Once you get where you are going, snack time is over.

 

Sports – I have no problem with daytime sports IF they can be made to work with school work. If not your son needs to start learning that actions have consequences. One of the consequences of not doing you school work is no sports that day. If he ends up having to quit, so be it.

 

Hiding in the bathroom – This one really got me. He is 6, right? He can only hide in the bathroom and read if you let him. Will he scream and fuss and complain when you don't allow it? Absolutely. It sucks, but that is what being a parent involves sometimes.

 

Waiting on him to finish – If you keep him with you he will not be able to sneak away and read, etc. Other than meals (not snacks) and reasonable bathroom breaks his hinnie needs to be right next to you doing homework. Once he matures some and can be trusted to do his homework on his own, then great. He doesn't have to have spend every single moment with you anymore. This is hard on both of you, but again this is what parenting is about sometimes. (BTW – a great book on this subject is Raising Godly Tomatoes.)

 

Begging him to eat – Um, no. If he is hungry he can eat during eating time. I certainly would not be begging my child to eat cheesecake.

 

Again, I don't mean to sound harsh, but I don't see any parenting going on here. What I see his you catering to your son and trying to make him happy all of the time.

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I think I need to stop getting him Tin Tin books from the library. We stopped getting out audio books a few weeks ago, because he will easily spend 4-5 hours per days hiding and listening to them if we let him.

 

I'm not feeling well and I'm sick of ignoring my other son in trying to police this one.

 

I would not stop getting his favorite books or audio books! The problem isn't that he enjoys reading and being read to. The problem is that you are allowing him to read when he should be doing other things.

 

You only have two kids, right? It's not like one of them can hide for hours without you realizing that he's missing. At least I hope not.

 

I can see how the Duggars could miss some kids for a few hours. :D

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i also have sleep issues. My kids get their own breakfast. I get up and we start school (about 9am). We work until lunch. I clean here and there while they are doing their work when possible. We do chores after school or after swim team (whichever comes first). I go to the gym in the evening. I shower when everyone is in bed at night. I do deep cleaning about once or twice a month (usually when the mess is making me feel postal, hahahaha!)

 

 

My dd12 would loligag all day long. My timer is my friend. Whenever she starts to space out the timer comes out. She has not been able to finish a meal a few times but she caught on. 45 minutes? I don't take that much time if I am out to dinner with dh. Set the timer for 15 minutes. He will cause some holy heck for awhile be he will catch on. Also, if reading in the bathroom became a problem I would tell him that he needs a bathroom monitor and go with him. He is only 6. It won't kill him. If he was 16 that would be different :D.

 

Also, have you considered workboxes? My kids now know that they aren't done with school until the workboxes are done. We had several nights where they were doing school until bedtime, but that quickly got under control when they knew I meant business.

 

Here's to good sleep!!!

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Timers. I agree.

Set 'em and forget 'em.

If he doesn't finish x during the 15 mins allotted time, take it off his next eating time. He won't starve. And if food is that motivating, use it.

 

I have a sloooooow eater and she's the one that is always asking for food. Drives me crazy. But we have set times to eat....breakfast, 2-3 hrs later fruit, lunch, a 3 pm snack if she's done more than think that day, dinner. Period.

 

Trust me, you want to babysit now and get it under control at 6 than wait until it blows up at 16. Even 10.

 

And I am so with you on having to watch them every second while the good natured one gets ignored. I have the same thing. But that's the great thing about my good-natured one....she gets what I'm doing. :). And it has gotten better. Have hope. :001_smile:

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I sympathise - I have similar health issues that mean I need at least 9 hours sleep to function the next day. Luckily I don't have insomnia so I usually go to bed just after my kids. On the days I sleep in I usually get up around 9-10 as well. On those days I adjust the schedule to save the day.

 

I get up and get kids breakfast -they are late sleepers too but have usually been up for about half an hour already. I jump in the shower (which I need because I take medication that makes me sweat at night) and dress and when I'm done the kids are done with breakfast.

 

I send them to get dressed (or not if we aren't going out) and dump all the dishes in the sink and wipe down the table where we school and the kitchen counters and put the food away.

 

We sit down at the table and start school work. My DD is 6 -we use the Charlotte Mason method -her lessons for each subject take 10 minutes. We set a timer and when it dings we are done. Before I used this method she would take up to 2 hours to do 1 page of work. Now she works fast and gets up to 3 pages done in 10 minutes because it works better for her to know there is a strict ending time. When there isn't she dawdles because it seems endless to her at her age.

 

After about 40 minutes of work we take a 10 minute break for a snack (I set the timer for that too). If she hasn't finished the snack by the end she eats it as we continue working.

 

It takes about 2 hours to get all her schoolwork done this way. By 12.30/1 we are usually done and it's time for lunch.

 

I then clean up the kitchen properly while the kids are eating lunch.

 

So that means there is only about 3 hours between big meals - with a snack included (so they ate every 1.5 hours) and schoolwork is done for the day.

 

Then they can go read in the bathroom for as long as they like :D

 

 

You need to set a higher priority on schoolwork. Stop waiting for your son to be ready. If I did that I would never get school done because my kids are always absorbed in something else.

 

My DS1 is a bottemless pit for food and melts down if he doesn't eat regularly however no kid needs to eat so much and so long - you are setting him up for eating issues. I don't know many 6yo's who would refuse cheesecake - if you have to beg him to eat it then he is either totally full or he hates it -so give it up. Feed him three solid meals -let him have seconds if he wants it. Then put out a basket of healthy snacks that he can grab in between meals.

 

If he really needs more food then give him 4 good meals a day and move them a little closer together. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. Have fruit only for in between if he needs it. Make sure those meals are scheduled. Set a timer if he is dawdling - if he is solidly eating for 30 minutes at every meal you need to take him to the doctor.

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