Circle Time Questions Beget Circle Time Questions

What am I to do with baby once she is past the holding in the sling stage? What do you do with Mighty Joe (Praise the Lord he is well) when Christian has playpen time?

Also, you have a school room as do we. Do you spend a lot of time there?


Mighty Joe sleeps most of the morning.  He is up from about 8:30 till about 10:30, and in that time he is either being held by someone, in his little swing, or in his car seat watching the rest of us.  Then he sleeps until 12:30 or so.  That helps tremendously.

Once he is more wakeful, he'll be with us in confined ways- either in the front pack or backpack (I have an Ergo, which serves as both), in the doorway jumper, or in the playpen when Christian isn't there.  It's just a matter of juggling both little guys.  Someone (usually a sister) tends to want to take them for stroller rides or otherwise entertain them, as well.

Our schoolroom usage has varied from season to season.  Some years we've done almost everything in the schoolroom, while other years the schoolroom serves more as a storage space for everything and a workspace for kiddos who want to use it.  We are fairly mobile this year, but I find that if I park myself in the schoolroom, I can help more kids at once.

Did you wait to introduce formal math to your older kids until they were in about 3rd-4th grade?


I think the answer depends upon what you consider to be "formal math".  Math facts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, measuring, and money?  Then no, we don't wait.  Abstract concepts?  Yes, we definitely wait.  We agree (particularly as we've watched all of them develop academically) with the Bluedorns.

Up to what age have you used a playpen, Kendra? I’ve never used one at this age, but think maybe I should. At least to get us thru part of the morning. Any advice?


38.  Some days when my husband gets home, I'm in the playpen and everyone else is running around.  I might be sucking my thumb, depending on how bad the day has been. :D

I don't really know the answer to this question.  My guess would be 3?  4?  It probably has depended largely on the child.  I have a son who was so mellow he sat at the table coloring happily for 45 minutes when he was two.  I have a daughter who should have been in the playpen until she was six.

My 2nd little boy, now 20 months old, can get very fussy. When he’s fussing because he’s not getting his way, we do the, “Oh, fussy babies have to go sit in their bed.” Then, we put him in his bed and come back to get him telling him he needs to be happy. Do you think that is the right way to handle it or do you have another magic method?


Yes, that's a good plan.  You're communicating the standard and expectations.  No, I have no magic methods.  Bummer.

My question is - IN THE AFTERNOON - when the little ones need naps (and sometimes mom does too!) what do the older kids do?


Kathleen answered this one nicely:

I’ve purchased lots of books on CD– The Chronicles of Narnia, j park (Jonathan Park), Radio Theatre, etc. and the big kids get quiet time where they each go to a room alone and “listen, play and read” with their CD player, stack of books, and tub of Legos or projects. They are refreshed by the alone time (which we all need when there are so many of us) and the little ones can sleep. After about 2 hrs. I get everyone up and we finish the day…