This is a re post from January 2008 but i have been referring folks to it..and it is on my blog that is now private. I will 're-do' this with our current activities...at some point... but this is basically how we schedule now.
Continuing on with the series of Masterly Inactivity articles posted on Simply Charlotte Mason...."Good Humor" to me draws a distinction between Floortime and RDI. In Floortime and P.L.A.Y. we are to follow our child's lead in order to engage with them. In RDI it is parent driven. To be honest I have never 'quite' gotten the parent driven thing from the standpoint that you have to START somewhere. And even with RDI I think it can START by engaging where the child is at.....but this is about the adult making that choice to make it child chosen (in RDI) vs. just entering the child's activity.
I try and make our day a bit of both....child and parent driven. This means really that it is 100% parent driven (theoretically) because I choose when it is child driven. Our daily schedule does not label each subject; rather it gives 'work sessions.' I do this so that I, the TEACHER can decide how much, and what we will do during a given work session. Our day starts out with 'wake up' and 'fool around.' I know that many say first work then play; however after trying this for some time, and seeing how it did NOT work, I decided consciously to PLAY first, then work. Even a few minutes of play will put Andrew in the mind to work as he has had a taste of 'fun' and then knows he will get it again if he works his best for the next session. The reason I don't put down the subjects to be studied during each session is simple. If it is going well, we may do extra and if it isn't going so hot, I require Andrew to give his 'current' best and then we go to break. If I make this MY decision I do not consider this giving in as we all have 'off' days. Andrew is thankful for this and so is his mom! And I often thank him at the end of each session- long or short- if he has tried his level best.
Our schedule changes every day of the week as you can see. On Monday we go to "Friendship Circle, Wednesday is gymnastics and on Friday we go to the homeschool co-op where we have an engineering and hip-hop class. We will also be adding a recycle art class on Tuesday. As you can see, this isn't 'fancy' and there are no Velcro tabs to move from one side to the other. The velcro schedule is a big behavioral tool for schools especially in preschool. The problem for a kid like Andrew is that you have to do EVERYTHING on the list. I look at our schedule as a template. The teachers, bless their hearts, try so hard with the tools given but I honestly think a lot of the 'behavior' tools actually hurt the students. Life is dynamic...so why put it in a box like that...make it a mystery. That way I can choose good humor and a treat every now and then.
The same goes for rewards. I DO rewards...but i do them 'after the fact.' I also change my mind. Just tonight Andrew was being very disrespectful and not completing his writing and math the way I wanted. There are times that he can be creative and times when he has to do what I ask EXACTLY as I ask and I make those times clear. He took it just a BIT to far so he lost his PS2 play time. I wanted him to have his PS 2 time!! So I had him do extra work to get himself out of the pit he had gotten into. And funny thing, he did it quickly, quietly, correctly and respectfully. And since I cemented this as an episodic memory (I hope) we will be able to draw on it in the future.
So how does all this tie back into Masterly Inactivity and Good Humor. I think the key is being mindful and following through. Doing what a child wants is not 'giving in' as long as it isn't a 'way out' for you or for them.