Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Buddy Time

My friend Kimberly hosts an amazing blog at http://www.raisingolives.com/. If you have interest in homeschooling or how to manage a larger than average family, you should visit her blog. She hosts a blog carnival on Tuesdays called Tuesday's Tips for Mom. This post is part of her carnival. (I've never done anything like this before. I hope it works.)

We are beginning our summer schedule this week. Basically we do math review, lots of reading and work on things I don't have much time for during the school year. (training how to do new chores, art projects, etc.) One of the things my kids enjoy most is Buddy Time. Last week when I told the children I was working on the summer schedule, several of them asked me if we were going to have Buddy Time again this year. They said it was their favorite part of the day.

I have 8 children ages 13 (on Friday), 11, 9, 7, almost 6, 3.5, 19 months and 8 weeks. The oldest six participate in Buddy Time. During this time each of the older 3 is matched with one of the younger three. The younger child then picks what he/she would like to do. My older children have toys/collections that they don't allow their younger siblings to play with without supervision. Buddy Time allows the younger children to play with these items under the watchful eye of its owner. This year we've decided to have a few days when the older child gets to pick the activity. We rotate pairings through all the children. Our schedule allows for this activity to last for 30 minutes, however last summer I was constantly asked if it could last longer. I've scheduled this activity prior to nap/quiet hour. If the children are quiet (and aren't one of my nappers), I allow Buddy Time to last longer.

Another benefit to Buddy Time is that it forces all of the children to spend one-on-one time with their younger brothers and sisters. For the most part my children spend large amounts of time enjoying one another. However I've noticed one girl and one boy don't often choose to play together. One prefers to be outside and the other prefers quiet inside activities. I've enjoyed watching this pair during Buddy Time, especially when they are laughing together. I think this activity has helped their overall relationship.

Hayley assist Kathryn with one of her favorite activities...dressing her dolls.

Ashley and Will are battling Lord of the Rings and Star Wars action figures.

Emily and Luke have developed a baseball game just for two.

Tuesday’s Tip for Mom is a blog carnival hosted at Raising Olives to allow moms to share what they have learned along the path of motherhood. Join us every Tuesday as we learn and share tips and ideas for spending time with, encouraging, training or relating to our children.


Raising Olives said...

What a great idea. I KNOW our children would really enjoy doing this and am going to add that to our summer schedule.

Thanks Jama!

Miss you all!


Kristin said...

We use the buddy system for our children. Each older child is paired with a younger child, whom they help with getting dressed, brushing teeth and hair, etc. Although we have yet to put our new schedule into practice, I did allot times for each older child to spend 30 minutes with a younger child, even if it is not their assigned buddy.

Jama said...

We use the buddy system in a manner similar to Kristin when we are preparing to leave the house, while walking in a store, etc. With "Buddy Time" we rotate through all the children. Eventually everyone plays with everyone else. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Thanks for commenting Kimberly and Kristin!