Part two of What About the Little Ones?
My friend, Kellie, posed this question: I love, love, love this idea! I do have a question. Do you have a volume of CDs that you create? Say a few CDs with different content that you recorded?
Answer: Yes, we do. (So read on those of you that are past the preschool stage because there is more towards the end for you!) Many of us spend a great deal of time agonizing over curriculum for a school-aged child. Certainly we can focus on our preschooler and plan a specialized 45 minutes for him or her.
In part one, we talked about the benefits of a morning room time habit. Let’s review. Room time allows parents to:
- get a shower while in the survival mode of a new baby
- spend one-on-one school time with older siblings
- have up to 45 minutes to finish housework, make important phone calls (e.g., this morning I rearranged an orthodontist appointment and set a new check-up appointment)
Room time allows a baby or preschooler to:
- learn the habit of playing alone
- listen to mom and/or dad’s voice and tuck Bible verses and other basic skills into memory
- use small motor skills – the freedom to play and learn how to do a puzzle alone
- practice “clean up time” after room time – scoop the toys and books back into the bucket
Excited to start room time with your little one but don’t have your voices recorded yet? No problem. Use what you have on hand to start building the habit. However, let me stress the importance of making a personalized room time CD. Pencil in the time to record over a weekend. Or ten minutes a night. Make it fun! Plan a late-night date at home with your husband. The benefits far outweigh the small investment of time. Also, there is no need to go to a lot of expense. Start like we did. Use the script in Creative Family Times.
The Main Room Time CD – Script from Creative Family Times – See What about the little ones for more detailed description. Also called a Mommy and Daddy Tape in the Creative Family Times book. I encourage you to purchase the book for $5.50 (or used for even less). Not only are the details of the room time CD explained, there are also other chapters on developing character in your preschooler. Memorization time, Sit Time, Prayer Time, Devotion Time, Talk Time, Big Church Time, to name a few.
Here are examples of what we have included on our two-year-old’s CD:
My name is (child’s first name)
I am two.
I am a (boy/girl).
And I love you! ~ from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready
2. ABCs, 123s
3. polite manners, church manners, obedience manners
4. days of the week
5. Godly character definitions
The Creative Family Times book suggests that anytime you introduce something new, like the little rhyme in #1, that you say it three times. Our two-year-old listens to his room time CD several times a week.
And though little ones thrive on repetition, we have built up quite a collection of room time CDs in twelve years. Once you are settled into a room time routine, you will naturally be on the look out for other room time additions. We also mix in these:
2nd CD – Playlist from our music library What’s currently on Lil’ Buddy’s 2nd CD
- Lord I Lift Your Name on High – The Maranatha Singers
- We Believe – Lifeway
- Praise Him, All Ye Little Children – Songs4Worship
- Fairest Lord Jesus – Songs4Worship
- Annie Asleep – Alan Silvestri (Father of the Bride)
- Rickshaw Rally – Jeff Slaughter
- Give Thanks – Songs4Worship
- Truth Trackers are We – Lifeway
- My Delight – Twila Paris
- We Believe in God – Amy Grant
- In the Beginning (Gen 1:1) – Harrow Family Sing the Word A to Z
- My Best Friend – Twila Paris
- A Soft Answer (Prov 15:1) – Harrow Family A New Commandment
- Grace Flows Down – Choice Ministries
- Hearts Courageous – The Maranatha Singers
- Pampa Sings – a recording 30 years ago of my grandfather singing sailor songs. He recorded himself and two grandchildren. What a treasure for his great-grandchild to enjoy!
= 1 hr total recorded time
3rd recorded tape – Nana reading the Mother Goose book
4th CD burned from purchased iTunes download – Praise Baby’s My Father’s World
5th CD – any Veggie Tales, like Sunday Morning Songs
6th CD Harrow family. In our first years of homeschooling, using Sonlight curriculum, we were introduced to the Harrow family CDs for Bible verse memorization. For several years we enjoyed their first two recordings – Sing the Word A to Z and A New Commandment. This past Christmas, each child received a new Harrow CD as their “frankincense” gift – the gift for their spiritual growth.
Example of our four-year-old’s room time CD rotation:
- recorded, personalized, Room Time CD with longer sections of scripture, her address and phone number to memorize, months of the year, a poem, other ideas from Ruth Beechick’s Language and Thinking for Young Children
- any of brother’s CDs he’s not using that morning
- Laurie Berkner CD
- Nana reading Audubon First Field Guides
- Mama and Daddy reading Five in a Row books (the same tape we recorded for our twelve-year-old a decade ago!)
- a recording of original stories by her older brother
Blessed with a baby in the house? Even babies can have play pen time or crib time for 15 to 20 minutes. Listen to soft music while gazing up at a mobile. Open a colorful board book. Place a few safe toys within reach. Crib time builds to play pen time which builds to room time. Increments of time increasing with age. And training moments guaranteed along the way.
~~~For the Big Kids~~~
The Ultimate Family Goal: Morning Room Time translates to Quiet Time options for older children like my 7, 10 and 12-year-olds (and yes, our four-year-old has both morning room time and afternoon quiet time while Lil’ Buddy naps).
- Current audio book checked out from library to compliment our Tapestry of Grace studies (right now it’s Heidi or just for fun – Redwall– thanks Kendra :)). Also have borrowed Little House on the Prairie, Little Women
- Narnia or Star Wars collection (good to ask for as a BD or Christmas gift!)
- Word of Promise Audio Bible
- Adventures in Odyssey
- Nana reading Audubon First Field Guides
- A basket full of books and accompanying cassette tapes purchased on eBay from a retiring teacher.
~~~For the Entire Family~~~
Start with room time when your child is little. Make use of afternoon quiet time after a child drops a nap. Hold tight to quiet time because the benefits are great for all. Especially for mama to occasionally be able to just take a 10 minute nap. And, yes, we do morning room time and afternoon quiet time when we are home on the weekends too 🙂
Children are still learning, you aren’t paying for Mother’s Morning Out. The whole family benefits. See how Morning Room Time, Quiet Time and Just Take a Nap all work together?
Our first version of a room time recording was made using a cassette tape player. Pushing the record and pause button. This is still a very easy, low-tech way of making a room time tape quickly. However, high tech Hodgepodgedad will step up and explain how to record a CD with your home computer using free software. Watch for his post to follow soon.