Thursday, August 9, 2007

Less is More- or at least its Better

After 10 years of accumulating "stuff" we decided to hit the reset button on the kids rooms. We weeded out a lot of things in the move but still things grew and were way beyond the abilities of the kids to control. So we started by paking up EVERYTHING in their rooms, giving them a thorough cleaning and then came up with a plan for a maintenance routine.

They each got to choose a toy to keep out and we assigned a place for it go and every evening they clean their rooms and if they can handle it for awhile they will get another one and we'll assign a place for that one and so on. It has been a couple weeks and we have not gotten any new toys out. Not because they have not taken care of their first toy but because it is so nice not having so much stuff in their rooms. They have not even asked for any of the toys after the first few days and seeing how creative they are without them I think it might be a premanent thing. The other day Audrey and Cyril were making up a game using kids plastic scissors for characters. Today they got out some sheets and made a fort. And I think having less options makes it easier for them to pick what to do. They will play with Audrey's toy horses for hours at a time.

Another reason we cleaned out the rooms was to to assess what they had and what kind of storage they need to keep things in. As opposed to throwing everything into a big box and then not knowing where anything is.

One issue I do have is keeping things they like to do- like arts and crafts- in places where they can get to them but Cyprian can't. How do you make a Montessori classroom work in a house with different age kids and a "teacher" who has to switch loads, nurse the baby, and make dinner and can't monitor every area of the house at once. I don't know yet but right now I am pleased with changes we've implemented so far and I am excited to continue the trend in other areas of our house.

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