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Old 01-21-2013, 10:54 AM
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countrymom countrymom is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 4,756

nwj, I run my house similar to yours. I too let the kids take things out and clean up just before we go outside or have lunch. I have seen kids drop something and another one pick up. I've seen my littles play in the kitchen (funny how they don't really talk but they understand each other) and I don't want to interrupt that.

I too have so many books, and I think if you teach them, they will treat the books right (they are sacred in this house too) I also found that by putting chairs near the reading areas the kids would sit and pick a book out even the littles do this.

I've downsized my stuff but I now have a house for everything. Everything has a place. I found that if they have too much stuff to choose then they make too big of a mess and don't want to put it away.

I have a ikea table that the kids eat at (and do art and color) once you can sit still you can sit at the table otherwise my littles would not eat.

the only difference is that I do a mix group, I find that the older kids should learn how to play with the little kids and vice versa. Also, I find that the older kids start to use their voice and tell the littles "no" which is big because some kids just wouldn't talk at all.

I use to do a very structured home (ok, food and nap are still routine) but I started to find that I was so exhausted that it wasn't fun anymore. And the kids where all over the place and the parents didn't care. So now I focus more on kids being kids and learning activities of daily living, like putting a coat on or wiping their own nose (thats a big one and even the littles love to do this) and manners
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