Jenny Hintze

"We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams." – Willy Wonka

Mikey and sleep, part 5….the final chapter? July 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhintze @ 8:22 pm
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I realized that I haven’t posted a recent update to the Mikey sleep situation. The child who used to tantrum and throw toys for an hour and a half is now going to sleep willingly in his bed with no screaming and no baby gate! I can hardly believe it myself. He has been doing really great since my last post about the sleeping thing. We tried lots of different things before we found a combination that finally worked for him.

Here’s what we had to end up doing:

– Cut out his nap completely. This is pretty hard. He hits a wall around 3:00 and it’s very hard to keep him awake. And it’s really hard to be with him all day without a nap. If you have a two year old, you know what I’m talking about. His nap used to mean break time for me. But I had to let it go.

– Removed all the toys from his room. We put about 20 various plastic weapons in the attic. And we moved their toy bins into my office. We moved everything else that had to stay in the room out of his reach. Maybe someday the toys will be able to go back but for now, this is how it has to be.

– Got rid of the baby gate. Mikey hates being gated in his room. It really sets him on edge and just royally ticks him off. Instead, now we gate the hallway and I sit on the floor in the hall outside his room. He knows I’m there and it gives him comfort. After 10 or 15 minutes, sometimes more, I get on with my life. A few nights ago I had to sit in the hall for quite a while and I was able to think of a nice, long honey-do list.

And that’s it. The transformation is absolutely amazing. We used to dread bedtime. Instead of it being a calming time for everybody, it was just horrible. Mikey would scream until he physically could not scream anymore. And Phillip and I both felt totally hopeless. By the time Mikey finally fell asleep it was late and we were too drained to even spend any time together. We tried a lot of things that didn’t work. We considered advice from trusted friends and tried different things. Finally, at least for now, Mikey is going to sleep willingly and calmly and happy. And tonight, for the first time, both boys fell asleep in the same room at the same time.

Mikey’s Occupational Therapist helped us realize that we needed to set a goal for him. Our goal was for him to go to sleep in his bed without throwing fits and with no gate. I think we have reached our goal. I think if my son can make this kind of transformation, any kid can. But you may have to be willing to make some changes that you’d rather not make.


The beginning of many homeschool posts July 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jhintze @ 9:44 pm
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I’m so excited!! I just bought the bulk of Jack’s 2nd grade homeschool curriculum this evening from someone on ebay. We’re going with Sonlight 1+2 Condensed with the advanced readers just in case you are interested in finding out more about it. The package I bought also includes the science stuff we need too. We’ll have to buy a couple of work books, some more consumable items, and math stuff. I need to make a decision on which math curriculum I want to use. I’m basically as dumb as a rock when it comes to math so I have no clue what to go with. I may end up using Singapore math or maybe Miqon math. I need to go back to the homeschool store (without Andrea…tear) and look through math stuff. I’ll also be going with Handwriting Without Tears. I’ve heard really great things about that. We’ll be starting school in about a month so I need to get on the ball.

The curriculum for history, geography, science, and language arts is primarily made up of a whole slew of books. And not text books. Like actual little novels and stories and stuff. The stuff I’ve chosen is “literature based” so we’ll be doing lots of reading and discussing together. I’m thinking that Jack and I will spend lots of time curled up together on the couch or the bed reading and talking and that sounds pretty cool to me.

I’m sure this whole experience will end up being FAR more challenging than I realize right now. I think Jack and I probably have a pretty rosy idealistic view of how this is going to be. I’m still extremely green on the whole homeschool thing and I’m sure I know absolutely nothing compared to what I’ll know at the end of this school year.

But this is what I know right now:

– He will learn more in less time than in public school.
– He will be encouraged to create, invent, and pretend.
– He will be able to do school without a shirt on if he wants to. Pants too for that matter. Who cares?
– We can read books on the trampoline.
– I will finally have a Bible study partner.
– We will have fun.
– He will grow me as a mom.
– I will become a little less dumb at math.
– I can’t screw him up too bad in nine months.

I can’t believe we’re really finally doing this. We’ve kicked this idea around since before Jack started Kindergarten. But now is the right time.