Over time I discovered a few things that ‘worked’ for me. As I home-schooled, it was especially difficult to have any sort of piece and quiet! I began trying to have my quiet time in the mornings and occasionally it worked. More often than not though, the children were ‘firing on all cylinders’ and raring to go, wanting breakfast and generally getting into things.
All of our children have been very early risers (until the teen years!), so by the afternoon I was certainly in need of a short break.
I began by ‘creating’ a new ‘slot’ in the day called ‘quiet time’ which benefitted all of us. At around 2.45pm I would call the children to tidy away any excess toys and books and then come to the sofa. I would read them a story and then they would be told it is time for a rest. At first they weren’t very keen but as I remained consistent they became accustomed to this part of the day being ‘set apart’ for rest or reading.
I opened up my bible and on occasions I actually fell asleep but I got more reading in during this time than I would have if I hadn’t set aside this time. The children would read wholesome books (look at pictures before they could read) or they would take a short nap.
I only left them there for 30 minutes (begin with just 5 minutes when they are very little and add lots of praise when they stay put!) but the atmosphere afterwards was much calmer in the countdown to dinner.