During the holidays, sometimes it's hard finding the right daily rhythm for an older child, especially when they're used to the structure of a school day and they watch minimal TV in the home. I've come to learn that Miss K definitely missed the structured time that school brings. As well as plenty of time for free, independent play, I found she really needed some 'structured' time too. We found ourselves calling this 'table time' for Miss K. She likes to be set up with worksheet at the level she is working at in school and for me to sit down so we can read it together and figure out what she needs to do to complete it. She liked me to 'mark' her work afterwards and go through it with her. Or she would like me to set up a pre-planned making activity for her to do.
Little L would happily play around her while her older sister got on with her 'work'. They were both content. I actually think the separation helped them play joyfully together later on in the day when they came back together again after that period of separation.
It reminded me that before a holiday I should take a look at the ages and stages of both my children to see how the time out from school can suit both their needs so I can plan our time together. I need to prepare some activities ahead of time. At age four, I know Little L needs plenty of opportunity for free play, whereas Miss K likes a combination of free, independent play, structured activities and plenty of time for reading as she is a real bookworm. Not forgetting, of course, plenty of outdoor time. Structuring activity for children is a hard balancing act though, as I don't want to structure so much that she becomes reliant on adults for figuring out how she spends her time. I found that suggesting an activity for her first thing in the morning and one later on in the afternoon was a good balance for us. It was a great way to spend time with her independently of her sister, which really seemed to fill her 'love cup'. She might do a creative activity at the table in the morning and then figure out either a Maths or English based work sheet late afternoon when there was some need for quiet.