snackish habits- foiled!

My biggest pet peeve as a homeschool mom? -the constant request for snacks. It happens all day, times 4 kids- and exponentially intensified by the the boy. The boy who has been dubbed "snack-man" by family friends, complete with his own theme song. (think 'batman' song...) So what does a homeschool mom do? Well, she can lay down a hard and fast rule of snacks at certain times only- but that easily crumbles when the little smarties realize that to divide and conquer wears the busy mom down, distracts her, and ultimately gives up the goal.

In the past, I attempted to follow a Montessori approach to snacktime- I set out two snack 'stations', one on the counter containing snacks such as fruit, crackers, bagged cookies, graham crackers... and one in the fridge containing cold snacks such as cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit... I then attempted to regulate these snack times to two times (and there was the hill I died on...) giving the kids a choice from one basket that they could help themselves to. It worked as long as I planned ahead and stocked the containers, and as long as I stuck to the times. -not long, really.

The snack thing drives me to distraction and to the point of irritability, and I am concerned that my kids 'graze' all day, because it is available. This week I tried again to manage the situation, looking ahead to our starting school in a few weeks- and I decided to tackle the 'grazing' and distracting requests first.

I give to you, my bloggy mom friends, -snack time: at 10 a.m and 3 p.m. each day. It makes things very simple now, when I am peppered with requests- I just say "no"! I posted pictures of what the clocks should look like at snack time for our two youngest students, pictured here-and I made a few flashcards with a clock stamp to be filled in by the same culprits, er...students for extra practice in memory- pictured here on the fridge. So far it is working well, and I am not going to the extra effort to stock snack baskets- I really don't mind thinking up choices to offer only twice a day, it simplifies things beautifully.

I thought I would share this for any new homeschool moms busy planning out their days and plan of attack. A thing of beauty is to be enjoyed forever...or until the snacks run out- something like that.