Monday, January 2, 2012
New Year, New Rhythm
I hope everyone had a fantastic start to this new year. I know we are looking forward to seeing what this year holds for our family but first we need to get back on track and into our rhythm. The rhythm in which we live our lives is crucial to the happiness of our family. I’ve realized that the holidays were getting in the way of our natural rhythms and could see the effects in the faces and actions of my girls. When things get too hectic and shaken up everyone gets overwhelmed and overly emotional. We’re at that stage right now and it is time to center ourselves and get back to what we know works for us as a family.
There is a natural ebb and flow to our daily lives which we embrace, but never force. That is the beauty of being a homeschooling (and unschooling) family, being able to live our lives without worrying about what the calendar or the clock is telling us. We are free to follow our hearts and imaginations wherever they may lead us. That isn’t to say that we don’t have a bit of structure to our days but simply that we aren’t on a rigid schedule dictated by the numbers on a clock or a list of tasks that we must complete to call our day a success.
Those of you that really know me know that I am a list maker and a planner so of course there is a chart. Kinsley is a bit of a list maker herself and thrives on knowing what is in store for her day and feels much more secure when she can predict what comes next in her day. That doesn’t mean we always follow the plan, in fact most days we don’t. But the chart gives us a jumping off point and serves as an inspiration for us all. I didn’t just sit down one day and pull these ideas out of my head, instead I stepped back and watched our natural rhythms as they presented themselves and went from there. I learned that the girls, though they wake early, aren’t ready to jump right into the day’s activities but prefer to gradually ease into their day and are often awake for more than an hour before they feel ready to eat breakfast. I learned that cleaning up right before nap gave us a clean slate to start with in the afternoon. I learned what worked for our family. That I the important thing to remember about establishing a rhythm in your home, what works for one house likely isn’t what works for another. You have to find out what works for you. Though there isn’t a magic printout that will bring calm and order to your house there are several excellent blog posts on rhythm like this one or this one here.
Our daily rhythm is ever changing, especially now that Kaitlyn is old enough to really participate so I anticipate doing a lot of tweaking as we start the new year and find what works for us where we are now.
We also have a general rhythm to our week that gives us sort of a “theme” for the day.
Monday: Music Day
Tuesday: Baking Day
Wednesday: Painting Day
Thursday: Crafting Day
Friday: Adventure Day
That isn’t to say that we only paint on Wednesdays or if we want to bake cookies on a Friday we can’t, just that on these specific days I make a concentrated effort to focus on that daily task. It works well for us to have this activity come after nap time so that the girls are refreshed and ready to focus. It also gives me the opportunity to use naptime to get supplies out and ready beforehand.
We don’t really have a planned activity for our weekends as we never know if Daddy will be working or home with us on Saturdays so we play it by ear. They are our dedicated family days though, where we try to get outside (weather permitting) and just spend time together as a family.
I just recently found this post over at Play At Home Mom and fell immediately in love with the Daily Rhythm Charts she links to. I'm thinking we'll definitely need a lady bug or bumble bee one for this spring and summer. Such a good way to help the kids visualize their day.
at 1:27 PM