If you're struggling to keep up with all the items on your 'to do' list and feel like the kids aren't getting enough focused time to learn, maybe you need to create a homeschool rhythm.
By Jessica Pilton | jessicapilton.com
A relaxed rhythm within a family allows for adequate time for being, doing and resting – all equally important things. I have been implementing rhythms in our days for a couple of years now.
Sometimes this looks like a morning rhythm or evening rhythm, sometimes we have had only a short rhythms in our days that just focus around waking, eating and sleeping, and then seasons (like right now) where we have steady daily rhythm.
This year I’m focusing on a word for my personal growth, and the word I felt that resonated with me was “Thrive”.
I wanted to create a homeschool rhythm where each one of us could do just that, having ample opportunities to thrive and grow where we are planted in our home. Creating a family rhythm that suits everyone takes time, patience and a watchful eye as you notice the ‘breathe in and out’ of life.
What our homeschool rhythm looks like
For example, we come together in the mornings for breakfast around the table, we read a Bible passage, maybe sing a song or recite a poem and then after breakfast, we all go our separate ways for a while. It’s just how life naturally works for our family.
My two girls will get ready for our day and then begin their very important work of play. Mason will usually follow me into the garden as I tend to the patch. This is what you call a ‘breathe out’, a moment in time where children (and mama!) are exploring and playing and using outward energy.
After some time we come together again for a 'breathe in', quiet time, snuggling time with a story or poem, gentle forehead kisses and food. Alannah and I come together before the others for her lessons which are done in 30 minutes or so before circle time. After our ‘breathe in’ comes another 'breathe out'. Art, creating, baking, more playing. And so the cycle throughout the day continues…
Creating and implementing a homeschool rhythm
- What is happening in your family currently?
- How do you spend your time?
- Can you see the visible “breathe in and out” happening throughout your day already or is this something you may need to work on?
By watching how your family already interacts and spends their days you can begin to understand what rhythm looks like and how you can tweak it to suit each person and create a more harmonious home.
- Is there anything you would like to change?
- What would you like to add to your days?
- Is there anything you need to remove to create a more peaceful home?
- Where and when would you put the 'breathe in and outs' during the day?
Grab some paper and jot it down.
Once you have observed and tweaked your rhythm it's time to get it on paper, put it where everyone can see it and start gently implementing it in your days. Start small, introduce one thing at a time over several weeks.
5. Embrace Change
We all have ideals we want to have in our lives – yet life can through us curve balls, sickness, travel, adding a new family member or even just having an off week. Be flexible, embrace changes – they will be inevitable! And remember your rhythm is your servant not your master.
6. Remember, you are not a slave to your family rhythm
It's there to help your family have more intention, connection, peace and harmony, not create discord because it isn’t being followed.
7. Something visual to remind you
I created this printable which is placed on our cupboard in the kitchen. It’s a visual reminder of our rhythm for our days. We have lived unstructured for some time last year, yet when I looked back and observed how we lived I still see a rhythm in place.
Personally, my kids flourish with a flexible homeschool rhythm
We love being able to spontaneously get into nature, visit friends and family, or visit the library. We want to be able to follow when an interest strikes, so this is the rhythm our days usually march to.
Recently we included an evening rhythm with times to get our evenings running more smoothly (we haven’t had a set bedtime for about a year) as sometimes we need to re-access how and why we do things. This was the case for us, as bedtimes were blowing out and people in our family were getting grumpy and needing more sleep.
Remember things won’t always stay the same in a rhythm. Changes will happen, so try to embrace them.
Do you have a rhythm in your homeschool? Comment below, we'd love you to share.
This article originally featured on jessicapilton.com and has been republished with permission.