Fall is such a wonderful time of year. The kids are back in school, and you are able
to find some way back to a good rhythm.
At least, that is how it is supposed to go. What happens when you are still trying to
find your rhythm more than halfway through September?
everyone. Going from the lazy days of
summer to two tests and a paper the next week is probably not the most
enjoyable way to start a new season, or a new school year.
that our days allow a little more wiggle room to ease into our school year.
trying to fit those into a good rhythm is challenging.
lot different for me than it normally is.
Perhaps it is because I am doing real school with two kids instead of
just one, perhaps it is because Lucy is showing me all of her crazy sides at
the ripe old age of almost 3. Perhaps it
is because we haven’t had a proper vacation in too long, and my husband is home
for a lot of long weekends – definitely a different way of easing into the fall
I can get the most done in the least amount of time – so that I am able to use
free time to pursue my passions. In
college I was able to arrange my schedule to only have classes a couple times
each week, giving me the rest of the week to work and study. Most of my friends didn’t understand how it
was even possible that I only had classes in a certain block of time, rather
than all over the place. It is what
worked for me; I wanted my schedule to work for me.
the window. No matter how many baby books
I read about how every baby is on a schedule, mine refused to comply. Instead of feeding every two hours, she would
go 2 hours, then 3 hours, then 45 minutes.
Instead of being a slave to my clock, I had to move towards a more
relaxed rhythm. The stress that I felt
when my baby wasn’t following the schedule immediately lessened (although it
has never really gone away, it is just hidden now!).
frequently, at least by season if not more often.
it hasn’t been working.
part of that is because I needed some perspective on how much we should
accomplish in a day. I was doing too
much, and rearranging the schedule of the day, but not the priorities of the
definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but
expecting different results.
either. But, doing the same things day
after day, and trying to put them in a different order to maximize your time,
or to encourage your kids to complete specific tasks, it doesn’t work,
something needs to change.
should do in a day, I was forgetting my primary purpose in homeschooling – to raise
lifelong learners, kids that turn into adults who will fearlessly pursue their
information down their throats at one sitting, and I need to learn to follow
their interests more.
information available to learn, but it is also so complicated because there is
so.much.information. Deciding which
subjects to study, which interests to follow, it is constantly moving – which
is why your rhythm changes so often.
homeschooling (I thought minimalist homeschooling = unschooling), but instead
figuring out your priorities and fully engaging with those priorities.
cannot teach your child everything, you cannot do every activity that you want;
you need to make choices based on your values.
routine and rhythm is going to change.
Accepting that it is going to change is the first step to finding your
try to squeeze everything in.
give them all the experiences, but that ends up backfiring. Either the child is not into the
activity/subject/sport and it is like pulling teeth to get there, or you are
run so ragged that you spiral into a ball of stress.
a conversation with your child – an honest one.
they play them because you have always signed them up, or perhaps they enjoy
going to see their friends? Do they want
to try something different? Is your
child really excelling in music, or do they hate to practice?
activities because even though we know deep down that our kids are not missing
out we still have that fear.
that is exactly what you must do if you are going to find a rhythm that will
work for you and your family in this season and every season going forward.
subjects after a pretty lazy summer where we mainly work only on science and
spend as much time outside as possible.
But, the weather is beautiful in New England in the fall, so we are
still spending a lot of time outside doing nature walks, studying leaves,
reading outside on a blanket. It isn’t
necessarily the time to be sitting down to a lot of seat work.
bitterly cold outside, we spend more time inside, plowing through books, doing
a lot of seat work, and generally enjoying a bit of hibernation.
dictated for you.
you can around those most important items.
This works for homeschool, it works for public school, it works for any
type of situation. Start with what is
most important, and then try to fit in what you can around those different
months, and not quite know what happened during that time. You can go on autopilot, and not fully
experience any of it because you are constantly moving to the next thing. If you love a full schedule, that is amazing,
but make sure that you are fully in each task and activity, experiencing every
bit of it. If you struggle with a full
schedule, that is OK too.
through those choices. Not all are fun,
some are necessary and can be less than exciting, but they all give some
opportunity for growth, for challenge, for change.
that is why I am here, right now, writing to you. Our rhythm hasn’t been the best this fall,
but last week we were able to change a few things around, and I lightened up on
what we needed to do in a day.
in the morning.
yard, but we usually do our walks in the evening when dad gets home from
work. But, last week we started our day
with a walk, and that little change in our rhythm seemed to improve my kids’
attitudes, and they were more diligent in the seat work that I do have them do
every day (math, reading, writing). We
also spent more time reading out loud as a family.
event back to school being done by lunch time.
Everyone’s attitudes improved, and we were still accomplishing almost
everything that I wanted to in the week.
Instead of trying to do every subject and activity every single day, we
concentrated on a few things each day, and were able to accomplish more in the
same amount of time.
one change you can make to your rhythm to make your day run better?