How to create a daily rhythm in your homeschool
A daily rhythm of knowing what to expect when really helps kids to understand what to expect through the day. It gives them the sense that they know what is coming next and they can keep things in mind knowing that lessons start at a certain time, that after lunch is quiet time, or after dinner is an hour of chores time. Whatever works for your family- a rhythm will not only help your kids come to understand the day better but also you. Knowing what to expect when helps to weather the storms when they do come in homeschooling as they come in all walks of life.
This is the stuff my son and I need to get through in a day. This is his list for it and I write my own out on a notebook of college ruled lined paper. I know I will add illustrations to it one day but for now, the plain one does the job. This particular set up helps my son see, visually, the things he has DONE in a day. This helps him access a place where he feels he can accomplish more.
Study your child like you would study any subject. What are their likes and dislikes? What motivates them to finish a task? How can they get to that finishing point without being completely burnt out? It takes a guide to do these things- and honestly these are the things that school assignments with many moving parts and home charts or chores with many moving parts are so helpful in long term learning. Especially learning what to realistically expect from the day.
Very young children often wake up with a sense of purpose about their day and know exactly what they are going to or would like to be doing. They understand how to guide themselves from one task to the next, yes, but knowing how to pick up one task before heading onto the next is a skill.
Each of these things is a journey we embark on and as the guides for this journey it's important to remind the crew how many storms we have overcome and how much we have battled through. It is no small thing to love and be loved- to greet hardship with nobility and equanimity is something that requires practice and pressure to improve- thankfully life will do this no matter our feelings about anything else happening at any moment. So how do you stay consistent when life gets hard and you are facing trial? We are creatures of habit. It is easier to cultivate a habit when we are in times of peace, so having gratitude for it is excellent! So is action. With those two things together that is how things get placed into a rhythm.
Once it's established in the way that is best for your family (it took me about 2 years to discover the 'seasonal' planning method works well for my family, it may very well not look the same for yours) then know that you have a well established rhythm that can aid you because it has been something you've fallen back on many times in daily life when all was peaceful. So you will fall back into it when times are challenging- it has been so helpful in keeping me fit and working out WITH my kids!
It's so awesome to go hiking every Wednesday together and then journal what we see! Even a walk around the neighborhood has taught us so much.
I like to make paintings for my kids to see and then go through the day with them each morning until I only have to come back to it once in awhile for reminders. Usually I will lightly sketch out an idea first, then draw it onto watercolor paper, then paint it in. This is something that is therapeutic for me- like journaling or dancing it helps me stay calm and return to center. I know moms who have printed charts they made in Canva or templates they found online. How it appears doesn't really matter. What matters is that you work to put together a fluid list of predictable events that happen for your family.
Each season in our family these change- it helps us to render ourselves available for field trips, meetups, appointments, and other things that demand a lot more of your time than lessons at home whether structured with a curriculum, self made or otherwise or completely unschooling it takes far less time to get to arithmetic than it does for us to get to some parks that are far away.
This is an example of a weekly rhythm chart but it helps keeps each day in order. As we come to know ourselves and our needs, so too do the needs of the family become more apparent. This is something that takes time to develop, see, and ultimately understand. Know that you aren't alone- it has many working parts. What is something that has immensely improved your homeschooling experience?