In Homeschool Rhythm is Key

In Extraordinary Parenting, Eloise Rickman shares some great tips for parents and home educators. She stresses the importance to having a rhythm to the day so that your children can feel comfortable and know what to expect. This doesn’t mean setting strict and rigid schedules for everything. Instead, you can make things flow in a natural way for your family. It’s all about finding the rhythm.

She writes, “As home educating families have long known, outside of the constraints of traditional schooling anything is possible. Educating at home can reduce the stress on your child, encourage their natural thirst for learning, and bring new interests to the fore. It can foster deep learning for the whole family as you are transported to the far reaches of the solar system, to ancient Egypt, or to the courts of Henry VIII. Far from being an inferior replacement for school, your home is already the best possible place for learning to happen.”

Your homeschool does not need to look like a regular school. You don’t need blocks of time for specific subject areas. You don’t have to start at 8:20 sharp every morning either. Set up a rhythm that works for you and don’t be so rigid about it. You don’t have any of the time constraints that public schools face with multiple teachers and students. It’s just your family.

“It’s not about home educating, throwing away the TV, or eating only organic food. Rather, it’s about treating our children with respect and compassion, consciously slowing down and reclaiming our children’s right to play, and creating a rhythmic, intentional home environment where our children feel safe and flourish.”

A busy self-employed mother by the name of Pippa Hounslow is quoted in the book. She believes that everyone in her family benefits from their daily rhythm. She likes it because “it takes an element of stress out of planning and keeps days manageable; if we base our days around a few key activities such as ‘crafts’ and ‘outside time’ it gives us enough freedom to change it up and keep them fresh. If I’m calm and ready for the day, I think that has a positive effect on everyone around me.”

I have some quite time built into our day. I’ve written about “blanket time” here before and it is something I highly recommend. If it doesn’t work for you, though, find something that does.

“Build some ‘quiet time’ into your daily rhythm.  After lunch works well, or when your children are napping . . . There may be some pushback from them at first when you say that you’re not available to read or play for this time, but after a while it will become ingrained as just ‘what we do’, and everyone will benefit from you having half an hour to yourself.”

My quiet time allows me to read on the park blanket. But we also read and play together. It’s a variation of the advice above, but we both love it. We spent 90 minutes at the park today. It was great!

“Rhythm is different to routine. Rather than a strict schedule where things are planned to the minute, it is a predictable flow built on daily anchors and rituals.”

If you need help building your day so it has a natural rhythm, I am willing to help you. Just ask!