In serious need of daily rhythm-please help!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 09-22-2009, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello I guess the title says it all. We are eclectic hsers. For curriculum, I use a bit of this and a bit of that. I feel confident with the choices I have made with curriculum (right start, stow, etc). However, we desperately need daily rhythm. I need it laid out for me- something that sparks my imagination and gives me direction with the spiritual/daily rhythm aspect of hsing. For example, "go on daily nature walk, collect leaves, acorns, etc." I know it seems simple but my brain is on overload, and the simple stuff just doesn't come natural to me.

Any ideas?

I have thought of ordering Oak Meadows teacher manual for this reason.

please excuse typos/ bouncing, nursing toddler on my lap
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#2 of 14 Old 09-22-2009, 12:53 PM
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We start out day with basic hygiene stuff- the kids get dressed, brush their teeth (with help), my DD1 makes her bed, they brush their hair, ect. While they do that I make breakfast.
We eat breakfast as a family and follow it with some religious stuff- that's easy to leave out if it doesn't fit .
Then they have free play while I clean up from breakfast.
We sit and do our seat work- and as soon as it's done we go out if the weather is nice. We either just play in the yard, walk to the park, or walk through the woods, depending on what they want (and how much time there is).
Then lunch. While I clean up after lunch they pick up their toys from the morning's play.
Then we have quiet time- my oldest is too old for a nap and DD2 is getting close, but everyone has to lay down and read, color, listen to a book on tape, ect. This is my time to nap when pregnant or read or decompress.
After that the rest of the time until supper is crafts, free play, and read-a-louds.
After supper we do more religious stuff, then stories, night hygiene, and bed.

Is that kind of what you are looking for?

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#3 of 14 Old 09-22-2009, 03:54 PM
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what helps me most is having consistent times for meals (as our day naturally falls around those when we're home). we do school from 10:00 - 12:30 (my son is less time actually). breakfast and house-cleaning happen before 10:00am & lunch happens at 12:30 when we wrap up with school. we have the afternoon for walks, library, errands, etc. and dinner is at 5:30. bedtime is also fairly consistent. we start at 7:15 & they're asleep by 8:30. of course this changes on days we are out & about - but when i'm home, i revolve around mealtimes to create a familiar groove. hth.

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#4 of 14 Old 09-22-2009, 09:52 PM
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I totally know what you are saying! This is the first year we are doing any sort of 'routine' at all.
When the kids get up we all have breakfast (me usually coffee at the computer). Then they do their chores (which take about 45 min usually). After chores we do a bit of group work (reading a history story, a devotional, and maybe something else). Then the kids do their independant stuff, coming to me as necessary (math, and LA).

Its usually lunch time by then, so we'll have lunch, maybe do a bit more group stuff ( a craft, a science experiement, etc), and then its free time for the kids. Sometimes that means going to the park, or watching tv, or playing, whatever.

I've found the biggest thing is to do similar things everyday, and have the kids know what to expect next. We had company all last week so didn't follow our routine at all, and I'm really struggling to get back into it. ugh.

Oh and when we first started with our routine, I wrote it out for myself, so that I would be reminded what comes next, and actually do it, not just fly by the seat of my pants! lol

Also.... I really don't think having any type of teachers manual will help with daily rhythm, cause you still need to plan when to open it up and stuff.
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#5 of 14 Old 09-22-2009, 11:09 PM
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Simple clean-up.
Nature walk.
Light a candle, story time.
Activity of the day (craft, baking, painting, coloring).
Free play.
Afternoon activity: playdate, grocery, more crafting, playing outside, etc.
Home/rest/play while I make dinner.

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#6 of 14 Old 09-22-2009, 11:55 PM
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First, don't get too detailed. I remember once trying to nitpick a daily schedule and it was so ridiculous I gave up.

We schedule in chunks of time-- so say, we wake up, get dressed, watch a movie, etc until 9am. Then until 11 we do art or homeschool stuff. Then at 11 we do lunch.

Every day is different because we have different activities (two different days for gymnastics, preschool dropoff/pickup, homeschool co-op, homeschool PE) so our rhythms change a bit.

Just try to schedule in the times and hopefully, the kids would follow your lead and pick up acorns or do art or whatnot...

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#7 of 14 Old 09-24-2009, 03:02 PM
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This is my biggest challenge.

Mama to 10 so far:Mother of Joey (23), Dominick (15), Abigail (13), Angelo (10), Mylee (8), Delainey (6), Colton (4), ID girls Dahniella and Nicolette (2 in July), and Baby 10 coming sometime in July 2015.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
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#8 of 14 Old 09-24-2009, 05:25 PM
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Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer has the best chapter on rhythm. I highly recommend it.

I too like to have things laid out for me in many ways, but with rhythm, I don't want it to get too much like a schedule. Just a more of an order to things. I keep mealtimes, naps, and bedtimes regular.

8am - breakfast
breakfast clean-up/girls either help or play independently
tidy school area
Circle Time
(depending on time here we'll either do the nature walk before or after lunch)
Lunch - noon
Nap - 1pm
Yoga Time while DD2 naps
Snack - btwn. 2-3pm
Free play and/or clean-up of the girls' room and laundry, outdoor play if weather is good
Dinner - 6pm
Sometimes we do a bedtime snack
Bedtime Story
Candle Time
Lights out - 8pm

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#9 of 14 Old 09-25-2009, 09:34 AM
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I think the best way to figure out the best rhythm for you is to first notice what a good day looks like. When things are just rolling along - those are the elements to keep. Then, when everything falls apart and looks like chaos - then that is the time to change things around.

This is what I notice works best for us:
  • I get up early - peace and quiet! (Even though I'd prefer to snooze until 10!
  • Laundry/Breakfast/Ready for the day
  • Kids wake up - read together in bed
  • Get ready for day: breakfast, dressed, hair, teeth
  • Quick tidy
  • go for a walk
  • do movement work
  • Older dd does independent journal work (key word + drawing) while I get baby to sleep.
  • Focused school time with older dd.
  • Independent play or play with neighborhood kids.
  • Lunch
  • Misc - this is when we go to the library, post office, friends house, or just stay home and do *something*
  • Quiet time - baby takes a nap, older dd goes to her room for quiet time - listens to stories on her ipod.
  • Practice time for older dd
  • more independent play
Then my day falls to pieces and I'm still working on it.

Additionally - my little one just turned one and is thinking about not needing a second nap - which means the whole day needs to shift around a bit.
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#10 of 14 Old 09-25-2009, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
This is my biggest challenge.
Mine too. Sigh.

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#11 of 14 Old 09-25-2009, 09:43 AM
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It seems like I cannot stick to any sort of routine. The kids resist any sort of "required" amount of time for schoolwork, which makes me want to give up & not do anything. I've tried all kinds of approaches with it, I don't want HSing to be the worst thing we do all day.

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#12 of 14 Old 09-25-2009, 12:51 PM
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I am dealing with the same issue, but more because I feel very flustered on Sunday night when I'm trying to get a basic idea of my week together. Plus, I get worried because I'm HS two boys right now, and may bring my daughter out of school after K or after 1st grade. (It's the sacrifice I had to make so my husband would agree to HS - that's a whole 'nother story there).

I thought about picking up the Oak Meadow teacher manuals for the grades I need and then going off of there as a basic outline. And then I thought about just making a very very basic sketchy idea of way for the day to flow- I hate the word schedule, even though that's kind of what I mean but without so much structure or guilt for going off it.

I asked some advice about it somewhere on the forum last week or before that, and I'm not sure what thread (maybe it was my own thread- have to look!)

What I've decided to do though:

Look into some of Oak Meadow for next year since I don't have $$ laying around right now. I'd just get some of the pieces since I like Singapore math right now and I can get my art supplies cheaper from Dick Blick/get books to read from the library or from the used book store/paperback exchange for under a dollar.

For this year now (and this is not as complicated as writing it out seems, I literally just have a spiral note book where I throw some ideas on each week and I just glance at daily for ideas):

We do Circle Time- where we talk about the day, the weather, do stories, songs, and possibly a craft or a stretching/calming exercise.

We do Together Time- for History, Art, life skills, or any other subject that the boys can cover together (7 and 9 years old).

We do Tac-act, which is what my husband started calling it. It's tactile activities and action oriented activities which again are done in groups, like crafts and baking and art activities where I have to have them both do it at the same time because of set-up issues. And sometimes we put that on it's own, sometimes we include it as part of Together Time, and sometimes it's just a random nature walk. We cannot do Nature Walks as part of a daily schedule since I live in a very urban area. I have to drive somewhere just to find a safe spot to have them walk around the block, so we had to make it part of our planned day.

And then we have Self-Choice, where I have a pocket system and I have a few workbook type assignments in there that they have to complete by the end of the week. For example, I'll put in a card that has three math assignments on it with a check box next to them. By the end of the week, he has to have all three boxes checked off. This way, it's not so strict and we can decide randomly on a Tuesday to go to the zoo or something without it throwing us off schedule. And my boys can pick whenever they want to work on it (they just have a rule that something productive must occur that day if they want to play video games later that evening you would not believe how well that can motivate these two).

Sorry that is gigantic! I just put together this system in the last few weeks, and it made me feel a bit more comfortable about finding a balance between a strict schedule and a blank slate. I'm the kind of person that needs a bit of a loose net to hold things together, but I'd flail at either no plans at all or a very decisive schedule. I'm eclectic with a bit of a Waldorf/nature study/environmental slant, so this seems to be working for us so far!

Good luck with finding something workable for you! I think this is why homeschooling and learning about education philosophies is so fascinating. You get to experiment with what is best for both your child and you!

nature and art loving homeschooling mom to a half-dozen little treasures.
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#13 of 14 Old 09-25-2009, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mama~Love View Post
Mine too. Sigh.

Mama to 10 so far:Mother of Joey (23), Dominick (15), Abigail (13), Angelo (10), Mylee (8), Delainey (6), Colton (4), ID girls Dahniella and Nicolette (2 in July), and Baby 10 coming sometime in July 2015.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
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#14 of 14 Old 09-25-2009, 05:38 PM
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I think it helps to first think about the essentials-- when will meals be? when will chores be done? when will we "do school"? when will we go to sleep?

Sometimes it helps to start small. Think of one goal--I want to have circle time every day. I want to go for a daily walk.-- and try to work it in for a week. See where it works best.

Then you can work on tweaking those different parts of the day-- what makes a peaceful mealtime? what are all the things that have to be done? what do I want included?

I think you're definitely on track thinking in terms of a rhythm rather than a schedule!

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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