As I've mentioned before, we've been trying to get some rhythm around here. Some days go well, and others . . . well, you know how it goes. We've been working with a loose schedule for a while, and while I think it should work for us in theory, I was still having a lot of trouble. It felt like I was dragging Ella along kicking and screaming every day. She's happy with our homeschooling (oh, goodness, don't even think of bringing up the possibility of going back to school next year), and she likes the things we're doing, but she still pushed and pushed every single day.
By the end of last week, I'd had enough. But, stubborn as I am (can't help it, it's the ram in me), I had to give it one more shot. I printed out a second copy of our daily rhythm, with a note for some of the new weekly activities coming up in February, and gave that copy to Ella to keep in her room. You wouldn't believe the difference that made this morning! Normally she would wake up screaming about how she hates Mondays or how much she hates doing her morning chores or yelling at me that I didn't tell her to brush her teeth (nevermind the fact that I told her three times or that it's written on an index card in the kitchen or that she does it every single morning). Instead, this morning she skipped around and did everything she was supposed to do when she was supposed to do it. No fuss, no muss. Seriously, it can't be that easy, can it?
No, I'm not delusional. I know the newness of that printout will wear off, but I'm hoping that seeing the day ahead of her (even though it's the same day we've had for over a month now) will help put her at ease. At least a little.
For those of you who are interested, here's a copy of the page I made for her:
Our Daily Rhythm
It's very simple, with no frills and plenty of holes in the day to be filled. I'll talk about what we do for circle time another day. Believe me, it's not as formal as it sounds. Still, starting our day with that made a world of difference. I thought my 7 yr old would think it babyish, but she runs out to the living room to sing songs and toss bean bags. Even when she argued about the rest of the day, she loved to come out for circle time to start our school morning.
With the extra cooperation, I'm insisting on that afternoon quiet time, too. Since Ella's no longer picking fights and reading quietly in her room for a while every afternoon, Harper is more cooperative and playing quietly in her own room with some soft music at the same time. That leaves mom with a quiet house and time to *gasp* do stuff! Or not do stuff. Oh, the possibilities!
I left times off most of the schedule, because those are mostly up to me or how well they cooperate. And I left out things like outside play time, only because that depends a lot on the weather around here. If it's raining in the morning, we wait until the afternoon for that. Or we'll do some yoga inside instead. Or something else. I left out things that are variable, because my little Rules Lawyer would keep reminding me that we weren't doing something on the list at the appropriate time. And that would just annoy the snot out of me.
So, there it is. Our Rhythm. Now, if I can just work on my rhythm for everything else - blogging, cleaning, cooking, bathing . . . you know, everything else. Because I'm still way random on a lot of that. But, for now, this is a good start for us.
How about you? Have any of you finally found your own rhythm? Or changed your rhythm midyear?