I’ve always been a list maker, a planner, an organiser. I have more plastic containers than I’d like to admit and all neatly categorised. My husband likes to make fun of me, saying I have the strangest OCD he’s ever seen; meticulously arranged pantry…pile of washing on the floor….children’s art materials all lined up in a row in matching containers…overflowing wardrobe.
He can laugh but I know that I am definitely not a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kinda girl. I need to have a predictable, comfortable rhythm to my days.
Now I know you can be spontaneous and still have a family rhythm, but for me, and for Jack too it would seem, we need structure. Jack depends on structure. Sudden changes make him anxious and upset. He finds comfort in knowing what is happening on any given day and what’s coming next.
These last few weeks we have been trying to find our new rhythm, now that we are officially homeschooling, and I think we might have found something which fits.
These are the things which are important to our family and I wanted to make sure we make time for everyday:
- Playing together
- Coming together for stories or songs or music
- Spending time outside
- Time for rest
- Time for the children to play by themselves
- Focussed learning with Jack
- Time for chores – including time for me to get the housework done
- Preparing and having meals together
Then these are the things I wanted to make time for every week:
- Project work
- Spending time with friends
- Music class
- Gymnastics class
- Spending time with Nanna
- Own time for me
Our days seem to flow naturally into 6 parts:
- before morning tea
- after morning tea
The mornings flow fairly easily, this is when the children play by themselves after their chores while I go through my housework list (yes, I have a daily housework list). We come together after this to share a story or some songs. By this time it is usually time to start preparing morning tea.
After morning tea is a good time for Jack and Sarah to focus on an activity. This is when we’ll do some project work or an art activity or maybe head out for a class depending on the day. I try to make myself completely available to them during this time.
Jack has quiet time in his room for an hour, sometimes he’ll even drop off and have a little nap. After he has rested, and while Sarah is still sleeping, I find to be the best time for us to work together on some focussed learning.
When both the kids are up, this is my favourite part of the day; we all head outside to play. We go for a bush walk or to the park or just in the yard. Once a week we’ll take a trip somewhere like the botanic gardens. It’s easy, the weather is cooler and the kids have come to rely on this as a way to spend the rest of the day.
Before Daddy comes home from work we come together again for another story or maybe some dancing. We tidy up the playroom and any other mess ready for tomorrow.
Daddy comes home and they are all his until bath time. Before bed Jack writes in his journal and we all read a story together.
It’s simple, nothing too complicated, but it’s predictable and it’s comfortable. The kids can relax knowing what they are doing. This seems to be working for us at the moment.