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Summer Rhythm

June 8, 2011

I’ve been thinking about it since last week but finally today I made a decision about our summer rhythm.  This may not seem like a big deal but without it, a plan that we can work towards, things tend to go badly around here.

We didn’t have a great start to our day today and that was the crunch moment, how are our days going to go so that we all know what to expect and we can avoid some of the arguments that seem to be springing up around every day stuff?  I hate the feeling of scratchiness that comes when we are all floating a bit aimlessly, none of us know what to expect so we all argue and complain at each other.  I’ve been mulling this over for the last week or so but today the time for action had come, no more dillydallying missy.  I explained our new ‘schedule’ to Huwyl and honestly his face went from angry sad boy to beaming boy.  He even said “Do you see how my face is shining now?” and I did.

So for anyone who would like to know what we are (mostly) going to be up to around these parts, here it is:

Yoga (I’ve been using the Yoga kids book and really enjoying it)

Morning song and shared stories

Snack

Free play

Morning activity (today that was baking bread)

Free play

Table work – this covers any written or structured project that we are working on as part of homeschool.  I’ve decided to simply continue on with our school throughout the summer as the general idea is that it really isn’t too onerous and it gives us a sense of flexibility about how much work we do during the year.  It also helps us to have a clear structure to our days, which we seem to need.  Our school week is basically 3 days long as we meet with our homeschool group on a Friday and we are currently doing a story telling workshop on a Monday morning.

Free play

Lunch

Quiet time (in separate rooms so that Mummy gets quiet time too)

Art or craft project

Outside time – most days this will be swimming unless the weather is too cool as we are members of a local club this year

Dinner prep (playing on the deck or some tv time for the boys)

Dinner

Free play/Clean up (guess who’ll be doing what)

Daddy home at about 6.30

As I write this we are half way through our day and having quiet time.  It is a sweltering day and having the chance for a little down time is utter bliss and much needed.  I’ve started to realise that I’ve been feeling pretty fried (mentally and physically with the increasing heat) and need to build in some breaks in our day.  I know that having a strategy for the day won’t resolve all the day to day issues of having kids around 24/7, we get grumpy with each other, they fight, I lose my patience etc etc

But I do think this gives us a chance of having a good and productive day every day.  I’m already starting to plan out what cooking projects we can do in the mornings (tomorrow rhubarb compote and maybe muffins) and looking at The Artful Parent and others for art and crafts ideas (I’ll be popping the links on Pinterest if anyone is looking for similar things to do).

Honestly I do wish that we could just drift happily through our day in a magical haze but that isn’t our reality.  When we have a plan, when I can look at our day and say ‘this is what we achieved’ I feel altogether more positive and am inclined to forget the yucky bits.  When I think “today we made bread together, we completed a lesson in All About Spelling, we practiced handwriting and we did some water colour painting” I feel good.  Maybe I’m an overachiever but I’m at peace with that, especially when I see how much better the boys do when they know what to expect.

Our rhythm will have to change again once the build is in full swing and we begin to take our first steps along the road of hobby farming but I’m sure we can work it out.  Plus spending time on our land takes care of Physical Education, Nature Study, Science and Outside Time – that’s a lot of ticks!

As I write this, decompressing slowly from a busy and slightly tense morning, I am beginning to remember what is great about our day.  I am remembering how lucky I am, how much I like my two crazy, challenging, beautiful boys and that I’m looking forward to our full afternoon.

But not yet.  Not quite yet.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 6:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing, you write so beautifully. We actually got around to this last week where we sketched out a quick guideline to what when and on which days. Hope you are better at sticking to it than me.🙂

    • emmalina73 permalink
      June 8, 2011 9:54 pm

      You are a sweetie pie : ) Sorry we didn’t make it out on Monday, we got caught in the horrid traffic works and ended up being just too late and nowhere to park! Next week for sure.

  2. June 8, 2011 6:46 pm

    Like you I like to have a plan, I guess I’m an overachiever too! Nothing I like better than my own little debriefing at the end of the day, when I can say to myself: ‘Ive done this, we’ve done that, improved this and enjoyed that!’

    • emmalina73 permalink
      June 8, 2011 9:55 pm

      Plans are good! I love doing a mental debrief too, just so satisfying! Nothing better than knowing our day has been purposeful. I’m glad I’m not the only crazy mama who does this!

  3. Rain permalink
    June 8, 2011 6:58 pm

    I know my son would beam, too if we had a rhythm he could count on. It’s actually Mama that can’t seem to make it happen. But, I know that’s what we must find if we are to live together harmoniously. Thanks for getting us started!

    • emmalina73 permalink
      June 8, 2011 9:56 pm

      Rain, I certainly hear you! I am trying to really back myself into a corner and make it all ‘formal’ so that I can’t flake out on it! I know how much it improves things and yet I still really struggle. I will keep you posted on how we get on in practice!

  4. June 8, 2011 6:59 pm

    sounds like a good plan! we homeschool through the summer as well albeit a lighter load. it works really well for our family, gives us all the sense of structure and routine we need. wishing you much luck and happiness with your new schedule!

    • emmalina73 permalink
      June 8, 2011 9:59 pm

      Thanks Amanda, I’m hoping it really helps things and keeps the potential for misery to a minimum! I was going to stop school for the break and I suddenly thought – what will we do instead? That’s when it made sense to just carry on. We’ve been very ‘flexible’ during the year and Huwyl is still young but there are certain targets I’d like to achieve. Plus I love teaching him so for me it really isn’t a chore! It’s interesting to hear about what other families are up to : )

  5. June 9, 2011 12:11 am

    Oh this is such a great post. You are a great mama to plan this all out. I agree that Rhythm is so important. We’ve been without it for about two months, and now that the kids are starting to their stability back, they are doing better. I also feel like I can work with them on things like manners & cleanliness, things I would often brush aside when we were on the go.

    • emmalina73 permalink
      June 9, 2011 12:37 am

      Erin I don’t feel like I deserve your praise! Really our rhythm is being created out of a desire to stop tensions in the house, I should have done it a while ago! I’m hoping it helps us all to feel calmer though. Huwyl has already suggested an amendment so we’ll have to see how it all goes!

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