I've been neglecting this blog a lot lately. Mostly, it has been because I've been spending a lot of time trying to find some balance in life. I started by making a daily rhythm for our family's days. It's actually a very simple thing, there's aren't even any times on it, but it just establishes a predictable routine for us.
When we have a routine, it is much easier to get the things done that are a) important to us, and b) that we just want to do, the things that keep us sane, if you will.
Here is our daily rhythm:
In the afternoon, you'll notice that I have alternated the times when the Chief is expected to play or learn or explore independently, and the time when we are working together. It's very important that he knows that in a little while, mom or dad can do something with him. It is equally important that he learn how to do things by himself, to simply BE by himself. With the independent times (and quiet time) scheduled in the afternoon, I find that I have plenty of time for myself, to be able to do some things for myself. Lots of moms forget that they are human beings, too; that they need to take care of themselves and take the time to do the thing they enjoy. Because I have this time in the afternoon, I have time to make things for my charity projects, I have time to do my writing, and I have time to make my sock monkeys. Just having that little bit for myself really makes a big difference. I've had periods of years where I never thought of myself during the day, and things would always explode. I need that decompression time, especially as a homeschooler who is with my child all day.
The main thing to remember about any routine is that it won't happen magically. You can't just write a plan, no matter how wonderful that plan might be, post it, and then have your family magically follow it. It's not going to happen, and everyone will be frustrated. Instead, try focusing on one area of the routine at a time. We started off with the morning mindfulness, music, and learning times. Once those were in place for a few days, we went on to the afternoon, and got those routines established comfortably. We have yet to get into the "work" times, but this will be what we are heading into next.
So now, my son gets to play games, and do science experiments, I get to write (which I really can't live without) and do my creative charity projects, and we get things done that we need to. And because it is a routine, and it is posted, everyone knows what to do when. Everyone knows what is coming up next. It has created a much more relaxed and peaceful environment in our home.