Gentle homeschooling is a goal for many mothers. But how do you get there? Starting the day with a smile, a full cup of coffee, and a meek, quiet spirit seems ideal, right?
Creating the peace we long for in our home(schools) is easier than you think, and it all begins with the daily rhythm.
Homeschooling is a Lifestyle
Early in the homeschooling years, it’s easy to get trapped in the “we must do everything, every day” or “we need to do school from x hour to x hour each day” mindset. Thankfully, those statements just aren’t true. Go ahead and breath that sigh of relief.
Homeschooling is not something we do during certain hours of certain days. Homeschooling is a lifestyle.
Charlotte Mason said . . .
“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking – the strain would be too great – but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest.”
Establish Family Rhythms
You’ve probably already got some family rhythms. Do you tend to do certain things in the same order each day? Those events that naturally follow each other are your family rhythm.
For example, here is our daily homeschool routine:
- get ready for the day (teeth brushed, hair up, check my weekly calendar)
- breakfast (we eat together and read through our two devotion books)
- kids make beds, get ready for the day, and find something quiet to do in the living room
- read our read alouds while the kids play quietly
- after read alouds, the kids go outside (sometimes these two are reversed, depending on season and weather)
- while the kids are outside, I do some mom chores
- make lunch and after clean up (and some other family chores), the baby goes down for a nap and we do our table work
- after table work the kids are free and I take care of whatever else needs to be done
Do you see how those things naturally follow each other? There are no time slots or timing constraints of any kind. We tend to get up around 9 AM and just start our daily rhythm from there. Of course, because things are happening in the same order each day, they do tend to happen around the same time each day.
But some days they don’t. Some days we read an extra hour. Some days the dog decides to throw up on the rug, effectively putting everything else on hold for at least an hour while I try to clean it up AND keep the toddler out of it (why are they fascinated by such things?).
Build Homeschool Routines
Many of our family rhythms include little mini routines. For example, we have a certain order in which we read our read alouds. The kids’ table work subjects are alternated on a loop schedule during the week.
By breaking things down into simple, manageable nuggets, we avoid unnecessary conflict, stress, and frustration. Following your daily rhythm will help you make sure the “musts” get done and will likely leave enough time for the “want-to’s”.Following your daily rhythm will help you make sure the “musts” get done and will likely leave enough time for the “want-to’s”.Click To Tweet
Flexibility and Grace Every Day
As you work to establish your own daily rhythm, the number one thing to remember is grace. Grace for you and grace for them. Your rhythm will grow and change just as your family does.
The seasons will also play a role in your family rhythms. You’ll undoubtedly spend more time outside while the weather is nice. Along with the warmer months tend to come more crockpot meals and grilling to keep the house cooler. That time-saving menu planning will play a role in your rhythm as well.
Gentle, stress-free homeschooling occurs when we give up our impulse to rule the minutes of every hour. When you stop looking at the clock and focus on doing the next right thing, amazing productivity happens.
Jeniffer is a homeschool mom of six who focuses on collecting memories instead of things. She stretches every penny, makes every moment count, and is never far from a good book and a cup of coffee. You’ll find her journey of frugal living and homeschooling her brood at Thou Shall Not Whine. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out the other posts in this series!