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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scheduling :: Finding Your Family Rhythm

It is my hope that through identifying regular life rhythms and learning to move and dance to them with our families, we will improve the quality of atmosphere in our homes. Finding our family's rhythm and beginning to order our days can also help us (and our kids) to form good habits, help us to look at life calmly knowing what comes next (or where to pick up when we get off track), and help us to make the most of our family's precious time.

It's very likely that your family already has a rhythm, it may be fast or slow (it may seem kind of chaotic at first glimpse!) Take a moment to consider, you may realize you already do many things the same way every single day. Your rhythm is influenced by the individuals that make up your family and what you think is important... and we know what we think is important by what we make time for.

Charlotte Mason taught that a big part of education is atmosphere. Our family rhythms influence much of what she would call 'atmosphere': the things we think are important, the way we move from one thing to the next and the way we treat one another in the midst. She also labeled education a discipline... this has to do with forming habits. The habit of orderliness (with our time, especially), is something we are looking to strengthen when we identify, concentrate on, or begin new family rhythms. It is calming to certain personalities to know what comes next. Finding and keeping a rhythm will especially help those kinds of people.

Keep in mind, when making lists or schedules, you don't want to create another guilt-inducer that will scream back at you when it simply doesn't work, something changes, or when for some reason or other you are unable to carry it out. Our goal for finding family rhythms is to come up with a visual reminder based on what we are already doing or things we'd like to add, which should serve as a tool to help us improve the atmosphere of our homes. After taking care of basic needs, we can calmly accomplish the things we've determined are really the most important.

If at any time you notice that following a list or schedule is stressing your family out more than it's helping (after the initial working-out-the-wrinkles stage), you need to remind yourself that all of these are only tools. They are meant to serve us, we should never find ourselves slaves to a schedule (or anything else for that matter). We aren't marionettes, we must find the freedom to move in a way that reflects our individuality!

Why, if we we get ourselves too tied down to a certain way, or try to dance to someone else's tune, that'll take the joy right out of dance! :)

Here's a little printable guide that hopefully will help you to identify, develop and dance to Your Family Rhythm. (Please let me know if you have any trouble downloading).

Monday, August 26, 2013

What I learned this summer... with pictures!!

This summer I had the enormous pleasure and privilege to find myself stateside in attendance of several Charlotte Mason retreats, with some shopping and visits on the side. How kind and longsuffering my husband is to have taken care of things back home in Peru so I could have a couple of weeks of ‘mommy break’ as he calls it!

Among the interesting gems I have laid hold of this summer are: the importance of the manual hand work of Sloyd in early education; the place and importance of Mathematics, as well as it’s proper instruction; and how to take Science out of the box even in the upper years, getting the student to ask the questions. And perhaps outstanding amongst the others, the idea of being fully present and living fully wherever one is, struck home once again.

Read more... HERE.

P.S. My arm may be twisted to blog about and/or link to those interesting gems... I will try and see what I can do.  :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Where has August gone? {NSM! LINKup}

I know, it's just not proper. I didn't post this month's Nature Study Monday until, the 24th?! I don't know about yours, but our summer break has flown by! I have some great pictures and words, but I thought I'd better go ahead and get this posted before it's September already. Maybe some of you have had better success at nature study blogging this month than I have?!

So, what DID you do for nature study over the summer?

Grab this image to share in your post...


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