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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).


Nancy Kelly said...

So very nicely put, Amy! I was just preparing my own post on scheduling, too! Seems only natural that it is on all our minds this time of year...

Miss you,

From joy to joy,

Tammy Glaser said...

So true!!! I would also add that families new to this (and schools) must bear in mind that children with experience in habits of the mind can do more because they have developed attentiveness, perfect execution, order, etc. The comparison game can kill atmosphere!

Well, put!

amyinperu said...

i found this when i was looking back over my planning files... getting ready for monday! i'm guessing i probably wrote it last year and never got it posted. yeah, timely! i keep thinking back over it and realizing it's SO basic. too basic. but then, i remember. every year, i am helped when i stop trying to get all complicated and start at zero again, simply applying a few new things i've learned along the way. :)

so, though it is probably simplistic to some who've are far beyond this stage, i guess it never hurts to at least think back to simpler times? ;)

amyinperu said...

@Tammyglaser798, i totally keep thinking of that too. every family (classroom) kaleidoscope is going to look a little different. still beautiful. and yes, some of us are further along on certain roads, and less traveled on others. the perfect atmosphere is made of grace. :)

amyinperu said...

p.s. i have no idea why it shows your name as so many numbers... maybe pamela could figure it out? ;)

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