I’m not one for schedules. How about you?
Maybe that sounds irresponsible of me.
I don’t care.
I am more of a rhythm type girl.
What’s the difference between a schedule and a rhythm?
Merriam-Webster.com defines “schedule” as:
a procedural plan that indicates the time and sequence of each operation finished on schedule.”
And a “rhythm” is defined as:
movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements.”
Just reading the definition of schedule stresses me out, whereas the definition of rhythm is relaxing AND forgiving. Schedule is time related, where rhythm comes naturally.
When I decided to homeschool my kids, I quickly found out that I wasn’t going to be following a strict schedule. We found our rhythm instead and that’s what works well for us.
THE EVER-CHANGING HOUSEHOLD
Things are constantly changing in my home.
I can plan my little heart out, and yet nothing gets accomplished. Homeschool momming is fun like that.
My 3 year old might wake up at 7:30 a.m. one morning and then 10 a.m. the next. My 6 year old could go to sleep at 8 p.m., or lay in bed mimicking the “Peppa Pig” characters until 9:30 p.m.
Those kinds of constant changes are why I tossed the idea of a strict homeschooling schedule out the window.
We follow an unschooling method of homeschooling and it just jives with our lifestyle. We don’t do the “open your book to age 75 and complete the page by 9:15” thing, either.
We might choose the park over the grocery store, or choose to play outside
over bathtime over a board game.
And I don’t have to stress out, because we are not trying to stick to a timed schedule. We are on a rhythm.
This is a huge part of why I love staying at home and homeschooling. We can stick with the flexibility of a rhythm and not stress over a schedule.
THE GRAND, FAILED PLAN
Four years ago, when I became a stay-at-home-mom, I felt this insurmountable pressure to make a schedule and stick to it. I pinned on Pinterest, I read blogs, and I researched on all the best SAHM schedule samples.
Get up at 6 a.m., baby up at 8 a.m., breakfast cooked by 8:30, eaten by 9 a.m., library at 10 a.m. and on and on and on.
Truth be told… there have been very few days that I have woken up before my kids. Even now that we homeschool I don’t currently wake up before my kids.
Related Post: Choosing to Homeschool
I know. All the mom blogs suggest it. It just doesn’t jive with my rhythm.
I work on my blog into the late hours of the night, so I need all of the sleep I can get in the morning. We also bedshare and my 3 year old has this weird way of knowing when I have left the bed.
So if you don’t use times to plan out your day, what do you use?
Sleeping and Eating.
(and feed them well)
Children need good sleep to grow and develop properly. They need sleep more than they need a “scheduled” day and a mom who is stressed over it.
Sleep will influence their eating habits, behavior tendencies, and learning abilities.
I hold sleep rhythms sacred. I have experienced over-tired children time and time again and can only blame myself for not protecting their sleep rhythm more vigilantly.
After we find our rhythm with sleeping and eating, next comes playing (aka learning through play), housework, and whatever else we toss in our day. They don’t have a specified time but they have a natural flow and generally happen in about the same order.
Our daily rhythm:
- Kids (usually one at a time) and I wake up
- screen time while I make breakfast
- eat breakfast together at the table
- I clean up kitchen while kids play
- Play (outside/inside) /early morning errand/morning outing
- 6 year old works on handwriting/reading/math/art (based on her preference)
- I make lunch while kids play
- Eat lunch together
- Kids play while I make dinner
- Eat dinner together
- bath time/play time
- bed time
- downtime with husband/cleaning house/blogging
There are no set times. Naturally, the kids sleep and eat at around the same times each day. And the rest falls into place.
So, as you can see, a rhythm accomplishes the same thing as a schedule, but without having to stress about whether or not you’re “on time” to your own school!
Comment below if you prefer a schedule or a rhythm. I want to hear from you!