What’s the perfect homeschool rhythm? Developing a homeschool rhythm that your family loves is one of the key components to having a successful homeschool experience. Join me as we discuss what a homeschool rhythm is and how to set up a homeschool rhythm that you and your family adores.
I sat on the couch in the livingroom, each child snuggled up beside me. A candle burned nearby on the coffee table. The wind was howling outside but we were warm in this moment of reading and being with one another.
This peaceful moment took my breath away.
I fought with myself and my children in the first couple years of our homeschool journey. I struggled and muddled my way through what I thought others expected of me and my homeschool.
However, over the years, I’ve settled into a place of comfort and confidence in working on connecting with my children. To my delight, much of that connection rose out of having a solid family homeschool rhythm.
What is our homeschool rhythm?
A homeschool rhythm is very personal. Our rhythm is unique to our little family. It includes an array of things that are important to me and my children.
Here is what our average daily schedule looks like:
- wake up (mom time: Bible & prayer)
- eat breakfast and have coffee (a must)!
- start laundry and wash morning dishes
- Bible, scripture recitation, and prayer (with my children)
- homeschool activities (rotation between reading aloud, creative, writing /sit-down activities, nature studies, and movement)
- wash lunch dishes, fold laundry and chores for the day (children do their chores)
- work time for me / quiet time for the kids (technology, crafts, reading, playing in the yard, etc.)
- reconnecting time (share tea together, read aloud, do a puzzle, make a handicraft, etc.)
- wash dinner dishes
- evening activities include: Sparrow Scouts (with me on Monday evenings), board games, and physical education class with their dad (Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays).
- bedtime routine / quiet time
- connecting time for me and my husband
- bedtime for the adults
The rhythm in our day is found in the movement through the day (individual and group time activities, active and sit-down activities, inside and outside times, etc.)
Why should my family have a homeschool rhythm?
A homeschool rhythm adds a sense of stability to your day. In addition, children often thrive when they have a predictable schedule.
A homeschool rhythm helps:
- keep your children focused on lessons (especially if you have allotted times to play and times to learn)
- maintain consistency
- you keep a tidy home
- you with planning for special activities
- to keep a peaceful atmosphere in the home because there is time for the things we need to do and the things we love to do
What’s the difference between a rhythm and a schedule?
A rhythm is a bit more flexible than a schedule.
A schedule often aligns with specific times of the day whereas a rhythm is the beat of the day… the ebb and flow of activities.
From learning intensive to playful, from sit-down activities to physical activities, from indoors to outdoors; the homeschool rhythm keeps you and your children moving forward through the day and activities. However there is also flexibility in that if a nature walk goes long, we don’t have to cut it short because we “need to be home by a certain time”. We extend the experience as my children’s interest allows.
We do however have a few set times in our days (my wake up time, homeschooling start time, lunch, dinner, and bedtime are pretty consistent).
What are some important elements to include in my family’s homeschool rhythm?
A homeschool rhythm should address a few key things:
1- A time for chores
As a homeschooling, work-at-home mom, chores can be one of the items that get moved to the bottom of the to-do list. Educating my children and work deadlines can easily take precedence over household duties.
By having chore time built into our days, tasks around the house will be more likely to get done. My children have tasks that they are assigned for two week blocks and they need to attend to those duties on a daily basis. If you want more ideas for how I motivate my children to help clean the house, check out this post: 5 Tips to Get Your Children Cleaning.
2- The three R’s (reading, writing, and arithmetic) + my two extra R’s (reflection and rest)
The essentials of homeschool are reading, writing, and arithmetic. Regardless of what’s going on around you… these skills should be practiced on a daily basis. Get creative too! If you don’t want to focus on math on a particular day, then do a cooking activity instead (and make your children double the recipe)!
I’ve got two extra R’s in here too… reflection and rest.
With reflection, I would encourage you to set aside five to ten minutes daily to reflect on your children’s development and your homeschool. I use my Deluxe Homeschool Planner to help me document and organize my thoughts!
Rest is also an important component in the day. I’m not just talking about bedtime either! I equate rest time to a quiet/alone time for me (and my children). The time we spent apart and independent of one another is just as important as the time we spend together.
3- Connecting times (without a lesson attached to it)
I truly believe in the importance of connecting with your children (outside of teaching times). Connecting with your children allows you the opportunity to get to know them as individuals and establishes a relationship of trust.
Connecting times include activities such as talking over tea, dates with your kids, dance parties, karaoke, family board game nights, etc.
4- Book work
Book work is simply the lessons, worksheets, and practice needed to build and reinforce the skills taught throughout the day.
5- Outdoor time
Getting outside and enjoying nature is essential to our mental and emotional well-being. Outdoor time can include going for walks, visiting the park, nature studies, doing our work at a picnic table, or simply playing in the yard.
6- The necessities for good health
Eating, sleep, and exercise are usually the given activities in a routine day. It’s vital to make time for them and include these in your homeschool rhythm. Make sure that you get some exercise too!
How do I create a homeschool rhythm?
There are a few important steps to create a homeschool rhythm that works for your family.
- Observe. Take time to observe what happens naturally in your days.
- Make a plan. Write down what works and what doesn’t. Then map out a possible daily rhythm.
- Practice. Practice your rhythm. Give it a few weeks and observe attitudes and reactions.
- Adjust. If something isn’t working, adjust and welcome change.
- Be flexible. Allow opportunities for your rhythm in a given day to change and adapt based on what’s going on.
- Display. I truly believe it’s important for children to know what to expect in their days. Take some time to draft up your homeschool rhythm and display it in your home.
When should I reassess our family’s homeschool rhythm?
You should reassess your family’s homeschool rhythm periodically.
I like to review all elements of our homeschool every six weeks. Six weeks is often enough time to establish habits and honestly evaluate if the rhythm is working for me and my family.
Of course, if your children are unhappy or you feel like you’ve neglected important elements within your family’s rhythm, then by all means, reassess things earlier than six weeks.
A regular and honest reflection on your homeschool will hopefully help you address problems before they balloon out of control.
Do you have a homeschool rhythm? What’s the most important elements in your day? I invite you to share them with us!
Pssst – If you’re new to homeschooling and need further ideas and encouragement, then I invite you to check out the book: My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschooling. This book provides plenty of inspiration and insights for both new AND veteran homeschoolers alike!