when i was a classroom teacher, my classroom was full of it. i taught children with all different needs... from children with autism, to children with speech and language delays, to children who were typically developing, to children with sensory needs... and while each child's individual needs were different, what seemed to work as a group, was a nice, dependable structure of the day.
then, i had my own children.
and my perception changed. or was widened, i should say. while i think i did a good job of understanding that, especially in a special education classroom, each child learned differently, once i had my own children, i saw a way of learning i hadn't really seen before. the learning that happened outside the classroom. the learning that happened just through living. through everyday moments.
and the structure sort of went out the window. both, out of the discovery of natural learning, and just out of the (lovely) chaos of being a mom.
and it works... sometimes.
but, other times, it does't.
and i'm starting to see the need for it again.
for a nice, dependable rhythm.
it's hard to admit sometimes.
it's hard, because i feel like it can go against what i want to believe.
that we can sort of live... learn... discover... and just be. make a plan for the day... on the day... and go. stay out if that's what feels right. go someplace else if that's what feels right. since we've decided to homeschool, i've loved that freedom. and have sort of basked in it.
and how can we have that freedom if all of a sudden we have a schedule to our day?
but i've been finding myself getting frustrated. about things not getting cleaned up. having to ask multiple times to pick. up. the. lego!!! about not finding time to get my own chores done. about not having time to do the things i, personally, enjoy.
and i've come to the conclusion that right now, in this season of our lives, we need a little more structure. a little more rhythm. it's what i thrive on. it makes me a better mom. it doesn't mean that in the future, it might change. it doesn't mean flexibility is now out the window. it actually means flexibility is embraced. once i know things have their place in our days, it comforts me... which then allows me to say "yes" a lot more. "yes" we can stay longer, because we've already gotten xy&z done. "yes" i can sit and play with you, because i know later, i will have time put aside to fold the laundry. "yes" i can be present with you now, because i'm not stuck in my head thinking of when in the world am i going to get all the things i have to get done, done.
with a little bit of rhythm, i can settle in.
and so can my family.
with that, i've been looking for some support for this. taking some suggestions and using what will work for us. trying things out for a little while, seeing how it goes, and making changes as they're needed.
while "structure" can seem a bit too, well, structured, the waldorf idea of "rhythm" seems to sit nicely with me right now. it gives a sense of flow... a routine without being strict. and, just like anything else, i'm taking what works for us, in this time, and using that.
lavender's blue homeschool has wonderful tips on finding weekly rhythms, daily rhythms, and finding what's important for your family...
and clean..she writes a great post that combines the child-led learning of unschooling with the comfort of a daily rhythm.
so, here's to trying something new... again.