The longer we are life-learners, the more we get in to the rhythm of what works for us all as a family. This becomes especially apparent on those days when a wonky schedule throws us out of sync – out of rhythm, and we all come home grumpy and exhausted. Like today, when I wound up arguing with Maya at one point about the location of a Levi’s store, and at another about whether or not she likes having her hair done. But rather than talk about what throws us out of sync, I’d rather talk about the rhythm and routine that keeps us in (sync).
We wake up late. I mentioned this before, and it is one of the great joys in our schedule and one willingly disrupted only when traveling. We start slowly, with breakfast and email and Lego and showers. Then I go out for coffee and fresh air, and upon my return the rest of the day begins.
Usually our days consist of one planned ‘event’, which can last an hour or two or all day. Mondays it’s art class, flanked on both sides by time with our friends. Total time spent is around 4 hours. Tuesday it’s Spanish class which lasts only an hour, but sometimes Marcella stays to play. On Wednesday there is playgroup at River Run – weather permitting – and this lasts about 4 hours. Thursday is flexible; sometimes we see our homeopath in the morning and then I shop for groceries and do laundry in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s just groceries and laundry and maybe a visit from friends. Friday we are home until I leave for Pilates at 2pm and get back at about 4:30. Joshua is home with the kids during that time, and they hardly notice my absence. Then on alternate Fridays we see Maya’s friend Greta in the evening. Saturdays are whatever we feel like doing during the day, then Joshua and I have date night in the evening. Sundays are wide open.
What works about this schedule is that it includes all of us. People often think that homeschoolers and life learners are more kid-centric than other families, and sometimes that is true. But I tend to think that family-centric is a better way to be. This doesn’t mean we set aside ‘family time’ or ‘family days’. On the contrary, it means that in every day, each member of the family has something they enjoy, that fulfills them and gives them the time they need to be with themselves and with others. And it has come about on its’ own, without any conscious intention on my part or Joshua’s to make it so.
Days like today, when we’re all out of sync and Ben covers his ears and says, “Please stop complaining!” make me realize how good we usually have it. So I guess these days are a gift as well, for allowing me to appreciate the rest.