I speak about our family’s rhythms a lot – I run a whole course on crafting your own rhythms, after all! – and have been getting a number of questions on what our rhythm looks like this Autumn now that we are “officially” home educating Frida. So I thought I would share our current rhythms below.
I want to stress that this is what works for our family. That’s the beauty of rhythms; they can and should reflect your own family’s needs and values, no one else’s, so what works for you might look completely different to what works for us.
Our daily rhythm
Before we begin, the rhythm below only applies to the three days a week that I am home schooling Frida. Her days with my husband follow their own flow, and then weekends have their own vibe (and are also far more changeable as we might see friends, family, work, go on outings, or have a day at home). Our rhythm is really flexible and we often have days which look a little different to the below; it’s there to serve us, so if we don’t fancy part of it one day, or a bit doesn’t fit with our plans, then we adjust and adapt it.
With that in mind, here is our loose daily rhythm on homeschooling days:
- I usually get up before Frida and have a cup of tea and read, catch up on emails, or potter around.
- Once Frida is awake and ready to go downstairs we start with a children’s yoga video, which we do together to wake up our bodies.
- I gather breakfast whilst Frida plays
- Morning time! We have breakfast and work through our morning time rhythm which roughly looks like: poetry, singing seasonal songs, looking at a work of art, some reading practice, maths (I scribe for Frida and write down her answers so no worries about her work getting sticky!), French (either reading a story book, reading a couple of pages of a book written to develop vocabulary, or just learning some new words), Latin (again just a very short lesson, usually a few minutes of a video or some vocab practice), and then another book on history, natural history, science, art, geography, or anything else I’ve pulled out. [This sounds like a LOT written down, but each of these things is really short (mostly less than ten minutes) and if something has taken longer, eg. if Frida has chosen to read to me or if we read a whole French book, then we will skip other parts. We don’t always do everything every day, but we do most of this most days! It’s a habit we have been building for a while, and we both enjoy it. We might also bring parts of our morning time study to read or work on on the trains or tube if we are going on an adventure!]
- We clear up breakfast and get ready for the day.
- We go out if that is our plan for the day, or if we are having a home day then we might play board games, do art, use instruments, play in the garden, read more, or of course simply play. If we have a playdate we will also organise this for the morning.
- We have lunch either out or at home.
- If we are home, we may read over lunch and then once lunch is cleared up we have a period of quiet time where Frida may play or listen to an audiobook or some children’s podcasts (I will do a blog post with recommendations soon!) whilst I also rest or do any chores I need to do.
- If we are out we might head home after lunch, perhaps taking time first for a pause to read a book quietly together before we head off, or reading on public transport. Frida really needs moments of calm and quiet connection throughout the day, so even if we are having a full day out I try and weave these calm moments in.
- Afternoons are for play, together or alone, being in the garden, going on a local nature walk if we’ve had a home day, baking, doing art, craft projects, reading books, or whatever we fancy doing.
- We do tea time around 3:30pm where Frida has a snack, I get a caffeine top-up (!) and we read more books together. We might read seasonal books, explore a particular topic, or do a French tea time.
- At 5pm Frida may choose to watch something on my laptop for half an hour or so. There are a small number of programmes she is allowed to choose from; at the moment she enjoys the Angelina Ballerina series and the Andy’s Safari / Dinosaur Adventures series. Whilst she does this I prepare the evening meal whilst listening to the radio. Rest for both of us!
- We eat with my husband early when he gets back from work. We’ve chosen to eat our evening meal (very) early so that we can eat with Frida as family meals are important to both me and my husband.
- Once we’ve eaten, Frida might play for a while.
- One of us will clear up and the other will guide Frida through her evening rhythm of bath, stories, and bed. If I am doing bedtime then I will read to her, and then turn off her light and play her a sleep meditation or some relaxing music, perhaps whilst stroking her back. My husband tends to tell her stories.
Our weekly rhythm
Again, our weekly rhythm may shift and change if I feel it needs tweaking -we’ve only just started it so it may need adjusting! – but currently it is:
- Monday my day – Forest school / seeing some of our homeschooling friends during and afterwards
- Tuesday my husband’s day – Childminder in the morning for a couple of hours; afternoon free (their weekly plans are less set in stone but they might go to a park, ride their bikes, go to the library, or go swimming)
- Wednesday my day – Adventure day (we might go to a museum, gallery, park, nature reserve; whatever we want to do!)
- Thursday my husband’s day – Free day (they might go on an adventure or again they might go to a park, ride their bikes, go to the library, or go swimming)
- Friday my day – Day at home / staying local, for science and gardening projects and baking (or whatever else we feel like doing)!
- Saturday family day – no set plans
- Sunday family day – no set plans
Again I want to make it clear that our rhythm does not mean we cannot be flexible. If we want to have an adventure on a Friday, or have a day at home on a Monday, or bake on a Wednesday, we can! But it helps both me and Frida to have a loose rhythm to base our weeks upon and plan around.
Layered on top of our daily and weekly rhythms is our Autumn rhythm.
For us, this means reading seasonal books, and singing songs and verses. Baking crumbles and cooking soups. Celebrating Rosh Hashanah and harvest, halloween and bonfire night. Making felted acorns, treats for the birds, leaf garlands and jar lanterns. Eating piles of apples and pears. Buying candles and rolling candles and having candlelit meals.
Autumn is my favourite season and I’m very pleased it’s here!
Calm Celebrations will be coming back this November – just in time for Advent! – and Rhythm in the Home will be running again in December, perfect for thinking about your family’s rhythm in the new year.