Sometimes, to find the homeschool routine that really works for you, you have to forget your schedule completely. When your routine isn’t gelling, it makes sense to take a step back and rediscover your family’s natural rhythm. This can be especially helpful if you are making the switch to homeschooling from a more traditional school environment or if you are experiencing big transitions in your homeschool. Seize the opportunity this summer to drop your schedule completely and pay attention to the rhythm that your days naturally fall into. (Don’t be alarmed if there’s no apparent rhythm—or even if things seem a little chaotic—for a week or two as you shed your regular routines. Think of it as hitting the reset button—it takes a short time for your homeschool to reboot after you turn it off.)
Your job is to pay attention: Notice when your family is active and ready to engage, when they’re thoughtful and introspective. Pay attention to when people gravitate toward the kitchen for food and when they’re pulled outdoors to play. Make note of when people wake up and when they start to wind down for the day. These are the natural rhythms of your family’s everyday life, and following them will help you develop a routine that really works. Mentally, you can start to rewrite your daily script to match up to what clearly works for your family—it may mean dropping morning art classes in favor of afternoon ones or doing math first thing in the morning while you eat breakfast. The key is to find what works for your family so that you can plan your days around your natural rhythms.
Your challenge this week: Turn off your daily to-do list, and chart your family’s natural rhythm. When do people wake up? When are they ready for bedtime? When are readalouds the most fun? When does everyone need some alone time? When do the kids get antsy? Track everyone’s habits this week to start making sense of what your family’s ideal schedule might look like.
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Believe it or not, your family probably has a routine already — and if you step back and observe your life patterns for a week or two, you’ll start to see it emerge.