This year marks my ninth year of home-schooling. During those years my intent was to home-school with purpose. However, each year I took on the role of each home-school mom stereotype at one point or another and never found my rhythm.
I am sure the list can go on for miles, but you get the idea. However this year, I have settled in, found my ground and am comfortable with who we are as a family. We can’t sit for long periods of time and we don’t fit in at ANY co-op so far. I like to make my own food at random, we never miss out on cool stuff, I am eclectic in my lesson choices and well, my boys play with knives and can make fire without a match. If you want to hang with us, I would love to have you!
However this year, I have settled in, found my ground and am comfortable with who we are as a family.
I do still cry in the bathroom on occasion because fear and confusion do take over at times. My learning lifestyle choices are quite different than what society says is “supposed to happen” in home-school. After eight years of trial and error and pushing back what I felt was our way of learning I finally stood my ground and found purpose and you can too.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath and envision what the rhythm of YOUR family is.
If you are just getting started in home education please give yourself grace in your first year. It takes most families several years to really sink their feet into what works for them. If you can go in with your eyes wide open and your textbooks loose, you will be ahead in the end.
Structure, routine, and rhythm look different in every household. Yet having it in place can save your sanity. The structure is a loosely based, overall plan. Routine is where you do a similar activity every day or week. Rhythm is where your family syncs. Your lifestyle, family interactions and what makes your family unique.
Your weeks may not look the same but your family can still have a rhythm. You may not do the same thing daily or weekly but your structure is still in place. Sometimes just having a basic, simple routine can help build up your structure which in turn develops your family’s rhythm.
For my family, our rhythm is like the tide coming in and going out, the seasons that come and go. Our weeks can be uprooted and fall behind in math, but our rhythm stays the same and it keeps our children on an even emotional keel. In turn, our family does not take disruption to heart, we ebb and flow and get back into rhythm.
If not, begin this year with some space to allow your structure to build and your routine to flow. In doing so your stress levels will not rise, which in turn will not overflow to your children and together you can find your purpose.
Enjoy this time, it does go by fast. Even when you are in the bathroom crying, contemplating the yellow school bus.