Monday, September 28, 2009

being held by our rhythms

(The boys use free time before breakfast to read on various topics -- here they are reading an anatomy book.)

I've started to take for granted how nourishing our daily rhythm is, but recently I was shown an example of what would happen without a predictable flow to our day. The kids had a dentist appointment last Tuesday morning. As a result, we didn't get to finish even the early part of our morning routine, leaving for the appointment right after doing chores, no morning walk or story work of any sort. By mid-day, the kids were absolutely bouncing off the walls, being loud and boisterous, and fighting with each other -- all extremely unusual for my boys, normally they get along very well and are extremely well behaved. It was the disruption in our typical daily flow that did us in. Fortunately we had an entire afternoon of outdoor running and playing planned, because there was no way we were getting any work done, and I certainly didn't want them out in public like that!

I've had a couple of folks ask me recently about the details of our daily rhythm, so I figured I'd share what we are actually doing at this point (while also sharing some pictures from the past week). Our rhythm evolves over time to meet our family's need, so if you check back in with me mid-winter, you'll find some subtle changes. But for now it looks like this:

First, we wake up. The Map Man is up first, and is gone before the rest of us arise. J gets up around 6:30. I follow at 7:00, and Zoo Boy rolls out of bed anytime between 7 and 8. I put a load of wash in, feed the indoor birds, and bring in the dogs (if they were out all night, or I put them out if there were in all night). The kids do their own thing (as above) while I take care of the bulk of the farm chores, then come in and prepare breakfast. Breakfast is on the table by 8, after which the kids get dressed and we all head outside to finish up chores. After our chores, J heads across the street to do a couple of chores for our neighbor. Then we all head out for our morning walk.

(J playing soccer this past Friday at Homeschool Sports Class.)

After our walk, we do a "spin and fold" sequence to work on sensory integration -- right now we are doing an "autumn wind" sequence where I am the "north wind" and I blow the "leaves" (the kids) down the hall. They spin down the hallway, then hop back -- the first time they are the leaves hopping and skipping across the field; the second time they are rabbits leaping towards the safety of the brambles after a fox caught it's scent on the breeze; the third time they are frogs jumping to the pond they will hibernate in, buried beneath the mud.

(An autumn painting by Zoo Boy, made during a museum class the boys took last week about seasonal art.)

After our little sensory sequence, and a break for some water, we start our story work. Here's how that looks in terms of this current Language Arts block:

On Tuesdays we paint (still doing free-form color exploration type painting for now, we'll be introducing painting stories in a couple of months). After snack, we read a new story, then the boys have an hour of creative play time.

On Wednesdays I lead the kids in recalling the story we read the day before. In another couple of months we'll be creating a summary of our stories as well, but for right now we just read the story verse (which I have prepared in large print on an easel. Then we create a drawing (or other artistic endeavor) from the story, and read the verse again. After snack the kids have their creative playtime.

On Thursdays we read the verse, and then write it out, reading it again from our own writings. After snack we read a new story then the boys have their creative play time.

Friday follows Wednesday's pattern, and Saturday is a repeat of Thursday, only without a new story. (We read a nature story by the fire on either Friday or Saturday evening instead.)

Sundays, rather than story work, The Map Man does a woodworking project with the boys.

Mondays we have our Monday Homeschool Classes (which started today, in fact), so there is no story work that day at all.

(The boys playing their new favorite card game -- "War", which Zoo Boy likes to call "War Cards". Good greater than/less than math practice!)

After play time, the boys have "practice time" where they get to independently work on practicing skills -- right now we are focused on handwriting, and the boys are still working on individual letter sheets, although they will move on to number sheets in a couple of days. Eventually they'll have math worksheets as well as handwriting worksheets to work on. We also recite our poem for the week at this time. Eventually we will be writing out the poems as well.

Then it's lunch, followed by rest (which we start by reading a chapter from our current chapter book, assuming we're at home for rest -- sometimes our "rest" is listening to a musical story on CD in the car while traveling to our afternoon adventure destination).

(The boys playing with friends after Monday Homeschool Classes today.)

Afternoon adventures are all different -- Tuesdays we're usually out hiking or having other fun with friends, Wednesdays are our "home days", Thursdays we try to get together with other Enki homeschooling friends, Fridays are Sports, and Saturdays are adventures with the entire family. Sundays we watch football as a family (and J goes to his chorus practice). Mondays we just lay low with quiet reading time after our excitement at Monday Homeschool Classes.

And that's it! Hey, it works for us!


MM said...

I was wondering how you managed to fit so much in! Thanks for explaining.

What about drama and baking classes for J - where do they fit in?

Stacey said...

Hey there. I enjoyed catching up on all you've been doing. Fall comes late to us- I like what you did with Duchess Autumn, and I think I may do the same thing for us this weekend. It's our 3rd fall reading that one. Thanks for sharing what you did with it.

My girls are crazy for cards- war is a favorite around here, too, as well as crazy 8's and rummy.

Harvest Mom said...

MM, the play that J wanted to be involved with has a performance date that conflicts with his Chorus performance dates, so we had to skip that. However, he IS involved with a dramatic production (a musical entitled "Anansi and the Strange Moss-Covered Rock") with the Monday Homeschool Classes, so rehersals will take place a regular part of our Monday classes. I actually wound up over-booking our Tuesdays, and that baking class was interfering with another activity, so we had to back out of it. (Which was a bummer, but I'm planning on doing a lot of bread baking this winter, so hopefully that will make up for it.)