Before the pandemic, my children were attending a play-based early learning center a few times a week while I worked on my dissertation. When the lockdown hit in March of 2020 and their school closed, I felt compelled to recreate the structure they enjoyed so much in their classroom. The teacher kindly sent us their schedule and at first I attempted to stick to the timing of each activity. But with a third baby calling the shots, it became clear that a strict schedule couldn’t work for us. I wanted structure and the kids needed it too but it needed to be built around something other than time. I thought about activities we do everyday that were an integral part of our life: sharing meals, reading together, playing outside, resting, etc. and I centered our rhythm around those. It worked for us, it really worked. The kids picked up on it over time and it made life easier for all of us. Fast forward a few months later when I was deciding between homeschooling or virtual school, I realized there was just no way I could have my kids sit in front of a computer screen for 4 hours a day. It just wasn’t fair to them. Kids need time to play, explore, and move. I dived straight into homeschooling and never looked back.
And then I was confronted with how I would structure our homeschool days. After some deep reflection, research, and a bit of unlearning, I realized that homeschool did not have to look like traditional schooling. We didn’t need to sit down 6 hours hopping from reading to math to science every 30 minutes. Rather than adhering to a strict schedule for our homeschool days, we adapted the rhythm to give our children both the structure and flexibility they deserve. It did not happen overnight but over time they have internalized this natural flow to our daily and weekly routines (another post). Today I’m sharing a poster I designed that captures what our homeschool rhythm looks like. Feel free to implement this for your family or use this poster as a guide to build your own daily rhythm. You can download it below for free and print it to hang in your home.
P.S. If you found this post and the poster helpful, it would make me so happy if you shared it with your friends. I’d also love to hear any feedback in the comments below.