Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rhythm vs. Rigid

It's obvious that I need to look at our daily flow and tweak things around a bit.

Getting the boys to bed by 8:00 p.m. is getting impossible. Even if we are home they don't want to go to sleep when it is so light out. Right now we can settle them down by 8:15, but we have another month of increasing daylight. I imagine by June they'll be settling in at 8:30 p.m.

Of course, I can't wake them up too early when they haven't been asleep long enough. It just backfires on me with cranky overtired boys all day.

So, the morning routine gets a later start. I can adjust for that.


The boys don't like the routine the way it is now. They get about 15-30 minutes of free time while I finish my morning chores, so they are set in their play by the time I want us to walk (or do a circle and movement activities).

I could give them an extra 30 minutes to complete their play and gather them at that natural ending point. It would work; it just shifts our lesson time a little later and gives them less free play before lunch. But the weather will soon be against us, and therein is the real dilemma - they want that cool hour in the morning for outside play, and I want it for our walk.

You see, when the walk is happening, it works very well. We are energized, and the natural rhythm of walking opens us to skip counting, rhyming games, etc. very easily. When we get home we are warmed up and it is easy to slide into movement exercises. Then we have a small fruit snack and are ready for our morning lesson.

I have to ponder it all, and decide which is most important and how it will work best. We often walk at other times of the day, and hike, and bike, so we are pretty active. I could reinstitute a a more formal circle that could be done indoors, thus avoiding the heat. The real point is to connect as a family, and to get our hearts beating so that our minds are ready for learning.


  1. Hey Kimberly!
    We have found that the walk works really well as a way to come back tobether after that bit of time between breakfast and cleaning up. I do the Round and Round song and they grab their shoes. GD is a bit slower to come, but once he gets our the door he is having a good time.

    It is important to me to be rhythmic rather than rigid too. Our bed time isnt until 9pm, mainly because it is the natural time when things come together. After nine life falls apart, so I am more aware of that time now. I dont wake any of them up, I just let them sleep as long as they possibly can. But they are usually awake by 7:30, GM sometimes will sleep later though.
    I think that we will be eternally revamping our rhythms, the kids change, weather changes, our needs change. I will be amazed if I can get one to really take hold for a full season. It seems that once we force a rhythm, we end up crossing over to rigid. y'know?

  2. I should work more on the gathering song. T-Guy comes willingly when I sing, but J-Baby is so resistant to change (any change - change of clothes, change of activity, change of weather) that he will either ignore me or whine and cry. Hopefully once we have a chance to work on hidden allergies he will feel better and his outlook on life will improve. I'm hoping to start a multiple food elimination diet after our vacation in June.

    J-Baby rarely wants to do anything when it is first suggested, but like GD he will come around once we actually get going. Transitions are so hard for him, even when I sing, give cues, etc. and it is something he enjoys doing.

    We need bedtime. Without it the boys get overtired and have a hard time falling asleep. But if I don't wake them in the morning then they get too much sleep, and bedtime gets later, and we are in this vicious cycle.

    Left to our natural rhythms, we are all night owls except J-Baby, who falls apart when he gets tired and really needs to get to bed early. He also wakes the earliest on his own. T-Guy would gladly sleep until 9 a.m. if I was in bed with him.