I’ve told you before that I’m not a big fan of balance but prefer rhythm instead. That sounds nice, but how does it look practically speaking? Here are few tips for making a daily rhythm that creates a better flow for your day:
1. Determine your “chords”.
Referring to the stable parts of the schedule as chords is not original. For that matter, neither is the rhythm metaphor. Kim John Payne spoke of the “chords” of a child’s day in his book: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. These are the non-negotiable times of day like getting up, getting dressed, meal times and going to bed. School time may be one of your “chords” as well. Look at the parts of your day that are already working and occurring at similar times and start there.
2. Add in “grace notes”.
In music, grace notes are not necessary to the melody, but they add interest. While giving ourselves grace and margin could be one application of this, we also need to add interest to the day. Plan an impromptu tea party with your daughter, toss a baseball with your son or take a few moments to appreciate the latest Lego creation-in-process. These are the memories our children will cherish when they are grown and gone from our homes.
3. Deal with disharmony immediately.
No matter how well we plan our days, there is always bound to be an interruption. Aside from emergency situations like a sick child or a friend in need, most of the interruptions of the day come from sibling squabbles, disobedient or dawdling children. Ignoring these situations always seems to make them grow even worse. Try to nip these things in the bud, putting a halt to the whole “melody” of the day until harmony is restored. Trying to do chores or schoolwork over misbehavior and bad attitudes will soon have everyone in a bad mood!
4. Enjoy the song!
I am often guilty of focusing so much on the execution of my plan that I fail to enjoy the peace and order it brings. Even though it is not always easy, we are homeschooling our children or working at home for a reason. We must never lose sight of the blessings that are ours and enjoy them to the fullest.