Friday, July 4, 2008

More on Rhythm

I appreciated your broad answers to the consulting question about developing rhythm. I wonder if you could be a bit more specific about how you balance your family's rhythm with each child's flow. How often do you revisit your rhythm and readjust? Also, do you have your children get involved in designing the daily/weekly rhythm in your home or do you do that on your own? In other words, is there a "buy-in" in advance?
Thank you, M

Dear M,

Did the Organization and the Temperaments Lecture/E-book help on this question? I think you have that now - right? If I had answered this a couple weeks ago I would have said some things to that effect. However, I didn't have the charts available at that time when you asked the question and now I I think that is more helpful.

Other than the charts/lecture that you downloaded from I would say....

I revisit rhythms about once every three weeks. But that is because I am one of those Sanguine "go with the flow" and always fixing and adjusting things. Some other types seem to be able to find a rhythm and stick with it all year. But we are always tweaking things and the kids DO get involved. I create an initial schedule based on my OBSERVATIONS of them and I also let them create their own schedules for things too. So this is our recipe:

Recipe of Our Schedule

1 cup of mom writes the schedule out based on her observations
1 cup of mom writes a schedule based on their type
1/4 cup of child writes their own schedule for something like spelling words or other activities
1/8 cup of child suggests alterations to the schedule I created

Stir all together and make a chart. Post it in a public place. Allow children to comment on it and suggest changes. Let each change simmer for a week before any changes can be made because sometimes things need time to settle and it is not that the change is not working ... It is just that you may need some time to get used to it. After the chart simmers for a week you can enjoy it. After 3 weeks check on it and see how it is working out. If things need to be changed you can either add some spices to it, add more ingredients or completely start from scratch!

One example is we have a visiting schedule because otherwise our household gets overwhelmed with neighbor kids and I get overwhelmed with the question "Can so and so come over today??" Yikes! I started out allowing them to trade off every other week with a sleep over and then have kids over once a week on a certain day for each of them. As summer nears and we relax on school work I allow them to have people over more often. I also realized that a sleepover every weekend was too much for ME so I changed it to rotate with all THREE of now, every three weeks I get a Friday that is MINE! No friends allowed. Sometimes we go out as a family. Sometimes I just laze around the house.

Does this help? If I left out anything you can certainly write back. You might also post some of the questions to the Members list. The question you had about a "buy in" is a good one. My kids don't really get a buy-in initially. But they know they can tweak things and that I will listen if they decide to create their own charts. A few months ago my son created his own chart on how to get his spelling done every week. I was totally shocked. But with no help from me he now has a plan and it is the same plan every week and he does it like clockwork every week! (He is a melancholic of course!). It might be fun to see what sort of buy-in other parents give their kids with the schedule.

That said, some days I just ditch the schedule altogether and we "Unschool"!

Blessings & Health,

Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND
Mother to Mosi, 13, Sunii, 11, Sofi, 9
Living in Des Moines, IOWA after travelling the world :)
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