Is it possible to still have “rhythm” and unschool ? Yes, it just might look a little different from before.
Actually to be honest our rhythm has not really changed much. Our family has always kept a different schedule then most due to Papa’s work hours. So for us our families rhythm has never been what you would call normal :), we just found what works best for us. Unschooling works the same way we just changed a few things around.
For instance we still have the same sleeping hours, wash days, meal times, bath days on so forth. We always have even before Waldorf education.
Something that has changed the way we do lunches around here though, in a really great way, has been the introduction of the Monkey Platter
Each day the girls help me come up with the items using our food pyramid as a guideline. Miss Sky really enjoys making sure something from every food group is represented and it has been fun coming up with all the different ideas too. This is not “enforced” by the way it was actually Miss Sky’s idea to use the food pyramid in the first place. So why has this worked so great for us ? Well sometimes each of us is busy doing our own thing like reorganizing a playroom, playing a video game or playing on the computer and this way everyone can eat at their own convenience.
Papa wakes up first in our household so he has become the breakfast person(which he makes best anyway :)). So that just leaves me with dinner. I have previous posts on how we do dinner by taking a binder and separating it by season.
Being that it is summer most of our dinner recipes revolve around the grill and stove top(lots of stir-fries, tacos ,fajitas and salads). I have 2 weeks worth of recipes for each season and just rotate. So this is how our meals work.
After breakfast is when we do “circle time”. This is when everybody,parents included, gets to voice their opinion on the days activities. Being we are a 1 car family we need to plan “outings” in advance. So if someone wants to go to the library, or another outing it needs to be mentioned during this time.
Items that always seem to be mentioned daily ,that involve the need of others, like board games and reading aloud have found a place in our daily rhythm. Board games like to be played with all members of the family so we play those first right after breakfast to include Papa. Then we usually read together so that I can get started on what ever daily chores like dishes or laundry that need to be done.
So after reading the girls usually fall into doing whatever it was they wanted to do from the list. For example Little Sis is really into Animal Jam right now and Miss Sky is really into playing video games so one gets the computer first and the other gets the television. Then they switch to take turns. Meanwhile Mama is “always” an ear shot away for any questions or help that may be needed.
The only time this changes is when someone mentions they want to watch a program or movie on the Ruku or if there is an outing planed. Then if a person doesn’t want to watch the program (like Miss Sky has outgrown Dora and Little Sis really doesn’t like animal documentaries) that person gets their computer time. Again I am usually watching the programs with my girls and am available for help if needed.
So what about “me time” ? I have learned to be flexible :). Being a parent our children’s needs have always come first so this is nothing new.
Some days are busier then others, sometimes I don’t always get to have computer time when I want it but sometimes my girls don’t either. Sometimes I need to pay a bill or send an e-mail. Sometimes my girls play video games together (like right now). The thing is though since I respect their wishes and they “know ” they will get to do what they want when I am done, they respect mine. Also voicing my wants during circle time has really helped.
I have really been getting in with the series The Tudors lately,thanks to the Middle Ages time period we have been reading about. This is a program I do not recommend for children so I usually am more than happy to wait until after the girls are in bed to watch. I also am reading books about Bloody Mary and Queen Elizabeth which can happen during the day when my girls are using the TV or computer.
I think remembering to always put our families relationship first is what has helped us most with our new transition.
Also I just wanted to add one more thing, what makes everything I just listed above unschooling (for us) is the fact that at any time my girls have the right to say no. Sometimes reading aloud may not be an option and that is okay :).
Wishing everyone a great week!