Weekly Rhythm Chart.






I've been working on rediscovering our family rhythm in recent days. I understand the value or rhythm. I really do. And yet, I find myself feeling burdened by it at times. Maybe I've taken it too far. Too rigid or nearly a "schedule". Too much included in our rhythm leaving little room for the free form days we gravitate towards.

My resistance to schedule has me protesting my own rhythm. How helpful.

When Sage was small he taught me the value of a solid rhythm. Transitions were easy when he knew what was coming well in advance – I learned that lesson early. In contrast, transitions were downright painful when he did not. I prepaved, I honored our rhythm, I made sure he knew what was on deck well before it happened.

To reinforce our rhythm, I made the rhythm chart above for Sage and I when he was two. (Back then I could only find six colors of wool felt but when I did I thought I had struck gold.) The idea came from my mom, an occupational therapist (OT) who was helping us maneuver some of the challenges of Sage's early years when his behavior teetered more towards/onto the autistic spectrum. The idea was an instant hit and helped him know when we were going to the park, when friends would visit, what came before bedtime. It created ease for us both. The rhythm chart brought a tone of ease to his childhood if you believe it.

As Sage grew up we hit our groove without it and eventually stopped using the chart. Somehow it ended up in a bin of random stuff in storage until yesterday. Lupine discovered it during a recent purge and begged me to keep it and bring it upstairs. I was going to get rid of it but with her prodding decided to make new tags for it and put it to use again. After all, our rhythm is suffering this season, so why not give it another go? It's dirty and old, but what the heck. It's still pretty cute if I do say so myself.

The anchors of our day are formed by meals and bedtime. Some tags we use everyday, or even twice a day (checklist for example or daily chores). After completing that task we simply move the tag to its next location.

I made the tags pictured out of a rainbow of wool felt yesterday, cut out and glued together with tacky glue. A few are done with Sharpie on felt. Felt sticks to felt, so for now we just slap them on the calendar and let them hang their by their own magnetism. I may add velcro to the backs later on if they drop off too easily. (Last time our tags were printed out from an OT program that my mom had then laminated and velcro attached. A friend made one with drawings and stickers and magnets and stuck her chart on the fridge. Use your imagination to create your own.)

This bach of tags include: housekeeping, morning checklist, art, outside time, quiet time, reading our chapter, and special activities for our homeschooling week (farm day, horseback riding, piano, bicycle club, homeschool group, etc.). We attached it to a bulleten board and hung it low in our homeschooling/play room. The kids gravitate towards it, craving the rhythm that we have created.

Before the felt was put away Lupine added one more tag to our our set, letting me know her intentions for the coming year: Ballet. I'll bet you didn't see that one coming.


18 thoughts on “Weekly Rhythm Chart.

  1. marniduff@yahoo.com says:

    Lupine’s addition is adorable. I may have to make a chart for my kids this summer. I also hate having a set schedule, but I need SOME sort of organization or else all of the possibilities become too overwhelming. Our nap schedule is pretty rigid with our 8 month old, so our window of outdoor activity is limited. My Sage, who is 5, likes to know what is going on also. I wonder what my girls will add to our chart!

  2. KC says:

    So wonderful. I think I will have to try this for my daughter. I think it will help her and me with more of rhythm. Other then set meal times and bed times we just do whatever. I think it’s lovely thanks for sharing! How did you write the days of the week on there? Sharpie?

  3. Vallimasoos says:

    With Summer, I find it easier to get in the rhythm. I have had my chart planned out in my head and even have everything to make it!

    Today I will begin…Thanks for this post!

  4. Casey says:

    Ahhh yes, the visual schedule… We have one created of magnets. Ours goes in a circle, with an arrow like a clock in the middle pointing to what we’re doing. So incredibly helpful. “Nap THEN snack?” is wonderful to hear. I love the more natural felted version, though — so sweet!

  5. Kara says:

    I love this chart! I’ve tried out a few different versions of visual charts lately to try to help my kids make transitions and know what’s next, but most of them look very “school-ish” and don’t really fit in our home. Yours is beautiful to look at it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Michelle says:

    I love this chart! We have just started using a rhythm chart here. Nothing fancy – just a white board where we list all of our tasks to get done for the day, and our daughter checks them off as we accomplish them. We also list our day-specific activity, like park day or library day, and its helping reinforce her knowledge of the days of the week.

    I like the idea of a more permanent, crafy chart though, so something like this might be in our near future!

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Casey, I considered a circle but decided that our days feel rather linear conceptually. Start at wake, end at sleep. I think Id keep it this way but love the concept of the circle myself.
    ~ Rachel

  8. Nettie Black says:

    love love love it! Next week A and I head to PA to stay with my family for a few weeks. I have all kinds of crafty plans for while we are there, including a much needed rhythm chart for our house. (This too is something I struggle with!). Another doll (that is more baby like) is also on the list! I can’t wait!

  9. amy (mamascout) says:

    This is really beautiful. What a great way to honor your family’s rhythm. We struggle with this… I too balk at schedules, but with 3 homeschooled kids and a husband with an irregular work schedule, we really need it. Our lives feel chaotic with out one. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Pamela R says:

    I sooooo remember this. I was the fridge and magnets girl and, at the time extraordinarily impressed by your felt crafting. (Your mom was so sweet to print out some little pictures of every day activities which, at the time were impossible for me to find.) I also remember how excited you were to find those six colors of felt. I look at all of my felting from that time and I see those six colors. 🙂 So fun!
    Anyway, whether it be your fridge and magnets, a cuper-creatve felt-board or my super boring (but what would we do without it) dry erase board, it allows one to be flexible while still setting expectations. Thanks.

  11. Rachel Wolf says:

    Yes indeed. Those were interesting days, old friend. I remember seeing your dry erase during Onas birth and thinking I need to get one of those going again!  Love you ~ Rachel

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