DIY homeschooling rhythm chart

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

 During our homeschooling day yesterday, while the kids were working on some projects, I glanced at our weekly rhythm chart pinned up on the fridge.

Torn from a notebook and splattered with coffee, it lacked the pizzazz that I desired to keep me fired up and on task throughout our day.

*A rhythm? As in: a schedule? But wait, Rachel! I thought you were unschoolers!"

Um. Sort of. Ish. Our family has never fit perfectly into any homeschooling category. And though I've danced around the labels for a long time, I think we're more "interest-led eclectic life learners" (or something like that).

That being said, what we do looks a lot like unschooling for much of the day.

But I also think parenting – more than living out a the details of one labeled style of anything – comes down to dropping the labels altogether and figuring out what works best for your family during each season of learning and growth.

And right now a predictable rhythm that includes a little time gathered around the table working on spelling, grammar, math, and writing is a good fit.

And all of that is a lot for an unschooling-minded mama to keep track of.

Enter the rhythm chart.

I made several when the kids were little and I identified a lot with Waldorf education. But it's been ages since we've used one. It was time.

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

I dug around in the craft cabinet and surfaced with the very last full sheet of scrapbooking paper (which conveniently matched my kitchen). And as the kids worked away on their projects I set to work as well, transferring the details about our day and our week to the page.

In the end I included all of the details that Pete and I like to keep track of each week in an effort to provide the kids with a bit of consistency and ease as they move between homeschooling days with me and with Pete. The presence of this chart means that the kids are accountable for keeping track of what they are supposed to do each day, and so are Pete and I.

Also, we'll be much less likely to miss a lesson or forget to return the library books when it's all laid out so clearly. (Or that's the theory anyway.)

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

Is it perfect?

Did we just meet? Of course it's not perfect. It's a bit off-center and in one place I cut and glued a new scrap of paper over the top when I made a mistake. It adds to the charm, I tell you.

So what's included?

Just the things my family needs to stay on track. If you make your own what you include would be very personal to your family and might look nothing like mine. In fact, it's not just for homeschoolers! Any family could benefit from a rhythm chart of their days or weeks, I suspect. Here is what I chose to include:

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

Daily Rhythm

A rough rhythm for our days – when we do farm chores, focused homeschooling, projects, free-form learning, meals, and the rest broken down by time.

There is a list of what the kids and I normally dig in on during our homeschooling day so that Pete knows for his days what they've been up to with me, and visa versa.

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

Dinner Responsibilities

Part of our homeschooling plan is that our kids are involved in cooking a dinner at least once a week. We'll soon bump that up to two or more nights a week, but first we're going to find our groove with this plan. Also, because Pete and I both work part-time we share dinner responsibilities. The upshot? No 5 PM surprises.

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

Daily Chores

On top of daily responsibilities like farm chores and dishes, my kids each do a "plus-one" chore that differs by day. But a different chore each day is hard to remember, even for me. This list will help the kids keep track without help or reminders (theoretically).

DIY Homeschooling Rhythm Chart : :

Special Days & Lessons

Like many homeschooling families, every day is a little different. There is the day we go to the library, lessons in town, gatherings we attend. Putting the list of what happens when right on our list means we're much less likely to miss something that we should have remembered.

: :

If your children are non-readers, a chart like this one (that I made for Sage when he was small) might be just the ticket! Instead of felt you could craft it out of sturdy paper.

And with that, It's almost 8:00. And looking at my chart I've got some things to do!


11 thoughts on “DIY homeschooling rhythm chart

  1. Tina Winkle says:

    I love your blog. I homeschool my 5th grader. I like the idea of making everyone accountable for helping to cook dinner. I have a schedule of our daily routine but I think if I put it on a large poster board we would follow it more closely. Thanks for sharing!! I am going to add your blog to my homeschool links on my own blog. 🙂

  2. Giselle says:

    I lev it. I made my children an AM and PM list (that is my name for it) for the school year (yes they go to school). During the summer we adjust it because even though they do not have homework there are things they have to do. For the summer I incorporated a notebook technique that I saw on another blog. Actually notebook and sketchbook.

    Off topic….how do i learn to blur parts of a picture purposely??

  3. Rachel at Stitched in Color says:

    Hi, Rachel! It’s been a long time =) I love your chart. It is perfectly, not perfect; refreshingly casual. We are just finding a new rhythm after losing our baby two weeks ago. I don’t think it’s quite time for a chart yet, but it could help us enrich our days a bit. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Rosanna says:

    I really like your chart-I used to have a loose schedule, but had thrown that completely out of the window. I have been thinking, lately, that I need to do something again. This is a really good day.

  5. Irenie says:

    Hi Rachel, I was just reading these replies, I’m so so sorry to hear about your baby. I am praying for your heart and family to be healed. I relive the pain of my miscarriages whenever I hear of anyone losing a baby at any stage so understand a little of your heartbreak. God bless you all xxx

  6. Rachel Wolf says:

    Oh, goodness Rachel – it has been a while! So nice to see your name pop up here and so very sorry for your loss. Sending love and light – and a big hug – your way. Still using my beautiful clothespin apron that you stitched, by the way. xo

  7. Emilie says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Your rythym is so similar to ours, though I should make a chart like yours as a gentle reminder to all of us as to our tasks for the day/week. It is mostly me who gets sidetracked or distracted and interupts the rhythm. I would like to know a bit more about your table time. Do you use any curriculum or have resource recommendations?

    Also for reading do you assign/suggest books you would like your kids to read? My older kids, 8 and 10, both started reading when they were ready and now my older boy reads all the time. He just finished the Percy Jackson series and is moving on to the next but sometimes I wonder if he should be reading “better” books, books of substance. I know my husband cant stand to see them reading the fluff that they do, comparing it to junk food or trashy tv. I get that but also feel that if they are reading and enjoying it then why interfere with my tastes or preference, they are buildng proficiency, but then a part of me remembers the books I read at that age, the ones I really remember were “good” books (The Giver, Diary of Anne Frank) that were assigned in school but led me to find more for my own reading time. I know their interests and mine are different but there must be “good” books in their areas of interest or ones that with allow them to expand their interest.

    Am I making any sense? I keep going back and forth between assigning books for my oldest to read, books that he “should” be reading and just letting him explore the library and finds his own books, the problem is that he often doesn’t stray from his favorite section/genre. I am having trouble trusting the process here I guess, I just don’t want them to miss out!

Leave a Reply