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Changing the homeschool rhythm through the seasons of life.

I often talk about rhythm in the homeschool day, and finding one's rhythm based on the family needs. These needs are always changing based on the current family arrangement, child count and ages, schedules, jobs, and several other social, cultural, or outside factors. One of the many perks of homeschooling is the ability to design your own schedule, routine, or general rhythm. Another perk is the ability to change it or adapt it to your family's growing or current needs.

A change in the family functioning causing a need for change could be as small as a family vacation or as large as a death in the family. Instead of needing to take your child out of school to enjoy a family vacation, that vacation time can count towards social studies lessons as you tour local galleries and museums. Instead of having to jump back into school after a short period of time to grieve the lost of a loved one, families can spend this time honoring their loved ones and spending the time together for further family bonding and therapy. Those are the more important life lessons we come across, but can miss the mark when forced to adapt too soon or if we do not connect life and learning.

Personally, since my family has grown from two to three, I am finding the need to adjust our family rhythm, which we are still working on at 1 month postpartum. I am also learning that with changing our rhythm comes a lot of trial and error and it is beneficial to offer myself grace, and remind myself of what is most important. As long as my children are well taken care of and I have made a thoughtful connection with each of them that day, I surrender myself to the needs to a nursing newborn- guilt free. Sometimes this looks like art or reading time in bed with mommy and baby brother. Other times it looks like greeting time cut in half because baby brother woke up fussing. Other times it looks like my 8 year old offering a lot of help with her three year old sister and doing a lot of self-led work, reading, and art.

New phases of the family or other life changes can also offer lessons of their own. A new addition to the family for example, is a great way to teach children how babies grow in the womb, how to care for someone other than ourself, and how to offer a helping hand. A cold running rampant through the household is an opportunity to teach how to care for our bodies when ill, how to build the immune system, and how to avoid illness in the future.

When these normal life occurrence happen, school children are often sitting out of class time. Homeschooling allows us to work our homeschooling into life's many phases. We can pause and hit play as we need to, and we can teach real life lessons that help children grow emotionally.

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