I’ve been reading the wonderful Waldorf homeschooling blog, The Parenting Passageway recently, and at the same time reading Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving or Missing Sleep. Both resources (not to mention my beloved Flylady) are telling me the same thing: find your rhythm and get your waking, eating, outside time, playing and housework on a schedule.
I’ve never been good at keeping a schedule. For some reason, even though I do some things ritualistically every day, I almost always do them in a slightly different order. These resources say that setting a schedule is even more essential and beneficial for someone like me who resists it. It sounds sortof counterintuitive, though when I look at the benefits, I can see the point.
The book also highlights many benefits of maintaining a regular schedule and thereby setting the body’s clock to know when to sleep, when to wake, when to eat and so on. When a kid’s body clock is “set”, they are more likely to fall asleep easily, stay relaxed and focused throughout the day.
So we’re giving this a try. Right now we’re in observation mode to see what rhythm out days already have, though I’m finding that simply by recording what we’re doing, I’m already nudging us toward a better schedule.
Two major changes are that we’ve stopped preschool, which is allowing us to make the second change work: having both kids nap at the same time. So far my girl (who is now “officially four”) has napped two days in a row. After a year and a half of not napping. Now, this could be because she has a cold, but I’m hoping we can use the cold to help set her body clock so she keeps napping even after her cold is all better.
In any case, a frugal change: replacing preschool with sleep! From what I’ve read, it might even grow her brain more than a structured activity!
As a part of figuring out our rhythm, we’ve been keeping our days much calmer and more home based. I’m seeing the benefits already. Fewer meltdowns, more happy minutes of the kids playing quietly together, and as a bonus, I’m feeling more relaxed.
So, this is officially day 1 of 40 days of our family rhythm project. What rhythms guide your days?