I’ve Got No Rhythm

I have felt such a strong need lately, to go back. To step away from our homeschool for a time. To take a break. Not just for my kids but for this momma. Its clear I need a bit more direction; some inspiration. There is always a better way. I was truly honored, and felt it was such a blessing from God, to be given the opportunity, in this trying time, to review Rhythm: Guiding your Family to Their Ideal Learning Flow. Prayers really do get answered. In a time when we are off-beat, the name alone made me sure that this was something my family and our homeschool desperately needed, rhythm.

It all started with Alicia’s book that I reviewed earlier, Plan to Be Flexible. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to keep it real; I am a fairly transparent person. And lately I have been a bit of a mess. You know those times, if you have homeschooled for any amount of time, when nothing is going as planned? That’s been our life. Drained and bored. No excitement or enthusiasm. We are tired and every day its a struggle. Not just for the kids either 😛  We have to be flexible. We have to be honest. We lost our rhythm. In the fun and crazy summer time, and as the kids get older, they change (and I struggle not to lol) all these red flags begin popping up. Things that tell me I have to stop and step back. This class, it was a blessing in that just like her book, it asked those hard questions. There are three parts to this course. And they are all packed with things to really make you think. I don’t want to give it all away but I am going to try to give you a glimpse into what each class did for me. But if you are struggling right now and need a refreshing; if you need to find your rhythm, do consider this course. It WILL bless you.

  As a musician (haven’t played in years but how I do love it) I know all too well how important that rhythm really is. Like in the performing arts, homeschooling (mothering even) is an art that needs to be perfected. We need to be together (relationship) so that, like the steps of a dance or the meter of language and poetry, it flows together. Without attention to the rhythm, that dance, that poem, that homeschool program, how can it really succeed? And when we are not looking, when we are so busy checking off our lists and following the plan that came with that curriculum, or maybe we are just tired and burned out…We stop paying attention. We do not hear the rhythm. We need to stay in step my friends. When the beat is off, we need to hear and respond. Even more we need to be able to acknowledge the root of things and then recognize how we need to respond. This class, Rhythm, it will help you, as it has me, to find that rhythm, whether its totally lost, or just gone missing for a time. 🙂

So what is rhythm based homeschooling? Let me tell you:  it is an amazing way to organize and manage your homeschooling days! It is grace, it is faith. It is a freedom in homeschool, a middle ground, which allows for us to mold it, change it, mix it up as we need to for our wonderfully uniquely made children. Every one of them. Learn about the freedom that comes from finding that balance between the extremes of “scheduled” and “unscheduled” learning. See the difference when you homeschool in a grace-filled, realistic approach to every day. This course covers so much that we really do need for truly being able to train up our children, keep our home, and maintain our self. We go deeper into things like:
  • How to create structure without being stifled by rigid schedules
  • How to tackle those “wrecking balls” that disrupt your daily rhythm (attitude, sickness, etc)
  • How to know when your child’s rhythm is changing and what to do about it (those red flags I mentioned before)
  • How to welcome free-form learning (without it totally taking over)
  • The secret to goal-setting (while still keeping in mind real life)
 “rhythm” consists of:
  •  20-minute long, pre-recorded training videos
You learn at your own pace, when it’s convenient for you
  • Three “At-Home Discover Packets,” @ 38 pages of in-depth exercises, resources and activities corresponding to videos
—Life changing, practical, solutions within that you can apply in your homeschool no matter where you are at
  • Lifetime access to a private online Facebook community of other “rhythm” participants
 All for only $39!

Life and learning is meant to be a powerful experience; a lifelong journey. I know I loved learning when I was a child (although I didn’t love school) and how I desperately want to pass on that love for learning to my children. “Homeschool is an adventure, a living, breathing, entity that is constantly changing”. I struggle with that part of it all. I admit, I am a perfectionist, I have obsessive moments. I have times when that friends boy knowing something my son doesn’t (but probably should according to “fill in the blank”) bugs me. And I struggle to let it go. Yet throughout this course I have been reminded again and again to  “Let go of judgement and just enjoy the process.”  We need to drench ourselves (our kids and families) in grace. Again and again. So I have to consider as I read, the approach that I take with each of my three children, is it that which is best for their specific needs? Sadly, I can say, without hesitation that it is not. It is my plan. It is my way. Sure my oldest has chosen a few things to study out yet I still have to be honest, more often we are working at my pace and not his. We are all uniquely created. We are all wired in different ways, with different gifts and part of homeschool for our family is really all about drawing closer to Jesus. We are not drawing near to Him though when the days are as difficult as they have been.

Now is the time, to step back, to make those goals which will be pillars (habitual practices) to frame our day. We need to let the learning flow. For example, a week or two ago, we had a friend visiting from France and she taught my kids all about the Titanic. That big “unsinkable” ship that did indeed sink. Even after she left, they had more questions than I had answers for. And so for a week we read every book we could get our hands on from the local library, we watched numerous documentaries about the building and sinking of that ship. Until they moved on, we just kept going. We need more moments like that around here. To “keep our hearts centered on grace and goals, we must maintain perspective and community; keeping a careful watch on our hearts’ condition – our desires, thoughts and attitudes.”  That goes for me too.
Perhaps, truth be told, I am the greatest offender in this area too. I love how she says, in the second class that goals must be, not could or may be, but must be, full of grace. Without grace, where would any of us be? If we do not have grace, when goals are not met we beat ourselves up, we blame our children, we end up with a bad attitude. But if we have grace within our goals, we will see, real life happening and be forgiving. We will see those imperfections and instead of letting them get us down, we will embrace what we have completed and push on, we will continue to contend for the faith. We will see that we have permission, to not be perfect. Grace is a wonderful gift is it not? And if we guard our hearts (our thoughts and our words and attitudes) we can have such a powerful impact on or families and communities.
Learning IS messy, it IS unpredictable. No matter how we try to paint it, always it will come out differently. But beautifully. As mommas and daddy too, we need to be guides to our children. Let us seek to build those pillars, to have guideposts for our learning, but let us remember also, to always show grace. It’s okay to go with the flow; often those are the ways the best learning happens. We share and learn together. What our children need to know will change; we cannot stop that. But we can build those relationships (like our faith) on a foundation that is firm, sure of itself, and then we can feel so much less fear and anxiety when those red flags do come up. Because we will see them through the lens of grace, not as good or bad, but simply as real life in action – signals encouraging us to re-examine our plans. Let us always be ready to make that change, flip the switch. 🙂
Certainly I found as I completed this course that there is much yet for me to examine in our homeschool.  But I have so very many inspiring tools, and words to encourage me on my path. With the many forms that are included in this class, as a family, we are working (together) to create a rhythm in our home and family. We shall revisit WHY we homeschool as well as WHAT we hope to give to our children (our legacy). My oldest, he is completing his own list of goals (educational, social/character, spiritual and others) with our assistance.  A few of his goals are, to learn more about how to be a big brother that is a blessing, to create his own cartoon strip or comic, and to be able to speak in front of his speech class this fall. He is also interested in learning how to code so he can make his own app. It’s a start and it will always be open to a bit of tweaking here and there as the need arises. But to have a plan, for those times when we need a bit more grace, it sure can make a difference.

 

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