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Rituals–Making Meaning in the Present

My days can sometimes feel unhinged.  Because there is no outside timetable or schedule, the days can flow with no outside boundary.  Sometimes it feels safe to rely on curriculum or state standards, but those often just don’t fit the lively, creative people who live at my house.  It seems like I spend my days between these two pulls.  Maybe this is a clue to finding my way.

Lacy from Sacred Journey says that ritual is a way of making meaning in the present.  We can use ritual to re-make our days.  Rituals that root us in time and give us ballast. But rituals that also honor our humanity and make space for children to be…children.  Here are a few of our practices.

Teatime

After Circle Time, we move into individual skill work.  But you can only drill multiplication facts or practice phonics for so long.  We’ll need a break.  So we have tea.  We gather at the table and fill the kettle.  When everyone is settled, I read a poem.  Just recently we started sending the 9 year old off to prepare snacks for us: cinnamon toast, apples with peanut butter, string cheese.  She gets to be independant and helpful. and I get a few minutes to practice reading with the 6 year old.  I found a few more snack ideas over at The New Domestic.

Music at Transitions

This idea came from Mystie at Simply Convivial.  She calls her children to Circle Time with a song.  A big improvement over nagging or yelling!  Music–like rhythm generally–can do so much of the heavy lifting in our days.  We use it to lighten the mood and fill in the spaces when we’re tired and might tend to pick and bother each other.

Rest

Every afternoon we have rest time.  The toddler and I sleep.  The older two listen to audiobooks, (maybe play Kindle), do handwork, play Lego, or color.  After a short rest, I use the space to work.  This quiet time settles us and gets us ready for an evening together.  This rhythm of rest nourishes the 3 out of 4 introverts…and the extrovert sleeps the whole time!