22 May 2014


The Dandelion puff
Is a very queer clock,
It doesn't say tick
And it doesn't say tock,
It hasn't a cuckoo,
It hasn't a chime,
And I don't really think
It can tell me the time!

                                               Mary Robinson


For most of this month I have spend the hour before going to sleep making presents for my youngest who has a birthday at the of the month.  The hour of sleep was getting later and later, in my endeavour to get it all finished, I was waking feeling very sluggish.  This was a change from my usual habits, I had been reading for half an hour to hour depending what time I make it to bed, usually going to sleep between ten and ten thirty and waking feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

My day starts before the children's.  I get up and get myself ready for the day, sort out breakfast, any resources we need for our learning, a picnic if we are going out.  It's a time for me, so when the children wake I have usually finished my morning jobs and can focus on the children.  When I get up late this all goes out of the window, and on the odd day it does, but when it is everyday it feels like I am running after a bus that has just left my stop, permanently.  I never quite catch up, the day becomes chaotic and time seems to evaporate. 

In the past I have not wanted a rhythm or routine to my day and week.  I think this is because for so many years of my life the rhythm and routine I was following were not my own, they were dictated by school or work and by the time I was at home in my own space I had no energy left.  When it is just you, or two adults in a household this works, just, but add in children and home education it doesn't, or it didn't for us.  

Nowadays our rhythm and routine doesn't stay the same, it changes with the seasons, but there was a time when I found changes difficult and unsettling.  Looking back I suspect that knowing that something was going to happen on a regular basis was a comfort and easy.  Organising our life as a home edders involves planning and joining meet ups with others and it is so much easier if these are regular.  I now have a good network of people and we are less likely to end up with the week of not seeing anyone as happen so often in those early days.  It is a balancing act though and one that I am still practicing the art of getting right!

Our life right now is in a good place, we have a rhythm and routine that is ticking along nicely.  I focus on the week ahead once a week and keep a balance between busyness and calm, being out and about and at home, spending time with others and time just as a family.  But none of this can happen if I don't focus on me and ensure that I get the time to rest and sleep and to get myself ready for the day ahead so that I can also focus on my family too.

What about you are you a routine and rhythm person or one that throws caution to the wind and goes with the flow?  Or perhaps you have structure for some of the week through school or work and the rest of the time is free flowing?  Do you make time for yourself in your day/week?


*This is not a typo on my part but the title of a marvellous children's book which I thought was a fitting title for this post, weaving all the ends together.


  1. I am permanently exhausted! Currently working til gone eleven making things for the online shop and for a local outlet. This means that my wind down time takes my actual falling asleep to around half twelve. My actual sleep is restless and I often wake in the nigh too!

    I think you are really blessed to have your balancing act pretty sorted right now, although I know you gave worked very hard for it to be this way! Rhythm is great but sometimes as you know life can throw a curved ball and then it is very much go with the flow!

    San xx

  2. We have a rhythm here, which sounds pretty similar - but my little one's birthday is on Saturday so I've been up making presents for her, too. So it's gone out of the window and I'm not sure right now if I could tell the difference between my knee and my elbow, I'm that sluggish! Just a couple more days and I'll be in bed at 10 again.

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend! x

  3. It sounds as though you have a very balanced rhythm going on in your home. How I wish I could be up before the children and on top of all the jobs, and how I wish I could be disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm! We have a rhythm in that the week consists of a round of activities which keep ticking by and I suppose our days follow a loose sort of rhythm too, largely revolving around food and the fact that my youngest still has a post lunch snooze. Sometimes I think it feels balanced, other times it feels too busy, like we are rushing around and cramming things in. :)

  4. I like a structure to my day, although I don't sleep particularly well and I'm usually tired. A regular rhythm helps me no end though, without it I'm lost.

  5. I am naturally a go with the flow, love change type of person, but I find I really need to have a hold on it especially for my little ones who love the rhythmn and predictability. I am a true unschooler at heart and see how my two older girls thrive with this, but it is always at odds with my 3 and 1 year old. It is difficult to balance these opposing needs and not completely go crazy. I too like to do my knitting and sewing at night and reading also. I have to keep my night owl ways in check...it is too easy to get off balance by a few nights of too few hours of sleep. Right now I would rather be a little tired the next day, just so I can have this time to feed my soul.

  6. Like you I get up before the children and get my self 'ready'. If I sleep late and get up the same time as them things don't run so soothly! My boys are in school four days a week from 8.30 - 4 pm but next year things will be changing and they will have to go to school on a wednesday morning from 8.30 - 11.30. I'm trying to think of ways to ease ourselves into this new routine (that no-body wants). I was brought up in the UK and went to school 5 days a week but the idea of my kids going 4 1/2 days is just stressing me out completely.
    Compared to when I was a child my kids seem so busy - which I don't think is a good thing. On weekends we try and stay home without any really plan and do what ever takes our fancy!

  7. I prefer to let things just go with the flow, myself. I like the surprise of waking up not knowing what's going to happen that day. Saying that, I can be a creature of habit too, knowing when to expect certain things at certain times. I love your dandelion photo and accompanying poem, btw. :)

  8. I'd love to be able to just go with the flow but I need to have structure and routine otherwise I can't function properly and feel as though I'm constantly playing catch up. I'm a terrible sleeper so I'm often tired, but I go to bed early to make up for the many times I'm awake throughout the night. I think we're all different and we have to find what works for us.

  9. Now my home ed lot are too old for ed, as it were, I find myself much more likely to go with the flow. But I do need to try and get more sleep!

  10. PS I always think of dandelions as dandy lions so it took me a moment to work out why you needed a footnote!


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