Monday 31 January 2011

A daily rhythm

The first month of the new year is ending. I find myself reflecting on our themes for the year - joy and rhythm - both of which have been daily on my mind this month. I learned to take joy in our quiet life, but rhythm - ah, rhythm. I have been asking myself the questions, but the answers are slow in coming. How can we best find routine in our days? How can we mark the passage of time throughout the year? What traditions can we bring into our home to bear witness to it? What are our priorities, and what can we prune to support them?

This weekend, we took our first steps toward a more intentional daily rhythm. Following the "My Day Timer" project in our Clubhouse Jr magazine (a Christmas gift from his Oma), we created a foam clock. The clock has one picture per hour; each picture corresponds to the hour's activity. We adjusted the original instructions to meet our typical day, starting with breakfast at 9:00am and ending with bedtime at 8:00pm. With lunch at 12:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm, we filled in the rest with our various activities - reading, playing, cleaning up, and so on.

9:00 Breakfast
10:00 Reading
11:00 Colouring
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Rest
2:00 Play
3:00 Outside
4:00 Snack
5:00 Play
6:00 Supper
7:00 Clean-up
8:00 Bedtime

The boy is enamored with his clock. He refers to it throughout the day, and this thing is pretty much gospel to him. When Mom says it's rest time? Whine protest whine. But when the clock says it's rest time? He's resting.

Man. I needed one of these things, like, a year ago.

So far so good, but it's only been a couple days. My concern is our (more specifically, his) flexibility on the days when our routine needs to be changed - our Thursday playgroup, weekends when Daddy is home, busy days or slow days when things just don't flow as they normally do. Still, it provides us with a starting point, and it provides my routine-loving preschooler with something tangible and interactive to refer to.

In the meantime, I'm already plotting an upgrade. Interchangeable options...velcro or magnets...weekly or monthly instead of (in addition to?) daily...we'll see.

But this? This is a good start. A movement towards rhythm. A comforting predictability.

One more step on our journey towards intentional living.


  1. Try using Velcro for the pieces and make extra pieces to show a change in the schedule or each morning set up the clock according to what will be done that day.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. :) I think we will do that eventually, once we get used to loosely following this set daily routine. I'm afraid if I make it too interchangeable right from the start, that we'll end up no further ahead than we were to begin with!

  3. I love that clock. What a wonderful idea! I might try something like that when Grayson's just a little bit older.

  4. This is a great idea. I think I might need a clock like that for myself...hmm. This is something I'll look into doing in a few years.