Scheduling Simplicity

About this time each year, as the hint of fall air surreptitiously emerges, I think about all of the classes and activities available to the kids come September. The options are bountiful and inviting. It's easy to get swept up in scheduling. Sports, dance, music, art-- there are all kinds of classes and activities that would surely be fun and enriching for our kids.

The challenge, as I've come to appreciate, is to keep things simple. As I plan our fall, I am trying to make sure that for every scheduled activity, the kids have double the dose of open, unstructured time. Time to enjoy autumn's spectacle. Time to collect acorns. Time to notice and gather changing leaves. Time to savor fresh apples and spice. Time to carve pumpkins and plan endlessly for Halloween. Time to leaf-jump.

It is so easy for our kids to become ensnared in the dizzying pace of the modern world; so easy to let their "free time" be consumed by commitments and obligations; so challenging to reclaim and protect their childhood need to explore, to imagine, to create.

So while our activity schedule accelerates in fall, we are making room for the simple pleasures of the season, making sure that the rhythm of our days doesn't become too chaotic, and making certain that there is plenty of time to gaze at the sky, and the squirrels, and the sycamores.