original photo by John Goode

I’ve had the question above pinned to the edge of our memory work board for at least eight months now.  The question, aroused by a variety of sources, bothered me because I was pretty sure the liturgy of our day did NOT wholly reflect what we value.  I felt it was crucial to our well being as a family - when the routines of our day don't match who we are, rest is not found - yet I couldn't figure out how to address it.

These things take a lot of mulling-over time, it seems.

We first have to clarify all our terms in this context, particularly liturgy.  The dictionary definition is this: a rite or body of rites prescribed for public worship; or: a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances.

Rolling those two definitions together in the context of daily life in general (and the home in particular), I understand the word liturgy to refer to the rhythms, habits, and practices around which we order our day.  What comes first?  To what do we give the most time?  For what do we carve out space, no matter the chaos of any particular day?  And what do we squeeze into the fringe hours and sometimes drop all together?


Next we need to know what we value in the first place?  I cannot know if my day is ordered around what I value if I don't even know for sure what my values are.

I’ve always been heavily influenced by the philosophies of nineteenth century classical educator Charlotte Mason.  Last summer and fall, I spent a great deal of time immersing myself deeper in her ideas.  Principles like "Education is the science of relations," and "We allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and 'spiritual' life of children," have been swirling around in my head ever since then.  During the 2015-2016 academic year, I also started studying the concept of Leadership Education, also known as Thomas Jefferson Education, which has its roots in (among other things) the idea of mentoring students along a path to maturity.

Discussing these philosophies in detail is beyond the scope of this post, but please do contact me if you'd like resources for further investigation.

Early this year, I added to the brain swirling when I participated in Sarah Mackenzie’s Master class, Focus and Align.  In this class, Sarah walks you through clarifying your end goal, your vision for what your student will be like when they leave your home, and how you and they will reflect on their education and life.  (This class is available inside the membership section of Read Aloud Revival site.)  This class has helped me mesh together the things I have been studying and desiring for my home and my homeschool into a more coherent vision.  Near the end of the class, Sarah helps her participants create a "Rule of 6," in which you get crystal clear on the values that will govern your home and life.  (The Rule of Six idea was inspired by this blog post by Melissa Wiley.)

You know by now my inclination for choosing words that are powerful to me and using them as overarching goals for my life.  This rule of six business is really just another spin on the "one word" strategy so, of course, I love it.  Also of course, I couldn't settle on just six words.  I managed to get Mr. Cyrus involved in mulling over these ideas, and this is what we came up with.

Cyrus Family Values

original photo by Ronan Shenhav

The meshing of these ideas has helped me reorient our daily life so that it flows more authentically from who we are as a family and as homeschoolers, and allows us to truly live and learn from a place of rest.  All the details on that in the next post.

Other posts in this series:


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