My Rule of 6 Plus One

Once upon a conversation.

It’s New Year. How do you spend your day? I was asked.

I spend my day like a homeschooler. 

Why is that?

Being at home (I’m retired) I’m like a homeschooler. Home is freedom from school, from work.

13 years ago I accidentally logged on a blog of Melissa Wiley, a homeschooler mother. She teaches her children at home. She “borrowed” a Rule of 5 by Charlotte Mason of what to teach children every day. Melissa added one more activity and made it a Rule of 6. Here is a link: Rule of 6 to her original post.

 Here is the First Five:

Good books

Imaginative play

Encounters with beauty (through art, music, and the natural world—this includes our nature walks)

Ideas to ponder and discuss (there’s Miss Mason’s “something to think about”)


Melissa Wiley added: Meaningful work to make it her Rule of 6.

For my part I added one more activity: Writing to make it my own Rule of 6 plus One.

I don’t know how I stumbled on her blog/website. Since that time I used her homeschooling plan of “Tidal Learning”  for my daily activities.

As a way of my modification or explanation:

The Good books can lead to Great Books.

The Imaginative play can include Physical Exercise, Tai Chi and Yoga.

Encounters with beauty can also involve Dramatic Art, Poetry and Dance.

Ideas to ponder and discuss include Creativity and Innovation, “things we think about”

Prayer also can mean Silence and Solitude

Meaningful work includes philanthropy of time and work.

Writing ranges from doodling to writing novels.

My Rule of 6 plus One

Good books

Imaginative play

Encounters with beauty 

Ideas to ponder and discuss 


Meaningful work


I hope you and I can live a simple and harmonious life every day.


a search for solitude

she rises every morning
at no appointed time
misty, pearly white river
she will start playing her guitar
and sing the sad adagios
the past will rise in the mind
the romance, the travel,the breakup
she will sing the memory and absence 
she will  feel her body float 
like kalachuchi flowers in the breeze
the mist will lift its wings
she will hear from faraway, 
sounds of falling  water 
early light will gleam
on top of the tallest trees
the heart in search of a soul
the soul in search of a heart
the rain flows to the sea
harmony of present and past
serenity of the mountain top.


Dancing a circle

You were taught about attentiveness,

awareness for details to the smallest degree.


Sometimes awareness view shadows

to define light, and light

to express darkness,

a new way of looking, blackbirds 

emerging through the mist.


Sometimes you have to close your eyes

to increase symmetry of seeing.


To catch the swirl

you have to ride the currents

white water utterings  

a long frightening sentence 

surrendering to calm and awe downstream.


Before you sit on the table

you wash your hands, hot

and cold, water blending,  

like children holding hands

dancing a circle.