Recently I’ve been contemplating what route we will take for educating our children. We know for certain that we will home school, but there are so many different options it seems.. Do we want to take the more common classical route, or perhaps the more radical “un-schooling” approach? I think I tend to be somewhere in between. One method in particular that I’ve always been intrigued with is Waldorf education. I’m still learning about it, so I will tell you right here and now, I am no expert on the subject! I can’t say I completely agree with every aspect of it, but at least for the early years/grades, I like the focus on developing a creative imagination through simple and natural elements. I also appreciate how it respects the integrity and innocence of early childhood play, and doesn’t try to rush or rob our children of the simple pleasures in life.
Anyway.. More on all that later.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to give the boys a little more order in their day-to-day lives.. Not as in a rigid time schedule, but just a simple routine to help guide us through our day…
Two words I keep seeing in my research of Waldorf education, and I think do a good job at defining the sort of routine I’m looking for; Rhythm and repetition.
Dictionary definitions of the word “rhythm” include;
*An ordered recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements in the flow of sound and silence in speech
*Movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements
*A regularly recurrent quantitative change in a variable biological process
Children thrive on familiarity and consistency. Rhythm offers both of those things, along with peace and security, as it gives the child a sense of what to expect in a day through a gentle flow of events. They feel safe and reassured, always knowing what comes next; to have a predictable day; a rhythm they can count on.
I’ll give you an example; 2.5 year old child is playing happily with his toys, when parent finally decides and abruptly announces- its nap time! At this point I can pretty much bet that the tired child is going to have a “tantrum”, meltdown, or at the very least be very disappointed! So parent says- “Hey, what’s your deal? You take a nap every single day. This is nothing new, so why the reaction?” BUT- there was no rhyme or reason to the order of the child’s day, so he had no warning or “heads up”. If instead, he had a daily routine set in place; a rhythm to fallow; he would just know that every day after lunch, we wash our hands, read a book and then take a nap, etc.. it would be expected. He would be mentally prepared for it, and much more likely to cooperate!
My desire is to establish a daily and weekly rhythm (read; routine) for myself, and then a separate one for the boys. After all, if I don’t have order to my day, how am I supposed to offer it my children?
Daily rhythms include the tasks and events that take place every-single-day. The stuff that just happens; We eat, we sleep, we play etc… It does not include set time limits or restrictions, and it is as flexible as it needs to be in any given day; It’s a guide! Weekly rhythm will offer more of an over-all theme for each day of the week. Rhythms will (as they should) morph and change as you go through different seasons of life.
So here’s my take on what this might look like applied to a day/week. I’m going to try to keep this simple, and not go into too much detail. Keep in mind that my daily/weekly rhythm will inter-weave with the boy’s, so if it looks like there are major gaps in one (ie; it looks like all I do is cook and clean), there really aren’t. Please also note; this is me thinking “out-loud” as I write. I’m still trying to process it all… bear with me!
My Daily Rhythm~
*Wake up (always a good way to start the day ;-))
*Drink a tall glass of water. Make coffee/tea
*Get dressed and ready for the day
*Personal quiet time
*Make breakfast/eat/give vitamins
*Dishes/wipe off table/lunch prep (does anything need to be pulled out of the freezer to thaw? etc..)
*Dishes/wipe off table/dinner prep
*Family quiet time; Read, nap/rest, etc..
*Start ferments/soaking/sprouting in the kitchen
*Cleaning/household chore of the day (not sure if this should be in the am.. but I was trying to keep the am free for more focused time with the boys)
*Dishes/wipe off table/counter-tops/sweep
*(get boys ready for and in bed)
*Sleep! preferably before midnight 😉
Boy’s Daily Rhythm~
*Play with toys or Praise Baby DVD
*Supervised Play (Hands-on activity with mommy)
*CJ goes down for nap. Mommy spends some one-on-one time with BE; puzzles, reading, etc..
*Family quiet time; Nap/rest
*Bath (when needed)/jammies/teeth brushed
*Clean up toys
*Story time (“When The World Is Ready For Bed” is a favorite, and come to think of it; the perfect example of a bed-time rhythm! :-))
My Weekly Rhythm~
*Monday; Kitchen (food-prep/cooking/baking)
*Tuesday; Laundry (change bed sheets/towels)
*Wednesday; Floors (sweep/mop)
*Saturday; Laundry (make sure everyone’s church clothes are ready)
Boy’s Weekly Rhythm~
*Thursday; Drawing (markers/crayons/pencils)
*Friday; Gardening (playing in dirt/mud)
These are all just basic ideas. Some are subject to change/be rearranged as I actually apply them to our day/week. Every family will have a unique rhythm. Embrace it! and enjoy the peace it brings to your home ❤