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:: introducing rhythm ::

July 7, 2011

Generally, I’m a pretty structured lady.  I like schedules.  I thrive on routine, structure and predictability.  Most of the time, I’m pretty good about creating routine and rhythm for the kids, but between classes, babies, moving and, well….life, I seem to have gotten out of sorts on our general day-to-day functioning.

One of the cornerstones of Waldorf education is rhythm and routine. Having predictable occurrences provide security for the child (and prevent the constant stress of transitions to boot!).  Since I plan on ‘officially’ starting our Grade 3 curriculum next week, I thought I best begin reintroducing elements of Waldorf living that I have somewhat abandoned over the past year as I got my bearings as a mom of 3.

Rhythm, for us, can be broken down into several sub-sets: rhythm of the day, week, and seasons are our general guidelines.

  • Rhythm of the day currently is pretty off-beat.  I’m working to incorporate our quiet reading time back into the daily flow of events.  Hoping to keep transitions to a minimum for Ava, I am keeping a quiet family reading time of 15-30 minutes after we eat lunch.  This is the same time that DEAR happens at school and hopefully keeping that constant will ease the behaviour issues we have been experiencing with transitions to summer vacation and the anticipated transition issues that may happen again when she returns to school in the fall.  Next week, when we begin our main lesson blocks of handwriting, Language Arts, Science and Math, our day will develop even more rhythm.
  • Rhythm of the week encompasses our weekly appointments and ventures.  For example, Monday may be our day to pack up and picnic in the park, Wednesday is Isaac’s speech in Meadow Lake, Thursday is library day and so on.  I try to keep one primary activity a day as Ava still has trouble with sequencing and keeping track of days of the week, months of the year, etc.
  • Rhythm of the year in our house focuses on seasons and holidays.  Today we reviewed the four seasons of the year, established that we are in the season of summer and began constructing our season table in the dining room.  The kids went out to look for items that remind them of summer.  Ava came in with a dragonfly and some flowers from the garden.  She then declared the dragonfly needed a terrarium, so we created one out of a jar, rocks, dirt and moss. She has plans to add to the table the next time she goes fishing with her dad by finding some snail shells at the lake.  I will be working on clay sculpting and wet felting with Ava and Isaac in the next few weeks as part of the handwork practice, so we will create summer creatures that can find a home on our summer table.

Our Summer Table

I am very excited to be venturing on this homeschooling journey over the summer and expect that it will bring fulfillment and wonder to not only the children, but to myself also!
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