I just finished reading a book on Waldorf Education: Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, by Barbara Patterson and Pamela Bradley. I’m still digesting everything (I felt like there were a few too many theories stated as fact), but I did love a lot of it. One of the key tenants of Waldorf Education is the idea of consistent rhythms. That is, that children function better and learn more effectively if they know what to expect from their day / week / year.
The idea of seasonal rhythms is so wonderfully appealing to me. The seasonal celebrations of things like summer berry picking and beach combing, making pies and hot soup in the fall (not that I ever actually make pies), picking out a Christmas tree (and spending hours making presents every year), planting flowers in the spring.
But, I have to admit, my daily & weekly rhythms could use improvement. I try not to schedule too many things into our family’s life (trying to leave room for creative, free play and spontaneity). However, after reading Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, I have been inspired to consider my days more deliberately.
In a Waldorf classroom, kids start every day with a story and song time. They spend time free playing, and come together for lunch. They watch their teacher accomplish her tasks, and help as necessity and interest dictate. In a Waldorf-inspired home, families come together to eat meals, have a regular bedtime routine and regular outside play time. Throughout the week, kids learn the days of the week through the weekly rituals and routines that are accomplished.
I think I could learn from this. Perhaps I would be more on top of my housework if I made a regular effort to clean certain days, or at certain times. Perhaps I could regulate my children’s blood sugar levels (and, therefore, moods) by being more deliberate about eating at the same time every day. And by honouring quiet time. Being more deliberate about play time, too. Allowing myself to play with my kids, because I know that some of my work has been done.
I know we have rhythms. Our morning and bedtimes routines are pretty predictable. And they work. I am just wondering what kind of peace I could give myself by becoming more aware of the rhythms of our days, and more specifically, our weeks. Perhaps I’d have more space (both actual time, and clarity of mind) for my own creative goals, too.
Anyone have this nailed down? Brilliant thoughts (or even not so brilliant thoughts) on rhythms in the home – bring them on!