Rhythm is something we all have. In Waldorf circles rhythm is a pretty big deal, and it is something we have been working with since we began on our Waldorf home ed path……
So, what is ‘rhythm’ and how do you make it work?
Rhythm. It is everywhere. Consider the seasons, a perfect example of rhythm.. The seasons roll around, bringing their particular gifts, festivals and celebrations. Your week also brings around certain activities, meals and so on. Rhythm occurs naturally and can be worked with to create a flow to suit each individual family.
To get such a rhythm in place takes time. Many people who are new to Waldorf and starting out, expect to just decide which days to paint, bake, etc, this is a great start but there is so much more to it than that.
Look at what you already have, what is working for your family? Is there a particular day you like to shop for food, pay day for example, or before the weekend, is there a day where downtime is needed or a day where you have a regular group in place……
Take a sheet of paper and take time to record your week as you move through it. Note down everything; what you are doing and when, when things feel good and where the flash points are. Then, after a week, look back at what you have down and you should begin to see where things need switching around a bit, or even a lot!
Get your anchors in place, regular mealtimes, in breaths and out breaths, plenty of movement, especially for littler ones, indoor time and outdoor time. Be mindful of too much busyness, for us two groups per week is enough. In theory, for most with under 5s, it is advised to keep to just one, regular group. In Waldorf, the early years are all about home rhythm, play and lots of imitation; think toddlers copying what you do, wanting to ‘help’ around the home etc, combined with a heap of outdoor time and space to run.
In our rhythm we have an adventure day, two group afternoons, a rest day before our ‘working week’ begins, three Kindergarten days; Kindergarten is approximately 45 minutes long, it’s kept very simple and involves circle verses and movement rhymes, a story and a simple craft activity such as drawing/painting, baking, modelling. We have a food shopping trip once each week and a home care day when we do the main bulk of our cleaning.
It all sounds very picture perfect, trust me, it isn’t 😉 We have chosen to work on rhythm, to harness it for the greater good because for this family, it suits us. It works for us and it is how our home ed rolls, otherwise chaos ensues; and I should add here that chaos still does ensue, often, but rhythm makes it easier to remedy and we are walking a path of learning and striving, Also that there is still plenty of room to be spontaneous. There are times we will drop everything and head to the beach or somewhere, but we also have anchors days which just don’t shift.
It is something which evolves, it requires work and you do need to look at it on a regular basis and notice when things might need playing around with again, but the good news is that once you’ve been at this rhythm thing for a while, it does become intuitive
Something we found an amazing help when we first discovered the rhythm aspect of Waldorf is the Rhythm Round Up boot camp course from Waldorf Essentials. It is a free resource, available here , give it a try and discover how rhythm can work for your family