Monday, April 4, 2011

Good Monday morning to you dear readers, or whatever time of day it is where you are!

Since you are asking for more on rhythm and on responding to children's conflicts, I'll make that my starting point this week.

~ this morning's sunrise ~

My Daily Rhythm

This morning I:
:: awoke at 5:30
:: enjoyed one hour of quiet/meditative time/watched the sunrise outdoors with the dog
:: started a load of laundry
:: fed the animals
:: packed up twenty samosas for my teen to take to school
:: watered the plants
:; woke up my teen, sent him off to school
:: prepared for homeschooling
:: organized dinner

:: Now: I am writing
:: Next: We will do "school" 9:30 ~ 12:30  (this includes an outside obstacle course and garden time)
:: Mid-day: We'll have lunch and set up the soup stock
:: After lunch: Quiet rest time, knitting
:: Mid afternoon: Outside play, prepare dinner
:: Dinner: walk after dinner
:: Bath
:: Bed

My Weekly Rhythm
We are homeschooling second grade with the Waldorf curriculum and I am on sabbatical from the Morning Garden. The rhythms I established in having a home based program for the past seven years and working in the Waldorf kindy before that, are still in place and work well with the Waldorf grade school curriculum, for the most part.

I do find it more of a challenge to keep our rhythm flowing when I am not working! Does that make sense? With work, there is no choice, no maybe, I have to prepare and be ready and the boundaries of our days are very clear. Without that, everything is possible and it is up to me to hold the reins tight and secure places in our days and continue to mark the transitions for just the two of us (and the dog and the cats) during the day. It's really hard!

On the other hand, we can snuggle in bed with a book if we want to, or go off and visit the newborn sheep and calves down the road, or check the maple sap buckets or bake cookies, whenever we want to! So very sweet with a child at home! Ahhhhh...but the rhythm.....

So dear Mamas, I have so much compassion for you who are coming to this or struggling with this, it is hard! We must to be organized and give it our all and be so very kind and compassionate to ourselves at the same time. Mothering is hard work. Homemaking is hard work. It is ceaseless, often unrecognized and we don't even get bathroom breaks! Yet we are growing human beings. What a task is that!

With the daily rhythm, my personal focus for the next twenty one days will be on "punctuating" the daily activites with song and ritual, since I forget to sing when I am not working. "Punctuate" is a term my friend Denice uses to mark what comes between activities. I like it. I am discovering that to carry this rhythm with "punctuation" is so much easier to do in groups, and especially in a school, where so many are carrying the rhythm, compared to life at home, which requires being "on" and remembering, until it becomes a habit, which is said to take twenty one days. Rudold Steiner had some interesting words on breaking and making habits. It asks us to dig deep within, stand tall, stay on task and discipline ourselves. What an example we can be to our children! (phew!) What will forces!

This is my early childhood rhythm for the week which has become central to our homeschooling and homemaking rhythm.

Monday: Soup stock making, turn soil over in the garden, wash bed linens
Tuesday: Soup making, iron place mats and napkins
Wednesday: Coloring with beeswax crayons,  hem new pants
Thursday: Baking
Friday: Painting with wet-on-wet watercolor. dust and polish furniture

As for toddler conflict, I'll come back to that later and let the focus for today be self discipline which is the heart of any "discipline" we bring to children and the very root of rhythm.

Is there a habit you'd like to establish in the next twenty one days?

If you are interested in a discussion group, I moderate one here on Waldorf early chilhood, it is open to all questions of daily life with young children:


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