Friday, November 6, 2009

Daily Rhythms

The Waldorf theory of learning puts a lot of emphasis on daily rhythms, structuring the young child's day alternating periods of contraction or focus with periods of expansion or freewill. I try to pay attention to our need for these rhythms. The days I do best with this I find that our learning is more focused and child-led and our free times are argument free and pleasant. Wednesday we had a particularly good day. Here is what our rhythm was like Wednesday:

6am up and out of bed! Into the shower. Dressed and ready for our day by 7. Contraction.
7am vitamins, made coffee, lunch for daddy, drank oj (with cod liver oil) ...... kids played nicely while I made oatmeal, unloaded the dishwasher and put a load of towels in the washer. Expansion.
8am breakfast. Lots of talk about what was in store for us that day. Contraction. More freeplay while I cleaned up the kitchen, decided what was for dinner and checked my email.
9am. Normally school starts for us at 9 but S. was sick and so was R. Low fever, nothing too terrible. Outside we went. Watered our star fruit tree and garden, gathered acorns and bark for our nature table, dug some holes on the beach, looked for black ants for our ant farm without any luck. Contraction.
10:30 snack. Black bean hummus with naan and carrots. R. eats hers strait off a spoon which makes mommy very happy.
11am Rest time. R. sleeps for about an hour and a half. T. watches some Sesame Street while I catch up on a few things, clean the kitchen again, switch the laundry, facebook. Then we stuff a few cloves into kumquats.
12:30pm R is up early. This time change has affected naptime. We make spinach smoothies and hop into the stroller for a nice long walk. We walk toward downtown looking at fallen leaves and flowers, searching for pinecones. We wander into the Habitat for Humanity thrift store, the St. Vincent dePaul thrift store and a used book store. While out I realize R. has developed a cough and is congested in her lungs. We walk back home. In all, about a 2 1/2 mile walk. Not bad! We talk a lot about opposites. "What's the opposite of car, mommy?" "Well, the opposite of fast car is slow car!" "That's silly!"
2:30pm We get home and directly into a steamy hot shower and bath. We watch the plastic bathtub fish swirl with the jets. We paint eachother with water and a paintbrush. I steam up the bathroom really well and we play in the shower and when they are sick of that we play on the bathroom floor. The steam is good for all of us. Expansion.
3:30pm Playtime. T. and R. play nicely (contraction) while I start dinner, fold laundry and pick up.
5pm Daddy is home and mommy is ready to relax! That won't come for a couple more hours still. No formal lessons today but still a day rich in learning and interaction.

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