Discovering Waldorf – “Rhythms”

I have just been having too much Summer fun! Discovering Waldorf has suffered a little and I’m sorry for the lack of new guests lately. I have every intention of having a new post for you next week, but until then, please enjoy this great post from the past.
I also wanted to quickly bring your attention to my new Discovering Waldorf button above. Please feel free to share this link on your blog. All you have to do is save the above image to your desktop. Then, add it as a gadget ‘picture’ on your blog, linking to
https://themagiconions.com/search/label/Discovering%20Waldorf
in the ‘link’ space of the gadget. Pressings this button on your blog should then take the reader to the list of Discovering Waldorf posts. Thank you for sharing.
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I have the honor of introducing Nicole, from Frontier Dreams, today. When I asked Nicole to write a post for Discovering Waldorf, the first thing that came to my mind was how her life reflects the gentle rhythm of her home. She really seems to have worked out a clam flow to her family’s day. Knowing the rhythm of their day, and what to expect next, is wonderfully soothing for a child. Thank you, Nicole, for introducing us to this lovely concept…
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Rhythm in the Home by Nicole – Frontier Dreams

There are numerous aspects to a Waldorf way of life that are appealing to me, but the one that I hold closest to my heart, is rhythm.

Rhythm is the daily, weekly and yearly recurring activities in our lives. There is something so magical about such a simple concept. Children thrive on familiarity and consistency. It is a sense of security for them, they feel safe and reassured to always know what comes next, to have a predictable day, a rhythm they can count on. My children remind me of this every single day.
Is rhythm just a fancy word for schedule. NO. While they have similarities, rhythm is more about a gentle flow, a knowing of what comes next, whereas a schedule is more rigid and by the clock. I sometimes have to remind myself that rhythm is not cut and dry. It is not some regimen that needs to be followed strictly, “to a T.” That will just drive me crazy and destroy the peacefulness that rhythm is supposed to bring about. For example, it is not important for us to have lunch at noon exactly every single day but for us to have lunch after we have read our mealtime blessing and before some quiet play time. This way my children always know what is coming next and knowing what to expect makes them feel relaxed, safe and happy.

Rhythm already surrounds us all. The flow of the universe. The beating of our hearts…but nowadays it takes a conscious effort to bring it into our home lives. As Rahima Baldwin Dancy (Midwife and Waldorf early childhood educator) put it, “Doing things rhythmically simplifies life.”I couldn’t agree more. Our family rhythm has saved us on more than one occasion.

I am often asked how I introduced rhythms into our lives. I started with simple verses and songs throughout the day to lead us from one thing to another. When we wake up and my children are still half in the dream state, we say our morning verse. This helps to gently wake them up and prepare them for getting out of bed to make breakfast. It is not an abrupt transition but rather, a gentle flow. Once I felt this new rhythm was comfortably established I was able to start adding more daily activities into our rhythm… an activity for each day of the week, and so on. I took it slowly but surely, just one step at a time, to not overwhelm myself or the rest of my family. When things started to move more fluidly and really came together easily, is when I knew I had a good rhythm that worked for our family.

Of course our rhythms have been sculpted and changed over the years with the arrival of our youngest daughter and our oldest becoming more grounded in this world, but that’s the beauty of rhythm. It’s fluid enough that changes can be gently added. We recently had a major change in rhythm by taking a ten-day drive cross-country to move from Virginia to Oregon. Just the thought of my husband and I, our two daughters, two dogs and three cats all in the same van every day for ten days in a row made my head spin. Thankfully rhythm rescued us. Our days were long, fun and a bit exhausting, but our nights, oh, our nights were perfect. We followed our nightly rhythm, just as if we were back in our home, and everything returned to normal no matter how out of our element we were.

While every family’s rhythm will be different, I thought I’d share an overview of ours. This is just a brief glimpse into our lives and is not a list of our rhythm in it’s entirety.
Daily rhythms include:
waking verse
mealtimes
activities of the day (i.e. if it’s Monday then we bake)
cleaning
quiet time
laundry
tending to our animals
outside time
bedtime
Weekly rhythms include :
Monday is baking day
Tuesday is painting day
Wednesday is handwork day
Thursday is drawing day
Friday is crafting day
Saturday is gardening day (when it is not gardening season we go for nature walks or hiking on this day)
Sunday is resting day (a day just spent at home as a family)


Monthly rhythms include:
hand-washing our woolens (2 times a month)
beeswaxing our wooden bowls (the last Sunday of the month)
errands & grocery shopping (1 – 2 times a month)


Yearly and seasonal rhythms include:
birthdays
holidays
planting our garden
travel

If you are interested in incorporating more rhythm into your home, a wonderful resource isYou Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. I still thumb through that book quite often. Another great resource is Beyond The Rainbow Bridge by Barbara J. Patterson. For verses and songs that help with the daily transitions of one thing to another, I have found “Seven Times the Sun” by Shea Darian, and “This is the way we wash-a-day” by Mary Thienes-Schunemann to be my ‘go to’ resources. I have also found other Waldorf families to be extremely helpful, supportive and resourceful when I hit snags in our rhythm or just simply need others to relate to.
Warmly,

Nicole

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Thank you Nicole, for this wonderful wisdom. I have a feeling that our home might be a calmer place for all from now on, if I can keep the naughty clock from always sneaking in.

Please visit Nicole’s blog, Frontier Dreams. It is a gorgeous place to spend some time, the kind of place you want to curl up in, with a warm quilt, hot coco and a cat purring on your lap. I always come away from reading her words with a feeling of peace in my heart.


Look here for the other fantastic posts in the Discovering Waldorf Series.

Blessings and magic to you today, Nicole… thank you for sharing your rhythms with us today.

Lastly, I’d like to share a little poem found on Nicole’s blog…

Cooking and cleaning can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I’m nursing my baby and babies don’t keep.

-Unknown

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12 Responses

  1. Thanks for reposting this! I loved Nicole’s words on rhythm, and appreciate it as we’re working on (allowing?) rhythm in our home as well.

    carrie

  2. Thank you for sharing this again, and thank you everyone for your kind comments <3 <3

    I posted a bit more about our errand/grocery shopping timeline on my blog when this was originally posted. You can find it here: http://frontierdreams.blogspot.com/2010/02/monthly-rhythm-question.html (believe me I know it sounds crazy! hee,hee.)

    We have one vehicle so my girls and I spend most of our time at home or places within walking distance. HTH!!
    XOXO

  3. I’ve been really enjoying the discovering Waldorf series (so far, since I only discovered this blog a few months back), but this is one post I had not seen yet. Thank you for re-posting it. I’ve been trying to find a rhythm at home, one that works for us. And while it’s still a work in progress, it’s already made our lives at home SO much better.

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful words and wisdom Nicole.
    Stephanie xx

  4. I’m enjoying this series too. I’ve read several times about rhythm at home. This is the first time that I’ve really understood about it not being a schedule. Far more gentle. Thank you for reposting it.

  5. Thank you for posting this, as I am new to your blog and new to the Waldorf learning philosophy.

    This description of rhythms really reminds me of nature. The continuous cycle, flow, and ebb of time, days, nights, and seasons. And how we can embrace that natural movement, appreciate it, and prepare for the coming of a new day, by caring for your belongings, putting away foods for the winter, and making new things we need. Beautiful really. Thanks!

  6. [color=#447755]Interesting page! I haven’t landed on themagiconions.blogspot.com before in my surfing!I found very useful information about
    [/color] [url=http://nuscin-online.info]akne[/url] [color=#447755]here… Keep up the hard work![/color]

  7. I’m so glad this was reposted because somehow in my explorations of this site I’d missed it. For me, rhythm is sacred and weaves peace and enchantment into all of our lives, from the beginning right up to the end. I loved reading about all the different ways it can be honoured in a day, a month and a year. Beautiful.

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