Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Daily Rhythms

A few months ago, I found a page about establishing daily rhythms in the home with young children a la Waldorf. I have seen that when we get into a rhythm, the boys are less restless, play more on their own, focus better, and have more patience. But it is so hard to tell in the big picture until we commit, I think. I love the idea of a rhythm, but I know that it will be MY challenge to follow through and commit until it becomes us, is natural, and we mold it to fit us and be ours.

I think if we can all get into a rhythm, then the day to day learning moments for the 4 year old will be more comfortable. He really wants to learn and begs me for it...he is a book lover, wants to know how to read (how come I cannot read the words mom???), and grills me on letters, facts, information - and he loves mazes, building projects, and learning about new animals and all that - non stop. He wants to memorize, learn, dissect, and discuss and not by himself, I have to help, be there, listen, participate. He always has a specific idea of what he wants to explore and even keeps a "list" of books and activities in his head. He also wants to know when everything is going to happen and what the plan is at all times (by the time he is 5 I expect to see him with a palm pilot holding the schedule he has created for me in hand as he follows me around....check!). The 2 year old is so chaotic, that we need something more, so that the big brother gets what he needs and wants while the little one is included and I am not feeling like we are being rigid.

Here is one rhythm plan I read which seems like a nice launch pad to work from:
  • wake, breakfast
  • exercise (walk/circle time) 45 minutes
  • creative play 1 hour
  • snack time 30 minutes
  • story time 30 minutes
  • play outside 1 hour
  • lunch 30 minutes
  • nap/rest 1 hour
  • daily activity (bake, shop, garden, etc.) 1-2 hours
  • snack time 30 minutes
  • play outside 1 hour
  • storytime, songs, finger plays 30 minutes
  • dinner 30 minutes
  • bathtime, bed prep 30 minutes
  • bedtime stories 30 minutes
  • sleep
I know they all say this is a rough example, fit it to your family, work to find your own rhythm...but you have to start somewhere, and I think that adapting a relaxed version of this might be best to start with to see how it works for us. I just need to personally commit, and worry less about "work" during the day, and be more present with the little guys in the moment - and I think this will help.

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