I needed the chaos to encourage myself to realise that my current "laid back parenting", wasn't fulfilling our needs. The children seemed to have stagnated; their play is frequently based around running around, screaming, teasing, screaming some more and a degree of silliness that I was finding increasingly difficult to tolerate.
I also had been reading Carrie's blog over at The Parenting Passageway, and from there searching the net for information on Waldorf Kindergarten, reading my own notes I'd taken when reading books on the Waldorf approach etc, and late last night I wrote a daily rhythm - initially I got a tad carried away, and timetabled every minute from 8:30am-7:00pm. Laughed at myself for such ridiculousness; that sort of schedule would simply have me clock watching and was far too rigid for what I truly wanted.
Finally, I created a rhythm based around the routine already in place for my mindee.
- Arrival: Songtime / Yoga.
- Free play / outdoor play.
- Snack time
- Activity / project suitable for both children.
- Free play / outdoor play
- Tidy up before lunch.
- Lunch. (C naps for approx 2 hours after lunch)
- "Main Lesson": Seasonal Crafting.
- Quiet time / stories.
- Park/ nature walk/foraging.
- Song & music
I've noticed Rye has taken some developmental leaps very recently; his verbal skills are wonderful and he's a lot more chatty - LOL sometimes it feels like he never stops yakking! He's finally using the pedals on the tractor, he's found a way to swing himself on the swings:
But as I say, the children seem to be stuck in a rut. Their play quickly spirals into squabbling and silliness and they spend an inordinate amount of time running in and out of the house screaming at each other - enough to send me searching for chocolate or alcohol.. heck both! There are moments of loveliness of course. During tidy up time C will pick up the train tracks and give them to Rye who is waiting by the basket to put them away, same with the cars.
I'm also very aware that Rye will be four in four short months, and while I have no intention of introducing academics; I do want to encourage activities, crafting, building up on his knowledge of nature, and help him gain more confidence in his abilities. Encourage and give oportunities for further development of gross and fine motor skills; essentially the building blocks of more formal academic work - the way the years are passing, he'll be 7 before I know it :-)
Naturally, my plan to implement the new rhythm went awry this morning because I slept in and it was the sound of the rubbish being collected that propelled me out of bed, mere moments before my mindee's mum knocked on the door. I'm not a morning person, it takes me a while to vanquish the fog of sleep and feel an ethusisam for the day - so today's rude awakening set things back rather dramatically.
Not a complete loss, I had last night actually planned today's "main lesson", including, finally, painting the clay cut outs etc Rye and I made weeks ago! Neither planned activity happened but I was determined to do something with Rye; so we did enjoy outdoor play; both in the garden and the park; and I made a mental note to go back in the next day or so to harvest some of these beautiful hawthorn berries.
And after that I decided it really was time to cut Rye's hair; he's shouting "Smile".
Ahhhh much better, can see his eyes now!
I'm hoping adding rhythm to the day, while still allowing for flexibility to go with the flow when required, will revitalise the children's play and their imaginations and renew the fun and joy of our homelife.