Friday, 15 October 2010


After loosely living by our weekly rhythm for a little while, I've decided to re-jig a little, and the addition of another minded child has necessitated looking again at our rhythms, anyway.

I am a bit of a coward, the thought of painting with 3 children does fill me with dread, so I have moved that activity to the latter part of the week, when the 2nd minded child is not in the setting, and as we now go to a new toddler group on a Monday, and they have a painting table, I do not feel the least bit guilty about my cowardice.
I've also included circle times into our daily rhythm; essentially it's story time, followed by songs and movements.  The children are quickly adapting and sit expectantly when I say its "Circle Time" and they, well, pariticularly Rye, join in with the songs I've made up for lunchtime, tidy up time, and any other time I sing.  On a morning when A arrives I sing "Welcome to our house," over and over while clapping my hands rhythmically.  It seems to help him settle in after the upset of his mum leaving.  Rye, bless him, sings this to A whenever he's upset about something.  It is very sweet.

I think I mentioned we've joined the Nature Dective Club I wasn't sure initially if it was worth the subscription as so much is available for free on the site.  Happily it's worth the money, Rye enjoys receiving the email and we talk about the challenge, look at the other suggestions for actiivities and decide what we want to do.  Brilliant.   As a pagan I am very keen for Rye to develop a love and respect for nature, to feel its rhythms and to be aware of the life and interconnectedness of everything.  Happily he's now of the age where he enjoys the process of building up the season table, of collecting things from nature, the crafting and arts.  Have to say, I'm really loving this age.

I've also added in a rather vague, "Discovering the world" activity.  We have quite a few encyclopedias, a large atlas book, that is also a jigsaw of each continent and again I think Rye is of the age where he will enjoy looking and chatting about the things we read about.  He also enjoys nature programmes, so this would be an ideal time to watch one with him.

The beginning of the week does see us being out more - I'm finding this is very necessary with 3 children in a small house.  So I suspect visits to the ducks will become a very regular jaunt; and when that new playpark is completed, Radnor Park will make the ideal place to spend a morning with the children. 

The more I play with waldorf rhythms and general ideas on early years "education" the more I'm falling in love with it.  The singing has been a revelation; the children love it, and it helps me to remain calm.  Writing down my rhythm with the suggested daily activities is a useful prompt, and rather than be restrictive, is a useful aid to creativity.  After all the activity of modelling on a Monday, could involve creating thigns with treeblocks, using the beeswax, making playdoh, moulding  sandcastles etc, going out and building little elf homes, or using toilet rolls and empty cereal packets to make something fabulous.  Tuesdays are sensory play - this can be playing with water, or using plastic bottles and putting in different pulses/rice etc to see what sounds are made.  A tray filled with deccicated coconut and playing with patterns and natural food dyes.  Making gloop, the shaving cream and paint mixed together to make "puffy paint".  Plus exploring textures of different objects etc.

I like this freedom, I've read musings that "Rhythm" is another name for " Routine".  I disagree.  Rhythm for me and for Rye is about setting an atmostphere, it's about honouring the whole of us, feeding our creativity our thirst of knowledge, our love of the outdoors.  Its essentially about inspiration.  Within the rhythm there are little routines; meals times are pretty much set because that is what the children need.  Bedtime is mostly set in a routine, bath, nappy and pjs on, stories and cuddles then the candle is lit, (which I blow out about half an hour later once Rye is asleep).

Rhythm is the day breathing.


Dawn said...

Your rhythm is sounding lovely and I agree it's different to routine, it can evolve.

Imogen is a great lover of nature, animals, the World around us and information books and maps are devoured here. One of her favourites is a big map book of the World with pages of the different continents, etc each with pictures of animals and places in all the countries, etc. A simple book that brings such pleasure and she learns so much from it and it leads her to want to know more ...
The nature detective club is brilliant for inspiration, well loved here for a couple of years now.

I'm not sure I could do painting with three little ones either, one is okay ;-)


sue said...

Thank you for your lovely post, I agree that rhythm is very different from routine.
sue x

arwen_tiw said...

Yes, yes! This exactly!

Routine is set to the clock, based around "ought" and "should", and makes no allowance for the emotional ups and downs of the people driven by it - it pushes the person into the mold. Rhythm is set to the activity, based around seeking joy, works with the natural openings and closings through the day, and changes depending on the time and season and energy of the people participating in the dance - it pushes the person towards the beat.


Arlenkern74 said...

lovely post Joxy thank you for sharing x

becki said...

Lovely post. We've just joined the Nature Detectives too. It's fab :)

Jacqui said...

Enjoyed reading about your days - it certainly seems to be working for you - and what a lovely welcome for the little boy. xx