Inside – Know about what is Waldorf rhythm and how it is in sync with the rhythm of many natural happenings. How do Waldorf rhythm work and the benefits of following rhythm over schedules or routines? Plus, some tips for parents to implement Waldorf rhythm at home.
Rhythm is something that is all around us. From our heartbeat to the change of seasons, everything happens in a rhythmic flow. Just like pure nature, the fresh minds of our children love order and rhythm. Waldorf method of education leverages this intuitive idea of rhythm as their principle concept. They base all their philosophies on the ‘rhythm concept’.
Are you a parent wondering what is Waldorf rhythm and if you can implement it at your home for your child? Simply read on, I have got you covered.
What Is Waldorf Rhythm?
A rhythm by itself is something that repeats in nature – a natural repetition of something. Just like how the seasons, spring, summer, fall & winter, repeat over and over again in order, we have several other natural rhythms flowing seamlessly around us.
Waldorf’s educational approach uses the best of this concept to help young children learn and adapt to life.
According to Waldorf philosophy, breathing in and out rhythm is considered crucial for everyone from kids to adults. The work-play-rest rhythm is very important not just for learning but also for leading a better & healthy life for years to come.
Setting up a rhythm implies you plan what needs to be done first, after that, and after that & so on. So, you basically plan the order of things to do, not a fixed schedule.
The concept is to create a rhythm for your child’s day. This rhythm is much similar to breathing – inhale & exhale. You plan on activities with alternating focus, one that is more focused & stimulating and one that is very relaxing & ground.
This way, you establish a rhythm of activities or chores and repeat it in a rhythmic way.
Why Follow The Daily Rhythm In Wadorf?
While orchestrating the Waldorf rhythm, you will be planning activities and sequencing them in particular order rather than at a specific time of the day.
Following a pattern or a sequence in daily chores and activities makes life more predictable and natural for kids.
The reason is simple. We are destined to follow a rhythm naturally – inside and out.
From the soothing rhythm of your heartbeat to the repetitive inhalation and exhalation of your breath, rhythm is everywhere inside us.
There are also some fascinating external rhythms. The day and night rhythm, the 7-day weekly rhythm, the rhythm of seasons, etc…
This regular and expected flow of events is what gives us peace and comfort. Especially for children, it gives a great sense of solace. Unlike adults, they have almost zero control over the environment.
They don’t decide where they want to be or how they want to be. But, a steady pattern throughout a period will help them expect things and feel comfortable with them.
Rhythm Over Schedules
Though the concept of rhythm feels similar to schedules, there are many differences between them.
Firstly, the Waldorf rhythm is much more flexible than the schedule. Juggle with the pattern a little bit and you soon realize that it doesn’t affect your children in any harmful way.
Secondly, Waldorf rhythm is internalized by kids subconsciously and pretty early on as compared to schedules. Schedules tend to overwhelming children.
However, Waldorf rhythms are all very natural and intuitive for kids to follow. They don’t feel like they’re following any particular system or framework. It just feels right.
How to Create Waldorf Rhythm?
The best part about Waldorf rhythm is that it’s very simple to set up. No need to be wacky about planning activities out and sticking to them on a daily basis.
There are 2 steps involved in creating a rhythm for your children.
1. Plan a daily or weekly rhythm
2. Visual reminder to keep the flow going
Plan a rhythm
The most important part of the design a rhythm for your kids and your family is understanding what suits you and your family. Don’t implement blindly what other mom does. Know what goes well for your family.
First off: think of what you do all day/week normally. You may be surprised to see there are already some patterns in it. Say, you clean your house on Monday evenings. Dine out on Saturday nights. Shop groceries on Thursdays & so on.
Rethink what all you do and if you can plan things in such a way they follow a rhythm.
Setting up a rhythm means you don’t give the activity a specific time slot. But, you plan it in an order relative to some other activity.
Planning Daily Activities For The Rhythm
There are some activities that you and your kids do daily. List out all the works or activities your kids do from getting up in the morning to going to sleep at night.
It would include – getting up, brushing, breakfast, bath, lessons, nap, lunch, playtime, dinner, brushing, sleep. Make a rhythm of these activities. Include daily activities, lessons, classes, playtimes, etc.. depending on what is relevant.
The best part is You don’t need to give a time frame for it like get up at 7 AM, breakfast at 8 AM, etc.. Just assign them in order. First, get up, then brush, then have breakfast, & such.
You basically give pillars to a day. The most important part of this is to make sure not to stress things. Just be gentle and breathe into and out of the rhythm naturally.
Here are few components that you can include as a part of your daily rhythm.
The time for you!
This is absolutely needed even if the rhythmic plan is just for your kids. It may be before your kids wake up or somewhere in between when you can be alone. No matter how small the time is, make sure you do something relaxing. This is basically the breath-out time for you – the passive state of relaxation.
Ideally, starting your day with this is beneficial and can keep you stress-free throughout the day. It can be anything like meditating, exercising, reading, taking a hot bath, or wading in the tub for some time.
Having a rhythm for your meal times can be the most supporting pillar for a day. Make a routine where you will pray before eating or some peaceful activity that eventually becomes your ritual before mealtimes.
With such a ritual in place, kids will know in advance that next is meal time. And make themselves prepared for a calm mealtime.
For small kids, this can be their nap time. For bigger kids, teens, or adults, it can simply be some alone time doing a relaxing chore or nothing at all.
Try to keep this practice of napping or resting as long as you can as the kids grow up. This is the time where the body relaxes and gets back all lost energy.
Try as much as possible to include a nature-related activity or some outdoor activity in a day. It may not be always possible. But try doing something close to nature every day. It can be anything from a nature walk, outdoor game, or just exploring a plant inside your house.
There are things you do on your own every week – like grocery shopping, going to school meetings, get together with friends, and many more. Basically, there are some weekly activities that can be included as part of the Waldorf rhythm. The idea is not to give a specific time for them, but to be generic about which day you are doing what.
Say Monday evenings for a nature walk in a particular park, Friday evenings for grocery shopping, first weekends of every month to visit grandparents, and so on.
Related reads for some activity inspiration –
Set Up Visual Reminders To Keep The Flow Going
Following the rhythm is as important as you plan it. To make it easier and smoother for you and your kids, creating visual reminders can help a lot.
List out the chores or the activities of your rhythm. Stick it in a place that is easily viewable for your kids. You can also make it a practice to cross out the activities that are done.
You can also use these chore cards to make the process more interesting and effortless.
For bigger kids or adults, it can simply be a to-do list.
If you are looking for some resources to understand introduce rhythm into your lives, then this book is an awesome one to start with.
To sum up…
Waldorf rhythm planning and executing is not always easy but is simple when you get used to it. The key is to embrace the natural flow and get close to the simplicity it offers.
It’s ok if some parts of the rhythm are left out someday. Try not to be stressed out thinking of it as a broken rhythm. There is no broken rhythm. Go with the flow, one day, your body will be acclimatized with the rhythm.
Waldorf rhythm is all about the comfort it offers. It helps children to expect what comes next. So their brains need not get excited often to encounter every activity on short notice.
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