Ever since I read these two posts (The Magic Onion’s Discovering Waldorf-Rhythms in the Home and Steady Mom’s 5 Reasons Why You Need Steady Routines), I have been pondering the need to better define the weekly rhythms of our household.
On a day to day basis we have a morning ‘getting ready for the day’ routine and a nighttime ‘dinner to bedtime’ routine but we seem to have lost our way in terms of a regular weekly plan and as a result, so many of the ideas for things I would like to do don’t tend to get done as they get forgotten or the busyness of life gets in the way. I don’t think it has helped that we have moved house either, as we have been spending time each week checking out local toddler activities – playgroups, music and movement, etc, both for Immy to get out and about with other children and as a way of me meeting other Mums in the local area.
As a teacher, a routine was such an important aspect of my planning; it helped me to be organised, minimised waiting time for the 25+ children in my care as I was not fussing around wondering what came next, and it ensured that the time we spent together was balanced – time was allocated for each of the important learning times or subject areas.
Routine also provides a positive grounding for children; they like knowing what comes next and it helps them to establish the behaviour which will be expected of them, for example a PE session or outdoor playtime involves different ‘rules’ of behaviour than reading time or a trip to the shops.
Working with young children, I did however quickly learn that routines need to be flexible. It is foolish to distract a child (or group of children) whose attention is fully engaged in a positive learning experience just because it is now time to do something else. I am a believer in flexible plans and large blocks of time for learning with minimal interruptions. Maybe that is why I am attracted to the idea of ‘rhythms.’
Thinking about a need for us to develop a weekly rhythm, I am also mindful of not overscheduling our lives to such a degree that there is little time to be free and spontaneous. Instead, I hope it will provide us with just a little focus to the day.
So, my initial thoughts for our weekly rhythm look like this;
Monday – Create and play
Tuesday – Bake and play
Wednesday – Chores (grocery shopping, cleaning) and play
Thursday – Music and play
Friday – Visiting/friends play day
Saturday – Daddy and me play (time for me to work)
Sunday – Family and fellowship day
We will give it a try and see how it flows. Again, as with so much of parenthood, it feels a lot like a balancing act.
I would love to hear more about your family rhythms. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts about rhythms and routines.