The Importance Of Rhythms In Waldorf

The Importance Of Rhythms In Waldorf

25 May 2018 | 6 min Read

Divya B A

Author | 3 Articles

In the previous article, I had discussed the Waldorf philosophy. In this one, I have attempted to explain the idea of rhythms for children and their importance. We can see and experience ‘Rhythms’ all around us – in the sun, moon, plants, animals, rain, wind and so on..without rhythms, the universe would not exist! But if you still didn’t understand the meaning of Waldorf education, then let us take you through it in detail this time for better understanding. Keep on reading.

Waldorf Education

Waldorf Education

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The Waldorf teaching method is basically based on the educational philosophy that aims to combine and holistically develop childrens’ artistic, practical, and intellectual skills. This style of study strives to develop well-rounded children by including academics, physical, emotional, and social education into a comprehensive curriculum.

Rules Of Waldorf Education

Rules Of Waldorf Education

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Waldorf teaching method comes with three golden rules for teachers:

  • To accept the kid in appreciation from the world it comes from
  • To educate the child with love
  • To lead the child into genuine freedom belongs to man.

Now, let’s get to know more about the importance of rhythms for children in Waldorf education.

‘Rhythm’ means a schedule or routine that is repeated over and again. Schedules/ rhythms can be classified as daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Designing and following a rhythm is the most essential aspect of a Waldorf home or a school. Rhythms also help in forming habits and discipline, but in a very subdued way.

Importance Of Rhythm In Early Childhood

How rhythm plays a major role in early childhood, let’s get to know here:

  • It is therapeutic and instills a sense of security and confidence in youngsters.
  • It relieves them of the weight of wondering what will happen next and what will be required of them.
  • After this well-balanced schedule has been established, kids can go on to creative play. This way the importance of rhythm plays a major role in building confidence in children.

How do you design a rhythm?

There is no fixed way of designing a rhythm, especially if you have a child. At home, time disappears! Many days pass without having time to change your pajamas or do your hair…yes it’s true and has happened to me too!

How can we design our day so that we make time for every little thing we want our child to experience, yet not compromise on ‘Me time’ as a parent? The answer is to find a ‘rhythm’ suitable for your family needs.

Daily Rhythms

Let’s discuss ‘daily rhythm’ in detail in this conversation.

Breathing-in and breathing-out is the outline to design rhythms for children. ‘Breathing-in’ is when we do things that need concentration/attention – it can also be called winding. E.g., mealtime, storytime, structured activity, helping with chores.

‘Breathing out is the time to let go and unwind. E.g., unstructured free play, nature walk, bath time and play.

Remember that children have limited attention spans, and our intention is not to increase them by structuring activities to develop their abilities. Children’s attention span will increase steadily as they grow up, and one can expect it to develop between the ages of 5 and 7.

This is what our day looked like, based on the breathing-in and breathing-out rhythm, when my daughter, Sinchana, was 12 months old until we started school.

6.00 wake up
6.30 Milk
6.30 Help in making breakfast followed by free play
8.00 Bath time
8.30 Breakfast time
9.00 Free play in the balcony or outdoors
10.00 Help in drying clothes (& other daily chores)
10.30 Fruit time
11.00 Free play indoors
11.45 Clear up and wash hands
12.00 Lunchtime
1.00 Nap time
3.30 Wake up and snack time
4.30 Park time
6.00 Wash hands and help in making dinner
7.00 Dinner time
7.30 Storytime followed by bedtime

Giving up or Rearranging?

My entire schedule would revolve around my daughter’s. I let go of a lot of socializing to suit my child’s needs. We gave up on late evening socializing, stocking junk food at home and including more raw vegetables and fruits in our diet.

I would do my work when my daughter was asleep or during her free play and household chores when she was awake to see and be a part of the chores. I would hardly interfere in her playtime and only gave attention when asked.

We kept our home environment intentionally spacious, clutter-free, child friendly, and I would always be visible to Sinchana while she was playing.

Whenever she needed it, she could see me, come to me, cuddle me and go back to her play. This created security and bonding between us, and I could watch her and set a boundary. With this, Sinchana also developed a sense of limitation and stuck to it for a long time until she turned 2.5. Now she wants to explore the space outside her boundaries, and I let her do so with the trust that she is safe!

Benefits of Rhythm for Children in Physical & Emotional Development

Keeping your house child-friendly so that you don’t have to say ‘No’ each time they are exploring the environment is essential for developing trust that grows into inner security concerning the outside world.

Our outdoor play focused more on movement and sand play than being limited to swings and slides. This helps develop sensory integration, and training facilitates speech and nature play promotes immunity development in the most natural way!

Setting a meal time aligned to our liver rhythms is another important aspect. Breakfast: 8-9 am, snack around 10.30 am, lunch: 12-1.30 pm, evening snack: 3-4pm, dinner: 6- 7.30 pm. Eating away from these time frames affects the natural appetite and digestion process. A good amount of play also facilitates natural appetite!

Creating rhythms for children of this kind is like building a solid foundation in the initial years. Children then move to the next stage of development, where they are more interested in the outside world and want to socialise with friends rather than stay at home!

Childhood is only for 900 weeks. Are you making the best of it for your little one? Let us know in the comments!

Related Articles:

How Lack Of Planning Could Hamper Your Child’s Education Plan: Before opting for a child’s education plan, must know how you can avoid lack of planning to protect your child from hampering their life.

Schooling Begins At Home: Know about pre-literacy skills, their importance and more. Check out here!

How Does Your Child Learn: Here, we have found a very simple and interesting way to easily let your child learn things. Must check out to know-how!

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