It might sound a bit strange to be posting about our winter weekly rhythm half-way through January, but bear with me!
I love the idea of having a strong rhythm in our home as I feel it is comforting for the child to know what is coming next; children have so little control when it comes to their surroundings, so I buy into the idea that having a rhythm makes things feel safer and more predictable. This is a lovely simple blog post on the subject from a Waldorf perspective and the brilliant Simplicity Parenting goes into this topic in much more depth (if you haven’t read it, I urge you to do so – it’s excellent and has really made me think about the way I structure our lives).
Since the holiday season ended a few weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about our rhythm, both daily and weekly. I considered the things I would like us to do regularly, and noticed the activities we tend to gravitate towards during the colder weather.
It was important to me that we kept one day free from any plans – Monday makes the most sense for us, as not only do we sometimes see my mum, but I like the idea of having a day to recharge if we have a busy weekend. I also didn’t want to put too many activities into our planned rhythm, as it’s so important to me that Frida has a lot of free time to choose what she does, be it play, work, read, craft, paint, climb, take long baths – a winter favourite! – or be involved in practical life such as cooking and cleaning.
This rhythm is not a strict set of rules – we may well ditch swimming to go to a gallery or city farm, or stay indoors all day on a stormy Wednesday instead of venturing to the park. There are also activities which are not included which we do routinely, such as visiting the library, having afternoon tea time (where we read a selection of books and poetry and discuss an art work), cleaning together, listening to music, and seeing friends.
Although we plan on homeschooling Frida, I am embracing the freedom to follow her interests for the time being. As she gets older though, I may look at making myself a longer term grid to go alongside, with themes to explore together to ensure we are looking at a broad array of subjects!
I wanted this rhythm to be visible to Frida, as well as providing her with a way of marking each day, so after looking at a lot of options I decided to make this very simple weekly calendar. It is just a laminated piece of paper with the days of the week and some simple drawings – as you can tell, you do not need to be an artist to make this!
Frida can mark each new day by moving the wooden peg, and can clearly see what we have planned. This is hung up in our dining room, so that she can update it every morning after breakfast.
When I have a little more time I may make a similar calendar but with removable activities which I can update each Sunday night; I like this idea as often there are changes in our week, for example if our playgroup is on holiday, or if we are having a playdate.
Another thing I am considering is adding housework to our weekly rhythm – so on Mondays, we mop the dining room, on Tuesdays, we clean upstairs, Wednesday the bathroom, and so on. I have also seen this done with meal planning, with pasta one night, soup another, a roast another. For now though, I will keep it simple and see how we get on.
Do you have a weekly rhythm for your family?