Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Importance of Rhythm

Looking at my earlier post, it seems to me that I should also add that there IS a time to bring kids in from outside -- and it can be when they are still running around -- because you can sense as a parent that another 5 minutes of running around will overstimulate your kids, meltdowns will occur, and your entire afternoon will be thrown off. So remember that there is a balance between expansion and contraction and you ARE the parent so you decide when to transition into the next. I don't believe in the school of thought that children know what is best for them and so should be a part of every decision. The Waldorf method, also, is strictly against this viewpoint. I decided we would go inside for half an hour of quiet activity before lunch and we came in at 11:30.

For more on rhythm and childhood, see the article "Rhythm: The Pulse of Life" by Tracy Harrington. Also check out the Daily Rhythms page at, which contains links to many pages of verses -- an essential part of Waldorf early childhood! I also like this page of Verses and Songs for Steiner/Waldorf Classrooms. Many Waldorf books are filled with them; in fact, some contain little else (for wonderful seasonal collections, try the Wynstones Press Kindergarten series below). In First and Second Grade this love of verses turns into Recitation, an important part of the Language Arts curriculum, and there are collections strictly of recommended pieces of poetry for these grade levels, such as these books by John Miles.

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