I've been on a bit of a hiatus. We moved to a new house about two weeks ago. Our first home purchase, here in Israel, in a small moshav (rural town) called Eshta'ol, about 20 minutes to Jerusalem and 40 minutes (or so) to Tel Aviv.
With the move came, as expected, a bit of chaos. Aside from the general anxiety of moving, we had almost no rhythm for the past two weeks. I watched both kids behavior go down such a steep downward spiral that, a few days ago, I started seriously thinking it could be possible that my 6yo has clinical depression (versus the actual combo of 6 Year Change, Melancholic Temperament and recent move)... ;)
So, yesterday, I started thinking about what I might post to my various Waldorf groups for help. And I quickly realized that there was no reason to post because I knew that the responses would all be some form of: Is your rhythm strong?
So, I printed out Marsha Johnson's (WaldorfHomeEducators Yahoo group - she's a Waldorf teacher who runs a Yahoo group for Waldorf homeschoolers and she is an invaluable resource!) Kindergarten Guide (a pamphlet titled, "A Week in the Home Kindergarten")
and put together a new rhythm modified a bit from our previous one to (hopefully) better meet the current needs of my kids. I'm also going to try to changing the week to be Sun-Thurs with Friday left for Shabbat prep so I don't feel any pressure to do anything else on Fridays...
Focused Activity (see weekly rhythm below)
Outdoor Play (not sure what will happen here when the weather gets hot - might need to be switched with the Focused Activity)
Story-related or Seasonal Art (brief)
Su - Gardening Day
M - Painting Day (and Yoav has a horseback riding lesson at 2pm, which will be during the free play, no longer as one of our anchors)
T - Sewing/Handwork/Craft Day (will focus on sewing and handwork projects for the home or as gifts)
W - Washing/Ironing Day (kids can clean the kitchen cabinet outsides, help iron linen napkins)
R - Baking/Cooking Day
F - Shabbat Prep
Sa - Shabbat
This week, our story is "Gingerbread Man", sewing project is to make a felt Gingerbread Man ornament that we'll gift to a friend and on Baking Day, we'll bake gingerbread men.
Circle is same as it was prior to moving, which should help provide some stability/continuity.
This morning when we came downstairs for breakfast, Yoav immediately started in with, "What Can I Do? What Can I Do? What Can I Do? What Can I Do?"
I simply said, "Today is Gardening Day - don't worry - we'll be busy today." He felt the Mama Duck energy in my statement and I didn't hear this question for the rest of the day. In the end, we had a great day today, our best in at least three weeks (since I was packing pre-move and not keeping up with our rhythm well). Yoav participated fully in Circle and clearly enjoyed it; both kids listened to the Story, with Yoav mesmerized as usual. After (telling) the story, I led us to our craft table to draw and I drew a picture of the Gingerbread man and the various animals/people who ran after him.
Sometimes the Waldorf Way seems really exhausting to me - I dream of days spent lazily reading on the couch sipping tea, but the fact is that those days aren't relaxing - I *do* try this sometimes, thinking I can make the dream a reality, but the actual result is me sitting with a book on the couch with the kids fighting or Yoav asking me over and over what he can do (typical part of the 6 Year Change). The Waldorf Way requires such strength from me, especially when getting "back on the wagon", but the results are always so worth the effort. Yoav digging in the dirt this morning and planting seeds, laughing as he galloped around the house during Circle, bulging eyes hanging onto every word of Story... I'm so thankful that I found Waldorf and I hope that on the bad days/weeks, my friends (and mostly DH) will please remind me that I *can* do it and send me back to this post for inspiration ;)