Hello and thank you for visiting the Little Acorns (LA) blog!
We at The London Acorn School (TLAS) hope you are well and have managed to find a rhythm with your little ones at home. Rhythm is very important for young children and it remains to be one of the dominant themes in our Early Years Programme at the school.
So what do we mean by rhythm? Well to start off with, we are a Waldorf inspired school, and so we draw upon certain teachings of Rudolf Steiner, rhythm being one of them. In the early years, this rhythm translates to having a set and predictable structure for the day, providing children with a sense of security and enabling them to develop self-confidence. Furthermore, Rudolf Steiner suggested that the rhythm of the day should mimic the natural bodily rhythms i.e. contraction, expansion, breathe in and breathe out. We therefore alternate our day in the early years between structured/focused activities (breathing in) and self-led/free activities (breathing out).
In Little Acorns we understand and can fully relate to the stress of trying to get out of the front door, to arrive at the session on time. We therefore, begin with a breathing out activity for the children i.e freeplay, to relax them and also to give parents/carers some time to unwind. Following free play, we have circle time in which we sing seasonal songs, rhymes and action songs. These require more concentration and therefore, constitute a breathing in activity. Meal time comes after circle time (breathing out) followed by our Waldorf/Steiner style puppet show (breathing in).
We appreciate that this is of course much easier in a school setting but as one of our parents so aptly put, ‘now, more than ever, the Steiner philosophy feels so relevant and so very needed, by children and parents alike’ (SH). In times of uncertainty what we all need is, a sense of security, and rhythm definitely brings us this.
Here’s a timetable for some inspiration in case you are finding it difficult to establish rhythm or, if you’re just looking to make some changes to your existing one. It was posted by a fellow instagrammer Katie, @sustainable.play and is flexible in that, there are no fixed times and there are a selection of activities to choose from throughout the day. Perhaps this is a more achievable style of rhythm at home and despite providing freedom, it still encapsulates the much needed elements of contraction followed by expansion.
Happy parenting and if you have any comments or questions, please post them below.
Love and light,
TLAS LA Team