A Waldorf Inspired Way to Simplify your Life and Live Your Values
“Meaning hides in repetition: We do this every day or every week because it matters. We are connected by this thing we do together. We matter to one another. In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trip to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”Kim John Payne
Quitting my job to stay home with my daughter threw me for a loop. I didn’t regret it for a second, but I was lost for a bit. Mornings would go well, but the rest of the day I was racking my brain for things to do to keep us busy. I needed some structure and routine.
Developing a Daily Rhythm was a game changer for us. Instead of counting down the hours until bedtime, things run smoothly these days and we’re rarely bored. This has become even more important now that I’ve started a childcare business.
What is Rhythm?
In Waldorf Education, there are daily, weekly and yearlong (seasonal) rhythms. A daily rhythm is like a schedule, but less detailed. There are anchor points, but not set times for each activity.
To create your family’s rhythm, first think about the things that must get done each day (chores, meals, etc.) and decide on time slots for those. Next, think about the things you wish you did every day. Be realistic and keep it simple. Make decisions based on your family’s values.
Is family dinner important? Time for exercise? Add them. For me, outdoor time was a priority. I also made sure to add in some self-care time because that often gets pushed aside. Make sure to include times for activity (housework, baking, etc.) with plenty of time for rest (free play, tea, etc.).
Here’s my family’s daily rhythm. Our days are well spent and flow well. There is structure but still a lot of freedom. I am at home with my daughter during the day, and also have daycare kids here from 7:30-5:30. On the weekends, we follow a similar rhythm on the weekends.
If you are a working parent, you can still create a daily rhythm (more of a morning/evening rhythm). I wish I had done so while I was working!
Our Family’s Daily Rhythm
- 6:00 My wake up time Coffee, yoga and getting ready for the day.
- 7:30 Free play indoors Emmy wakes and daycare children arrive.
- 8:30 Breakfast
- 9:00 Weekly Rhythm activity I will go into this more in a later post. Click here for a great explanation of the concept.
- Monday- baking
- Tuesday- painting
- Wednesday- stone soup
- Thursday- make play dough
- Friday- watercolors
- Saturday- library
- Sunday- daddy day
- 9:30 Outdoor play
- 11:00 Tea and nibbles Snacks and naps.
- 1:00 Free play indoors
- 1:30 Lunch
- 2:00 Outdoor play and Outdoor snack
- 4:00 Free play indoors
- 4:30 Prepare dinner
- 5:30 Family dinner and a walk
- 6:30 Bedtime routine
- Dim the lights
- Put the toys to bed
- Toddler yoga
- Warm bath
- Read a story
- Lights out!
The times I wrote here vary quite a bit. I only wrote them so you could get an idea of the time we spend in each activity. You do not need to include times in your own daily rhythm.
Here’s a fantastic guide from Lavender’s Blue Homeschool on creating your own family rhythm, if you’d like another resource.
Above all, make sure to use the resource you’ve created to simplify your days and create less stress. If you’re stressing because you aren’t able to do everything you’ve planned, definitely revisit it.
I’d love to see what you come up with for your family’s daily rhythm! Please share in the comments or send me a message on my Facebook page.