Rhythm – Part Three: Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture

So, if you have been following this series you all know I think the foundation of parenting and homeschooling consists of three things:   inner work and personal development, a religious and spiritual life, and a healthy family culture. ( In Waldorf Education in the grades we lay eight artistic pillars through which we teach academics along with practical work on top of these three foundational things).

We have looked at the beginnings of establishing a rhythm by starting with ourselves.  The other pieces of rhythm include a rhythm for the people and pets/livestock in your family, and then a rhythm of the care of the things in your home and environment.

I think the major piece of looking at rhythm for your family means pondering two important things:

1.  Discerning the essential – does your rhythm reflect the values you hold for your family?  And, if your rhythm does not reflect this for whatever reason right now but those values are still what you hold dear, how will you get there?

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2. Balance.  If  you craft a rhythm based on your day and week and find, for example, that everything is geared toward your oldest child, then having your rhythm written down becomes a system of checks and balances; a starting point for change.  Remember, there are all the children’s needs, the needs of the single adult or the need of the adult couple as well or the need of the extended family members in the home as well, along with pets, etc.  All have needs.

Throughout the years, I have chosen different ways to keep track of rhythm.  Sometimes Continue reading

Rhythm–Part Two: Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture

The three parts to rhythm include rhythm for yourself (so hard to set it for your family if you don’t have any rhythm to what you do in your day, your week, your month, your year!), rhythm for the family members and pets and/or livestock, and rhythm for the things in your home (a plan of care for things because all things take maintenance!)

Today we are looking at YOU.  Many mothers tell me they have a really hard time with rhythm, starting with sleep and what time they get up.

In order to get up and set the tone for your family, you must go to bed.  That, of course, is not nearly as simple as it seems sometimes.  Sometimes at night we are just thrilled to garner some time alone, or some time with a spouse if we are married and then we are up rather late on top of being up all night with:  the child who had a nightmare and can’t go back to sleep/the toddler who is restless/the baby who still wakes up.  Then, we find it hard to get up, we get up and jump into everything since the children are awake and running around, but then we do not get to take a shower or put ourselves “ together”  first. Continue reading

Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture: Rhythm (Part One)

There are many reasons to have a rhythm to your days: small children under seven crave stability and knowing what is going to happen; rhythm helps regulate such physiological processes as sleepiness and appetite; rhythm teaches children that home life is reliable and that parents are dependable; rhythm provides a balance so the needs of all in the household is addressed; and rhythm addresses the place of us as humans within the larger context of time and seasons.

Also,to me, an most important part of having a family rhythm is that it is an outward way of expressing your family’s values.  A family that values gardening, for example is going to have a rhythm that looks different than a family whose life includes lots of music.  Rhythm is another way that forces us, as parents, to be mindful as to what we are creating as family life, what is essential, what our mission is as a family in raising our children.  The beginning of a new year is always a wonderful time to go back and review your family mission statement. If you do not have a family mission statement, it might be an interesting process for you to ponder and go through.

I talk to so many women who state that garnering a rhythm is just plain hard.  Their main complaints and challenges about rhythm center around several things: Continue reading

Eight Facets Of A Healthy Family Culture

I was thinking more about the three components I see underlying parenting and homeschooling:  inner work and personal development on the part of the parent, a religious and spiritual life, and a healthy family culture.  Obviously each one of these influences the others, but I want to spend some time over the next eight days to elucidate eight components that I feel make up a healthy family culture.  You can take what components resonate with you, and take away or add others of your own.  At any rate, I think this is a good topic to get thinking about as we head into the New Year with a Christmas mood, a mood of kindness, courtesy, and (in the spirit of the Epiphany Season of the church),  of being a visionary for our family life.

These are the eight components that I have chosen to make up family culture: Continue reading