I have had some parents ask me once they have their awake, nap, and bed times pretty well-established, where should they go from there in terms of rhythm or general Waldorf lifestyle?
I think this is very individual depending upon the situation of the family, the ages of the children, but I am going to toss out some possible suggestions for those with children under the age of 7:
The first place to start is ALWAYS with YOURSELF. You must find at least ten minutes for you to sit uninterrupted and think and meditate on what the needs of your family really are, and what steps you need to guide them and set the tone in your own home. This is always first!
Think seriously about the way Steiner viewed the needs of the small child – to be firmly in their home environment, less words, music and singing and verses, less stimulation with protection of the 12 senses. Stop talking to your under 7 child as if they are a miniature adult and respect their right to be LITTLE and innocent. That is big inner work to see if you believe in this view, and how you implement this day-to-day.
After that, there are several possibilities:
One possibility would be to next focus on your environment – decluttering your house, establishing routines for cleaning your house, and establishing routines for cooking real home-cooked foods made with love for your family. A place of help for you may be www.flylady.net.
If you were a family where there was very little structure in place and this a big transition for you all, perhaps consider starting with outside time for your child each day at the same time, and adding some structure by doing some practical work every day that your child can see. The younger the child is, the less time this may take and you may have to build up the time gradually. Steiner felt even 15 minutes of quality work done in a peaceful manner was wonderful for the child to see. There are posts on this blog regarding connecting children to nature and on fostering creative play that may be of service to you.
If you have your home essentially in order, and some structure is in place, then perhaps you start building toward a storytelling time each day and some preparation toward festivals.
If you can get all that going, now is the time to pick a skill of the skill list on the post regarding “A Mother’s Job in the Waldorf Homeschool Kindergarten” and start to educate yourself.
I would love to hear from other families ways they made the transition.