Bring your own work into rhythm
Welcome to Day 4 of our 30 Days to Waldorf-Inspired Preschool at Home series! (To start at the beginning, just click here!)
Today I want you to bring your own work into rhythm.
Young children often sink into their best imaginative play when mama (or papa or teacher…) is cheerfully working nearby. And by working, I don’t mean the kind of work most of us do to earn money (such as being on the computer or phone). What I mean is the rhythmical work of taking care of the home or creating beautiful things. Handwork and housework are accessible to young children - they hold the space for children to play nearby, and they give children something to participate in and to imitate.
Think about the work that you do to keep your household running.
Keeping our homes in order and feeding our families isn’t nearly the all-consuming task now that it was for our great-grandmothers, but it still takes time and effort to keep a household running. Part of the trade-off of having more time, flexibility, and choice about how to do the work of the home is that we have to make decisions about how to tackle it all, and we have many other things competing for our attention.
I’m thrilled that I don’t spend all day every Monday washing all of our clothing and linens by hand. I’m especially thrilled that I don’t spend all day every Tuesday starching and ironing said clothing. On the other hand, when I don’t have any routines at all for getting the laundry done (and especially folded and put away), it gets out of hand and becomes a stressor.
Simple routines for all your daily and weekly household tasks can really free up your time and energy for other things.
These same routines are of huge benefit to your preschool child because they allow him to participate in the rhythms of the home.
Your young child will find a lot of security in knowing that you always fold a load of laundry after nap time (or whatever it is) and he’ll feel more interested in joining because it’s a comfortable and predictable routine.
How to bring your own work into rhythm:
1. Make a list of all your daily and weekly household chores.
2. Make a plan for when each one will happen (a daily and weekly routine).
3. Include your preschool child as much as possible. (If this is new for you, don’t worry, we’ll come back to it in a future post.)
Do you find routines helpful for getting your work done? Have you ever noticed a magical moment when you were busily engaged and your child got really engaged with his own play nearby?