In the beginning of the year we are laying the foundation of our learning community as we tune in to our daily rhythm and co-create a culture of kindness.
A nurturing environment that is rhythmic in nature supports a strong foundation that is essential to healthy child development. Predictable rhythms through the day, week and year provide security and a sense of the interrelationships and wholeness of life.
Our daily rhythm alternates periods of concentration and expansion, as if in a breathing rhythm where there is inhaling and exhaling. In the inhaling or breathing-in phase the child directs their attention to an activity that basically relates him to themselves (drawing, water painting, eating…). In the exhaling or breathing-out period, the child relates mainly to the surrounding world (free play, gross motor movements, guided activities etc.). For each breathing-in period the child needs a breathing-out period and so a pattern and balance is established.
In our weekly rhythm teachers strive to give a rhythmic structure to individual lessons as well where we reflect on a subject we explored the days before and follow that with presentation of a new element. Whatever has been taken in on one day is remembered and reflected on the following days. This builds a growing rhythm and a deeper sense of understanding of a subject.
Children are in deep harmony with nature and our seasonal rhythm connects us more to the natural world. Nature is a world of rhythms - the rising and setting of the sun, the flowering of trees, the change of seasons... when we provide supporting rhythms for children, we harmonize their being, thereby aiding the development of their inner rhythms of sleep, digestion, circulation etc. Monthly themes, block study, seasonal festivals and celebrations reflect and support our connection to the seasonal rhythm.
We highly recommend reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne for inspiration to create more rhythm in your children's life at home!
“Children depend on the rhythmic structure of the day–on its predictability, its regularity, its pulse…. By surrounding a young child with a sense of rhythm and ritual, you can help them order their physical, emotional, and intellectual view of the world. As they come to understand, with regularity, that ‘this is what we do', they feel solid under their feet, a platform for growth. Such a stable foundation can facilitate their mapmaking: the connectedness that they are charting in their brains, in relation to other people, and in their emerging worldview.” (Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne)
We also recommend the blog Rhythms of Play for more inspiration in how to create healthy rhythm and routine in your life at home.
Here's a look at how we learn through rhythm at the Children's Garden:
Our daily rhythm is a gentle guide to the flow of our day. We do not adhere to a rigid time structure for the day but we do follow the same order so there is a natural predictability of what comes next. This natural predictability helps promote positive energy from the children - if they know what is coming next they feel more secure and are more at ease with the flow of the day:
Inside Free Play
Outside Free Play
Lunch (Morning Group)
Special Classes: Yoga/Mindfulness, Music, Cooperative Games, or Spanish
With all the new children this year we have been focusing a lot on our rhythm, creating a culture of kindness, and exploring the different learning areas we offer to create a solid platform for growth.
Inside Free Play
The Safe Place
Outside Free Play
1. Be Kind - I pledge to respect people that are different, and treat people and animals with kindness and fairness.
2. Be Peaceful - I pledge to find peaceful ways to work out my problems.
3. Share with others - I pledge to share my time to help out in my community to make life better for others.
4. Listen to understand. I pledge to allow others to express their point of view; to find win-win solutions to problems so that both sides can win; and 'agree to disagree' if we can't come to an agreement.
5. Preserve the planet - I pledge to practice good environmental habits like recycling and helping to protect the earth and its habitats.
Well, the kids had ALOT of ideas in response to this. Some of the ideas that were offered from the children were: no hitting, be nice, listen to the teacher, take turns, take care of the toys, listen to each other, no running inside, no yelling inside, don't grab toys from each other, tell a teacher if you are hurt or scared, use your big voice, gentle hands, be generous, keep the classroom tidy so kids don't trip...
From all our conversations we were able to consolidate all of our thoughts into 3 simple positive agreements:
Banana Bread Recipe
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour