Even though it is easy to lose track of it, we live in a world of rhythm: day and night, waking and sleeping, the seasons of the year, the cycles of life. Our classrooms too are places where rhythm exists and is highly valued. By setting a consistent form for each day and each week, children more easily come to understand their world. The young child relaxes into the rhythms we set for them; they find comfort and security knowing exactly what to expect each day. This gives them the freedom to focus their time and energy on more important work: social learning, emotional development, gross and fine motor skills, to name a few.
Our idea of rhythm is not simply a schedule, but takes into account the needs of the whole child, as well as the group: the child’s need for movement, for focused, quiet times and time to explore and direct their own play. Times to use their minds, times to use their bodies and times to use their hands.
The rhythm of each classroom changes from year to year, and sometimes season to season. A typical rhythm in one of our classrooms might look like this:
All snacks are homemade, using high quality, whole food ingredients, and are largely prepared by the children themselves. From cutting vegetables for soup, to kneading dough for bread, children delight in participating in the activities of real life.
For more information on the specific details, and specific educational benefits, of these activities, visit our Guiding Principles page.