Monday, August 4, 2014

Monthly Rhythm

(This is the third installment of my rhythm series.  To see the first two posts, please visit daily rhythm and weekly rhythm. )

I cherish our monthly rhythm.  It really is the heart and soul of our family.

We actually discovered a monthly rhythm well before I ever danced with the idea of a Waldorf inspired lifestyle.  I wrote a bit about my daughter and the moon in my daily rhythm post. Once I became aware of how strong the pull of the moon is for her, we quickly fell in to a happy monthly rhythm.

Now that we are homeschooling, I have expanded that rhythm to recognize how the moon effects our learning.

The full moon is a time of great excitement and lots of outdoor time in our house.  During the day before, the day of and the day after I try and plan to be outdoors as much as possible.  This helps us all reconnect with the earth and allows us to absorb as much light as possible.  In a way it resets our internal clocks.

I find that during a full moon, we don't sleep as well.  There have been studies (you can read a report on one here ) that have proved this to be true, but I don't need a study to know that it takes the kids longer to fall asleep and that they wake up earlier each and every time the moon shines bright (even if it is cloudy).  I take this in to account when I am planning and make sure that we not only have lots of time outdoors, but quiet time indoors.

From the full moon to the new moon, we fall in to the darkness, gradually slowing down our days until we at last come to the darkness of the new moon.  On this day we often close the curtains and use candles during the day, do quiet activities like handwork and read alouds, a movie afternoon, or a walk on a trail through a thick forest.  It may sound crazy, but we all really look forward to this day!  The kids call it our cozy day and it functions as an anchor for us each month.

During the two weeks from the full moon to the new moon we focus on things we have learned, continue to work on projects we have started, discuss goals we have or things that need changing.  This is a time of review and contemplation over where we are and where we want to be, a time where we plan and reflect, preparing for the next two weeks.

The next two weeks are full of activity and new beginnings.  As we climb back in to the light, we focus on introducing new concepts, starting new projects (or new wings of old projects), learning a new skill, and put lots of energy in to our days, finally hitting the climax of the full moon. We spend increasingly more time outdoors, basking in the light of the sun and the moon. 

Once the full moon has passed and we fall back in to darkness, we take all the new skills and concepts we have spent the last two weeks focusing on and let them sit.  We rarely introduce any new concepts during this time unless they are entirely child led, but even that is a rare occurrence.  It seems the children have a natural understanding and pull towards living in the moon cycles.

And there you have it!  Our happy little moon rhythm.

Next up is the final installment of my rhythm series, seasonal rhythms and how we follow the sun on her journey around the world :)



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