I’ve reviewed a few different resources on the blog (if you’re curious, there are links to my reviews under the “Natural Resources” heading just above), and they’ve all been linked with forest schools and nature preschools or encouraging children to spend more time in nature. I have one more resource for you today, but it’s a bit different than the usual, in that it’s not exactly a book and that it doesn’t have to do with children in nature or forest schools (though it certainly fits with those philosophies nicely).
During my time wandering through the world of Instagram and following Amanda Soule’s blog, SouleMama, I stumbled across Whole Family Rhythms. Meagan, the person behind the Whole Family Rhythms guides describes them as such: “The Guides are designed to help you plan, create and animate a gentle, balanced and holistic rhythm in your home, flowing between structured, adult-led activities and child-led, imaginative free play.” And, from our experience, they do just that.
The guides, which are seasonally based (one guide per season), provide more than a simple list of activities, but break down each week in a stretch of three months with activities, stories, poems, finger plays, and recipes. In addition to being terrifically detailed, but the accompanying illustrations and photographs are lovely. The guide also has a master list of supplies and ingredients you may want to have on hand for each week’s activities.
One could, of course, follow the guide (we’re using the Northern Hemisphere summer one right now) day by day, week by week. For those who stay closer to home or provide childcare, this would be great, and you’d certainly have just about all the information you’d need right at your finger tips. For those of us who find ourselves very busy, even during the summer, the guide is still quite helpful. Though we may not follow everything to the letter, the guide provides a solid framework for us to live within and engaging alternatives to our usual daily activities. What’s more, when there are stretches of days when we’re staying home, giving my children structure to their day (and mine) helps the day move more smoothly and I find we’re far more calm.
The guides emphasize rhythm, something I discussed in a previous post, and is heavily influenced by a Waldorf way of thinking. While we’re not a hardcore Waldorf family, there are threads of influence there and I really enjoy these guides for that reason as well. There is something so incredibly nourishing about the Waldorf philosophy and that same feel is in the guides.
Of course, one does not need to buy a book or guide to structure a rhythm and plan baking and craft projects with one’s children. That said, if there is one less thing I have to do and if there is something that’s already strung together with coherent themes and within a philosophy I align, then give it to me. It’s far easier for me to pull out my binder than to scramble through magazine scraps and Pinterest selections, and that ease is worth the money paid.
If you’re looking for a way to add a solid rhythm to your days and ideas for activities and stories for you children, then Whole Family Rhythms’ guides are an excellent resource.
**This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased the summer guide from Whole Family Rhythms with my own money and decided to review it on my own because I’m really pleased with the product!**