Category Archives: Rhythm

Our Summer Gnomes

Summer GnomesI finished our summer gnomes some time ago and then forgot to post about them. For those who have missed my previous posts, Dora asked me to make a gnome for each month of the year. We put them out on our nature/seasonal shelf with our days-of-the-week gnomes and weather gnomes. Dora doesn’t know the names or order of the months, but wanted a gnome to associate with each calendar page of our family calendar. With five children, three of which are in college, our calendar plays a central role in our life and is prominent in our kitchen. You can go to these links to see my previous posts about our winter gnomes and spring gnomes.

I really struggled with the summer gnomes. From the beginning, I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do with the winter, spring, and fall gnomes. The summer gnomes – not so much. Some readers gave me some suggestions and I kind of bounced off of some of those. I was trying for a hot and fiery look. To make their hats, I needle felted a “skull cap” for the gnomes, but left the tops of the caps unfelted. I then kind of twisted the tops to make them resemble a candle flame. I’m not 100% happy with them, but have yet to come up with a better idea (other than perhaps make felt sun caps, which I may yet try).

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Maureen

Labels: Gnomes, Needle Felting, Peg Dolls, Rhythm, Summer
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Spring Gnomes

Spring GnomesI’ve completely finished making our monthly gnomes and am now moving on to new projects! For our spring monthly gnomes, I used a pattern from Making Peg Dolls, by Margaret Bloom.

Here is what the hat looks like from the back and above.

Spring Gnomes Back View

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Disclosure: Some item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount of money if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

Maureen

Labels: Arts and Crafts, Gnomes, Peg Dolls, Rhythm, Spring, Waldorf
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Our Winter Monthly Gnomes

Winter GnomesI’m finishing up the monthly gnomes that Dora asked me to make. As I mentioned previously, I opted to design different head attire for the gnomes, based on each season. Here are our winter gnomes for December, January, and February. I made knitted hats for these little guys, using this pattern from Anna Branford. It was fairly easy, especially given that I am a novice knitter that hadn’t done any knitting in almost a decade. It did take a couple of tries to get the hats the right size, since our peg dolls are a different size than the ones she used. I also learned that it is possible to invent knitting stitches that will actually create something, just with a completely different texture. I always thought that if I knit or purled incorrectly, my knitting wouldn’t stay together, but with me having to switch back and forth between knitting and purling, I somehow started doing both stitches completely incorrectly. So I ended up with a hat that fit right and was shaped right, but had a completely different texture from the other two hats. I was very confused for a while!

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Maureen

Labels: Arts and Crafts, Gnomes, Knitting, Peg Dolls, Rhythm, Waldorf, Winter
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Our Waldorf Rhythm, Or Lack There Of…

Justin12In the fall of 1994, we had just moved to Washington, Primo had just turned three, and I had finally sought out services for his speech delays (our previous pediatrician in California had been vehemently opposed to our seeking services). Primo was diagnosed with a Language Processing Disorder. Autism was never even thought about. Overall, his behavior was good, but there were times when he would he’d go off into his own little world or just become irrationally angry. Though the speech therapist ensured me that this was caused by his frustration with people not being able to understand him, I wasn’t so sure. I noticed that he really liked to have things stay the same. For instance, when summer came, he really fought switching to shorts and short-sleeved shirts. I began to notice that he was much happier when he had a predictable routine and when he knew exactly what was going to happen when. Fortunately, he was a very early reader, so I was able to establish and intricate calendar system with stickers and colored markers, so he knew what was going to happen to who and where and when every day. We very rarely waivered from that calendar. I also started keeping a very predictable routine, each and every day. He became so calm and enjoyable, it was like day and night. A Chaotic PlayroomOver the years, Primo lost the need for such extreme structure (yes that is what our playroom did look like some days when I had four kids aged 2-9, though obviously this must have been a bit extreme as I named the photo “chaotic playroom”), though he still, to this day, has problems with things being rearranged or changed much. Still, with five children, of various ages and stages, I have been hard-pressed to stick to any routine. Then I began looking into Waldorf for Dora and the one thing that has been emphasized over and over again in my studies is that children need rhythm in their day. In all honesty, I like daily rhythm, myself.Ladybug Girl Costume 2As I set about trying to establish a rhythm to our day, I needed to take into account that Dora turns into a really, really, really, grouchy ladybug in the evenings. In addition, with my health issues, my energy deteriorates as the day goes on, such that by the afternoon, I no longer have the energy to do my household chores. So I am left with two conflicting agendas in the morning, I either do my household chores while Dora and I are still rested and then do “circle time” with Dora, or I do “circle time” with Dora and then do my chores. The problem lies in that, more often than not, something interrupts us and whichever is the second task, gets pushed to the wayside and is left until the afternoon to do. Kubota Gardens 1I’m working on trying to find balance and prioritizing, but I suspect that things will continue to be a bit out of equilibrium until the summer, as we just have too many commitments that occur in the middle of the day (we are homeschoolers, after all). I have decided that next year, we will not do anything in the middle of the day, except for our once-a-week co-op.Marymoor Park 10At this point in time, these are the routines that I have been able to establish:

  • Our days-of-the-week and weather gnomes – Dora doesn’t know the names of the days of the week, but she sure knows the colors and she sure knows her weather gnomes! If I don’t get to it early enough, she has been known to set out the appropriate gnomes herself.
  • Circle time occurs every weekday, preferably before lunch, and includes a few songs, poems, finger plays, and/or action rhymes, followed by reading a book that ties into our theme of the week. The same songs, poems, finger plays, and/or action rhymes are repeated daily for one week.
  • Ideally, we get some sort of “outdoors time” in every day, but it is hard during these short winter days
  • My “yoga time”  occurs in the afternoon and involves Dora lighting a candle for me to do 20 minutes of uninterrupted yoga/stretching. Sometimes she joins me, sometimes she doesn’t. My “yoga” also happens to include 15 minutes of Choroi flute practice, which I consider to be my “mental yoga”.
  • We do one “enrichment” activity a day (in addition to our “circle time”) – painting, drawing, baking, crafting, or modeling. These extras occur on set days, so that Dora knows what to expect. For instance, Mondays are “painting days”.
  • We have one outside activity most days. For instance, Mondays are “music class day” and Thursdays are usually “field trip day”.
  • Dora’s evening routine has gotten pretty set in stone and this has really helped with her sleep habits.

Finger KnittingI would love to say that I always do chores before or after circle time and that I always go over Gohan’s bookwork in the early afternoon, but our days are highly unpredictable. My three grown children through wrenches into my system at times, I have far too many doctor appointments to work around, a cat will crawl in one of our laps and refuse to leave (or more likely throw up a hairball on my just-mopped floor), Gohan will suddenly decide he needs me to drive him somewhere, we’ll have guests in town, we might have play or symphony tickets, etc. None of these are things that I want to give up. I had a large family, mostly because I wanted a family that was always “present”, in a house that was never empty, where there was always someone to talk to, where there was a constant hustle and a bustle, where my kids always knew they belonged and never felt lonely in their own home. I have achieved this and have never regretted it, even for a minute, but it does have it’s drawbacks, at times. Trying to Do School Work With a Cat in His Lap 1One day, when it is only Gohan, Dora, and I in the house every day, I’ll have plenty of time to focus on a daily rhythm,, until then, I can say that we have achieved a weekly rhythm, which is what I am going to have to be content with for the time being. Waldorf Style Doll House

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Maureen

Labels: Rhythm, Waldorf
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff