River Song and the Three R’s
At River Song Waldorf School, we practice the “Three Rs”—Rhythm, Ritual, and Repetition—as part of our alternative, play-based preschool curriculum.
Rhythm, Ritual, and Repetition
From season to season, on each day, and throughout each day, we live by the Three R’s to help children feel safe, secure and sure of themselves in the larger flow of life. The familiarity of songs, activities, festivals, transitions, and their surroundings also create a strong foundation for learning.
Rhythm allows each day to move smoothly, with little need for redirection or interruption in a child’s sense of wonder, expectation, or flow.
Ritual allows teachers to impart the deeper meaning and value behind tasks we might otherwise take for granted (such as something simple like washing a dish or something special like celebrating a birthday).
Repetition empowers young children to learn skills in a spiraling progression of development (in breadth and depth of learning), building on past experiences and inviting adaptation, innovation, and safe-risk taking where new learning can take place.
Our daily rhythms are a metaphorical “breathing out and breathing in.” Activities are designed to allow for exertion and play, then quiet and restoration.
For example, in the morning, families check-in and send each other off for the day. As parents depart, children and teachers gather on the playground or in their class and begin their day. Rain, snow, or shine, we assemble and gear up for our morning walk and “breathe out” with exercise, exploration, and play time at our local park or natural areas. After our morning adventures climbing, running, bug-hunting, sled-riding, etc., we return to the comfort of the school, “breathing in” as we come together for a morning circle of songs and games, and settling in for a seasonally appropriate snack.
Then, it’s time to “breathe out” again with more play: swinging, running, drawing, painting, climbing, clambering, sliding, playing house, digging, hooting, hollering, singing, whatever moves each child that day. Then, we “breathe in” back inside to gather round for a story, and prepare ourselves for lunch (and half-day pickups).
After lunch is rest and nap time for the children who still need and love that quiet time. Meanwhile, older children gather for more quiet play, storytelling, and time to recharge before we head back outside mid-afternoon for more… you guessed it play. Around 3:30, as the younger children wake, we gather for our nourishing afternoon snack before we “breathe out” again for our last round of afternoon play.
Other Classroom Rhythms
You’ll notice our teachers wear specific colors each day of the week, and our snack schedule follows a rhythm as well. The children (and staff!) also look forward to the rhythm of specific activities all week long. These are just a few of the many ways we embody Waldorf traditions.
|Snack||(AM) Rice cakes w/ sun butter & jam; apples|
(PM) Crackers with cream cheese & hummus; carrots or cucumber
|(AM) Bread with butter & honey|
(PM) Veggies w/ dip; almonds
|(AM) Trail mix, cheese, veggies|
(PM) Chia pudding; fruit salad
|(AM) Granola w/ fruit|
(PM) Cold quinoa salad; veggies
|(AM) Ants on a log; apples
(PM) Chips with cheese and salsa; veggies
|Activity||Bread baking||Willow Walk||Painting/Washing||Painting/Washing||Willow Walk|