I’ve mentioned before that my kids are relatively unassuming – like mine and Jacob’s, their tastes tend to be simple, and their joy in small things is plainly evident. But don’t take my word for it:
Yesterday our wonderful, wonderful friend Tegan stopped by for a visit. She played with my kids, built a fairy house with them, and, just before leaving, gave them her old pair of sunglasses and the tape measure she happened to have in her car.
In part because our family includes a little boy, the tape measure proved to be a big hit, with my kids spending quite a while today fully absorbed in measuring objects around the house and learning about measurement units in the process.
I love our American system of measurements, by the way – they follow the size of natural objects and make a whole lot of sense. Metric measurements, on the other hand, are mechanical, Ahrimanic, and all around unpleasant to deal with – and this is coming from a European.
Anyway, they spent a long time today measuring the diameter of door knobs, the length of the sofa and the piano, doors, windows, and I don’t know what else. It’d been a long time before they actually moved on to something else.
Simple things are often the best.
Here’s what else I noticed:
Today we had to do a relatively large amount of housework together – tomato sauce, dishes (which my son washed and I rinsed – for a while), folding and putting away laundry, picking up, and sweeping.
Cyrus is resourceful, right?
Anyhow, I noticed today that playing is that much more enjoyable to them after a little work. Original, aren’t I? Kinda makes them appreciate the unstructured nature of playtime – no wonder Waldorf education strives to intersperse the so-called “breath-in” activities (focused, quiet things like chores and schoolwork) with “breath-out” activities (running, playing, or otherwise doing something unselfconsciously active) throughout the day.
I can attest to the fact that it’s a fine approach outside the classroom as well.