Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favorable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies.
Rhythms of Learning, pg 54

Cholerics come across as people who must always have their own way. Their aggressiveness (everything connected with their forcefulness of will) derives from their circulation.

Sanguines surrender themselves to the constant flow of images and sensations and ideas. Incapable of lingering over an impression. In sanguine children, interest is easily kindled, a picture will easily impress — but the impression vanishes quickly.

Phlegmatics have an inner sense of well-being. They let external events run their course all the while their attention is directed inward.

Melancholics are not masters of their own body, but are rather controlled by it. They experince this pain as despondency.

In every temperament there lies two dangers (of imbalance) one great, one small:

small danger – that they will never learn to control their temper as they develop into maturity
great danger – that they will become foolishly single-minded

small danger – flightiness
great danger – mania, induced by the constant stream of sensations

small danger – apathy
great danger – stupidity, dullness

small danger – insensitivity to anything other than personal pain
great danger – insanity


One basic priniciple to be observed, especially with children: always work with what is given — and not what is NOT there.

Instead of asking what the child lacks, in order that we might beat it in, we must focus on what the child has, and base ourselves on that.
Rhythms of Learning, pg62

The sanguine child needs someone to admire. Admiration here is a kind of magic and we must do everything we can to awaken it.

For the choleric child the key is respect and esteen for natural authority. The child’s belief in the teacer’s ability must remain unshaken.

The phlegmatic child should not be allowed to grow up alone. Their playmates interests/enthusiasms will over come their natural indifference towards the world.


There are three attachlings in our family. And each of the three of them shows clear signs of different temperaments:

Nic (eldest) – choleric
Theo (middle) – phlegmatic
Whinnie (youngest) – sanguine

And just to keep it interesting, Papa Chris is, I believe, clearly a melancholic.

Me? Sanguine all the way. I’m pretty sure about Whinnie’s sanguine-nature, though as she’s still very young, time will tell if this remains the case.

So, yeah, we have lots of personalities and competing temperaments around here.

It’s an interesting blend of influences to be reading Rhythms of Learning, The Handbook of Nature Study, Circle Round: Raising Children in the Goddess Traditions, and a book on pioneer life, all at the same time.

A song from Circle Round:

Circle round the sunrise
Circle round the breeze
Circle round the flame inside us dancing free

Circle round the oceans
the waters of our birth

Circle round the stars at night
and circle round the earth


blessed be,