Bella has Discovered Ravelry


headbanddirections-5946-333x500We’ve just reached a tipping point. Bella suddenly wants me to knit, crochet, or otherwise make a whole pile of cute things for her – you know, before winter break is over.

She says she finds the Ravelry site overwhelming, but I don’t believe her.

Last night, before going to sleep, I set her up with my computer opened to my Ravelry account on her bed. She browsed while watching the current episode of Vampire Diaries on her own computer. Yup, she was huddled in bed with two laptops and her phone near by – that’s the contemporary collegiate condition.

This morning, there was an email from her with six links: two versions of each thing she wants made (headband, leg warmers, cowl).This pic above was the original headband Bella wanted that my friend Christy made for her (see it at on her Pinterest board). This link takes you to Elisa McLaughlin’s website with very easy and clear  (free) directions.

headbandcrochetedBella now wants a thinner one in a maroon Brown Sheep worsted yarn I have, called Roasted Coffee – and she found a different pattern too, Knotted Headband. This pattern is crocheted, looks even easier, and is also free at It’s amazing – you can find free directions for just about anything. This particular project will go into Bella’s stocking. I’ll get started after I’ve sent a package of four felted slippers to my sister’s family in Melbourne; a hat and slipper socks to my brother and his new wife; and more felted slippers to my parents. Yeah, that’s all supposed to happen this week. ALMOST THERE.

legwarmers1legwarmers2The pair on the left are called Long Walks by Dani Sunshine and are available as a free download on Ravelry if you have an account. The pair on the right (Stirrup Leg Warmers) ended up being the winners though, without the stirrup part. I’ll do those in another maroon worsted wool. This link takes you to blog.

greycowlThis pretty cowl (A Grey Loop from was knit by a mom for her daughter. Aww.

Bella noted that the girl in the pic is wearing an anchor shirt – maybe she’s a Delta Gamma! But unfortunately that light lacey look doesn’t work for the yarn she was eyeing in my stash, which is a bulky green. This is still Bella’s top pick – so maybe I have to shop for more wool. : )

bulkycowlThe winning cowl, or infinity scarf, ended up being The Stockholm Scarf. The free pattern is from a blog called Knitted Bliss and it’s full of cabled coziness.

I might have to make one for myself when this holiday knitting madness passes. How warm does that look?!

Better go make a cup of tea and get my holiday gifts finished, because my fingers are itching for one of these new projects. (Just hard to get revved up on herbal tea. :/)


Posted in college life, crafts, gifts, says bella | 1 Comment

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie

The crust shall be a cookie recipe that Darlene adapted from Wheat Belly. The pie filling will be the Polynesian coconut filling that my friend Laura sent me years ago.

No doubt, Chad and I will both have “cheats” today at our Thanksgiving meal, but bringing a wild rice oyster stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, and a gluten-free, dairy free dessert will help – A LOT.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie CRUST

I am making crust from a cookie recipe. It does not puff up much. It happens to be Bella’s to favorite cookie recipe right now. This is directly from Darlene’s blog Livin’ the Good Life.

“Here is a recipe from the Wheat Belly book that I have successfully messed with until I found something I really liked. They are called “Ginger Spice Cookies”, but no more. The recipe has been seriously altered:
(It says it makes 2 dozen cookies. I found it made more.)
I use organic ingredients whenever possible.

1 cup of coconut flour
1 cup of ground walnuts [I throw whole walnuts into my vitamix to grind them to flour]
1 cup of almond flour [almond “meal” is easily found at Trader Joe’s]
a handful of coconut flakes
1/2 tsp. of stevia
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream [I use almond milk]
1 cup melted butter [I use Earth Balance]
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 oz of bittersweet choc. chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper

Stir together all dry ingredients in large bowl

Whisk sour cream, butter, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs
Add to dry ingredients

Mixture should be like cake batter, so add a small amount of water to thin it, if necessary. (I’m still experimenting with the consistancy.)
Add choc. chips

Drop 1 inch mounds on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on racks.”

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie FILLING

It’s a relief to post it here, because this recipe was posted in the comment section of my cranberry sauce recipe SIX years ago. For six years, every Thanksgiving and Christmas I do multiple searches on to try and remember where this Polynesian Coconut Pumpkin Pie recipe was posted.

“Here she blows. It’s from via Epicurious.

Polynesian Pumpkin Pie

3 eggs
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup karo syrup
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon Meyers rum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1 partially baked 10-inch pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Whisk together the eggs and the brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the karo syrup and whisk until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, and rum. Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and mix until incorporated.

3. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Bake the pie for about 30 minutes, until set. Cool the pie to room temperature and then serve with..uh…nothing…Cool Whip, or tofutti vanilla ice cream. Or more rum.”

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Just in case you thought I wasn’t busy enough…

I’ve started a Foundations program, which is the first year of Waldorf teacher training – which is not to say that I want to be a Waldorf teacher – but rather I am interested in Waldorf school for grown-ups, which, essentially, this is.

We meet one weekend (Fri 7-9; Sat 8:30-3:30) and one Tuesday (7:30-9) a month for ten months. It’s a two-year program and costs $2000/year.

On Tuesday nights we are studying Dante’s Divine Comedy, which the 11th graders do every year. When we arrived to class last Tuesday, our teacher Robin Theiss, had this lovely chalk drawing up on the board to help us go through Purgatory.

A typical weekend schedule starts with a Friday class discussion with 5th grade teacher Chris Bennett. We’re reading The Kingdom of Childhood.

Then Saturday morning we meet with Robin Theiss again for an hour of Theosophy.  Next is Speech or Modeling; then Eurythmy (healing group movement); and then Handwork (clearly, my favorite). It’s interesting to me that on Saturday only one-fourth of our time is spent on a book discussion-style class – the rest of the time we are learning (as the children do) through our bodies, voices, ears, and hands. All students stand and participate for Speech and Eurythmy, and it is surprisingly challenging to repeat simple movements and coordinating arms and legs. I am learning a lot just about the art of teaching by observing the teachers themselves, especially in Eurythmy where Curt builds simple movement upon simple movement until he has orchestrated quite a complex dance with all seventeen of us. This past weekend we had the additional treat of a piano player playing live in class. Pleasure!

Wait! I forgot to mention that we start each weekend with a half hour of singing. All standing and all singing a capella. THAT’S my favorite.

My friend, Darlene, reminded me that I SWORE I’D NEVER DO WALDORF TEACHER TRAINING. Oh well. Here’s me eating my words and smiling while chain-stitching my felt ball in Handwork class.

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Preview for Painting Show, “Departures” at Zask Gallery

Art, like life, is a moderated tension between intuition and logic; chaos and control. Four  artists, Virginia Katz, Margaret Lazzari, Maggie Lowe Tenneson, and Ruth Trotter make abstract paintings that are steeped at once in their own personal experience and also reference the natural world. All four have laid down the burden of reaction and inhibition and are deeply engaged with the movement of paint; the immediacy of a mark; and the luminosity of color.

Virginia Katz, Scape Cloud (2011)

A decade ago, Virginia Katz was harnessing the bluster of Santa Ana weather; recording the movement of blowing winds by tying pens to eucalyptus branches that created shimmering clouds of delicate scratches on paper. The form of the wind was strikingly like that of the Milky Way. With an abiding interest in making visible what is invisible, in particular those forces and processes in nature that change over time leaving (potentially) decipherable patterns, Katz’s work has now taken on a grander perspective of the Earth via paintings and prints informed by satellite imagery.

That is not to say that Katz’s work is representational. While the atmospheric mixed media work may loosely resemble painted satellite images, the only things they might truly be said to represent is an accumulation of memories of looking. The mixed media process assures an uncountable number of serendipitous surprises in color, texture, and form.

Margaret Lazzari, Stepping Lightly (2012)

There are moments of representation in Margaret Lazzari’s work as she often paints as she gazes towards her exuberant backyard, but there is always a point where the painting separates from the observation and begins command its own form. Stepping Lightly (2012), a dozen small panels hung in an offset grid of three rows, captures this relationship between abstraction and representation. The top two rows are airy abstracts filled with smears of pale colors. They don’t resemble the sky so much as moments or movements of light. The emerging lilies in the bottom row are in various stages of blossoming in a dark pond. The mysterious fecundity of the blooming water lilies anchors a visceral response to the experience of growth.

Maggie Tennesen, Point of Release (2012)

Maggie Tenneson’s controlled grids may appear to have the least in common with the expressionistic spirit of the other paintings in the exhibit. Tenneson draws heavily from her Buddhist spirituality and deploys an arsenal of repeating geometric motifs carved into the gessoed canvas before any paint is applied. While each painting begins with a drawing and then a small model painting, it is clear that the actual painting is derived from a mantric meditative space. Each of the paintings is sculpturally constructed with thousands of thin strips of paint, which having been applied with a squirt tube and straight edge, resemble strands of yarn. So much so, that from a certain distance the paintings look like weavings, and from that perspective, convey a duration of process not unlike a woven rug. Her ritualized practice of making verges on devotional which in turn produces mandela-like energy fields with her color.

In comparison, Ruth Trotter’s exuberant swathes of color look expressionistic and wild, but it is a deliberate and ordered untidiness. Her paintings, heavy with layers of oil and acrylic, also contain a rather Freudian cognitive underpinning of drawings and sketches from personal experiences and collective memory of art history. One symbol, in particular, can be seen in nearly every piece, a spotted bit that was once a drawing on linen of a spotted scarf tied in a knot. That motif is sometimes a collapsing grid, one that is made of soft rumpled fabric; and sometimes a personal possession, painted like a portrait and reemerging, drifting up as from the subconscious. Those residual traces echo into the present, informing and motivating the intuitive choices that produce the foreground and interact with middle and background.

Originally conceived as a counterpoint exhibition that departed from a traditional orientation to art and the gaze, this painting show reveals what four female artists can do who are deeply engaged with the personal, the universal, and a mature non-figurative vocabulary without forgetting the sensual quality of paint itself. Reactionary self-consciousness, the stressful tic of our 20’s, 30’s, and even of our 40’s, is gone.  Without forgoing conceptual rigor, Katz, Lazzari, Tenneson, and Trotter have embraced the wrestle between chance and cognition in the universe of painting to make work that is a pleasure to behold.

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Opportunistic is Different Than Competitive…

a little insight into my character via a quick email my sister sent to my daughter, Bella this morning:

“bella, did i ever tell you that story about how your ‘civilian’ mother could do push-ups?
i was just thinking about it and it made me think it would be great if jeannie moved out here but i guess you wouldn’t like that that much since then she would be so far away from you.
anyway, the story is funny and it goes like this.
it must have been 1988 or 1989… and you know how your mom always wants to be able to do anything anyone else can do?  like when she heard that i had learned to knit when i was living in germany she learned to knit too… before i came back home!  anyhoo, so i was in the air force ROTC and was in the process of joining this military fraternity (kind of like rushing only different since you have to do things like get up at 5:30am to run 10 miles and do 100 push-ups in the snow, etc) and jeannie had come out to visit me in colorado… well, it was just before spring break ( i guess that also means it was 1989, not 1988) and we had this one activity where we had to find out the answer to all these questions for the ‘actives’ (the ones who were already members of the military fraternity which was called pershing rifles).  one way to get an answer was to directly ask one of the actives but this usually meant you had to do something for them… this one guy (already a member) we asked was like, “i’ll tell you the answer to that if your civilian sister can do TEN push-ups for me right now”… haha… it was so funny because jeannie had been practising her push-ups ever since i had told her i was doing so many in order to join this fraternity!!  he was so surprised when she dropped and gave him 10 proper push-ups… it was great.  maybe it doesn’t sound so funny now because i haven’t explained the context that well but trust me, it was a GREAT moment.  your mom is so funny sometimes.

okay, back to work… keep safe in college… xox, sue.”

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Hat Weather

I made the purple gnome hat for Leela. Then Grace liked it so well that I ended up making her one too. C wants one next.

It’s been unseasonably hot here in SoCal, but all through the summer heat, I fretted about my two little nieces enduring their first winter in Melbourne. That fretting led to knitting, and well, one knitting project led to another. By the time the Autumnal Equinox had rolled around, I was surprised to discover that I’d knit EIGHT hats and THREE pairs of mittens.

The first hat I knit was The Scrappy Gnome Hat (free pattern from with a ball of purple speckled wool. I upped the cuteness factor by also using a thin strand of rainbow mohair which acted like fairy dust; the whole hat had a faint rainbow halo! In fact, that hat got perhaps too much attention – I ended up having to sell a ball of my rainbow magic to a friend eager to make her own daughter a fairy cap.

This one is for Grace, and reluctantly modeled by Christian. I think he got one sour gummy worm for his trouble. It is a very simple pattern and knits up fast. I started and finished this hat on my weekend trip to NYC.

Then I knit a earflap hat for Grace with long, long braids on either side, so she can pretend she has long, long hair, which she frequently like to do. It was called “Meghan’s Braids” from a knitting book about using one skein. I used a skein of washable Madeline Tosh (love this yarn).

It turned out a bit big, but I am told that she likes it well and wears it to her Steiner kinder class often.

Then five men’s hats in quick succession, using my new favorite beanie pattern from Ravelry. It’s called “Turn a Square” by Jared Flood and it’s the highest ranked hat pattern on Ravelry. You can access it here for free if you have a Ravelry account. It’s clever, but simple hat that uses a self-striping wool for the stripes themselves, so that the stripes change color as they progress up the hat. Hats are wonderful ways to use up leftover balls of wool.

They were fall birthday gifts for my brother-in-law, brother, and Dad. Christian and Chad snagged my favorite dark gray one and the fair isle one remains unclaimed. I have a few more of these to make before I’m through.

Wait, I just remembered another hat I made for Sue. It was with two different colorways of Noro wool.

Seeing people I love wear my hats just puts a big grin on my face.


Heh, heh. The gnome hat was fun. May have to make one for myself! (I did not make the gray hat on Grace’s head nor the pink sweater on Leela’s adorable body. I want that pattern though!)

Posted in crafts, gifts, knitting | 2 Comments

Girl Names


Can you tell I’m excited? Songbae has asked for help in the name department.

Chad submitted Eve and Veda (Christian’s alternate name had he been born a girl).

I (still) like Lucy and Rosalie.

Bella keeps a running list on her phone of favorite names:

Poppy (nickname)
Joy (for a middle name)

Dog names🐶

But my biggest piece of advice is avoiding any name in the top 25 most popular name list. It is so dang irritating to have other kids at the park with the same name as your kid.

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Stingray Shuffle

You can walk to these beaches by walking north along the shore from Aliso Creek Beach, but it’s easiest to park near the Montage Resort (like on Wesley) and walk down directly in from of the hotel. Best low tides are at the full and new moons.

So there is a price to pay for warm and glassy beautiful ocean waters.

During my forest kindergarten promo class this week, a woman was stung by a stingray, and spent a good part of an hour crying and being tended to by a crowd of friends and life guards. Several hours later, I realized she was still being tended on a deck chair up on the hotel deck. (Hot water is the treatment – lots of heat on the sting) She had been swimming in the ocean directly in front of me!

I questioned the lifeguard after class, because I’d never known such a thing to happen. I hadn’t had to worry during class, because none of us were swimming (only go ankle deep during class). But I do usually swim in the ocean after class, and frankly, every chance I get. I keep a bathing suit in my trunk.

He said that when the waters warm up into the 70’s (see, I wasn’t exaggerating about the ocean’s warmth) and when the waves are exceptionally mellow, that stingrays can come in close to the shoreline. Apparently, it is mainly the surf that keeps them out.

The sting can be bad (the woman stung said her pain level was a 7 out of 10), but the lifeguard says it depends on the person and circumstances, and that some people hardly notice it at all. Stingrays ARE venomous, so a lot depends on the amount of venom that is injected. People are typically stung on their foot or ankle from inadvertently stepping on one.

So, do I need to tread water all the time now?

No, the lifeguard says that the “stingray shuffle” works well. Walk in a slow, shuffling manner, kicking the sand up in front of your feet, so the stingrays can move out of your way.

I think I’ll be doing a lot of treading…

FYI: the tidepools below the Montage Hotel are among the deepest in California. Tomorrow is a full moon and the tide will be low at 3:46 pm. Care to join me?

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Mrs M on Not Homeschooling Young Children

Almost daily I read the posts of a yahoo message board called, Waldorf Home Educators, because the moderator of the group, Mrs. M, has wise things to say about child-rearing and schooling alike. Here is one post of hers that I especially appreciated. She gave me permission to re-post. I’d also like to mention that she has a website with resources for sale called and that she is affiliated with the The Shining Star Waldorf School in Portland, Oregon.

I think it is timely as Christian and his friends are all four years old (babies!), yet we all seem so inclined to fill up their days with classes and activities outside the home. I agree with Mrs M that a strong home rhythm and time OUTSIDE is most important for happy, settled kids.

Please Do Not “Home School” Your Kindergarten Child!

Recently I have read quite a few letters from parents who are ‘home school’ their children, ages four to six, and who have questions and concerns about what to ‘teach’, what to do, how to be, what rhythm to use, and what materials or resources to buy for this task! Often parents are asking if they can move their young child ‘ahead’ to a grades program as the child seems to be ‘ready’ to move on! Each time I receive or read one of these letters, written by very well meaning adults, I cringe!

This is why: being at HOME with your children is the HOME SCHOOL of the Waldorf world! Just being at home, following your daily routines, including the children, is the HOME SCHOOL of the child who has not yet experienced seven springs (or Easters).

However, it is not being at HOME in the way we do in this modern century or modern times with all of our entertainment gadgets and inventions. The task of the parent with children under seven springs is to create and sustain a home rhythm that would have been very strongly present before the 1960s. I say the 1960s because that is when almost every household had acquired a TV, a dishwasher, and dryers….not to mention all the other boxes and machines that have come along since. In addition, at that time, almost all households had only 1 car, not two, and Daddy usually took it to work, or on the farm, shared a car with all the relatives living around the farm.

Imagine, if you could, that you go around your home and unplug all those cords! Imagine that you have unplugged those cords, and disabled the outlets, except for the refrigerator and the freezer, and you have no access to a vehicle for most of the day. Now you are back in the 1950s…..ok, you can keep the washing machine (they came with wringers by the way I can still recall turning my grandma’s for her….). Now you have the ideal setting for a Waldorf Home Kindergarten Experience.

Waldorf education in the schools for the younger children is an attempt to re-create the HOME in the school……you ARE at home, so make it a HOME….not a storage place for all the grown up toys that have been collected……create a home where breakfast is cooked and served, dishes are set on a table with a cloth and some flowers or beautiful arrangement in the middle of the table, where please and thank you are heard, where food is passed around in pretty dishes………..where butter has its own tiny knife, where the smells of the soup pot fill the house, where the garden is tended each day, where the floors are swept, and the closets are tidy, and the children have ‘work’ to do each day, with you or with Daddy, and the rhythms are in place!

Home rhythm is what is missing in our culture: it went away with the electric light, and now has nearly vanished with instant gratification and instant entertainment and 24 hour stores and literally the loss of a strong connection with nature! Hardly anyone observes sunset or sunrises any more……our homes are curtained and shut off from the seasons, and our eyes are glued to the SCREEN in front of us. Home rhythm is the critical piece for home schooling the young child, and we must revive this knowledge and provide a platform for parents to use as an anchor, which literally does not cost anything, not even one dime!

Using a curriculum for a young child at home takes the activity out of the daily rhythm that should be in the home already, makes it artificial, sets it aside, makes it too conscious-raising! Now we will learn! That bringing of ‘now’ awakens the child, hardens the nerve sense system, forces them out of the dream-time that surrounds them with beauty and grace, and clips off part of their childhood……….Now we will color, Now we will do a poem, Now we will sing this song and so on………the singing and the poems should arise naturally, out of the rhythm of the day!

When you make the bread on a particular day, you knead and knead, and out of the rhythm of that motion, your voice emerges and you sing…….Blow wind blow and Go mill go, so the miller can crack the corn, and the baker can take it and into bread bake it, and bring us a loaf in the morn! You sing about bread and grain and bakers and millers because you ARE making bread or muffins or biscuits…………it makes sense to you and to the child! You sing about washing, you sing about cleaning, you sing about angels at bedtime, you bring integrity and rhythm to the day in your home, with your children! You say a poem about chickens when you feed them! You bring the table blessings when you eat. You have a song about the wind when are outside, taking a walk, working in the garden, and so on……what you bring in your home is rich and repeated and steady and the children know that when the leaves begin to fall, mama sings that song! Every year! They count on it and they count on you, and this beautiful stability enters their thinking and their bodies and gives them strength and wisdom and prepares them to enter the world as free human beings.

In a daily rhythm, you can examine your life and think of how to order the tasks and chores: mostly they fall into several distinct categories: taking care of our clothing, our homes, our gardens, our food, someone else, and creating what is needed…….in those general areas, we can begin to build a daily rhythm for the children and ourselves………we clean our clothes on this day: including bed clothes and human clothes and dolls’ clothes, and so on. We wash and fold and hang out to dry and iron…..another day we take care of our home: we sweep and polish and dust and shine, we wash the porch, the surfaces, and we beautify the nature table…….on another day, we prepare our weekly foods, we garden, we harvest, we grind, we bake, we can, we dry, we glean, and organize our cupboards or bake a pie or cookies for the jar……………..on another day, we go visiting! We share what we prepared, we bring a small gift, we perform a small chore, we help our neighbor or parents or friends to construct or fix something, we trim and rake, we prepare lunch together, and enjoy the company of others……….these daily rhythms are so strongly needed for the whole family and the art of economizing and using our resources wisely is needed by everyone on this planet.

For the daily feeling, for me at least, the mornings are busy, lots of physical activities, lots of movement, lots of energy, and a mid morning break with snack and tea, is good, followed by an out breathing time with a walk outside for fresh air or play……..then perhaps a quieter period after lunch with reading aloud, looking at picture books, telling stories, working on the handwork by the cozy hearth, singing some quiet songs as fingers work the yarn or needles, then a resting time, followed by a slower pace towards the evening meal preparation, then the familiar comfort of warm bath, cozy bed time, story, candle, singing, and so on……drifting into sleep with a feeling of a day well spent, well balanced, well brought.

Provide for the young child a box of art items, that can be brought out when requested, with beeswax stick crayons, in red, yellow, blue, green, gold, brown, and violet. Have at hand, nice thick paper with rounded corners, in various sizes, for using when requested. Do not allow the children to just scribble a bit on many pages, keep a reverence for the clean white paper and the box of crayons, care for them, store them carefully away, and write on the paper the date and name of the child and honor the work that has been brought. Often the parent must sit right at the table, perhaps handwork at hand, being there, while the child colors…..also the same for painting, once a week or so, bring out one color of Stockmar Watercolor paint, premixed, in a small jar, and have ready a sheet of thick water color paper, rounded at the corners, lay it on a board, bring the rag, and the brush and the water jar, and allow this young child to paint carefully, while you sit nearby, with your handwork or mending, and just be there…..children 3 and 4, can paint with 1 color, age 5 and 6 can learn to use 2 colors…….keep it simple, and save the paints and they will last for years! Have at hand, Lemon Yellow, Prussian Blue, and Karminrot. You can order these directing from as a homeschooler. Later, add Golden Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, and Rotviolet…..

Children and adults need more sleep than we allow in our time. Early bedtimes and rising with the sun are good habits for everyone and leave us feeling healthy and well. I have a natural feeling that if we leave our windows uncovered, the child will rise with the sun and be refreshed and ready for the day……bedtime for children up to seven springs should be at 7 pm. This is quite unusual to see families aware of this need: I see chronically fatigued and sleep deprived children and adults everywhere! Children up to seven springs need 12-14 hours of sleep per day…..if they cannot rest easily, examine the amount of brain stimulation they are receiving in the form of screens! For some children, screens can produce a brain activity like that of a person who just took several shots of espresso! Remove the screens in your home, from your child’s access, and you will find, over several months, a gradual and welcome return to natural sleep rhythms.

A home kindergarten is a beautiful adventure based on real life with real people and a house or apartment, and a dedication to rhythm, beauty, warmth, and health! Too often I hear young parents say, well, I have to do something with the kids to keep them busy while I get stuff done! So we train our children, then, to immerse themselves in an electronic virtual world of ‘mind numbing entertainment’ while we rush about to load the dishwasher, reheat an already cooked product in the microwave, download the latest computer program…….talk on the telephone……try to shovel in the mountain of plastic toys and parts into a closet or toy box….wish for a dryer that also folded the clothes……and so on……….and so on………this in itself divorces the child from her own world, his own work, her ability to feel confident about being competent, capable, and proud of what has been accomplished in this day. The child needs the full period of time of seven springs to play, to imagine with a few objects, to be quiet and to be busy, to rest and to run, to help others and to wonder. After the seventh spring, the life forces are freed up for memory work, for learning the letters, for directed academic projects and activities. Forcing or even enabling a young child into more directed educational activities is like forcing a tulip to bloom in winter: you can do it, but that bulb will never be as healthy again, it has spent its forces, it has weakened its natural state of development, for a temporary benefit.
Be patient and rest in the knowledge that you are on the right path.

Please do not buy expensive K teaching manuals or curriculums. Buy a few books on how to knit, how to grow a bio dynamic garden, how to cook simple whole foods (Nourishing Traditions is a great one), a song book if you don’t know any songs, learn to play an instrument (I highly recommend a Choroi Pentatonic Flute and books at, a wonderful broom and dustpan, some lovely bowls for baking and mixing……….and sit down to examine your lives and see how you can bring daily rhythm into your home. The parents must work together on this effort, and support one another, and it is very good to gather once a week with likeminded families for play and social activities and outings, and sharing. If you can commit to spending 2 hours in the morning on the day’s activity, 1 hour outside each day in play and exercise, 1 hour each day in resting, story telling, and handwork……you will have a home rhythm that is satisfying and better than any kindergarten anywhere! This is the ideal for the school life, later, those first six years at home, with mama or papa, spent in a useful healthy rhythm and time for the inner forces of imagination to develop and flower. In time, the academic portion of the learning begins either in a more formal home school in the Autumn after seven springs, or in a school setting.

Posted in homeschooling, modernday hippiness, mothering, mrs. m | 2 Comments

Forest Kindergarten Promotion Class

Those of you in the know – please spread the word! Folks are always asking me about promo classes, but I keep poor records of these things. Send payment and forms to Jodi.

P.S. I am making the reservations for the Martinmas campout for November 10, 2012.

In Trabuco Canyon, before we harvested yucca fronds to make rope. If you see water, you pretty much always strip down and jump in.

August 28, 2012
Laguna Beach Tidepools, exact location to be announced upon enrollment
9:00 am-2:00 pm
$25/child ages 3-6

Once a semester, Earthroots offers a promotional class for new students to get a feel for Forest Kindergarten. Taught by Jeannie Lee & Earthroots assistants, this day will bring children and parents together to experience a day of nature connection, songs, hand plays, adventure & fun.

Limited enrollment! Enroll today!
The drop in rate for a day of Forest Kindergarten is $65.
This Promo Class is only $25… saving you $40.
Only open to first-time Forest Kindergarten participants. Previous Earthroots participants in Toddlers in the Garden, Afternoon Adventures or other classes are welcome, please join us!

Register Via Mail:
Send check and one Enrollment Form per family and one Medical Release Form per person to
PO Box 504
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

Register Via Internet:
Send payment via Paypal to “”
Scan and email Enrollment Form & Medical Release Forms to the same email.


All forms are available for download at the Earthroots website here.

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