Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Enrollment Options for February

*eCourse Only ~ $25 here
~ this is for the Love :: The Heart of Discipline, a four week eCourse on parenting from the heart

*The Living Curriculum Program for February ~ $45  here
~ Celebrate February! this includes the eCourse, the Support Materials Packets, Tutorials, Videos
  • Start Up Guide: How to get going 
  • Finding Daily Rhythm with Yourself 
  • Daily, Weekly and Monthly Rhythm Plan (if you want it sketched out ~ it's here) 
  • Guide for putting it all together 
  • Circle, Song, Story, Fingerplay and Movement games for the Nursery child (3-4) and the Kindergarten child (5-6) 
  • Fairy Tale ideas for the month
  • Nature Story Curriculum for the Nursery Child 
  • Puppetry ideas to go along with the stories for each month 
  • Wet on Wet Watercolor painting ~ step by step tutorial
  • Cooking and Baking with Children ~ recipes, tips and support
  • Menus with Recipes describing the grains of the Waldorf kindergarten (breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea)  and including seasonal foods and recipes for each month.
  • Meal Planning Support
  • Housework Rhythms
  • Handwork for each month with supply list, instruction and photos
  • Celebration and Festival ~ background and ideas
  • Seasonal foods to plant, harvest, prepare and eat with children 
  • In the Morning Garden ~ a tip each month for group programs 
  • Afterchool Care of the child ~ Rhythm and Rest, Activities, Festival Life, Movement Games and Stories for the grade school child
  • Focus topic ~ love :: The Heart of Discipline
  • Explanation of the underlying developmental needs of the child in Waldorf early childhood, the whys  
  • Pedagogy behind the topic 
  • Practical activity to accompany monthly topic eCourse
  • Exercise to do with the topic ~ practice 
  • Reflection ~ questions for nurturing the inner life 
  • Private online discussion group where we discuss parenting concerns, balancing it all, how to best use the curriculum material, balancing housework, bringing in artistic activities, self care and most of all finding the rhythm that best supports our own families and tending to that rhythm with care, creativity and consciousness.
  • Posts through the month on the focus topic eCourse
  • Ideas for creating community where you live 
  • Resources for finding high quality and affordable materials 
  • Ongoing discussion through the month 
  • Consultation through the month 
*The Living Curriculum Program for the Year ~ $495 here
Celebrate the Rhythm of Life through the Year! ~12 eCourses - one for each month, the Support Materials Packets, Tutorials, Videos, a set for each month of the year, ongoing consultation

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Announcing an eCourse on Discipline

Love :: The Heart of Discipline
~ a conscious, creative, connected, gentle parenting eCourse

February 1 ~ February 28
registration now open

“My hunch is that if we allow ourselves to give who we really are to the children in our care, we will in some way inspire cartwheels in their hearts.” ~ Fred Rogers

Join me for four weeks of exploration into parenting from the heart that allows you to give who you really are in your parenting. We'll explore conscious, creative and connected parenting through practical examples and real scenarios of living with children.

Are you?
  • Tired of repeating yourself? nagging? yelling?
  • Feeling exasperated when your child does not respond to your words?
  • Having parenting moments in which you just don't know what to do?
  • Do you wish you had other ways to respond?
  • Would you like to laugh more?
  • Do you sometimes feel lost when it comes to discipline?
  • Does being with children exhaust you?
  • Is the idea of discipline overwhelming to you? 
  • Do you spend alot of time reading about discipline and parenting styles and wonder why they don't seem to work?
  • Seeking ways to bring your child along without resistance?
  • Wondering how you can make the day flow more peacefully?
  • Are you looking for gentle ways to help your child grow peacefully as a human being?
  • Would you like to lighten up and be more creative with discipline?
Come join me in this 4 week eCourse for practical examples and practice.

When my first child was born, I was certain that if he had a gentle birth, was breastfed, co-slept in the family bed and I spent time with him and practiced attachment parenting that our life together would be smooth and harmonious. Are you laughing yet?
I wasn't.
The first year was very sweet with a happy baby whose needs were met. Then at one year he began walking and exploring and getting in to everything. He needed boundaries and loads of focused attention. I needed to make dinner and do laundry, attend to clients at prenatal visits, teach childbirth classes and go to labors and births.

I really struggled with "what to do." Especially in the toddler years. I knew clearly in my heart what I was not willing to do, yet I was at a loss for what "to do."
So I plugged along and found my way. I read books to no avail. Talked to friends. Made changes in myself and in our home life. Over the years it began to emerge, a picture of the child, the development of the child and the inner development of the adult. Playful parenting and the authoritative parent. Attachment and boundaries. Responding rather than reacting. Seeing the child for who he is. It all coalesced for me.

Did that make me the perfect parent? No, not at all. I have gained some clarity around the parent-child relationship and I have learned when to let go and when to forge ahead. I've learned to talk less and do more. I've learned to recognize when my child needs more connection with me and I have learned so much about boundaries. I don't get exasperated anymore. This baby who taught me so much is now 18 years old and continues to teach me.

Since those first tender days of new motherhood, I have had the great gift of teaching and caring for other people's children. This makes learning so much easier. Our own children come to us with such intensity and we are so often in the heat of the moment, that it can be hard to see the whole picture. Child number two came along eleven years ago and brought new opportunities for learning how he needs to be parented.

I have thought about offering this course for years. And waited. And waited. Now it feels like the time is ripe.

I am offering this eCourse to help you develop a clearer picture of the child, to find humor and creativity in the hard moments and to have plenty of hands on practice over the course of the month.

We'll focus on real life challenges over the course of the month: tantrums, resistance, "not hearing," name calling, sibling bashing, biting, hair pulling and what happens when parents have two distinct styles of discipline, and more, with practical examples to help you be who you really are!
I hope you'll join me for a month of practical examples and practice to make your parenting more conscious, creative and connected.

Registration Options:
:: eCourse only is $25 Sign up here
:: eCourse and all the Living Curriculum Program support materials for February  $45 ~ learn more on what that includes here
:: an eCourse for each month of the year (12), the Living Curriculum program for Twelve months ~ $495

Please know that I have kept the fee low to make it accessible.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Inner Experience of Rhythm

Q & A with Lisa
inner rhythm

Dear Lisa, I heard you talk about rhythm and remember that you said something like... "no need for making charts, you have it within  you ...and if you don't... cultivate it, one step at a time." Can you explain what you meant by that? What are your thoughts on making charts for children to learn the rhythm of our home?

We are enveloped by rhythm.

The cosmos has a rhythm. The moon has a rhythm.

Our bodies have rhythm: of breath, pulse, blood flow, menstrual rhythm and the seasons of life.

Our lives have a rhythm of day and night.

The moon has a 29.5 day cycle of waxing and waning, becoming full and new again.

Our weeks are based on a seven day rhythm.

Our year is based on the movement of our earth around the sun.

Life is steeped in rhythms. Rhythm of the day. Rhythm of the Week. Rhythm of the Year. The rhythm of early childhood, of the early grades, of the middle grades, of high school. The rhythm of life.

Yet we live in a world that is so very focused on what is "out there." How do we return to our own inner rhythm, our own center? How do we live rhythmically and  authentically "from the inside out?"

Each morning, we awaken from our sleep to "right here" to what is inside, what is before us, in this moment. An inner life. An inner world. The ability to hear own own breathing. And that of our children.

Right now I  invite you to contemplate the value of inner rhythm. Knowing from deep within that there is a predictable and reliable order to life. Not from a chart or a picture, but from an inner wisdom, an inner knowing that just feels right, that now we have been active and of course, it must be our rest time. I feel it from within.

With the Children's Garden children I did not wear a watch, because I knew when it was time for Morning Tea, I knew when it was time for lunch, I knew when it was nap time, because I had internalized the rhythm of our days. As had the children. 

This ability to have an inner experience of time and activity that arises from within is a gift we can give to our children. It strengthens them, reduces anxiety, and builds confidence within, that the world is good, that this life is dependable and trustworthy because there is a natural order to life. That the parent is bring form to the day through rhythm as an example for the child to imitate, to absorb. The rhythm becomes habit, from within.

We adults can create this natural order to our child's world by being present in the moment. Sure we may make notes and plans and tweak them, and have lists or charts of our own, but ultimately any lasting rhythm rhythm will emerge from within. 

Children learn by our example. They learn through doing. Children imitate our doing. It is what we do that they absorb. When we find our stride with rhythm, the children come along.

If you are making charts and signs and pictures for your child, I encourage you to go within and look to see if you are living the rhythm first, if you are carrying it. Let our doing create the steady points in our children's days. Let us be the ones who carry the burden of finding the rhythm and holding its form around our children, like a container that provides protection from the chaos and overstimulation of the outer world. This is a gift, this experience of rhythm from within. Once it is established, it tends to flow with ease.

It is easy to be tempted by what is "out there" yet I know that any changes in rhythm in my household  must begin with me, for I am the model, the example my child imitates. 

When I am living my rhythm from within, it is freeing and energizing. The child absorbs the inner mood that is created, almost as if by osmosis, and comes along into the rhythm, from an inner experience.

At times, I fall off the rhythm wagon, we get into jags of staying up too late or going out too often, or trying to do too many errands in one trip. When that happens, I know within. My body tells me.

I know when we are doing too much. I am the one who needs to make the changes.

As for the activities we do only now and then, like the eye doctor or a visit to the museum, these are not part of our daily rhythm, they go on the calendar. 

It is when I come home to myself, to the stillness of the moment, that once again, I notice my breathing, I see my children, I begin to live again into our daily and weekly rhythms.

If you are striving to bring rhythm to your home, start small with one simple change and slowly over time build on that so that your child experiences rhythm as something that envelopes him or her each day and not as a sign or a chart hanging on the wall, but as an inner knowing upon waking that it is a home day or a school day, bun day or soup day. The child knows from a living experience, from living education what to anticipate. This is the gift of inner rhythm.

Q&A with Lisa is my way of responding to your questions that I cannot answer individually. Send me your questions at lisaboisvert(at)yahoo(dot)com with Question in the subject line. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

this morning

good morning morning
I see the moon
I awoke this morning to greet the new day and upon opening the door to the new day, I saw the moon making its way towards slumber as I was making my way towards day. 

a little ditty we sing when we see the moon:

I see the moon
and the moon sees me
oh how lucky
we can be

Friday, January 17, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment}
A Friday ritual. a photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to celebrate!
With great joy and surprise I found the first egg of the season this morning from our only auracauna, a sweet and talkative girl named Henny, wahoo! with gratitude for fresh eggs.

joining with Amanda over at SouleMama

Happy Week ~ending my friends!

Monday, January 6, 2014

For a Season of Epiphany!

For a little perspective on the Epiphany and Three Kings Day within the rhythm of the Christian year.

Today January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany also known as Three Kings Day. It follows Twelfth Night, the last of the Twelve days and Holy Nights of Christmas.

This celebration is of the Epiphany. The word "epiphany" mean "to reveal, to appear, to manifest" and from "above." It was the great star in the sky that was not a star at all that brought the three kings from afar in search of the new king, the child of light. For this reason, stars are a symbol of this celebration.

Twelfth Night is the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas as well as the Twelve Holy Nights.

While the Epiphany and Three Kings day marks the start of Carnival which lasts until Mardi Gras, an occasion for great celebration with parades, music, dancing and another King’s Cake, this one with a bean or baby Jesus tucked inside. Baby Jesus you exclaim? Yes, the Kings were seeking the baby Jesus, thus a baby Jesus tucked inside for seeking. Some people use a trinket instead. In France the bean is a lava bean and known as "le feve."

Epiphany is seen by some to herald the end of the Christmas season. Yet others today and throughout history look to Candelmas on the 2nd of February to mark the end of Christmas. In Medieval times greens were kept in the house until Candlemas. Candelmas is the Celebration of the Light of the World, more here.

Epiphany may be embraced as a four week season balancing the season of Advent with the Twelve Days of Christmas in the center. Four weeks of anticipation, moving towards and four weeks of awakening, digesting and assimilating that which has come to us.

The celebration of Epiphany is a heavily loaded one for it encompasses the arrival of the Three Kings from the East bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh, each one coming from a different place, each one heralded on by the appearance of a star.

Mardi Gras, the last hurrah before Lent, is also about the Three Kings. The colors of Mardi Gras are gold, green and purple. In New Orleans, many floats are led by three kings on horseback showering gifts of purple, green and gold coins, beads and trinkets. The purple is for Myrhh, a reddish purplish brown resin, green for Frankinsence, a light green resin from the Boswellia tree and gold, the gifts the Magi brought.

Rudolf Steiner who brought forth Waldorf education, stated "Festivals are not merely the commemoration of historical events or personalities. They are in and of themselves, each year, spiritual events carrying a significance that grows and deepens with the developing phases of human evolution."

More on celebrating Three Kings Day is available in the Celebrate the Rhythm of Life in January group here.

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