Friday, September 28, 2007

FREE: "How to Start Your Own Waldorf Enrichment Program"

You can get a very comprehesive packet on how to start your own Waldorf Enrichment Program either for your own family, a co-op or for profit. You can download the packets and e-books for free at:

ORGANIZING IDEAS: Creative Use of Baskets

I love having everything in my craft room and art room (some people call it the dining room) organized in pretty baskets so that everything is always ready to be used and I am more inspired to do my crafts and art and so are the kids. This basket organization system works wonders for our creativity. I can sit down any time and pick up my knitting basket and start to work. Suni often grabs the basket of wood to whitle and Sofi and her friends love to grab the baskets of paper and colored pencils. Having things out in view like this really helps inspire items to be used!

The only problem I was having with this organization system was that my CATS were always getting into the felting material. And they LOVE to sleep on it. I finally found a solution!!! Those adorable baskets with a hole on top. The small ones are meant to be kleenex holders and the large ones are meant to be picnic baskets that provide extra space for bottles and larger items. This one (see picture) is wonderful for my stuffing! Now the cats don't mess it up anymore and I always have it handy for my projects - no need to hide it anymore in a cuboard now that it looks cute :). I don't think I have opened most of my cupboads in a month anyway.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ORGANIZING IDEAS: Tea Tin Pencil Holders

I often buy this wonderful tea from Barnes & Noble that comes in these lovely tins that I hate to throw out so I was keeping them for a while...not knowing what to do with them. Then, the other day I had some kids over and I needed a place to put the markers they were going to use to color with (I'm also using this for my colored pencils). We don't get the markers out too often so they were all nice and organized in color order in the bag...I couldn't bear to have them all mixed in a basket. So I took out the tea-tins and - voila! A wonderful way to organize any colored drawing tools! I was even able to match the colored markers to the colors on the tins :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Are you an Indigo Adult?

Dear Parents,

We often spend so much time working on our children than we forget to look at ourselves and how we can understand and help ourselves more. I found the following article on the Indigo network and found it interesting. We often look for signs in our children of Indigo, Special, Gifted, etc...but what about YOU, the parent?

Are you an Indigo adult?
Are you gifted with a brilliant mind and special intuitive skills yet people tell you that you should not use it. Do you hate injustice? Do you find it difficult to handle authority? Do you feel you where misunderstood all your life?

Indigo children where born all through out times. Only recently, in the 1970’s, Indigos where born on a much lager scale all over the world. So by now most Indigo children are Indigo adults.

Indigo children are supposedly a set of people having certain special psychological and spiritual attributes. The indigo child concept was first popularized by the book, The Indigo Children, written by the husband and wife team of Lee Carroll and Jan Tober, with the contributions of medical doctors, psychologists, and parents whose essays are included in the text. The adjective "indigo" is used because it is claimed these children appear with an indigo-hued energy field (aura).

Indigos process their emotions differently than non Indigos because they have high self-esteem and strong integrity. They have inherently strong determination to work things through for themselves and only want outside guidance if it's presented to them with respect and within a format of true choice. They prefer to work situations out for themselves.

They can suck up knowledge like a sponge, especially if they like or are drawn to a subject, which makes them very advanced in their areas of interest. Experiencing life helps them learn best, so they create the experiences they need to help them with their current problem or area where they need to grow. They respond best when treated like a respected adult.

Indigos are born masters — each and every one! We have to understand that they fully expect every one of us to do what they are doing naturally, and if we don't, they keep pushing our buttons until we get it right — that is, until we become the masters of our own lives.

Safety is very important, because all children need to feel safe to fully explore their universe. For Indigos, safety means that it's okay to do things differently! Giving everyone this space is the best thing we can do for children and for ourselves.

One thesis of The Indigo Children seems to be that many children diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder (ADD) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) represent "a new kind of evolution of humanity." These children don't need drugs like Ritalin, but special care and training.

One can understand why many parents would not want their child to be labeled as ADD or ADHD. The label implies imperfection. Some may even take it to mean the child is "damaged." Specifically, it means your child's behavior is due to a neuro-biological condition. To some, this is the same as having a malfunctioning brain or a mental disorder. Understandably, emotions run high here. The National Institute of Mental Health says that ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder.

Indigo’s: special people with a lot of gifts to bring in. Unfortunately these people where often misunderstood and therefore treated as if not normal. This is one of the reasons most Indigo’s are now damaged people having all kind of disorders or difficulties within the family or other relationships.

QUOTE: Making Time

I think the following essay strikes a chord with all of us parents:

The Time You Find
Simplifying Your Schedule

For many, life is a hodgepodge of never-ending commitments. Yet few
of us can be truly healthy or happy without regular periods of
downtime. While there is nothing inherently wrong with busyness,
those of us who over-commit or over-extend ourselves potentially
face exhaustion and burnout. When you feel overwhelmed by your
commitments, examining your motivation for taking on so many
obligations can help you understand why you feel compelled to do so
much. You may discover that you are being driven by fear that no one
else will do the job or guilt that you aren't doing enough. To
regain your equilibrium and clear the clutter from your calendar,
simplify your life by establishing limits regarding what you will
and will not do based on your personal priorities.

Determining where your priorities lie can be as easy as making two
lists: one that outlines all those obligations that are vital to
your wellbeing, such as work, meditation, and exercise, and another
that describes everything you do that is not directly related to
your wellbeing. Although there will likely be items in the latter
list that excite your passion or bring you joy, you may discover
that you devote a large portion of your time to unnecessary
activities. To simplify your schedule, consider which of these
unnecessary activities add little value to your life and edit them
from your agenda. Remember that you may need to ask for help, say no
firmly, or delegate responsibility in order to distance yourself
from such encumbrances. However, as you divest yourself of non-vital
obligations that cause you stress, serve no purpose, or rob you of
opportunities to refresh yourself, you will feel more energetic and
enthusiastic about life in general.

If simplifying your schedule seems prohibitively difficult and you
still feel pressed to take on more, try imagining how each new
commitment will impact your life before saying yes. When you
consider the hassle associated with superfluous obligations, you may
be surprised to see that your schedule is impeding your attempts to
grow as an individual. Your willingness to pare down your agenda, no
matter how gradual your progress, will empower you to retake active
control of the life that defines you.

GREAT PRODUCT: Brambleberry Tea

I love this site because it has SAMPLES available AND it offers tea bags - two things you often don't find in one site. Check them out (and remember I don't accept payments or do advertising. I just discover great things and pass on the news to you):

MOM'S CRAFT: Knitted Teacups

This site has a gorgeous pattern for knitted teacups. The pattern seems a challenge but the result is worth it!

IN THE NEWS: Bad News about TV...Again

A friend of mine sent me the following article:

By Anne Harding
Fri Sep 7, 11:30 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young children who watch more than a couple of hours of television a day are more likely to have attention problems as adolescents, researchers from New Zealand have found.

The two-hour point is very, very clear with our data, very consistent with what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends," Carl Erik Landhuis of the Dunedin School of Medicine at the University of Otago, the study's first author, told Reuters Health.

"We're not saying don't watch TV, just don't watch too much TV," he added.

While there is a widespread perception that TV can contribute to attention problems, there is actually very little data on the issue, Landhuis noted in an interview. To investigate, he and his colleagues looked at 1,037 boys and girls born in 1972 and 1973, following them from age 5 to 15.

On average, kids watched about 2 hours of TV daily when they were 5 to 11 years old, but were watching 3.13 hours on weekdays by age 13 to 15.

Study participants who had watched more than 2 hours of TV in early childhood were more likely to have attention problems as young teens, the researchers found. Those who watched more than 3 hours were at even greater risk.

The researchers used statistical techniques to control for the effects of attention problems in early childhood and other factors that could influence both TV watching and later attention difficulties. They found that TV watching, both in early childhood and in adolescence, independently influenced the risk of these problems in adolescence.

"Although it doesn't prove causation, it certainly provides evidence that the causal link is in that direction," Landhuis said.

He and his colleagues suggest that kids who get used to watching lots of attention-grabbing TV may find ordinary life situations -- like the classroom -- boring. It's also possible, they add, that TV may simply crowd out time spent doing other activities that can build attention and concentration skills, such as reading and playing games.

It's likely, Landhuis said, that kids today watch much more TV than the participants in his study, who had only 2 channels to choose from in the late 1970s.

SOURCE: Pediatrics, September 2007.


I have discovered a wonderful website I wanted to share with all you parents. The following post I was sent from their site last week was very inspiring to me as a Waldorf mom:

Conscious Brilliance
Autumn's Beauty

The birth of autumn is an event missed by many. Autumn reveals itself slowly, hovering on the edges of our consciousness until its crisp breezes are strong enough to pierce our summer clothing, and we notice for the first time the transformations taking place all around us. It is only when the last fruits and vegetables have emerged in the crisp tangy air and the trees have begun to deck themselves in shifting patterns of crimson and gold that we internalize that fall has indeed returned. Autumn is invigorating and a time to gather our thoughts, in the same way that we might once have collected crops. Just as animals collect acorns to store them, we reap the fruit of our accomplishments. Autumn also ushers in a new slowness of being for most of us, as the tone and tempo of our lives change along with those of all of Mother Earth's children.

As the days grow shorter and the blossoms that brightened our gardens through summer's heat begin to droop and wilt, we tend to acknowledge the changing season without understanding that we, too, are in transition. The brilliance of autumn's foliage, the flocks of southbound geese honking overhead, and the arrival of a bountiful harvest are all signs that our lives will soon be changing. Whether the season's cooler days are a prelude to a cold winter or a long stretch of sweater weather, we feel obliged to slow down and take stock of our lives. Autumn's pleasures and rituals revolve around the gathering of abundance in preparation for the winter to come. There is ample time to contemplate what we accomplished during the warmer seasons while tasting the year's first cider or breathing in the sweet fragrance of leaves breaking down. The same stirring that inspires animals to burrow deep into the earth compels us to celebrate the rich bounty we instinctively know will not appear again until springtime.

Appearances deceive in autumn. The transformations undergone by living beings seem much more like endings than the transitions they really are. Dormancy, not death, is the hallmark of fall. Your priorities will likely change as nature flares into sunset brilliance and then lapses slowly into slumber, but remember to rejoice in the beauty of nature where every finale serves as an overture for a new beginning.