Thursday, December 24, 2009

Easy & Meaningful Last Minute Gift

This Craft is now found at

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Friday, December 18, 2009

Circle Time for Older Grades?

By Kristie Burns
Don't miss our before-Christmas sale - "Buy One Get One" of EVERYTHING on our websites - Ebay store,, and even (offer does not apply to knitted unicorns but applies to everything else). Order your first items then E-mail me at: and tell me what free items you want and WHO you want them sent to (they can be given as gifts).

I have to admit that as the children grow older I miss the little finger rhymes and verses from our old circle time days, I miss the sweet puppet shows, the dress up box and playing daily with our Ostheimer figures. However, lately I've started to realize that we never did really give those things up - we just modified them and they grew into different things! Here are some examples of what has happened around here now that my kids are 11,13, and 15!

Circle Time
Circle time has now become "family meeting" time. Every Wednesday and Sunday we have a family meeting. This is a time to share a verse, a story, ideas on how to improve things around the house, a request to other members of the family and much more. I try to integrate a story, a verse, and some meditative time into the meeting. We spend some time going around the "circle" talking about what we are thankful for in each person and in each of our lives.

Dress Up Box
The dress up box has now become real-life dress-up. When we go out together my kids and I often plan our trips around an outfit or a theme. If we visit the Renaissance Festival we always dress up, if we go to the Civic Center we wear fancy clothes. If we go to Living History Farms we may dress in clothing from that era. We really enjoy being creative in the way we dress. It is not just "jeans and a T-shirt" every day :)

Puppet Shows
My kids now enjoy going to some more "adult" events with me and are now creating their own "puppet shows" and events! We saw a professional magic show a couple weeks ago, and a Native American Powwow before that. We enjoyed the Nutcracker Ballet together and attended a rock band concert that my eldest was the lead singer in. Along with attending different events, the kids are really starting to get more out of the events. When they were little I might take them to a musical and they would enjoy it and perhaps play-act after-wards. Now, they may get out their guitar and find the music for the musical, ask questions about it, write about it, create something inspired by it or even sound out some of the music on the piano. The kids are also starting to create more elaborate events instead of sitting and listening. They create their own stage shows, plays (complete with script), band concerts, magic shows, comedy skits and even storytelling shows. Both of my daughters help me with the large group cultural shows I perform in the local public school system. One of the favorite workshops I do is called "A Meal in the Middle East". Sofi's favorite part of the show is telling the story to the classrooms. She won't even let me tell the story anymore!

Play Kitchen
The play kitchen is still played with from time to time but now it is the real kitchen that I see the kids in more. They all have their own style of cooking and my son, especially, likes to explore new tastes, new techniques, and new dishes in the kitchen. Sometimes they cook breakfast or lunch for each other and they all have their own dishes they are "famous for" around the house.

Bread Baking
We don't bake bread every day or even every other day anymore however we do enjoy baking a variety of things and we still enjoy baking bread together now and then. It is hard to believe we have been baking bread together for 15 years now!

Nature Walk
I remember the days when we used to take off with a butterfly net and a bag and wander through the woods. Little legs never took us very far but we could find amazing worlds within a few blocks or few yards of forest. Now, we still walk together but now we can go farther and we talk more as we walk. It is a time, not only to connect with nature, but to connect with each other, too. We may explore more advanced concepts in our walks (like identifying specific herbs and talk about the biology of plants and their growth patterns). We enjoy walking through the wooded bike bath TO places - to the grocery store, to the library, to the cafe, and even to the stores. Sometimes the kids go on their own now, or with a friend. My eldest likes to take walks every day - she says it helps her think clearly and she likes all the good energy she gets from the plants. My son likes to ride his bike for long distances with friends. It feels good to him to get all that energy out and he likes the excitement of what he may see on the trails. A few weeks ago he saw a buck and the week before that he saw some fawns.

I would love to hear what transitions other families have made in these areas and how your early childhood experiences have merged into the older years with your children.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wintergarten Spiral Walk - Easy & Simple Plans

This post can now be found at

Monday, December 7, 2009

Earthschooling FAQs

Dear Parents,

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a request for more information from

I am finding that I am getting some of the same questions over and over so I have complied a short list of my "top seven" and have them posted here:

I will add to this list as needed. You can also link to this page from other pages on the website.

These are the questions so far. If you click on the question you will be linked to the answer.

1. I have toddlers that are 2.5 and 4. What materials and resources do you have for this age?
2. I have a Kindergarten Child. What materials and resources do you offer for this age?
3. I have a first grader. What materials and resources do you offer for that age?
4. You have so many offerings. Can you help me choose the right one for me? How do I choose?
5. I have a 5th grader but I see you don't have full curriculum for this grade. Do you offer any resources for this age?
6. What IS Earthschooling? How is it different from other educational methods?
7. I am just starting with Waldorf Education? How can I get started and learn more about it?

Blessings & Health,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Twas the Night Before Solstice Poem

Dear Parents,

It is a yearly tradition now that I post this poem I wrote a few years ago to the list :) Enjoy once again or enjoy it for the first time. You are welcome to share it and pass it around. However, please include credit to me and my websites as you pass it on. Thanks :) Blessings & Health, Kristie

'Twas the Night Before Solstice...

Twas the Night Before Solstice
By Kristie Burns

'Twas the night before Solstice and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even our pet mouse

Knitted wool stockings were hung with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there

The children were tucked in organic cotton sheets,
The air filter blocking pollution from the streets.

While mama stayed up to make handmade gifts
I co-slept with the kids and watched auras shift.

When out in the herb garden arose such a clatter
I sprung out of our futon to see what was the matter!

Away to the solar panels I flew like a flash.
They took me hours to install, I hoped they hadn't crashed.

The crystals we'd laid out to absorb the moonlight
Sparkled like fairydust and blocked my sight.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh without any reindeer.

At that moment I knew that the little old man
Had received my last letter so bold and so grand

Could you stop using reindeer? Last year I wrote him,
And enclosed with the note a PETA pin.

As he neared the house in his all-wooden sleigh
I noticed it was powered by wheatgrass and hay.

Ostheimer! Kinderkram! Stockmar! Fair Trade!
Don't bother landing if the toys aren't handmade!

"Hey Arriana," I called to my wife with chagrin,
"With that body mass do you think he's vegetarian?"

She paused only a moment from her crafting and said,
"One moment dear! I'm shaping this gol-darn Waldorf doll's head!"

On our roof I strained to hear the ole boy
But I'd recently insulated it with soy.

So I drew in my hand and was turning around,
When in through the front door came St. Nick with a bound.

The Advent wreath had caught in his hair
As I said, "Why in the world did you enter from THERE?"

The soot in your chimney contains poisons galore.
You should consider the environment more.

But he was dressed in fur from his head to his foot
So I said, "Look whose talking about my soot!"

A bundle of felt he had flung on his back.
"I hope you like handiwork," he said with a laugh.

His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples were treats!
His cheeks reminded me of when I dye silk with beets.

He must be of the choleric type I mused.
It's a good thing with lavender the stockings I infused.

With his fur boots he slipped on the bamboo wood floor.
I offered him Arnica and then closed the front door.

After all that I'd paid to the energy company this year
I didn't want one bit of that cold air in here.

He had a broad face and a little round belly
I asked him, "Have you seen your naturopath lately?"

He was so chubby and plump I worried for his health
But I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to task,
Needle-felting dragons and weaving a mask.

He knitted a pure cotton sweater and two pairs of mittens,
Then picked up a knife and carved 2 wood kittens.

He finger-knitted an entire nativity scene.
With the most amazing skill I'd ever seen!

When he sprang from his seat on the floor and arose
I yelled, "Arianna - watch - there he goes!"

With the unfinished doll she was struggling to sew,
Arriana went to watch him out the window.

And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight!
"Arriana, my dear, the stiches are too tight!"