Friday, March 16, 2012

The Rhythm of Family: A Book Review

About The Book:

Many of us with busy families yearn for a slower and simpler life with our kids — one that is connected to the seasons and the natural rhythm of the year, one that has our children spending more time out of doors rather than in, one that balances out some of the busyness of our lives — the computers, the televisions, the cell phones — with a deeper connection to the Earth and an appreciation for and understanding of the natural world. The Rhythm of Family is a guide to living such a life for any family.
 Following the course of a year through the passing of the seasons, this book explores the ways we can create deep family connections and meaningful memories through living in tune with the cycles of nature. From stomping around in mud boots in the spring to gathering around the woodstove in winter, our activities naturally change from season to season — from the rhythms of the seasons comes the rhythms in our homes, our hearts, our families, and our every day. Paying attention to these changes slows us down, inspires new types of creative play and exploration, instills a sense of family togetherness, and deepens an awareness of nature and self that can make our lives, days, family, and earth grow stronger.
The Rhythm of Family explores what we learn and can gain as parents and families by encouraging and experiencing creativity and nature exploration with our children, the seasons can provide us with a rhythm that brings us close to the earth, and closer to our children.
About The Author:
Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule live in Western Maine with their five children. On their farm and in their days, they strive to live simply, close to the earth and to each other.
Amanda is also the creator of the, where you can find writings and photographs about their family days.
This is their first book together

My Review:

As a mom and early childhood educator, I am always amazed at some of the activities I find online that I can adapt for my needs. There are some amazing ones. I typically like to go online to get ideas, due to the cost effectiveness, but when I find a book that is great (and I know I will use repeatedly) I am willing to shell out the money. Recently I had the opportunity to review such a book, The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule. 
This is absolutely one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long time. The author has divided the book into months of the year and for each month has included five or six activities to engage children in educational fun. The photography is stunning, the words inspirational and the activities very cost effective, easy to implement and can be used by children and families with a variety of learning styles. There are gross motor, creative, cooking, science and more covered in the activities and I found that most activities are suitable for the three to five year old range. Again though, the activities could be very adaptable for younger and older children alike. In my opinion that is what makes a great activity - if it can be easily adapted to the children in your care.
Also, the book is not just a wonderful source of activity ideas, but also a great reminder that we need to slow down our lives and enjoy ourselves as a family unit. This is in stark contrast to what families are told in our "go, go, go" society where children tend to be over scheduled, tired, and burned out before they hit their tween and teen years. A welcome relief to read the great essays in this book too.
The Rhythm of Family needs to be read by all families, and early childhood educators in my opinion, and I am so glad that I discovered this book. I will definitely be purchasing a hard copy of the book to use in my career as an early childhood educator and mom!
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.

BUY IT: You can purchase The Rhythm of Family online, from Shambhala Publications

***I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book, courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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