I am the mother of 3 home-schooled children who are now successful young adults. I am also the owner, and creator of a Children’s Enrichment Program. My program is a whole child-nature inspired school, designed to promote a healthy sense of self by encouraging the use of positive language and beliefs, through art, stories, play, and connecting with our earth. Over the years, I have held different classes for ages 1 – 17 years old.
On this page I will offer up reviews, shopping links, creative art ideas, stories, and ways to share this philosophy with your own family.
Beyond the Ridge, by Paul Goble
A popular question I am asked from many parents, is how to discuss death with their children. I highly recommend this lovely full color picture book written for ages 3- 100. The story is about the passing of a grandmother, and the sacred spirit journey she takes afterwards, it is written based on Native American tradition. The beginning pages show the family mourning her loss, while illustrating the woman’s soul leaving her body, and then dressed in her favorite dress and moccasins, she begins her journey through a beautiful countryside. She travels a long distance up and beyond the ridge, where she meets up with different animals who help guide her along the way, and finally is joyfully welcomed ‘home’ by her ancestors. The author shares a universal wisdom that is both respectful, and comforting, and leaves you with a feeling of peace. It’s honestly one of the best books I have ever read on the subject. Since this can be a difficult topic, please make sure you read it first, so you are prepared for any questions, or if you need to skip any pages based on your child’s sensitivities and understanding. I think everything was written and illustrated with this in mind, but every child is different.
Click on the above book photo for more information. They do have an option to see inside, so you can get a feel for the style. I would suggest having a copy ready for the inevitable moment you will need it. I have replaced and given my copy away so many times, it might be worth buying a couple. A special note: my 23 year old son remembers being read this when he was very little. To this day he feels like it made a significant impact on his understanding and acceptance of death, and is interested in reading it again.
A Handful of Quiet, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Another wonderful book is by a Zen Buddhist teacher, well known throughout the world. He has authored many such books, but this one is specifically written for children. It is not a story, but more of a guide that includes several of my favorite things; pebbles, flowers, mountains, water & space! The book is meant to teach children the art of quieting themselves, which is a way to relax your body, relieve stress, and to create peace within. The book itself is a nice small size, with a hard cover, and is spiral bound. The illustrations are lovely, and in my opinion, perfect for all ages. I follow my own version of the pebble meditation taught in this book, and it is an integral part of my holistic practice of self-care.
Click on above book photo for more information. “A Handful of Quiet, contains easy-to-understand instructions for this creative hands-on way to experience our interconnection with nature, and calm busy bodies and minds.
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