Friday, January 16, 2015

Bundle Up and Win a FREE E-Book!

Suzie Stephensen
Abby Martz
Andrea Ormerod
Suzie Stephensen
Ummmmmm can it get much cuter?  This month's Little Acorn Learning Photo Contest theme is:

Wool & Warmth

Be sure to show us up to 3 photos of your little ones keep warm in the cold for a chance to win a FREE e-book of your choice from Little Acorn Learning!  Our contest ends on Monday, January 19th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).  To enter:

Send no more than 3 photos to info@littleacornlearning.com 
Provide written permission for Little Acorn Learning to use your photos in future marketing or publications (we do our best to always give credit to the photographer) 
Check our FACEBOOK PAGE and when you see your photos spread the word to family and friends by clicking share and asking them to vote for your photos by clicking LIKE
The photos with the most LIKES get a free e-book of their choice from LAL - please be sure to keep checking back on our Facebook Page because that is where winners are announced.

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Creating Meaningful Relationships with Our Children - LIVE Call Event!

I am beyond excited to be offering Little Acorn Learning's very first LIVE Call event as part of our Mindful Parenting in 2015 Series.  

In addition to our new Mindful Parenting E-Courses that have begun, tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. EST we will be hosting a dial-in (or log-in) event to help you toward more mindful and simple parenting and educating this year.  

'Creating Meaningful Relationships with Our Children presented by Charlie Manos
Live Event: Wednesday, January 14th 7:00 p.m. EST


Those who purchase can attend LIVE and will also gain access to the 
recorded class at any time!

The lecture portion of the call will last approximately 30 minutes followed by a 30 minute Question and Answer Session.  

I am lucky enough to know Charlie personally and he always does an amazing job presenting and supporting parents and educators in their work with children.

Charlie Manos has worked as a School Psychologist for 26 years in grades K through 12 and was the Coordinator of Pupil Services in Danbury, CT for 4 years prior to coming to Brookfield, CT as the Director of Special Services. Charlie has maintained a private practice for the past 25 years with specialty in marriage and family therapy. He is certified as a School Psychologist and Licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist.


Charlie will be discussing communication, boundaries, decoding behaviors, praise, and fostering strength with the children that we work with. There will be time to ask questions during and at the end of the event.

After signing up, you will also have free access to the recorded lecture if you cannot attend the live event or wish to hear it again.


Little Acorn Learning

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy Three Kings Day & The Epiphany!

I just love saying that word "epiphany".  :) 


Photo and craft by Jennifer Tan of Syrendell as in our Three Kings Day & The Epiphany E-Book

Wow things have been really busy these last five days and my commitment to focusing more on my business and making changes in my daily routines have been going well so far.  I know myself well though and consistency and discipline is what I struggle most with when it comes to balancing work and family.

Today began my first Mindful Parenting E-Course and I hope that I get as much from it as the students.  I have so many wonderful ideas that I have to balance with keeping the e-course simple and obtainable so members can make changes without getting more overwhelmed than they already are.  And while I have a wonderful outline, I am absolutely putting out fresh ideas each day and I hope it serves the members of the course well.  It is not too late to join us, all emails and class posts will be available to you at any time you sign up!

In the e-course, I plan on focusing upon the following key areas that I have identified in my life that need equal attention in order to obtain true balance as a parent and caregiver:

Environment:

We will work together to try to create habits that help us to prepare our week ahead, establish and maintain routines in our homes, add beauty to the places we dwell, slowly organize our spaces and create peaceful and loving homes and schools for the children who depend upon us.  As fun as beautiful crafts can be, children - more than anything - need rhythm, consistency and an environment that is predictable.  Focusing here and on ourselves (in the next item) is the MOST important thing.

Self (Body/Mind/Soul):

We will learn to take time out each week for ourselves as often as possible to breathe, meditate, stretch, exercise, get fresh air, be creative, explore our talents, turn off media and background noise, connect with friends and our community, eat clean food, drink water, get proper rest, journal and slow down to pay attention to the world around us.

Children:

We will incorporate (slowly) simple activities, songs, stories and ideas that create a soothing presence around the children we care for.  We will remind one another to include children in the daily tasks of running a home and school so they can learn practical life skills by modeling our behavior.  We will slow down and remember that we are being watched and it is our responsibility to be worthy of imitation.  We will work harder to provide healthier meals, better rest, more outdoor time and less media so our children can thrive and develop optimally.  

Celebrations:

We will look at easy and attainable ideas to bring the seasons and festivals into our homes and schools.  We will slowly consider how this particular time of year plays into our lives, as caregivers, on a deeper and more spiritual level.  We will include songs, stories, books and crafts when we feel able in order to create a home filled with seasonal spirit.  We will NOT blame ourselves when we cannot fit these things in.  Caring for our environment, self-care and being a more mindful and present parent outweighs this and should always take precedence over crafts and activities.  

Parent Education:

Along the way, I will send writings, links, tools, quotes and adult book recommendations that I feel will help you learn and grow as a parent and teacher.  Taking a course like this is a wonderful first step but in order to break old habits, we need knowledge to back it up.  I am also working on a potential guest speaker call to bring more ideas into our group.  

Today the group focused on adding simple meditation, routines and a mantra to their days ahead and looking forward to get a clear understanding of their obligations and commitments this week so they can work around that framework.


I LOVE the crafting, singing, stories and activities that I include in my guides - but the truth is that these are bonuses and the most important thing we can do as caregivers is to take care of the needs of our homes, our "selves" and our children.  

For that reason, I will only offer simple ideas for celebrating Three Kings Day tomorrow and through the week to students (yes it is OK if you celebrate later in the week or not at all!!).  But, if you do want to celebrate, take a look at the Little Acorn Learning January 2015 Newsletter for some fun ideas and activities.  

Is this a new festival for you and your family to celebrate?  In what simple ways will you bring the joy of the season into your home or school this week?  

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Mindful Parenting E-Course Winners!

Wow, I'm not sure we've ever had this amount of winners but it feels great and it really adds to the excitement of this new e-course!  We truly all could use support and encouragement as parents and caregivers and the response to a course like this should let us know we are not alone in our struggle to keep it all together.  

Our e-course starts tomorrow but do not worry if you join in or sign-up late.  You can pick up right where we are and have access to the same content.  If you were not chosen as a winner but would still like to join us, please do so at www.littleacornlearning.com

If you ARE a winner, you must email us directly at info (at) littleacornlearning.com telling us who you are, what you won and we will then provide you with the download information and/or payment information with your discount.  We recommend you do this as soon as possible so you can begin with the class.

I am looking forward to starting 2015 with you and working together toward becoming the parents our children need us to be.

xoxo
Eileen

5 Winners of FREE Enrollment!

 ClothDiaperClub said...
I have come to realize that all the good ideas and books are of no help at all if you don't know how to make it work in your life. I spend more time thinking about the things I want to do with the kids than actually implementing them. Any kind of help in that area would be such a blessing!

 Dori said...
Just in time for the New Year, my family would be blessed if "mama"-me, took this course. I could use the inspiration in our homeschool. Thank you for such a wonderful offering! Blessings- Dori

 Lizzie said...
I have been trying for a while to find rhythm and 'do' everything. It was wonderful to see a course like this and know that sometime I may find a way to get things together for my boys.

 Catherine Lowe said...
Winning this would rock my little guys world! I have been so caught up last year with heading back to work and juggling pre-pep as a single parent I feel all my parenting ideals have flown out the window as we hit survival mode. This course will inspire me to bring back the magic into our lives and celebrate the simple things once again. I would be so grateful for the gift of this course. Thank you. C

Anonymous Hilary said...
I need this course as I am grieving a great loss, and trying to remember the great mom I am. I have an 18 year old, 8 year old, 5 year old and a 9 month old. thanks for the chance.

5 Winners 50% OFF!

Anonymous amanda C said...
We could really use this course! I have come to realize that I do "all the motions" of parenting but most of the time I am not really "there". I really need some assistance on focusing and being actively present in my children's lives.
Brandi said...
I have four children ranging in age from 7 months to 7 years old. Homeschooling keeps us busy...I love incorporating Waldorf things and this course would be wonderful.

Tammy H said...
Would love this to start the new year! what a great opportunity. ~Tammy H.

 dan said...
Wow, what an awesome opportunity, thank you!
Somewhere back there I lost it and have been trying to find my way back to a more peaceful, calm, mindful way of parenting my two girls. They deserve more than I am giving them at this moment. I have been making headway but its a two steps forward, one step backwards process. Maybe this would help give me some extra steps forward.
Again, thanks for this giveaway and also for organizing this course for those of us who have found ourselves somewhere we don't want to be.

Jodi said...
Thank you for offering this give-away! You have made my afternoon/evening very exciting! I read your blog and have purchased some of your offerings which have been helpful in our home. We are heading back into the school routine tomorrow and this course would fit right in for ME! This course offers the COMMUNITY that I desire and would be a great kick-start to the new year. Thank you!

5 Winners 25% OFF!
ashadele said...
This course would be such a blessing to myself and my children! I am still new to Waldorf, but I incorporated the Adent and Saint Nicholas ebook into our lives this season and it was wonderful!! I have wanted to incorporate Waldorf into my homeschool, but I have been really overwhelmed with where to start. Little Acorn Leaning has the hand holding that I am looking for! This course would be a tremendous blessing for our family and the other children in our lives. Blessings....ashleigh

Anonymous Clara E. said...
We just adopted our second child, and I'm so frazzled most days! I need remainders/lessons on how to keep centered and in the moment...especially when both the boys need my attention.

Anonymous Robin R said...
I have loved using LAL since 2005! I now have 4 kids and homeschool them and definitely could use the extra help!

Wolfe Family said...
We would love help with our intentional parenting practices. We have 2 kids, one with autism. We struggle to keep things simple and I feel this e-course would help provide us with a roadmap for that.

I need this course! I have 3 kids and I run 2 preschool programs and I feel so overwhelmed by what I should do!

Leigh


Mindful Parenting E-Course GIVEAWAY!!!!

We are SO excited about our very first Mindful Parenting E-Course to help caregivers of young children step into 2015 with clarity, peacefulness and simplicity.  This e-course runs for 5 weeks and members will be gently guided toward making small changes toward better parenting and caregiving in 2015 following our Caregiver's Calendar.

To celebrate we are hosting a fun giveaway!  Tell us in the comments section of this post why you feel you need this e-course and winners will be randomly selected as follows:

5 winners will receive FREE entry to our 5 week e-course (a $60 value)!
5 winners will have the option to join us at 50% off!
5 winners will have the option to join us at 25% off!

Be sure to check back here this evening after 8 p.m. EST to see if you've won.  We will need to provide us with contact information at info (at) littleacornlearning.com so we can provide you with log-in and/or payment info.

The e-course starts tomorrow but you can join us any time.  Here's what's included:

A 5 Week Program Running 1/5-2/2 Sign up any time and join in - you 
will have full access to all prior 
content! 

Following our Caregiver's Calendar, 
you will be guided and supported 
toward making small changes in 
your daily life with children.  A brand 
new jumpstart toward simplicity and 
mindful parenting in 2015.

Program Includes:


-2015 Caregiver's Calendar
-January 5 Day Guide
-The Daily Guide Checklist
-Winter Childcare Menu
-Private Online Support Group
-A Weekly Email filled with Verses 
and Songs, Book Recommendations, 
a Caregiver Mediation and ideas for 
staying connected to the festivals 
and season upon us
-25% off if you choose to sign up for 
a future Mindful Parenting E-Course 
in 2015 as you will already have the 
Caregiver's Calendar and The Daily 
Guide to work from


BEST of luck!

xoxo

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Mindful Parenting in 2015 with Little Acorn Learning


We are so excited to release our 2015 12 Month Caregiver's Calendar filled with important dates, festival celebrations, colors and grains for the day, full moon dates and a daily inspirational idea and suggestion for each day of the year! This calendar is a wonderful peek into Little Acorn Learning's ideas and philosophy and will help you create a more peaceful and mindful home or school!

We also have two wonderful offerings this month:

Three King's Day is on January 6th and we have an entire e-book filled with everything you need to celebrate this special festival with children. For a limited time, you can buy the Three Kings Day E-Book and receive the Caregiver's Calendar for more than half off with our Epiphany Bundle!

And, for those of you who are looking to parent with more simplicity and mindfulness in 2015, we have put together a Mindful Parenting E-Course. In this 5 week program, you will be guided and supported toward making small changes in your daily life with children by folllowing our Daily Guide and Caregiver's Calendar with others. We will offer inspiration and encouragement to one another through a weekly email, a private Facebook support group, words, photos and links that uplift us as caregivers. In addition, you will receive the Daily Guide, 2015 Caregiver's Calendar, Winter Childcare Menu and the January 5 Day Childcare Guide as part of the program. Join us anytime for this brand new jumpstart toward more mindful parenting this year! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

The NYPD are my brothers, and YOURS too...

I hesitate posting political or controversial issues on my blog because, unlike my Facebook page, for the most part this place has become a channel for parents and teachers to come who support mindful parenting and education.  People who are frankly many of my clients.  People I respect and value and hope not to offend.  

But, this blog has also always been a place for me to share my life and post about my family.

And the NYPD is *MY* family.

I come from a long, proud line of NYPD officers.  My grandfather came to New York from Ireland and became a police officer supporting his two boys, his niece and his wife by risking his life each day as a cop.  When my father and my uncle grew up, they too became part of the NYPD.  My dad put 27 years in protecting the citizens of New York City.  It took its toll on many aspects of his life but he loved his job and was damn good at it.

I too took the NYPD test when I was 17.  And when I was 21, I got called to duty.  At that time, I was a single mother and while the idea of continuing my family legacy and having a good job with wonderful benefits was tempting, I was not willing to risk my life each day for others - leaving my little girl with no mother so I declined.

I was not as brave as the men and women who walk those streets each day for you and I.

Now my two little brothers are both NYPD police officers.  I do not see them as much as I wish I did but my heart is with them every day that they go into work during this very difficult and dangerous time.  A time when officers are being spit upon, mocked and disrespected all over the internet and in on the streets.

What happened to the days that we would "thank an officer"?  How must it feel to give so much of yourself and be smacked in the face with such disrespect?

I remember as a little girl holding my dad's hand while he was in uniform filled with pride that *MY* daddy was a hero who was brave and protected others from harm.  He wore that badge with pride and got up every day and went into work knowing at any moment he could be killed protecting people he didn't even know.

People like you.

When my mom was pregnant with me and he was off-duty, they went for an ice cream at a local Carvel down the road from my grandmother's house.  He was so skilled at scoping out his environment and so mindful of what was going on around him that he noticed through the glass window, before they even went into the ice cream shop, that a burglary was taking place with two masked gunman.  My father, with a pregnant wife and newborn baby on the way... ran AFTER... not away from those two gunmen - off-duty. Capturing one and leading to another's arrest.

What decision would you make off-duty with your family in a situation like that?

He didn't blink.   He didn't have TIME to think about what color they were, where they came from or what their story was.  He had to act... fast.

One second can determine whether or not a police officer lives or dies.  One second.  More importantly, one second of non-action can determine if a pedestrian lives or dies.

There is no way to know what goes through someone's mind when they perceive that they may be in a life or death situation.  There is no way to know if the person they are arresting is just a petty theft or someone who is willing to shoot them point blank in the head in a second flat like the two officers we just lost sitting in their patrol car in New York.

And like the rest of the population, there are good cops and there are bad cops.  They are people and some people suck and some people are awesome.  There will be cops that deserve promotions and some that deserve ramifications.  But, MOST of the NYPD that gets up every day and goes to work protecting our communities are GOOD men and women doing their very best.

AND THEY DESERVE RESPECT.

Something that is the most confusing to me during all of this is this vibe being sent around of "Cops verses Black America"... what the hell is this?  The NYPD is as diverse as New York City itself!

(2010 Data) of officers on patrol:

53% Black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American
47% Non-Hispanic white. 

You see, cops are not the opposite of African Americans.  They come in all colors, from all classes (many from the very areas they are protecting) and from different religions and sexual orientations. 

And THIS is the whole problem with the negativity that has been slewed all over our television sets, radios and Facebook pages.

Whether or not Eric Garner's death is something that you feel was not addressed with justice, you are being mislead.

You want racial equality and social justice?  So do I.  I want it for all of my girls, not just my biracial daughter.  I want them all to live in a world where we see one another for who we are not the color of our skin, who we date, what we believe or where we live.

You want measures in place to make sure officers do not harm the public intentionally?  I do too.  I support that and I want to be sure if I am ever arrested I am not harmed intentionally...but I also think in the line of work these men and women are in, we need to be realistic.  They are fighting real and dangerous battles and sometimes bad things will happen.

How do YOU know that officer was a racist?  And, if he was... don't let it taint the images of the rest of the NYPD that protect you each day - remember 9-11?


The thing you are not realizing is that you were mislead.  Mislead with your good intentions hoping to change the world for the better.  Even some of my closest loved ones were misled without realizing one very important fact:

The NYPD are YOUR brothers too.  Not just mine.

They are from your churches, your neighborhoods, your streets, your race.  They are your sisters, fathers, brothers, cousins, wives and daughters.  They are all of us.

Just like our country is not perfect, neither is the NYPD.  To create a feeling of distrust and hate for the very men and women who get up each day, risking their lives for YOU not knowing if they will come home safely is unacceptable.

Help create change without creating hate.  Look at where it got us this week.

You see, it is easy to jump on a bandwagon when you want to use it as a way to change the world.  I want that too.  But be careful what bandwagon you jump on...

because you may just be turning your back on your own brothers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's the Winter Solstice!

Deep peace of the winter solstice to you.
Deep peace of the falling snow to you.
Deep peace of the love of friends to you.
Deep peace of the gentle deer to you.
Deep peace of the moon and stars to you.
—Author Unknown 

Today is the Winter Solstice and we had a little flurry of snow this morning to help us get into the spirit.  Christmas is only four days away and I've been busy trying to get the house in order and wrap presents.  I did what I said I would and went much lighter on gifts this year compared to years before but I think I could have even done less and the girls would have had plenty.  It's a work in progress toward true simplicity, I guess.

Over the next six months, the sun will climb higher and higher into the sky, gradually stretching our days longer and warming our earth. This winter solstice, you can enjoy simple acknowledgments of this special time by creating a winter nature table filled with objects that remind you of this time of year, crafting and making winter works of art (we have so many beautiful crafts in our Winter Festivals E-Book if you need inspiration) and making the decision to slow down and be mindful of what is going on both inside and outside of you right now.

A really simple activity to do with children of all ages is stringing berries and popcorn to make garland.  Today or tomorrow would be a perfect time to do this as it will stay fresh toward Christmas day.  You can place this garland as a treat for the birds outside or decorate your indoor tree with them.  All you need is popcorn, cranberries, a needle and thread.  Children will work for hours on this and it is a wonderful way to practice fine motor skills for little ones.  Just keep an eye on the needle but you will be surprised how careful, gentle and capable our children are when given tasks that require their attention like this.


As I go back to my preparations, I leave you with this sweet reminder of why the work we do as parents and caregivers is so important in our hope to one day see peace in our world.  Something that seems so unattainable lately but I still believe change can happen:

If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
—Chinese Proverb 

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