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The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons [Paperback]

Amanda Blake Soule , Stephen Soule
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 22.95
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Book Description

Aug. 9 2011
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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons + The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections + Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
Price For All Three: CDN$ 45.45

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Product Details

Product Description


“This book will fill you with yearning to connect further with nature, yourself, your family, and creativity. It inspires and uplifts with magnificent, evocative photography. Knitting and sewing projects, herbal health care, recipes, seed sprouting. A book of delight for the whole family.”—Juno Magazine (UK)

About the Author

Amanda Blake Soule is the creator of the popular blog www.SouleMama.com. Amanda spends her days with her four young children—making things, thrifting, exploring and being inspired by their coastal Maine surroundings. Learn more about her and find her blog at www.amandasoule.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun seasonal projects March 31 2012
By CanadianMother TOP 500 REVIEWER
I enjoyed Amanda Soule's first two books, The Creative Family and Handmade Home, so when I knew she was coming out with a third, I made sure to request that my library ordered it. They did, and I was first in line to have a peek.

I must say, it's a lovely book.

This time Amanda and her husband Steve joined forces to write the book, which is divided into the 12 months of the year. For each month, there is one essay by "Mama," and one by "Papa." These essays were well written and a pleasure to read. In them, the Soules share moments in the life of their family, which have to do with the unique mood of each month.

After each month's two essays, there is at least one "Make" activity and a "Do" activity. The Make activities are some kind of seasonal craft, and the Do ones are simply something you can do with your children. For example, for October there are instructions for making a banner with homemade leaf prints, and then the suggestion of taking a "season's walk" with the children on a favourite trail to observe the changes there since last season.

The book contains quite a decent variety of crafts, recipes, and activities. All of them are pleasingly doable--even the knitting project looks like something I might be able to handle. I have not had a chance try anything yet--but I intend to soon. Some activities I'd love to do: Double thick homemade hankies (with a special bag to store them in), herbal throat lozenges, oat bread...I love her tips on taking a family picnic and celebrating the winter solstice. Especially appreciated by me, bookworm that I am, is the extensive booklist at the back on topics such as gardening, natural healing, and whole foods.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
105 of 109 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but not much content Jan. 1 2012
By Mom2two - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The photography in this book is stunning. I gave it 3 stars because the book was worth buying just for the photographs in my opinion. But I've been living with this book for a few months, picking it up, looking at the essays and project ideas. I've been unsettled. It's a great concept and I love this particular mama and what she's about. But there's very little real content here.

The essays were like diary entries -- things about their family and experiences. There's some value to this I guess, but I thought the book would be about rhythm in family in general -- not just this particular family's journal of their private adventures. The book should have been called "The Rhythm of Our Family" or something like that.

Each month offers some crafting or cooking idea, but that doesn't add up to much. Far better books exist on crafting with family through the year, connecting with family outdoors, and cooking. For crafts I like "Crafts Through the Year" by Thomas Berger. For outdoor exploration I love "Nature's Playground" - it's packed full of ideas for exploring nature in every season with children.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some nice essays. Oct. 11 2011
By S. Bakkila - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have skipped around the book as it's now fall when I received it, and have enjoyed the essays from "Mama" and "Papa." Some nice writing. Her husband writes well. So far, many of the "projects" are pretty normal and I'd say are secondary in this book. I think the overall book is about the essays, thinking of the cycles in families and the natural world we love in (like the title says). I can appreciate their decision to essentially step away from the type of life many of us lead, but I don't think many of us can honestly devote days to preserving tomatoes on top of everything else. Her job is to be exactly what she is. Sadly, that's not my job. My life is much more ordinary and typical of living in suburbia. But I do appreciate the book, it's message, the photos and the fact it makes me CONSIDER how we can choose a path more geared toward our family and our home.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and calming Aug. 29 2011
By GreenDarner - Published on Amazon.com
As a follow up the Amanda Soules other two books this one is really lovely. The book is full of thoughtful essays on each month and the changes in the family as the seasons change. More of an inspiration for aware parenting than an "how to" book. Has great crafts, recipes and ideas but also a lot of wisdom. I feel the value is in the words to help remind us to slow down and enjoy our children and families. Also the photography is amazing! Really wonderful to hear from another family doing things by hand, from scratch, and with intention. Very lovely, worth owning! No offense to Amazon, but buy from Soulemama website like I did and get yours autographed (plus you can see cute pics of the whole family packing up all the ougoing books!)
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I would return it, if it weren't for the hassle Aug. 1 2012
By L. Ayala - Published on Amazon.com
I loved the idea of this book, I loved the cover, and I really wanted to love this book. As a new parent, I don't have the time that I used to investigate books as thoroughly. I have, however, spent a lot of time looking through the author's other book "Handmade Home". I liked the book, although not enough to buy it, and I used this along with the concept and beautiful cover to decide to buy this book. When I received the book I immediately browsed the projects and recipes only to be very much unimpressed. The book sat for a while. Later, I started to read the essays and I just couldn't get into it. Maybe, if you are more of a beginner this would be a good book for you. I personally felt that I didn't need instructions for any of the projects, and any that needed more guidance could easily be found on the internet. For example, the one project I think that I would like to do is to make recycled paper. The process is relatively self explanatory, and if you wanted a specific recipe, one could easily find it on the internet.

I get that the projects are supposed to be things that you can do with kids, but if they are that simple I think the book should make up for it in quantity. (The book is divided up into months and each month has about 3 projects/ recipes) I just felt like this book should have been a blog. I don't mean to bash the book, and I hate to actually, but I do feel like I wasted my money.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ideas for the whole Family Aug. 21 2011
By Stephanie Conwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Slowing down and enjoying life. That is the mantra of "The Rhythm of the Family". Each month ideas are given that support local cuisine and the natural rhythm of the season. My favorite part of each chapter was "PA". Where Amanda's husband gives his own interpretation of the month--its so refreshing to have a mans perspective on creating rhythms and seeing one so devoted to his family. Reading this book along with my husband has helped our own relationship grow to family nature walks and family dinners. Thank you for bringing such a wonderful addition to our home--on the coffee table as a great conversation starter now!
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