Monthly Archives: September 2010

Let’s take a moment to think about our children’s hands….

I wrote this in a summer journal as I watched the children modeling natural clay, with total absorption, at the stream bank:

“I see their hands move lively and quick. Unconsciously they live the gift of an opposable thumb. Today I am thinking of our ancestors, all the way back to the cave, and the central place of the hand. In every culture, until perhaps the last forty years, hand-education has been an integral part of growing up. Hands were taught to carve stone arrowheads, to weave baskets, to mold clay pots, to hunt, to cure, to cook, to spin and weave, to sow and harvest. What are hands taught in the twenty-first century? At what expense do their hands lie limp in their laps? As their hands languish unused, so follow their minds. How can we measure the impact of a well-coordinated, steady, finely-tuned hand? What riches does this hand bring into their life? What do these well-trained hands have to offer the world?”

In his book The Hand: How It Shapes the Brain, Language, and Culture, neurologist Frank Wilson shows us the pivotal place of the human hand, equipped with our amazing thumb, in the evolution of the species. He argues passionately for the education of the hand, assuring us that people who use their hands, woodworkers, artists and plumbers alike, have a way of knowing the world that is inaccessible to those who have less hand training. We know that the density of nerve endings in our fingertips is enormous, and when these are engaged in childhood, the brain is enriched beyond measure. Through artistic expression, through free creative play, through engagement with the natural world the hand, and therefore the mind, is introduced to its own astonishing creative potential.

Essentials of Early Childhood Seminar

Are you wondering how to slow down the pace of your family’s life, how to create harmony and rhythm in your home, and how to take care of yourself as well?  My friend Donna Ashton, at The Waldorf Connection, is offering a six-week course in Essentials of Early Childhood which promises to offer insight and inspiration.  Topics will include Child Development, Rhythm, Creative Play, Discipline and more.  I will again be one of the presenters, and I very much look forward to participating.  Below is a description, and a link to log-on.  The introductory class is tomorrow, Sept 23, and I will be offering thoughts on Rhythm, while others will present the topics mentioned.  This is a great chance to take a class while at ease and at home!

Donna is introducing a BRAND-NEW program to teach you the “Essential Elements of Early Childhood.” And she is getting everyone started for free in her class, “3 Ways to Create a Nourishing Home for your Child”  On this info-packed call you’ll learn: 1. What is play? – with Lisa Boisvert MacKenzie 2. The 4 Senses in Early Childhood Development – with Danielle Epifani 3. The Importance of a Mother’s Voice – with Christine Natale Here’s that link again to reserve your spot in this complimentary class!


La Leche League Conference is coming soon!



Breastfeeding & Parenting Conference
Friday, October 1, 2010 – 7 PM

Foundations of Healthy Brain Development

We know how deeply nutrition affects healthy brain development, and yet have we ever considered that each aspect of the young child’s life is also ‘nutritional?’  Because the young child is at-one with their environment, they absorb the totality of their environment at the most profound level, in a way similar to the  digestive system which absorbs everything that is taken in.  We will take an in-depth look at the development of the brain, beginning in pregnancy, and extending through childhood.  Come learn the fundamentals of healthy brain development, and how to create home environments that promote the fullest whole-brain development.

Keynote is FREE with a conference registration! This presentation is going to be amazing!

Sharifa will be available to sign your copy of HEAVEN ON EARTH – Saturday – 12:15-1:00pm.

For more information, contact Kate at: