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In Review: Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer


As far as educational theory goes, I would say I'm a bit of a 'mutt'. I like a little from each practice, to the 'small tools' idea of a Montessorian, to the complete freedom in following the child in unschooling, to the natural materials of a Waldorf education. I plan on doing an entire post on what I think about each main category I've researched, but now I'll tell you about a great parenting book, although it follows a Waldorf practice.

Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer was first seen by me on one of my favorite blogs, SewLiberated. Meg from SL is a Montessori teacher and now a stay-at-home mom who has a pattern shop and a book coming out soon. I love her thoughtful full-scale Montessori room for her little one, and am very attracted to her mad sewing skills. When she gave a good review, I knew I wanted to check it out, and I'm so glad I did!

Anyway, back to the book. I read this front to back, and quite carefully; whether or not you ascribe to a Waldorf mentality (I don't fully), there are some good sheaves ready to glean from this lady's wisdom as a parent of 3 grown boys and educator. It brought me back to the reason I love to stay at home with my children: to create peace and harmony with my family in the avenues of security, balance, and joy; and to allow my family to carve out an ample amount of time to spend together!

This book has so many ideas on how to do just that: allow your children to have plenty of imaginative play time with also addressing teaching them about life through imitation (something I am big on!) like washing dishes or raking leaves. It also has some great ideas on creating your family culture through traditions and seasonal festivals--something I would like to be more intentional about.

I know it is because of where I am in day to day life--dealing with a lot of discipline, whining, and dirty diapers that this book was so inspirational to me to just relax, be patient and kind (yet firm!), and to bring me back to that joy of staying at home teaching my children about the everyday wonder in life and nature!

This was a wonderful book that I needed right in the thick of being on demand 24/7, and I really appreciated the calmness that seemed to emanate even from the way the author wrote!

This will find a permanant place on my shelf!


RT said…
Alright. I'm reading this one! Thanks, Sarah.
Carrie Ellis said…
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book, it has helped me to make my decision (I'm in).

PS I also read Sew Liberated!

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