Category: Inspiration (Page 1 of 4)

Great Books – Great Inspiration

Below are the books and authors who inspire me most …

Rebeca Wild: Raising Curious, Creative, Confident Kids: The Pestalozzi Experiment in Child-Based Education

Maria Montessori: The Secret of Childhood

Joseph Chilton Pearce: Magical Child

Daniel Pink: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

Peter Gray: Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

John Holt: How Children Learn (Classics in Child Development)

Janet Lansbury: Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting

Dr. Chris White: Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Dr. Shefali: The Conscious Parent

Book Release – Flow To Learn: A Parent’s Guide

After two years of full-time writing, closely collaborating with a stellar on-the-job-trained parenting expert, several editors, and a delightful book illustrator, Sybille Kramer, my first book is finally available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingrams as print and eBook.

FLOW TO LEARN: A 52-Week Parent’s Guide to Recognize and Support Your Child’s Flow State –the Optimal Condition for Learning.

Flow To Learn is an uplifting, illustrated parent’s guide offering 52 weeks filled with practical suggestions and compassionate insights for creating independent play and learning opportunities for children at home.
Using practical, evidence-based tools from the fields of child development, psychology, and child-centered education, readers are guided step-by-step through the creation of simple hands-on activity stations that boost children’s love for learning. In these prepared environments, children naturally experience flow, the deeply focused, fulfilling state scientifically proven to be the optimal condition for learning.
Creating flow-friendly learning opportunities at home frees up parents’ time while strengthening children with spaces that support their inherent talents, creativity, and wide-ranging intelligence.

Flow To Learn also helps parents see children as guides to accessing their own flow states, which brings more joy and purpose into life, and also helps develop a deeper understanding of and relationship with their child.

Each of the 52 weeks/chapters is divided into two parts. First, reflections and information about flow are shared. This is followed by practical suggestions, “TRY THIS,” on how to facilitate flow in life with children. Some weeks include authentic, inspiring, and encouraging insights from a mother who incorporates the flow-parenting approach with her family.

When adults allow children to be in flow, they provide access to the child’s potential of mastery. Proficiency takes more than thinking, reading, hearing about, or just wanting something. Advanced skill levels take practice, and the most powerful, effective practice is done during activities that children choose for themselves.

Flow To Learn helps parents to..

✩ Support the flow state in children to help them grow and thrive.

✩ Create a home, a sanctuary, where you and your children love to spend time, find fulfilling activities, and can replenish from school and work.

✩ Create spaces and choose toys and learning materials that help children drop into flow states.

✩ Debunk current myths in education, including the overuse of rewards and the erroneous expectations of academic rigor in early grades.

✩ Help children process their time at school and other potentially stressful experiences with tension-release supports.

✩ Nurture mutual respect between you and your child.

✩ Reinvigorate your own life with flow experiences.

Changing Education Paradigms

Just in case you haven’t seen this brilliant, animated talk by Sir Ken Robinson…Please watch!
We need new models for schooling and the New Learning Culture model for child-directed learning is one possible solution that can be adapted to any budget.

“Changing Education Paradigms”

O.Fred Donaldson in San Francisco Bay Area, August 8-10, 2014

You are invited to Fred’s transformative weekend workshop in Fairfax, CA. Master of roly-poly play, international teacher, O. Fred Donaldson, the creator of Original Play and author of “Playing by Heart: The Vision and Practice of Belonging” will teach how we can play with our children in the way they truly wish to be played with.

fred playing

Play becomes a language of deep connection, love, and understanding.

Please come dressed and prepared to be on the floor, and move freely and comfortably.
Children will be welcomed into the workshop for the last part of Sunday’s playshop.

What is Original Play?

The Original Play® program is the result of thirty years of research on childrens’, adults’ and wild animals’ play behaviour.

“Original Play”® seeks: to improve relationships between individuals and groups by replacing aggression and violence between people with kindness and love to make every child feel safe and loved.


“Original Play”®: presents an alternative to aggression and violence without the use of force, while maintaining self esteem for oneself as well as others. It provides choices of possible reactions to aggression, violence and fear without the need for revenge. It transforms deep-rooted negative habits and patterns of behaviour into new habits based on feelings of love, belonging and safety. It creates a safe space for the transformation of physical or verbal aggression.

fred inner city
“Original Play”® is a preventative, intervention and strategic process that uses the power of natural play to activate natural mechanisms of development and health.

“Original Play”® is a psychological and physiological process. It is a combination of cognitive, emotional and sensory-motor learning, which can only be understood and developed by practice.

“Original Play”® is free of competition, rivalry and feelings of winning or losing. It is a universal process, reaching beyond cultural, social or language boundaries. That is why it serves as the basis for interpersonal communication and cultural integration. It is a meeting place where we can feel that we belong to a group, without the social divisions.

Come join us for this unique opportunity to learn from O.Fred Donaldson!


Or contact Carmen Gamper

Yeay ! School’s out! Mom, I’m home! 7 Tips To Get Your Home Ready for Summer Vacation

Summer vacation is here! Your kids maybe spending more time at home. Let them feel welcome by re-arranging some basic things around the house and creating a YES environment. Prepare play spaces intentionally to inspire your kids toward meaningful activities. Then, you can allow them to play freely within safe and healthy boundaries. Observe your kids lovingly, soon you will see that behind the sometimes cute and seemingly illogical activities, true learning processes are occurring. As you know, learning is not limited to school hours.


1) Prepare floor and table spaces for your kids to play, work or create without interruptions. Choose beautiful, comfortable, sunny spaces with cushions so that your kids LOVE to hang out there. A rug can define a play-space on the floor, so that the toys and learning materials don’t flood the whole room.

2) Prepare a shelf or drawer with basic art supplies for your kid’s independent use, meaning they don’t need to bother/ask you when they would like to start a small art project. Place paper in various sizes and colors, pencils, kid-proof scissors and glue, beautiful pictures for collages, colorful yarn. Use supplies you already own. “Waste material” like toilet paper rolls, egg boxes, and yogurt cups make great art supplies. To enhance creative work, you could add an extra table for art projects.


3) Move all breakable decor, such as vases and delicate china, from the lower shelves in the living room and place them out of reach on higher shelves so that you won’t need to worry that they will be broken. The lower shelves work perfectly for toys, books or art supplies.

4) Kids love role-playing. Prepare a “dress-up” space with colorful materials, jewelry and hats. You can help arrange puppets, stuffed animals, dolls and miniature landscapes with cars, trees and figurines. By imitating mom, dad, or others, children process emotions and situations they experience. By pretending to fly, dive or eat, their creative, imaginary world is activated, and kids explore the concept of symbols, which is the foundation of literacy and numeracy.

5) Have water and healthy snacks in easy access places, so your kids can eat and drink without having to ask for it. You can place a water pitcher and glasses and nicely cut fruit and vegetables on a table. Add a sponge and towel for cleaning up, so spills are not a big deal.


6) Your children need plenty of movement to maintain a healthy body. Inspect all outdoor spaces in your home and remove all potentially dangerous items — boards with nails, glass, unstable ladders, toxic chemicals, etc. Wander through your garden and find out if the tree is suitable for climbing, where little huts or fairy houses could be built, and where your kids could start gardening space to watch plants grow. If you don’t have an outdoor space at home, explore the nature trails and playgrounds in your area. (Go for a theme walk together, and find as many different leaves as you can. Then, look them up in a lexicon at home or take a trip to your local library.)


7) For teenagers: Help them find a “real-life” project, like planning the family’s vacation, painting a wall or repairing the fence. In adolescence it is essential to find meaningful ways to contribute to the family and to a larger social circle, like volunteering at a community garden or at the library.


Your home can be a creative playground for kids as well as a sanctuary for adults when spaces are effectively defined. Communicate with your kids patiently and state your boundaries friendly but firmly. Share your expectations and also listen to their wishes. Find compromises to fulfill as many needs as possible. By holding space for your kids to play freely and naturally, you can (re)experience the present-moment awareness and joyfulness of childhood together with them at home.

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