Free BOOK Friday

on March 23 | in Contests & Giveaways | by | with 26 Comments

Instead of the usual free fabric, this week I’d like to give away an amazing book to one lucky person.  This book has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, but it does have to do with being a Mama (which, as you can tell from the name of the business, is a huge part of my life.)  I don’t usually write about myself, but I feel I should give a little background about why I’m giving this book away and how truly great I think it is.

Calm and Compassionate Children

My husband and I are lucky enough to be sending our daughter to a wonderful school called Living Wisdom.  I say lucky, but we really have made a lot of sacrifices to make it work, including selling our house and moving across town so we could be closer to the school.  Drastic, I know, but the school’s philosophy felt so right to us, that we had to do it.  In a nutshell?  It’s about educating kids for real life.  Teaching them to not only be academically successful, but also guiding them to become healthy, fulfilled, happy, kind people. The ideas and techniques practiced at the school seemed to be a natural extension of the attachment parenting and gentle guidance we had been practicing at home, so when we found it, everything just clicked.

The book, Calm and Compassionate Children, is the newly-released work of the school’s director, Susan Dermond. The description from the publisher:

Building on such inherent qualities as openheartedness and trust, parents and teachers can help children develop empathy and integrity as they grow and mature. From nature activities to conscious quiet time to tips on daily routines, CALM AND COMPASSIONATE CHILDREN provides practical guidance to help grown-ups model behavior and suggests dozens of activities to foster children’s joy, wonder, kindness, and love.

What I really love about this book, is that it is full of so many practical ideas.  Really, there are 90 techniques for you to use at home!  Plus, there are booklists for kids of different ages and booklists for parents.  There are also lists of music resources and toy resources.  It really is a handbook that not only gives you ideas for guiding children, but also provides inspiration for becoming more calm and compassionate adults.  Even if you don’t win the book, I hope you’ll check it out.

We’ll pick a random comment this week to win the book, but if you feel like it, tell us about your favorite parenting resource–book, website, or organization. We’ll take comments through Sunday and post the winner Monday.  Have a joyful weekend.

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26 Responses to Free BOOK Friday

  1. Hippielalah says:

    What a perfect book!

  2. Sara says:

    I started out at a knitting blog and ended up here…my son is 14 and I’m 8 weeks pregnant…I feel like I started out a kind and compassionate mama but got lost somewhere along the way…reading John Holt usually helps me realign a little, see the process behind the action and trust my son’s ability a little more. I had a dream the other night that I gave birth one day but lost track of the baby and the next day he was 16, wanting to go to Paris with his ridiculously wealthy girlfriend, Francesca. In the dream I thought, “I shouldn’t have lost track, If I’d continued breastfeeding this would never have happened.” Quelle Freudian horror.

  3. Romila says:

    (and oh! i, too, am a native oregonian! we’re living in okinawa right now but i look forward to being back in the northwest someday!)

  4. Romila says:

    Since I am thinking about learning how to sew, I took a peek at your blog and discovered your wonderful book recommendation (I look forward to checking out the sewing parts of your blog soon!). As a mom of a ten month old, I am constantly realizing how everything we do shapes and influences his budding personality and outlook on life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Christy says:

    Thanks for sharing this book. I just took a look at it on Amazon and was able to read an excerpt. I love the idea of creating celebrations and rituals.

    My favorite parenting resource is my local mom’s group. Not only are these mom’s great at giving advice and helping out, they’ve offered friendship and a place to belong for me and my family. :}

  6. jessi says:

    What an amazing concept – would love to read more. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Mary Kay says:

    I am a first time reader of your blog and it is very inspiring!! This it a book I would LOVE to read!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. ramona says:

    this sounds so wonderful! i’d like to read the book.

  9. Janice says:

    Calm and Compassionate sounds like *bliss* being the mother of 4 year olds twins and a two year old, LOL! I’m not sure I even know the meaning of those words anymore 🙂

  10. DaisyCake says:

    sounds like an interesting book! I’d love to read it.

  11. Emily says:

    That book looks fantastic! Hopefully my library will carry it.

    The organization that has most shaped my parenting has been La Leche League. By parenting through breastfeeding, I have learned to parent by meeting my children’s needs and parent with love and gentleness.

  12. Shannon says:

    Wow! I stumbled upon your website just today–and discovered a wonderful book in the process. I’m a first-time Mom with a 9-month-old daughter, and to this point my major sources of parenting wisdom have been the other parents in my life.

    Amazingly, I’ve just begun reading (and loving) Marie Sherlock’s “Living Simply with Children,” and the book you’ve described here seems to share similar ideas. Strange how things like that happen, isn’t it? I’ll definitely be looking into it. Thank you!

  13. mo says:

    I checked out the website and it sounds fantastic. Teaching compassion is so important and something we have stressed in our house. I love that they do Yoga with the kids there. We bought a video for our kids but I would love to find a class for them. Thanks for the heads up on the school!

  14. anna says:

    The book sounds interesting. Raising our children to be compassionate is one of the most important factors for my husband and me. We already know they are brilliant, we want them to be caring to go along with that intelligence.

  15. Laura says:

    It sounds wonderful…by the way I just started sewing and I just found you site…I love it!!!

  16. carolyn says:

    What a lucky daughter to have parents who live their values. We too live with compassion and are big community builders It’s who we are, how we were taught and it’s just feels right–it’s what’s so unique about being humans and sharing this planet.

  17. Beata says:

    As I near the end of spring break with my 4 children who seemed to have been anything but calm and compassionate all week (O.K. it didn’t help that I was sick all week and it poured every day…), I think I’m in desperate need of this book!…Thanks…

  18. Christina says:


    This seems like such a sweet book:) I am not a mother as of yet but my best friend is seven months on the way. I am definitely going to look into this book (I hope they ship to the UK) both for my friend and myself as I think motherhood is just around the corner for me too:)
    My best friend and I often discuss the importance of good education and which values we want to teach our children… and we have both realized how scary but at the same time wonderful it will be bringing a new life into this world.

    Thanks for sharing your story about finding an appropriate school for your daughter, the sacrifices you had to make and a seemingly great book.

  19. tracy says:

    i don’t know this book. it does look wonderful.
    i love going through the inspiration over at there the approach to managing the consumerism our kids are bombarded with helps! also love, above all be kind, by zoe weil

  20. Amy says:

    Thanks for such a great recommendation ! What a beautiful school. It gives me hope that our children’s generation will have a great impact on our world’s future…we need to get back to the basic’s of compassion, love and kindness..

    Love your blog..thanks

  21. meg says:

    That sounds like such an interesting book. I love the fact that there are plenty of techniques included in the book. Thanks for the tip — I’ll be checking it out!

  22. michelle says:

    I don’t have any suggestions because I tend to shy away from parenting books. But, your sales pitch is convincing. 🙂

  23. hi! i am a new reader, sent this way by peacefulmama.

    my greatest resource has come to be my distant friends, as we are so isolated here. in the past i read Mothering, utilized their forums, etc. Always, though, the advice of other mothers has been what really helps.

    I’ve never found a book that could touch on my oldest son and help me navigate his stormy seas.

    tabitha in missouri

  24. Sarah says:

    That looks like a neat book!

  25. Viv says:

    Wow, first commenter from this former lurker. I’m going to mention an organization that my husband is in tune with that I think is really important. It’s called Dads and Daughters ( To get an idea of how great it is you need only to read this part of their mission statement: “WE BELIEVE that all dads and daughters benefit when fathers and stepfathers actively and deeply engage in the lives of their daughters and help transform the pervasive cultural messages that devalue girls and women.” We have a nearly-4 year-old and I am new at this sewing thing (long-time knitter) but I am having so much fun with it!

  26. Karyn says:

    I could only wish that such schools existed here.

    The title of this book sums up my goal as a parent. So breathtakingly simple – yet a challenge every day.

    Thank you for showing it to us.

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