The Simple Life (and a giveaway, too!)

The following is a guest post by Donna Ashton of The Parenting Studio.  Be sure to read to the end for a special giveaway.  This giveaway is now closed and the winner will be announced soon.  Thank you!

In this hustle bustle world of instant everything, is there any wonder we are craving a simpler, more mindful flow to our days?  The noise of life, crazy schedules, always being “connected” can make one wish to live in a little house on the prairie.

I had this thought one day after watching a movie: how nice  would it be to have a little cottage with no electricity? To live by the rhythms of the sun, immerse myself in chores like churning butter and kneading bread.  Then, my sister texted me and I was brought back to the 21st century.

But that doesn”t mean we can”t balance our hectic lives in a more simplistic way. Maybe we get the best of both worlds. We have a choice to unplug and enjoy the tasks of our grandmothers.

How do we do this?  Here are a few ideas…


By creating a strong rhythm, we support this balanced lifestyle with a structure that  give us  freedom.

Here”s what I mean: if each day you have no plan or flow of what happens in the morning, afternoon or bedtime then you end up making it up as you go.  This creates the “trying to catch-up and be 1-step ahead of your children” syndrome who are begging you “What”s for lunch?  What are we doing today?”

You end up thinking up something quickly and pretending you have it all together. Or maybe you just put it back on them, “What would you like to do?”  That can also be scary.

With a gentle rhythm in place, there are less decisions you need to make because it is already decided – morning chores, breakfast, walk and then playtime.  Within the structure is plenty of opportunities to sprinkle in the fun stuff. And now you have more time to plan these fun activities!


This realm goes hand-in-hand with rhythm but is about balancing this 21st century with your butter churning.  There are things you will have go do and your children will want to do.  Yoga, book club, carpool, soccer, dance, gymnastics, music lessons… this is in addition to normal errands, library, and shopping.

Our lives have become a quest to enrich our children”s lives and let them try every possible option.  I invite you to think of your child”s life as an unfolding process.

The keys to balanced scheduling are to decide if it is really necessary. If your activity gets canceled and you are cheering, then it may be time to drop it.


If the thought of decluttering your home is making you exhausted, you may have some work to do!  I have a hard time going through my day while eyeing up all the piles and clutter I see.  It is an energy drain on us and it is overwhelming to our children.

Did you know that too much stuff causes children to see our world in a shallow way? They never develop the capacity for deep play and getting steeped in their environment if they flit from toy to toy.

Each time I clear out the toys and set out just a few open-ended items, my girls will race over and start creating a story with their imaginations.

Slowing down and embracing this conscious living is simple, but can take a bit of rearranging within our current lifestyles.

As a homeschooling mom and entrepreneur, I know how important it is to  keep things as simple as possible. When I read Kim Payne”s book Simplicity Parenting, I knew I had found something truly unique. My passion for this work led me to become a certified Simplicity Parenting group leader so I can guide others to live the Simple Life.

Free Audio

You can listen to the free audio “Why Simplify? How to turn your chaos into calm with Simplicity Parenting

The Giveaway

Donna is generously offering one Simple Kids reader a total scholarship to the Fall series, Simplify This Fall which begins on September 15th. *

*note: the winner would be responsible for the course materials at a cost of approximately $25.

To Enter

  • to enter, simply leave a comment on this post

This giveaway will be open until midnight EST Friday, September 9th.  I will announce the winner on Saturday, September 10th.  Good luck! This giveaway is now closed and the winner will be announced soon.  Thank you!

Discount Code

Donna is offering all Simple Kids readers a discount code for Simplify This Fall.  Use the code SIMPLEKIDS to get $30 off your registration to the course.  If you register for the course and are chosen as the scholarship winner, Donna will reimburse you.

Donna Ashton has devoted over 5 years to learning Waldorf Education and homeschooling her twin girls. She brings her experience with raising her 8½ yr olds in a mindful way to help struggling homeschoolers and parents trying to balance their daily rhythm and get clarity in homeschooling.
In 2009, she created The Waldorf Connection to bring the experts directly to online homeschoolers. She is now a certified Simplicity Parenting Group Leader so she may bring this amazing wisdom to her families and help them simplify and balance their homes and lifestyles.
You can learn more about Donna and her programs, workshops, and products at The Waldorf Connection and The Parenting Studio.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. Oh, one of my favorite parenting books. I would love to devel deeper.

  2. I would love to be able to slow down a lot of things in my life!

  3. I am almost through my first time reading this wondering book. I say first time because I know I will end up re-reading it every so often as my kids get older. I’d love to take the course!
    Diane´s latest post: First Day of School

  4. Love the book and love Donna’s workshops. This course sounds wonderful.

  5. As a mother of three who has also just recently gone back to work part-time, I could use some serious help in how to reorder, rebalance, and reorganzie my life and that of my family!

  6. Great article. I loved the book Simplicity Parenting. It was one of those transforming all time favorites for me along with Continum Parenting and You Are Your Child’s First teacher. I could use help figuring put how to bring the book into our lives. The concepts thrill me, but never having seen a life that runs like the beautiful books that fill my mind, I am sometimes not sure how to create the life that I imagine is possible, given the ideas in Simplicity Parenting. I recommend it constantly. In my go go rush rush community, no one is too interested! Oh to live in the Shire!

  7. Thank you for this opportunity!
    J. Marie Weldon´s latest post: One Christmas Present Made…Almost!

  8. I am trying to pursue simple living. I would love to learn more about this.

  9. Would so love to be part of the course. It sounds amazing!

    mama to 10 precious munchkins!

  10. This is one of my all-time favorite books, too, and a training I have been hoping to take. I feel we have done so much to pull back from the rush of the mainstreamv, but still have so much more to learn. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  11. I just recently read the book and really enjoyed it. I would love to join the course.

  12. Laura Smith says:

    Simplicity Parenting has been a life altering read for me. I have felt the most success and personal relief from the environmental changes that I’ve made… especially to toys. I have, however, struggled with the rhythm so desire to gift this to my children…. Thanks for the encouragement!

  13. Jennifer Becker says:

    This whole way of living pulls at my heart every time I read about it. The ability to execute, however, seems so overwhelming. This course would be incredible.

  14. Love the idea of a simplicity course… I loved this book, and removing half of the toys in our house (twice!) has changed our days immensely… I am ready for more!

  15. I loved the book and would really enjoy the course. Thanks for the opportunity!


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