What I'm Reading: The Rhythm of Family

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

I haven”t had much time for reading lately.  Yes, there are still stacks and stacks of books laying about the house waiting for me to crack them open, but life with a new baby means that most of my time is spent doing other things beside reading. (And, okay, I”ll admit that sometimes when I find a few moments to myself it is the knitting needles that I reach for and not a book).

However, I”m pleased to say that a few books have made it off of my teetering nightstand piles and into active reading rotation, becoming my companions during late night and early morning nursing sessions and those rare moments during the day that I have to myself.

One of those books was contributor Mariah Bruehl”s and the other has been Amanda and Stephen Soule”s The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons.

If you”ve been reading Simple Kids for very long, it is probably evident to you that rhythm is important to me as parent.  In our home, we have daily rhythms, weekly rhythms, and even a yearly rhythm as the seasons change.  So I was very intrigued when I found out the title of this book and what its focus would be.  It seemed to be exactly the kind of book I”d fall in love with and I”d been anticipating it for months before its release.

I”m happy to report that The Rhythm of Family was well worth the wait.

As the title suggests, The Rhythm of Family explores the year, one month at a time, with an essay, recipes, and craft ideas for each month of the year.

The Essays

The book has a focus on the natural rhythms of the year.  Amanda Soule, author of the popular blog Soule Mama, and her husband Stephen each contribute to the twelve sections of the book.

The essays take one of my favorite things about the Soule Mama blog – the endearing way Amanda writes about her family and the “little” things, which we all know aren”t really little at all – and gives me an “unplugged” way to enjoy them, in the form of a book.

One of my favorite essays in the book is from February, written by Amanda, called “Let Them Play.”

“A deep breath of fresh air, closed eyes for a moment to listen to the birds in the trees and the sound of my children happily playing, and I am here and ready in this moment.  Ready to play alongside my children.”

The “Makes”

As you know, my hands have been a bit full lately, and I have to admit we haven”t tried out any of the recipes or kitchen concoctions in the book yet.  For now I”m marking the things I can”t wait to try and am looking forward to some taste testing and trial runs, beginning this Autumn.

I”ve got some sticky tabs marking the following for future kitchen adventures:

  • Creamy Potato Soup (January)
  • Picnic Salads (June)
  • Bug Stay Away (July)
  • Berry Muffins (August)
  • Have a Preserving Party (September)

The Crafting

Like many of you, I found my creative side inspired by Amanda”s two previous books, Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures and The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections.

The Rhythm of Family lives up to its predecessors” offerings of creative inspiration and ideas.  My yarn loving heart especially enjoys seeing the knitting.  These craft ideas feel personal, as if written just for me and my family.  I could envision my loved ones using them, enjoying them, creating them as I read the book.

A few things I have bookmarked:

  • Wintry Weather Cowls (January)
  • Tiny Felted Treasure Bowls (March)
  • A Tree Feeder (April)
  • A Muffin Bag (August)
  • Nature Stamps (October)

Actually, there is very little in the book that I don”t want to make, create, or do with my family.  This is another book by Amanda Soule that I doubt will actually spend much time on the bookshelf because it will be open on my kitchen counter or on the crafting table.

Next up on my “to read” list is a mystery, Alan Bradley”s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.   What are you reading right now?

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 KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. I’ve been so looking forward to this release! I’ve heard so many good things about it. Thanks for sharing with us a little peek inside its covers.
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s latest post: Just a P living in a J world

  2. I am currently reading Playful Learning and now I am going to have to also check out Rythym of the Family!
    Samantha´s latest post: Colored rice and glue.

  3. Funny, I JUST ordered both of those books this past weekend!
    Sarah M
    Sarah M´s latest post: {This Moment}

  4. Thanks for the review! I’m excited to get my hands on this one!
    Gretchen´s latest post: Talking to my Six-Year-Old About 9/11

  5. Ohhh–and I’ve read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie! It’s simply delightful…I loved the main character as much as any I’ve read lately, she’s a blast!
    Gretchen´s latest post: Talking to my Six-Year-Old About 9/11

  6. I am reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and loving everything about it but the very small print. It is packed full of wisdom.

  7. I’m reading Kathleen Norris’ Quotidian Mysteries & feeling so refreshed & hushed by it. I’ve followed Mariah’s blog for a while & can’t wait to get my hands on the Playful Learning book. The other sounds wonderful, too. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I really want both those books! But for now in my rare spare time I’m reading Simplicity Parenting and Last Child in the Woods. Love them!
    Kiasa´s latest post: First Day of School

  9. I pre-ordered Rhythm of a Family but have yet to take the time to slow down and read it, so now I am inspired- thanks! I’m looking forward to Playful Learning; I just signed up for the e-course on playful spaces. Can’t wait to make some changes to our home and lives. I also enjoyed Simplicity Parenting and am trying hard to implement. These three books seems to go well together, particularly Rhythm of a Family and Simplicity Parenting, which have many values shared with the Waldorf/Steiner educational approach.


  1. […] You can read a review of The Rhythm of Family that I wrote earlier this year here. […]

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