reading list

Below are just some of the books that I have found helpful in my homemaking journey; these are the ones I refer back to again and again. The book descriptions come from the publisher, but feel free to email me if you would like a more personal review. You can click on any book cover to purchase them at Amazon.

homemaking as a social art coverHomemaking As A Social Art
by Veronika van Duin

Today, social and economic pressures affect the traditional role of the homemaker. Emphasis is placed on the working world instead of home life, and many struggle to function in several roles at once. This increasingly hectic climate has tended to downgrade of the work of the homemaker.

Taking a spiritual perspective inspired by Rudolf Steiner, Veronika van Duin suggests that homemaking needs to be undertaken consciously as an honored and valued area of work, as nothing less than a “social art.” She asserts that, by elevating our regard for the homemaker, we can enjoy a happier and more contented family and home life.

The author does not claim any blueprint for perfect homemaking, but offers principles and observations based on a study of the seven “life processes” and how they affect us. She addresses the significance of rhythm, relationships, artistic environment, caring, self-development, and much more in this invaluable book.

homemaking and personal development coverHomemaking and Personal Development
by Veronika van Duin

Veronika van Duin began her career forty years ago as a homemaker. Beginning with love, enthusiasm, and idealism, she quickly discovered that she had underestimated the magnitude of the task, which left her feeling inadequate and guilty much of the time, as well as alone and occasionally lonely.

Out of those humbling feelings, Homemaking and Personal Development came into being. In it, the author offers support and hope for other homemakers, revealing the discoveries that provided her—and many in her workshops and courses—with basic tools for overcoming personal hindrances. In this wonderfully uplifting book, van Duin provides exercises for restoring and maintaining equilibrium, gaining understanding, creating joy, validating feeling, maintaining vitality and drive, developing insight, finding freedom, and much more.

Homemaking and Personal Development will help mothers and fathers enjoy a richer, more fulfilling experience in the home.

spiritual tasks of the homemaker coverSpiritual Tasks of the Homemaker
by Manfred Schmidt Brabant

What is to become of the family? What is to become of the home, which has been the foundation of society for centuries? With the birth of human individuality, our previous assumptions — based on old cultural traditions — increasingly need revising. All tasks and roles need to be redefined and reinterpreted. This little book is the result of a conference, led by the author, that considered how modern homemakers are to find the strength and insight to deal with their responsibilities.Schmidt-Brabant takes the point of view that the old understanding of the homemaker’s role needs to be enlivened with spiritual knowledge. We can discover, for example, how to work with the non-physical aspects of the household — its etheric and astral natures — and with different spiritual beings connected to the home. He offers much in the way of advice and ideas, providing help for those who find it in their destiny to develop their career as a carer for home and family.

the childrens year coverThe Children’s Year
by Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, and Marjorie Rowling

Simple, well-illustrated instructions demonstrate how to make children’s clothing, toys and gifts using natural materials. Organised by seasons, the craft activities include knitted Easter chicks, spring flower fairies, summer leaf prints, cosy slippers and pumpkin lanterns, Christmas calendars and indoor ‘dens’. Small toys such as a tooth fairy purse can be made in an hour or two, while bigger projects can be enjoyed over a weekend or longer.

festivals family and food coverFestivals Family and Food
by Diana Carey and Judy Large

This family favourite is a unique, well loved source of stories, recipes, things to make, activities, poems, songs and festivals. Each festival such as Christmas, Candlemas and Martinmas has its own, well-illustrated chapter. There are also sections on Birthdays, Rainy Days, Convalescence and a birthday Calendar. The perfect present for a family, it explores the numerous festivals that children love celebrating.

creating a home coverCreating a Home for Body, Soul, and Spirit: A New Approach to Childcare
by Bernadette Raichle

A comprehensive guide to a new way of working with out-of-home care of young children. [Kelli says: Although this book was written for caregivers working in child care centers, I have found in it a lot of valuable insight into how to work in my own home with my own children.]

Part One gives a picture of how the day nursery can emulate the archetypal home through an understanding of the fourfold human ‘sheaths’: the physical body, the etheric body, the soul, and the ‘I’.

Part Two goes into further detail about practical matters of managing and planning a kindergarten, including food, sleep, festivals, and more.

It includes examples from the author’s groundbreaking work at Awhina Day Nursery and Kindergarten in New Zealand, as well as charming photographs of the Awhina children.