Activities for Kids, Food and Nutrition, Life Creativity, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness, Weekly Metaphysical Readings

2nd January 2018 – Metaphysical Reading for The Real Food Tribe (Teaching Our Kids How To Eat Real Food)


Welcome to this week’s reading by Joanna Becker, author, blogger, and healer (communication with spirits) for the Real Food Tribe Blog. As you’re enjoying the first fresh days of the new year, and setting intentions and reflecting on what was great (and not so great) about the year passed, don’t forget to listen to your body and honour its very specific needs at the beginning of a new cycle.

The body’s seasons begin fresh every year: within your body’s internal biological clock, there is a re-birth occurring. So think of it like the beginning of Spring – a fresh time, waking up, setting intentions, spreading wings, tasting new things, trying new experiences with excitement and vigour, all while being aware that you are cared for, loved and safe and have a beautiful spiritual support system on call, anytime, within your own energetic field.

Let’s talk about which foods are best for your body at the time of year when you are waking from a tiring, effortful end of year, and ready to start a new chapter of your life time with improved happiness and success.

Cucumbers, are fresh and cooling, and light on the body to process. They are invigorating, and especially great for stimulating new thoughts and generating inspiration and enthusiasm.

Strawberries, a summer fruit, are a sweet treat that are enjoyed from frozen in smoothies or ice-crush drinks. They create a feeling of safety, love, nourishment and enjoyment in the life that it is now, presently.

Lettuce, a great food for summer, and great crisp energy for encouraging you to be light-footed, energetic and embracing new experiences. Easy to digest, nourishing with a good supply of water, easy on the tastebuds. This food is good for creating an energetic field of lightness, but also grounding, with structure and stability.

Sometimes during the early parts of this year you may feel like there is no way to improve on the situations you experienced last year. It is paramount that you monitor your language, that comes out of your mouth, and is passed through your brain in thoughts, and your heart in emotions, and improve on what you say. Thoughts are the key to your ultimate fulfilment. The sense of wonder that you will have in life, this year, will be generated from the words that you speak, think and feel. Words that will be especially helpful for you this year, in creating a safe and healthy home for yourself and your children, are:

  • “Let this food inspire us to be better versions of ourselves.”
  • “Especially now, I welcome this food into my body to nourish and enable healthful growth and support.”
  • “Yes, I am willing to improve my body’s health and am ready to try new foods.”
  • “Give me the strength, courage, discipline, and ambition to try what is ultimately good for me and can inspire my children to do what is good for them.”
  • “Thank you for the food I eat, the water I drink, the air I breathe, and nature I enjoy.”

It is of course helpful to print out phrases such as the above and include them on the dining table or breakfast bar, and involve the family in reading them aloud during meals.

Thank you for sharing a wonder-full 2017 with me and the Real Food Tribe Community.

You are loved more than you know! Be yourself, bless others and live your truth.

Let love be your compass.

© Copyright 2018. Joanna Becker is an Australian author, blogger and healer (communication with spirits) at The Real Food Tribe Blog website ( She has authored books on self-healing using internal dialogue with self and spirit, positive affirmations, meditation, and conscientious parenting. In 2018 Joanna Becker will be offering free channeled messages on the topic of nourishing the body with Real Food. In addition, you can join Joanna and her tribe in the private support page Real Food Tribe – Private Support on Facebook, click here to join:



Mammalian Meat Allergy (Alpha-Gal) – aligning yourself with the right tribe – and live with it successfully and happily

For a couple of years now I’ve had what I suspected was a “red-meat allergy”, from a paralysis tick bite. This is a growing concern especially on the coastal areas of NSW and QLD. There are new cases diagnosed every day, children included, so I wanted to share with you a little of what I’ve learned, so you can help yourself, or others, access good information should they ever be affected.

Firstly – if you’re ever bitten by a paralysis tick (and please teach your kids this!) – don’t try to remove it – don’t even touch it! Keep a “wart-off” product in your handbag/backpack and freeze it off so the paralysis tick cannot inject you with the “alpha-gal” protein, which it could have picked up by a recent feed (a cow, for example). If you don’t have access to the wart-off product, leave the tick in place until you can get to a chemist. Essential Oils are a little more risky as they can take a bit longer to work and the tick can still get irritated and inject you – I used essential oils and I still got the allergy – so please consider getting wart-off.

Secondly – if you are bitten by a paralysis tick, it’s not guaranteed you will become allergic to mammal meat products. This is just one form of a paralysis tick bite side-effect. So book a doctor appointment and have a blood test to check for “alpha-gal allergy”. You will also know if you suddenly start getting sick after eating. For me the symptoms were full-body tingles, tremors, heart palpitations, nausea like food-poisoning, urge to vomit but difficulty vomiting, sleepless nights with high anxiety, drop in blood pressure, urge to cry etc, pacing hallways etc. I mistook these symptoms for panic attacks. What I found worked for my “panic attacks” was vitamin C (4 mandarins did the trick!) or a vitamin C supplement, and an anti-histamine over time as the symptoms worsened. As they became worse again – I didn’t realise the foods I was eating were triggering allergy – I started using an asthma puffer occasionally to open my airways and calm me down, along with essential oils Sage, Lemon Grass, Frankincense, and Peppermint. I’ll always keep these first-aid tools with me now, but generally a state of calm, yoga, and deep diaphragmatic breathing is a really good preventative for the worse symptoms.

Thirdly – if you or someone else has alpha-gal allergy, don’t despair! It just takes time to get your mindset organised, for a change in diet and more diligence when eating out. I also recommend going to see an Allergy Specialist and checking the extent of the allergy. It can range from beef, to include all mammals, to even include milk and even milk-chocolate.

Fortunately for me during this time I was taking a whole-food powder in vegan-capsule, and vegan-shake. Juice Plus+ is all vegan. When I was first affected 2 years ago, as you might have heard me say on our recordings, Juice Plus+ “saved my life” when I didn’t know what was making me sick, because Juice Plus+ smoothies filled my belly up when I was both confused and weak! It was over 6 months before I was told by a friend about paralysis ticks. I hope that by writing this, you can possibly save time for a friend who is bitten and becomes sick.

Here are some practical solutions for shopping:

Alpha-gal is not “red-meat”. This is not “red-meat allergy” – and naming it that means you can make the same mistake I did and keep eating prosciutto and cheese for the next 2 years!  Alpha-gal is all mammals, even including kangaroo, pork, lamb – any animal born with live young. That means the occasional bacon for Sunday breakfast, or ham sandwiches on the run, or pork gyoza, are out. It may even include vegetarian spring-rolls, if they are cooked in the same deep-fried pan as meat spring rolls.

It is also a little tricky if you already follow a vegetarian diet – vegetarianism is ommitting meat and is definitely the closet diet to meat allergy – but sometimes vegetarian foods are cooked with meat (spring roll example above). Just take a little bit of extra caution – take a look at the cooking areas, or read labels. I used to eat mostly vegetarian, but simply didn’t realise some ingredients included mammal products, such as cheese “rennet”.

These are the products to look out for:

  • Cheese (rennet): buy the vegetarian option, which is made with animal-free rennet.
  • Lollies (many different kinds): only eat vegetarian because a lot of lollies are made with gelatine.
  • Thickened Cream, Sour Cream, and some Yoghurts: they often have gelatine. Read ingredients and buy pure cream and pot-set yoghurt. Be careful when eating out at parties or restaurants, as the cakes on offer probably have cream or jelly.
  • Flavoured meals, sauces and condiments: Beef stocks may be used in packaged foods. Choose vegetarian, and just make sure to read the ingredients.
  • Bakery foods: Pizza breads, for example, have bacon, and ham.
  • Cheesecakes: save the experience for when you can buy or make a beautiful raw-vegan!  I have a great recipe.

If you have kids? Don’t be like me and eat their left-overs! Or lick your fingers after preparing their meals. That too, was triggering mild reactions for me.

Restaurants & Cafes: You can have a quick chat with the chef when you arrive to check that vegetarian options on the menu definitely haven’t come into contact with beef stock or cooked in the same grill-pan as bacon, for example. Also you can ask to omit cheese. I find chefs and staff so helpful and willing to accommodate – sometimes I ring ahead and let them know and talk about the menu options.

Platters being served at big events: know what you’re eating before you eat it. Take your own foods as a precaution. At our recent conference I made myself unwell eating these delicious parcels that had pork in them …  I’d say it was worth it – but it really wasn’t, as I had to leave and missed the event!

The other thing to be weary of, which snuck up on me, is Iron Deficiency. I became iron deficient – and that was not a pleasant 2-3 months. Iron supplementation is often recommended for women, and I recommend it for mammalian meat allergy. Especially while you learn a new vegetarian diet. Especially if you are in child-birthing years with extra blood loss, from birth or miscarriage. I have continued to have my JP+ shakes, which have a good amount of iron. And I know that later on, when the diet becomes more normal and my health is strong and resilient, and my immune system is strong again, the extra supplementation can be taken out.

Supplementation from the chemist. Watch out for gelatine capsules and other mammal ingredients. Ring the company and ask if their vitamins, probiotics are vegetarian. I have found that most of Ethical Nutrients is vegetarian, which is great for probiotics and iron and vitamin B, and have found a favourite list of “safe” supplements. My Naturopath, and my Chemist, are more than willing to call the companies before they sell me their products. Propolis was a favourite supplement of mine. However my brand had gelatine – so it’s worth ringing the company for a quick chat, they are always helpful. I have previously not recommended supplementation from the chemist, but with an allergy, the body can get very run down and the immune system weak. So supplementation and chinese herbs have helped me get back on my feet, along with a varied and heathy diet.

This is why I love our Real Food Tribe community. It is already for the healthy-minded person – but when something totally weird and unexpected pops up, this community is simply a God-Send because pretty-much EVERYTHING in our pages, is safe. I’ve always loved the vegetarian options in this program, and even more so now.

As I think of more examples that may be helpful, I’ll add them to this list over time. I just wanted to raise a little awareness for you, in case a child you know, or an adult you know, is affected – you can easily support them and give them the encouragement that they need. Anxiety, and stress, is often more debilitating than any condition so calming language, hugs and peaceful time together is key.

Please also don’t underestimate the effect of taking meat out of your diet, if you are not used to being a vegetarian. Your body will adapt over time, but it feels the change. I know my body is missing certain foods and I make sure, nowadays, that everyday, I plan ahead to balance each and every meal. It’s NOT ok to be on the run and forget to plan your meals. And it’s NOT ok to gulp your food down in a hurry and create other digestive issues! Don’t we all do that? 🙂 I feel like this is a precious time to pay extra attention to yourself, because it takes a certain level of discipline and focus to manage an allergy, meal-by-meal, on a daily basis. The last thing we need is other digestive issues or stress placing extra pressures on the beautiful body.

Between salmon, seafood and fish, beans, grains, and the list goes on, there are plenty of ways to keep the body nourished. I’ve added foods back in, that I took out – such as bread, and sugar, to fill me up and ensure I eat. It’s better to eat something than not at all! But I do feel like my body does miss meat, and that’s why I chose to eat it (albeit sparingly) for all my adult years. Often times people associate a tick-bite with Lymes Disease. I can’t comment too much except to say that, in my case, mammalian meat allergy triggered a whole stream of health challenges, not Lymes related, but related to  having taken meat out of my diet. Personally, I liked to eat a little meat and it gave me energy and strength. I know it’s not the same for many people and they feel better without meat – on the whole, I do. But a little bit every now and then was good too.

Stress Relief techniques and associating with like-minded people, such as what we have here in our tribe, and watching healthy videos such as Overfed and UnderNourished (and many more, check out the Gaia app) are fantastic. They will give you the heart-felt support you need that vegetarianism is going to be ok, if you weren’t in that full mindset before.

Copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

The most important house we will ever live in? Our body.

dustys wonder bug photo

A few years ago we discovered how important it is to take the extra time to learn why we need to eat fresh food that grows in front of our eyes. Since then, I’ve aimed to teach parents to teach their children that it’s simple to grow and eat real food and that it’s easy to decipher the difference between REAL FOOD and FOOD-LIKE PRODUCTS (or FAKE FOODS) – and to even turn this deciphering into a fun game with children.

Like many parents of today, in my childhood and early adult years I experienced a very common detachment from the food-growing process. Sure, I played a part in a home vegetable garden, egg collecting and mulberry picking. Like many young adults, I was taught to buy food from the supermarket… the fancy packaging and cheaper prices equaled better buys.

And then, a few short years into our own parenting journey, our smothered-with-love 6yo Rhodesian Ridgeback died suddenly from poisoning in the blood, ‘perhaps cancer’, where her liver and kidneys failed and she collapsed before our eyes. We opened our eyes. I then discovered through my own research and enquiry that what we put into and onto our bodies MAKES A DIFFERENCE. My research moved past the ideal dog’s diet (which I learned is NOT dog biscuits!) and what I would always do to ensure optimal health in my pets, to the food I was putting into my own body and my children’s bodies. Through tears of sadness, I became very grateful for the message our beautiful dog had sent us.

I learned about the problems with pre-prepared foods that had traveled thousands of klm’s and had been packaged with additives, or had been treated with heat and refined so heavily that all the nutritious content was gone – and some of the ingredients had even turned toxic! Common foods that we ate very day – starting with cooking oils, through to table spreads, to sauces, to milks, and meats. I threw out many items in my pantry without a care to the cost. That food no longer had a place in our life.

I also learned about the problem with our society’s over-consumption of, and addiction to, the processed commodity of sugar. I studied and reported on my experience overcoming sugar-addiction, and the results within our family in advancing on to real sweet foods (aka, fruit) that have amazing benefits – for our body’s health as well as our mental health.

I realised that over my life, I had been apart of the complete and devastating unawareness of our body’s true design (with many influential people in society – teachers, doctors, specialists, parents), and as a result I had supported other people in believing that our bodies could tolerate eating ANYTHING.

In so many ways, our society still supports us in eating recklessly. For many, it doesn’t matter what goes in the body so long as the stomach ends up full and our craving for ‘sweet’ or ‘salty’ is satisfied. If it’s on the shelf at the shops, it must be alright, right? (And for shop-keepers: if the customer wants it, it must be supplied).

While enormous progress is being made, our society still generally believes that healthy food is gourmet and expensive. That cheaper, colourful food made with sugar and paint is a ‘special treat’. That hunger-satisfaction comes out of packets. That cakes, chips and biscuits are more fun and tasty than fruit and vegetables and are OK to have as ‘sometimes foods’ for special occasions (and for a bribe). How many people haven’t realised that the word JUNK FOOD or TRASH was created for these fake-foods because they are quite literally not food and would be better put INTO THE BIN? It took me almost 30 years to finally understand the meaning of JUNK FOOD.

What we want now is a society that teaches our children that our bodies are not rubbish bins! Our bodies are the most important houses we will ever live in. Our bodies are the only house that will ever matter.

From a parent’s perspective, I’ve learned, and I continue to study, that our bodies are designed to eat fresh natural foods to function optimally for a positive, happy and enjoyable life – fruit and vegetables, honey, sea vegetables, etc. I’ve learned clever ways to increase our children’s passion for eating healthy real foods and for teaching them to say “NO” to fake food because we care about US.

And now, I’m so thrilled to share that I have published a colourful, quality Australian-produced children’s book to help parents communicate to children that Real food is Wonder-Full.

I have so passionately written this book. I have never felt more passionate about anything in my life. Every word was carefully written, re-written, pondered over, to pass on to our most loved, treasured gifts, our children, that the environment LOVES THEM and PROVIDES THEM the food their body is DESIGNED TO EAT.

This illustrated Children’s Story, which is all about the magic of real treats growing in our very own garden, imparts a message of ‘giving thanks for our food’ to instil positive thoughts and beliefs in our children. It takes our children on an adventure to see the magic and wonder of real food growing. It teaches them that we need to care for our environment and appreciate the process, as it is what will support us in our long and happy lives.

Dusty’s Wonder Bug is a 40-page illustrated large-format book in print, with an audio CD in the back cover that features me reading the story and playing the piano. The audio CD runs for 15 minutes and is a peaceful rest-time melody, which often puts my children to sleep as we drive in the car or cuddle in bed, letting them dream a little with the story-line about discovering food growing in nature.

When it came to the printing of this book, my husband and I decided to bypass printing off-shore in China with a cheaper rate, and instead support local workers and receive an exceptional Australian-first-class product. The biggest concern for me was the process of producing the book and ensuring the paper was sourced using Australian forestry-approved standards. We ensured that we had the Australian Forestry Approved guarantee. Rather than outsource the task of illustrating to cheap and competitive websites off-shore, I proudly recruited an Australian friend and former colleague for the best-quality illustrations I could get. Bryn Rayfield, as you will see in this book, has created sensational pictures that are being adored, right now, by a collection of children who already have their copy. Bryn Rayfield has made this wonder-full dream a reality and I will be grateful to him forever.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

Honesty and lessons in humility through parenting

img_4717‘It’s ok, mum. You’re learning. So am I.’  – My Little One, 4 years old.

I tell my little boy that I’m learning how to be the most beautiful happy version of me, in the same way that he is learning how to be his best, most beautiful version of himself, and that we are both learning how to be caring, kind and helpful to one another. ‘We are both learning how to live happily with each other,’ I say.

Like most other people I know, as a child I was taught to do everything adults told me without question. Not only did this teach me to become the adult that must always be right, but I lived years of insecurity, compromised self-identity and self-confidence. I learned that by doing what an adult told me and repeating what an adult taught me, or by copying the behavior of the respected adults around me, I was good, acceptable, loveable and worthy. Weren’t we all?

Adults rarely admit they have made a mistake. That would jeopardize their authority status.

I’ve never been comfortable with an authority role in my own parent-child relationship. I have chosen to live truthfully. The truth is: I have never experienced any particular moment before. My moments aren’t any more special, or superior, than my children’s moments. Every moment is unique and wonderful and is an experience that can’t be repeated exactly. I am grateful for every single moment. I am a learning parent, and I will be for every future moment.

To act like I’m not learning, and to think I’m unable to change my position on a parenting issue, is contrary to nature. We are all learning every day, and we are all the scientists of our own lives. We are here to explore, learn, experience and reach full empowerment, and to (bit-by-bit) discover how to live the happiest, most fulfilling life that we can possibly create with our very own power.

So to act like I am always right and that my children must do as I say … without ever thinking I was ever learning myself … flies in the face of living the truth. I am learning every day, along with my children.

It made me smile when my son said to me last week that he knows everything. When I replied that he has lots to learn, he said, ‘well, YOU know everything. You can teach me everything.’ I questioned him on that, too! To my baffled little boy, I explained that I’m learning along with him, and the whole fun in living life is to keep on learning, and that some philosophers have said that ‘when we stop learning, we die.’ His reply to me was, ‘yup. I already knew that.’ Bless!

One of our favourite tv series to watch together is Dinotopia, and a scene I personally love is where the people ride on the back of the Brachiosaurus as a mode of transport. When a leading character says that, actually the dinosaurs deserve no better than to be ordered around by the humans, he is corrected by the future Matriarch. She says, ‘on the contrary, humans can learn a lot from the dinosaurs – for example, we can learn humility‘. Putting aside our own pride, status, priorities, personal intentions and our own personal need to succeed, to help another travel their own personal path, no matter how self-deprecating it is, is true humility. And I feel it is something we are not generally taught to do in our modern society.

Instead many of us have been taught (and continue to be taught by each other, not at all deliberately but perhaps a tiny bit naively), to be defensive, ‘right’, critical of each other, labeling, unapologetic, power-seeking and proud. In typical daily life, we can be intolerant of each other, impatient, and we can really lack sensitivity and empathy in our daily quest to be ‘human doings’. Do, do and do some more, don’t let another person’s emotional needs slow us down, and give praise to ourselves time and time again for how much we accomplish by doing, doing, and doing some more. Feel eeeky? For me I feel stirred on the inside just reading this last paragraph – and yet it is the context of life for many people isn’t it.

Now I’ll tell a story of my own humility in the hope of sharing a lesson I learned. Once, when  my son started reflecting on a few incidents that had hurt him, and started crying while thinking about it, I immediately sighed and thought,’why does he do this? Why does he bring up things from the past and make himself cry?’ It was mood-dampening and I didn’t feel like having a teary conversation, seeing we were having a good day and on our way to the park to have more fun with friends. Thoughts ran through my head like, ‘he has such highs and lows, when he is high he is bursting with excitement and physically jiggles and wiggles, and then he has lows where he cries, maybe I should be worried, maybe he is wrong to do that, maybe I’m over evaluating, but maybe a health specialist would call it bipolar or anxiety or something…’ All the while I was admiring him for his honesty and in awe of his childhood innocence and expressiveness. Such conflicting feelings in a 10-minute space in time!

I urged him to cheer up and stop making himself sad thinking about it. He kept sobbing. Eventually I got cross and told him to cheer up. ‘Stop thinking about things that make you sad!’ I ordered. It was then, because he quickly went quiet and meekly said, ‘ok mummy’, that I realised my massive mistake.

Now I knew myself at this time. I was always thinking and reflecting on what happened to me yesterday, ten minutes ago, one year ago, twenty years ago, as a way to build my senses for what I like and don’t like in this world. I revisited events in my imagination and validated my feelings on the experience, and came to conclusions about how I’d deal with similar situations in future. We all do. As an adult I learned to do this in my mind or in civil conversations with others – and to control child-like expressive emotions like crying out loud – but I definitely do exactly the same thing in the ‘grown up way’. And yet I ordered my son to stop because as a parent, it was frustrating to not be able to control his mood.

It is very normal that when a child reaches age 4, and can communicate freely, that he starts to repeat what he has heard, seen, experienced, to validate what has happened and to learn (and validate his intuition) on whether it’s good or bad.

I felt uneasy with the way I had shut him down. I had just taught him to suppress his emotions, to ignore his need to validate the world and his place in it. I had taught him to follow my orders, and I had missed an opportunity to teach him that he is, actually, safe in his world. It was quiet in the car, but I pepped up. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said, with a quivery voice. I noticed how hard it can be to say sorry to a small child who depended on me being right. ‘It was wrong of me to tell you to stop feeling sad. You are entitled to feel sad, to talk and to cry. I’m here for you, and I’m listening.’ (This is, in fact, what I wish I had heard many times in my life – and this is how I would like to be spoken to now when I’m unsure if my feelings.) ‘I’m learning too,’ I said.

He was so grateful. He finished explaining what had upset him, I validated his experience and repeated his feelings back to him, and he cheered up.

And the lesson for both of us was that it’s ok to say ‘I’m learning, too,’ and to be honest, humble, even humiliated, because sometimes it’s the way to better connection, happiness, and love.

We are taught to say we are learning in schools, however schools focus on the left side (intellectual) side of the brain. We are taught less – if at all – to openly say we are learning emotionally… and to allow ourselves to study, test, review and develop concepts relating to our creativity, intuition, energetic connections, and heart-based thinking. This is why I am now passionately writing material for my books, specifically for increasing vibrational energies, and for claiming your power in your life. Stay tuned and please visit my pages often.

“When you are in power of your life, you  have no need to seek order and control over another’s life. Simple enjoyment and fulfillment is all that you seek.”  (Joanna Becker)

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.


Life Creativity, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness, Uncategorized

The mum who had a fault and shared it.

Healthy_new_yearThousands of children around Australia are returning to school this week. It’s a time of fresh beginnings, of anxiety, excitement, new friendships and relationships – and not only for the children, because parents are equally feeling the mixed bag of emotions.

Parents worry about their children, mostly. But what about ourselves? Do we ever think about the learning experiences we will have publicly, outside of our comfort zones, that will shape us and create our futures?

I became a mum four years ago. I’ve since learned how to be accountable for my faults, my  reality, and ultimately – my happiness. I’m sharing the lot.

Overcoming chronic anxiety two years ago opened my eyes to hidden signs and symptoms of unhappy and UN-empowered mums, who were brushing off bad moods or poor health as just ‘bad days’. With my inspired hand, I started writing day and night about the responsibility we have to ourselves to heal from the inside out, and be free of anxiety and stress (even if we don’t believe anxiety or stress is present in our life).

Now I’m aware that I only have to ask for help, or visualise the outcome that I want, to bring myself back to an empowered mindset. I can recognise when my manifestations turn into reality. I know every moment is perfect and is paving the way for the next perfect moment. I know how powerful I am.

I’m not one of those people that brushes bad moods off as ‘just a bad day’. I know, through my experiences over the past few years, that little thoughts can reveal big emotions that are impacting on life in big ways. And I enjoy exploring.

I want to share what I am learning, and have learned, with you.

I’m a learning mum. I’m a learning wife. I’m a learning house-keeper. I’m a learning woman. I’m a learning human being.

Via this blog and my books, I’m posting what I’m learning every day to connect with other parents, and to validate that they are not alone if they feel or experience the same range of emotions that I do, as a natural and intuitive person and parent, and as someone who possibly (just putting it out there) experiences anxiety as an early parent.

I blog and share my experiences with you, at the same time exposing myself as an everyday, time-pressed, exhausted, house-wife and mum who has fairly high expectations of myself (expectations that, like many, have their roots in anxiety about control and safety). I want to relate and learn from other mums and I want to convert unhelpful, negative energy to powerful, rewarding, positive energy.

How my writing can help.

I choose to see all of my experiences that frustrate, challenge, sadden, infuriate, or weaken me, as opportunities to learn and grow and improve my perception of life, the way I live, and my experience as a parent.

2014 is a year for being real.

I’m going to start the year by being ok with being me … the inspired part as well as the very human part that needs nurturing from the inside-out. I wonder how many other parents can be REAL WITH ME this year?

Will you accept yourself – with all your faults – as perfect and perfectly lovable? Will you recognise that ‘bad days’ are a great opportunity to do some digging and reflection on emotions making big impacts on your life? Will you stop worrying about what other people think, and do some inner work to change for a better life experience?

As usual I feel just like a child that is starting first day at school, who will make mistakes in front of the school room many times throughout the year. And I feel good about it because by now I know the lessons are well worth the experience.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

Steiner, Montessori and Your Child

Montessori_educationI’m certainly not an expert when it comes to describing methods of teaching various education philosophies. But it’s an area that interests me and I’m learning quickly … so many people are asking me what the difference is between Montessori and Steiner. If you don’t know anything and are looking for a basic parent’s-view explanation, this blog is for you.

I’ll start by saying that Montessori seems to be quite serious in focus, in comparison to Steiner’s Waldorf (if you hear of Waldorf, it is the education philosophy and technique taught by Rudolf Steiner). Steiner is for the whole child with an emphasis on earth and imagination, where Montessori is for little minds who want to be empowered – to learn and develop useful skills, and even mimic adult activities in a smaller setting.

Montessori and Steiner have their similarities in that they are both child-led, individualised, gentle experiences. They both encourage natural learning and are perfect for Natural Learners.

Rudolf Steiner believed that children can be left to be children, up until the age of 7. He encouraged that they be free to use their imagination and make-believe, play, explore physically, emotionally and spiritually, and most of all, creatively. His schooling program involved rhythm and routine, group activities in 20-30 minute blocks, singing and gentle movements, ceremonies, celebrations of the seasons, and gross-motor and creative (hand making) activities and interactions with the real world, i.e., earth and its creations.

Embracing that the foundations for reading and learning begin with listening and interacting in everyday life, Steiner schools don’t introduce formal curriculum for learning to read and write until age seven. This is on the premise that learning to read and write on paper will distract the child from developing their gross motor skills fully, and will also affect their development emotionally, spiritually and creatively, which are the most essential skills to develop before age 7. At age 7, some Steiner schools have a concentrated 6-week literacy program that children respond exceptionally well, and usually the children can read/write even better than their non-Steiner peers. This is because they have developed so completely in all other areas, that the words, sounds and visual characters, and ability to write and draw, comes easily and naturally.

Maria Montessori developed her schooling system for children who had difficulties learning in a large group, and found that most young minds were yearning to learn and be challenged. She felt that children must learn for the sake of ‘now’ and for fully exploring and enjoying the present day – not learning for the sake of the future and what is next to come (I love this aspect).

Montessori schools focus on taking advantage of the child’s early years because the mind learns so readily and productively in this time. By allowing the child to work at their own height with materials created for their special little size, we can stimulate their current psychological and physiological abilities, and the child can easily learn and grow and advance to more difficult challenges – when they are interested and ready to advance.

I personally found that my son started to need the challenges that Montessori presented at age 3. Without the focus, individualised activities and the challenging tasks, he resorts to hyperactivity and detachment from his environment, and he started to use his energy in other obstructive ways, such as jumping on furniture and snatching from me to get attention.

But I only give him the Montessori experience 1-2 days per week for small periods – that is, as long as he is clear in focus and is interested. I feel it is extremely important to put imagination, creativity, music, candle-type ceremonies, bread-making, nature-walks, crafts, outside play and story-times, with my company, guidance and friendship, first. So Steiner influences 70% of our week – Montessori the remaining 30%.

I hope this has helped you! For those who know more than I do (I’m sure there are thousands of practised Steiner and Montessori parents around Australia) please give me feedback on how you have liked Steiner and Montessori and what you have loved most.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.