Publishing requires a lot of paper

Roland Denzel April 19, 2021 No Comments

But not everyone sees the amount of cardboard (or worse, plastic) that can be involved in getting a printed book into the hands of a reader.

There is no way to “offset” the waste we create.

We want to own that fact. However, we publish books anyways because we hope that the ideas contained within them can change the trajectory of waste overall—and we also take additional steps to reduce the impact our book work has on the world.

cardboard boxes full of books
Boxes of books in the Propriometrics Press offices

Here at Propriometrics Press we 

  • print our books on recycled paper
  • choose cardboard over plastic
  • break down our cardboard boxes and get them to where their material breakdown has direct, local benefits

Many companies recycle (hurray!) but we go a step further to put our waste to better use

Even as a small publisher, we still have a lot of cardboard, but we arrange for our employees to take it from the office to their various growning spaces so it can smother weeds naturally, as we work to grow a little of our own food or encourage the many flowers that go on to feed the pollinators, which help out local farms that feed so many people.

#PracticeWhatYouPublish is our company motto, and the way we handle our waste comes directly from the books we publish. Dawn Again author Doniga Markegard, is how important it is to feed the soil (have you seen her in the new documentary Kiss The Ground yet?).

Movement Matters author Katy Bowman inspires us not only to #stackourlife and add purposeful movement – but to reframe the idea that the labor of breaking down boxes and moving more for what we need is “for other people to do for us.”

Finally, Week 52 in Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well reminds us all that getting dirty in a growing space is good for our mind and soul.

using cardboard to smother weeds
photo courtesy of author Katy Bowman

Fans of Move Your DNA and Nutritious Movement understand the personal benefits that come from getting outside, gardening and growing your own food, and even from breaking down a few boxes by hand.

No plastic required

“I use boxes in my garden, but I wind up pulling a lot of packing tape out of the soil.”

– Katy Bowman, author of Grow Wild

Her shipping solution? To use a special packing tape from StickerMule that’s a gummed paper tape, water-activated, and as they say, “biodegradable and repulpable.”

compostable packing tape for books
Photo courtesy of NutritiousMovement.com

Propriometrics Press also passes on the plastic when we ship to our readers, and definitely skip those mixed paper and bubble wrap envelopes that can neither be recycled nor composted.

We use rigid cardboard mailers. No bubbles required.

#PracticeWhatYouPublish

At Propriometrics Press we try to live the messages we write about, and that goes far beyond moving more, wearing cool shoes, and sitting on the floor.

When it comes to our books, we want to honor and protect the earth that we love.

We want it will be clean and healthy for generations to come, which means taking steps to print on more environmentally friendly materials, ship as efficiently and sustainably as possible, and put any byproducts and waste to good use!


perennial vegetables by eric toensmeier

Interested in reading more about sustainability in your own garden while also helping it thrive?

Check out this excerpt from Eric Toensmeier’s book Perennial VegetablesTurn Barren Soil into Black Gold: 9 Simple Steps to Sheet Mulching


WAYS LIBRARIES CAN ENCOURAGE MORE MOVEMENT

Stack nature and physical literacy with reading time.

As a publisher we want to connect libraries and their patrons to our books, but we’re striving for a great impact: we’d like to help connect libraries and their patrons to the idea that humans benefit immensely not only from literacy in words and ideas, but also literacy in nature and movement.

Our catalog works together as a system, offering connection to nature and movement in the form of memoirs, Big Idea books on movement science, essays on sedentary culture, parenting books and many how-tos that break down getting more movement and more nature (and getting more movement in nature) into bite-size steps—no matter your patron’s age or stage. 


Below we’ve not only given a brief overview of how our titles can be tools in this way; we’ve also assembled broader materials that can help libraries foster not only physical activity, but an environment that simultaneously restores natural human movement as reading literacy is being promoted. Libraries are welcome to share the links, graphics, and text we’ve provided below.

HOW CAN LIBRARIES SUPPORT MOVEMENT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?

Start following Let’s Move In Libraries
Create a StoryWalk!
Create a flexible seating area—one that allows or even encourages reading in a variety of postures on the floor. These work great in a kid’s reading area. Make simple signs or check out this “Think Outside The Chair” Poster (available here)!

‘DYNAMIC’ BOOK DISPLAY IDEAS

We know librarians love displays! Here are some display title ideas for setting up displays that get folks moving and thinking about movement.

SPRING into Walking Books!
Books to Inspire a Long Walk
Family Nature Adventures
Active at EVERY AGE
(layer baby/kid movement books with senior movement books)
Whole-Body Tool Kit (books on fixing body parts)
Stay Active in the Garden (garden displays are common, but in this case it’s the messaging that gardening is a form of exercise!)
NATURE SCHOOL: How to Move, Play, and DIY Outdoors

ARTICLES THAT CONNECT READING AND MOVEMENT

Looking for content to share with your patrons that promote reading and moving at the same time? Check out these articles below.

How to Hold a Dynamic Book Club
You Can Read And Move At The Same Time
21 Books To Get You Moving and Thinking About Movement
30 Books to Connect Kids (Toddlers to Teens) To Nature

OUR AUTHORS PRESENT AT LIBRARIES!

Propriometrics Press author Katy Bowman talks Dynamic Aging and the importance of body part mobility at the North Olympic Library System, Washington. Watch the presentation here!

OUR “DYNAMIC READER” TRIO

There are many exercise titles but almost no books discussing the importance of movement and moving outside. We currently recommend a trio of books that help get folks moving more outside at every age and stage: Grow Wild, Move Your DNA, and Dynamic Aging.

Our flagship book, Move Your DNA was crucial to beginning this “exercise is movement but movement is not exercise” discussion and was a 2017 Foreword Indie Award Honorable Mention for Health and Finalist for Science. 

Bowman covers some complicated topics, including physics, biology, kinesiology, and mathematics, but her tone is light, conversational, and often humorous, making learning from her effortless. Skillful use of analogy and metaphor makes complex topics accessible. ..Enjoyable, convincing, and sure to change the way fitness buffs (and couch potatoes) move. Foreword Reviews 

Grow Wild not only breaks down the ‘big ideas’ behind movement as a nutrient, it serves as a field guide―how to spot all the movement opportunities we’re currently missing.

Logical, persuasive, and compassionate arguments make this a timely resource: we’re all culpable of sitting around too much, but we’re all capable of redefining our modern mold, too.― Foreword Reviews

Dynamic Aging, as featured on the Today Show with Maria Shriver, is not an exercise guide as much as it is a guide to developing or maintaining the ability to take part in the physicality of life!

ALL OUR TITLES ARE AVAILABLE AS E-BOOKS

You can find our e-books at these vendors: OverDrive, Baker & Taylor (AXIS 360), EBSCO, Hoopla, Mackin, Perlego, ProQuest, Academic.

FINALLY, YOU CAN PUT ALL THE MOVEMENT BOOKS UP HIGH (REACH!) OR DOWN LOW (SQUAT!)

Books inconveniently placed move patrons more!

But really, we’re just kidding. I mean, you can do that (we spotted Dynamic Aging on the bottom shelf here) but it’s not necessary. These books will get folks moving in their own time!

We hope you find this resource useful and if you have any suggestions, requests, or ways we can get library users moving more, please reach out to us at at info@propriometricspress.com.


What Do We Mean By #PracticeWhatYouPublish?

We’re all changed by the books we read, but the staff and authors at Propriometrics Press strive to embody the ideas we work to bring to the world. Our team lives and models the ideas presented in our books and when on social media we like to share the way we individually fit our books’ ideas into our life by using the hashtag #practicewhatyoupublish.

When you see a #practicewhatyoupublish post you are seeing how we, Propriometrics Press staff and authors, bring the theories in our books to life. You can find these posts by searching the hashtag #practicewhatyoupublish on Instagram. 

Below are some examples of the way we embody our books.

Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well author Galina Denzel adds movement to her meetings.

Who packs new book pre-orders? Our authors (and their friends and family) do! Check out some dynamic packing and Movement Matters’s Vitamin Community in action.

How do our books get edited? Usually on the move! Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well author Galina Denzel mobilizes her hips while getting much needed editing work done.

The prep for a new book launch includes many packing supplies. To get ready for all the packing work, we train by taking them to the office on foot.

Our ideas are contagious! Even the audio engineer has learned to add movement to his day (the Whole Body Barefoot audiobook in process!).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNFSPX8BNWP/

Author Katy Bowman shows how the simple shift of cooking outside can add more movement, nature, and family-in-nature time to something she does every day. More on this “stack your life” idea in Movement Matters.

Always learning about, listening and scanning for wildlife, Dawn Again and Wolf Girl author Doniga Markegard identifies a downed sparrow under her window.

Dynamic Ager and Dynamic Aging co-author Joan Allen celebrates her 79th birthday on the Appalachian Trail.

And to see how the entire Propriometrics Press staff applies the principles of Move Your DNA to our working and reading time, check out our post Dynamic Reading and Writing.

For more Practice What You Publish examples, follow us @propriometricspress and our authors on Instagram: @nutritiousmovement, @galinadenzel, @rolanddenzel, @dawn.again


Entropy Academy: READING ALOUD #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of easy homeschooling tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!).  These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. You can homeschool too!

Reading Aloud

One cupboard in the kitchen was devoted to puzzles, current read-alouds, and building toys. A jigsaw puzzle would often fill that difficult “arsenic hour” before dinner, while building spatial discrimination and fine motor skills. Building toys of all descriptions were a regular hazard in negotiating safe passage across the floor. As tempting as it was to confine the mess to a computer screen and purchase virtual Lego, I’m glad I didn’t. Manually manipulating real objects in three dimensions plays a vital role in brain development, and besides, it’s a lot more satisfying to show off colorful 3-D creations to an admiring audience when they can be tripped over.

This cupboard was raided at reading-aloud time, which usually happened twice a day and formed the backbone of the children’s education. I tended to gear the books to the eldest, and the younger ones were free to sit in. It was amazing to me how much they understood, even in difficult books. Rather against my better judgment, I found myself reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations when Sheila was only two, and I wondered if the book meant anything to her at all. Right on cue, she removed her nose from her drawing to ask why Pip’s sister was so unkind to him. Apparently she was following the action quite well. Given a steady diet of difficult books, she would undoubtedly have lost interest—but one thrown into the mix here and there seemed to whet her appetite for more. 

The price of finding good books to read aloud was eternal vigilance. Notebook in hand, I scoured books such as Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook, listing unfamiliar authors that looked promising and hoping their output was not marred by the unevenness that seems to plague some writers.

Reading a variety of reviews helped. I tried to select a variety of books, not just fiction. I regret now not having read more biographies—for some inexplicable reason I thought they would be boring. How wrong I was! It is both fascinating and inspiring to read about the hardships and obstacles most great people have had to overcome. We tend to think that life should be easy, and strive to make it so for our children, but the truth is that most famous people have had to struggle, often against overwhelming odds, to become who they are.

I am reminded of a story about a butterfly enthusiast who witnessed a very rare butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis. Only the tip of one wing remained trapped. Seeking to help, the man took a small pair of scissors and carefully snipped the chrysalis to free the wing. The butterfly spread its wings in the sun to dry. To his horror, the man saw that the part of the wing he had freed remained crumpled; it never became strong enough to fly. Apparently, struggle was necessary for the creature to be properly formed. The same seems to be true of humans. I’m not saying we should deprive our children or deliberately cause them hardships—no doubt life will provide them plenty—but by all means read to them about those who have faced difficulties and disappointments and overcome them. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

It seems I was not alone in my suspicion of biographies: when Lorna selected a volume on the life and times of Franz Josef Haydn, she was thrilled to discover she was the first person to check it out in sixty years! The discovery gave her interest in music of the Classical era a considerable boost. I never minded my children being busy while I read to them: listening to books is a predominantly left brain activity, so keeping the right brain occupied actually helps the child concentrate on what she is hearing. She might color, do a puzzle, or build quietly, my only rule being that the noise of her rummaging through the box of Lincoln Logs must not drown out my voice. If she preferred, she could simply daydream—there would be no comprehension test. Indeed, none was necessary: I found each morning that when I reviewed the previous day’s reading before embarking on the next chapter, the children were invariably the ones helping me recall the action, not vice versa.

At some point in their development, all the children—boys included—enjoyed embroidery. I picked up Christmas ornament kits for next to nothing in July, and by late November we had several gems to add to the tree. Knitting too was highly popular. In liking to knit, Evan takes after the English grandfather he never knew, who used to relax by knitting fantastically intricate baby clothes whenever a close friend of the family gave birth. We probably looked like a scene from Little House on the Prairie, knitting and stitching while Mother read, but those were some of our happiest homeschooling times—and although Robin didn’t play the violin like Pa, at least he wasn’t moved to substitute the bagpipes.

I wondered if my tolerance for extraneous activity was hampering the children’s concentration. Seeing Lorna intent on her jigsaw puzzle, seemingly oblivious to the world around her, I asked her if she was able to follow the story. She looked up, surprise written all over her face. “Well of course,” she replied. “Why wouldn’t I?” To her, it was incomprehensible that the puzzle might be considered a distraction. 

As the children grew older, their listening activities included tracing maps of the countries we were reading about, as well as coloring photocopied pages from historically appropriate Dover and Bellerophon coloring books. Tracing maps was the mainstay of their training in geography, apart from the hours spent at the kitchen table admiring the world map.

Over the years, we made salt-and-flour maps of the US, Israel, and Egypt, and once we fashioned the Far East out of mashed potato. I’m not particularly proud of this shortfall in geography education, but it worked for us, and the children’s knowledge of the countries of the world is better than many. At least they’ve never asked if you need a passport for New Mexico, or wondered if you can drive to Hawaii, as did one applicant for the position of receptionist in Robin’s office. And she was a college graduate!

To keep track of the books we read, I drew a rudimentary bookcase on a large piece of poster board, stuck it on the wall, and cut a generous supply of book spines of various heights and thicknesses from construction paper. Every time we finished a book, one of us wrote the title and author on a spine and stuck it on the bookcase. We all enjoyed looking over the books we had read—it gave us quite a sense of accomplishment.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance and available here! Looking for more tips? See “Visual Materials,” “Science in the Kitchen,” and “Bath Time.” An excellent read-aloud option is Doniga Markegard’s young adult memoir Wolf Girl, which can be ordered here.


Entropy Academy: SCIENCE IN THE KITCHEN #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of easy homeschooling tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!).  These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. You can homeschool too!

Science in the Kitchen

All the growing of plants and sprouting of seeds that went on both in and out of the kitchen taught the children worlds about science, as did cooking. Especially bread. I never lacked for an enthusiastic helper when it was time to bake, and each child in turn learned that yeast needs three things to thrive: water, food, and warmth. What do people need to thrive? Water, food, warmth—and love. Studies in Russian orphanages found that even when babies were kept warm and adequately fed, they failed to thrive in the absence of a loving touch. Maybe a little TLC wouldn’t hurt the “yeasties” either: water just the right temperature, a pinch of sugar for food, and being left to rest undisturbed in a warm place (sounded pretty idyllic to me). We chose strong bread flour for its high gluten content, and noticed how stretchy the dough became as our vigorous kneading strengthened the gluten. One year, I ran out of strong flour to bake my traditional huge recipe of Christmas bread. A special trip to the store seemed far too much like hard work, so I made do with what happened to be on hand: low-gluten all-purpose flour. Never again! Even after the dough was kneaded the regulation 150 times, and a half-dozen stiffly beaten egg whites folded in, the yeasties were evidently on strike. The loaves were as sorry a sight coming out of the oven as they had been going in.

The only means of transporting live yeast across the continent during the Westward Expansion was sourdough. As part of a history unit, Fiona and I mixed together a cup of flour, one of water, and a quarter teaspoon of yeast, leaving it to sour for several days, loosely covered, on a counter. A second batch was made without commercial yeast, and left uncovered to be colonized by naturally occurring, “wild” yeast. The image of us lassoing wild yeast, rounding it up, and herding it into our bowl of starter had Fiona and me in stitches.

We baked loaves from both starters, after taking out enough dough to start up the next batch of bread, five days down the trail. I wondered if our family’s appetite for bread could possibly keep pace with two sourdough starters, but the wild yeast batch soon turned rancid, and was summarily discarded.

Quick breads are leavened not by yeast, but by baking powder. This combination of an alkali (usually baking soda) and acid (typically cream of tartar) gives off carbon dioxide when mixed with a liquid. The gas bubbles introduce air into the bread just as the yeast bubbles do, the main difference being that yeast takes some time to work, while baking powder works instantly. “Double-acting” baking powder keeps working longer, but even so, without the strengthened gluten of yeast bread, quick breads are crumbly when cut. To demonstrate how acid and alkali combine in a chemical reaction, I had the children make three small piles of baking soda. To the first we added water, which is neutral. No bubbles. To the second, we added water and a solid acid such as cream of tartar, and noted the resulting fizz. In the third pile, the addition of an acidic liquid—buttermilk or lemon juice—caused an equal exuberance of bubbles. We deduced that if a recipe for biscuits contains buttermilk, some of the acidic baking powder needs to be replaced by alkaline baking soda. We also realized that if, in the course of making buttermilk pancakes, we found we were out of buttermilk, we could “sour” the milk with a little vinegar or lemon juice.

A child who has helped cook chicken at 350°F and at 500°F will not be surprised to learn that heat accelerates rate of change, nor will one who has watched potatoes cook at a hard boil versus a gentle simmer. Those same potatoes can demonstrate osmosis: we left a potato in a bowl of water tinted with food coloring for a few hours, then cut the potato in half to see how the color had been absorbed.

While we had the food coloring out, I put a stick of celery in a jar of red-tinted water. Once the color had tinged the leaves, Evan carefully cut across the stalk and found that the vesicles carrying water up the plant were dyed bright red. One Fourth of July we made a white carnation patriotic by splitting its stem three ways and putting each end in a jar of red, blue, or clear water. Capillary action never looked prettier.

On Tuesdays, we enjoyed a snack that reinforced our knowledge of the Earth’s structure: Earth Balls. A chocolate chip formed the core, and this was surrounded by peanut butter play dough representing the mantle. (To make the play dough we smooshed together one cup of peanut butter, half a cup of dry milk powder, and honey to taste—about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.) Each ball was then rolled in finely crushed graham cracker crumbs, which approximated the Earth’s crust. Looking at a cross section diagram of the Earth, we realized that our “crust” was about one hundred times too thick, but it tasted good, and we never forgot the sequence: core—mantle—crust.

The center of the Earth is both liquid and solid: liquid, because the heat is so extreme that it melts even the hardest rock; and solid, because the pressure is so colossal that matter is super-compressed. How can something be at the same time liquid and solid? We never tired of answering that question with cornstarch and water. Made into a paste that could be thick or runny according to the whim of the moment, the cornstarch feels solid when tapped with a finger; but let that finger rest on the surface awhile, and it sinks into a pure liquid. All five fingers together can pull up an angular chunk, but once that chunk is airborne it will slip between the fingers and pour back into the bowl in a steady, liquid stream.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance and available here! Looking for more tips? See “Bath Time,” “Visual Materials,” and “Reading Aloud!”


Entropy Academy: BATH TIME #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of low-stress schooling-at-home tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!). These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. 

Bath Time

Turning our bathroom into an Automatic Learning Center was as easy as—well, turning on a faucet. I capitalized on the fact that I had, as it were, a captive audience (show me the person who doesn’t spend any time in the loo and I’ll say you have a freak of nature). Up on the walls went my favorite calendars: one invited the children to tackle a daily math problem, with a small financial incentive to be the first with the correct answer, while in a different bathroom, guests were regaled with natural disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning storms. It became quite a talking point.

The pile of books that lay within striking range of the seating area included random books of jokes, puns and oddities, crosswords, anagrams, the always inspirational Book of Heroic Failures: The Official Handbook of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain (currently available, I am thankful to say, through Amazon), and Brush Up Your Shakespeare! by Michael Macrone. The latter offers “an infectious tour through the most famous and quotable words and phrases from the Bard.” Through its pages we became familiar with several plays, as well as phrases that are in (semi-) popular use today, from the well-known “If music be the food of love, play on” (Twelfth Night) to the ever-handy, “Hoist with his own petard” (Hamlet).

But it was in the bathtub itself that things became truly exciting. A set of graduated stacking beakers encouraged the children to discover that a smaller receptacle could never hold as much as a bigger one, no matter how often they tried. Plastic measuring cups informed them that a half-cup measure would always hold two quarter cups. We held air under water using a clear plastic disposable cup, tilted the cup slightly, and laughed at the noise of the bubbles surfacing. Which is heavier, water or air? That’s right, water. Is it always? Yes. What would happen if it weren’t? Where would the ocean go? The rivers? What would happen when we turned on the tap and put a glass underneath to catch the water? 

Bath time was a good time to introduce the children to the three states of water: they’re sitting in the liquid form, they can see the steam (gas), and the freezer usually had some (solid) ice cubes handy. We’d guess which would melt more quickly, an ice cube in the tub or one in a pitcher of cold water. How about if we have another ice cube in a second jug and stir the water? Does the ice cube melt any quicker, or do we just get cold fingers? We noticed that ice always floats, and thought about how disastrous it would be to aquatic life if it sank instead.

Clear plastic tubing was a great discovery, and considerably increased our arsenal of bubble-blowing techniques. We inverted a plastic cup underwater, so it was full of water, then used the plastic tubing to blow the water out, replacing it with air. Now we have air under water; does that mean it has stopped being lighter than water? What happens if we tip the glass just a tiny bit? A tiny bubble comes out! What happens if we tip a glass a big bit? A big bubble comes out!

 A sieve in the bathtub steadfastly refused to hold water. What happens if we line it with a dry washcloth and slowly add 1/4 cup of water? Where does the water go? Into the washcloth! How much water can one washcloth absorb? Let’s find out. Suppose we line the sieve with a plastic bag: how much water goes through? None! It is all still in the sieve; plastic is impermeable to water. Even the tiny water molecules cannot penetrate the plastic. 

Possibilities for educating in the tub are numerous, and as enjoyable as they are manifold. Books with titles like Science in the Tub gave me a much fuller idea of the scientific potential of the evening bath, and these days, Googling “science in the bathtub” reveals a wealth of tricks to try. It’s a softcore way of teaching some hardcore science.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance. Paperback available from Chelsea Green and e-book via Amazon! Looking for more tips? See “Visual Materials,” Science in the Kitchen,” and “Reading Aloud!”


Entropy Academy: VISUAL MATERIALS #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of low-stress schooling-at-home tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!). These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. 

Visual Materials

I began with the kitchen, which was where we spent most of our time, and purchased two large maps: the world map went on the kitchen table, the US map on the wall. I was scandalized to see that the world map cut Asia in half so that America would be in the middle of the map. Fuming quietly (well all right, fuming noisily, as my children will tell you), I cut the map down the International Date Line and stuck Asia back together with Scotch tape. I put it on the table and covered the whole thing with clear contact paper. It wasn’t heatproof, but it lasted a while—somewhere between two and ten years, depending on my tolerance for singed and melted bits on the kitchen table. Over the years we tried out different maps; our favorite was one that showed all the flags of the world at the bottom. Periodically we would turn the table around so everyone got to admire the flags; it amazed me how many the children knew. And that map didn’t cut Asia in half! 

The map was there, undeniably, and the children saw it every day. But there is a world (literally) of difference between seeing and noticing, and I was thrilled to find a game that had them examining the map most carefully: one person takes the first two letters of a country and the last two letters of a neighboring country, makes a four-letter word, and challenges the family to name the countries. For instance, SWeden and NorwAY make SWAY, while BRAY is a “two-fer,” Brazil and either Paraguay or Uruguay. To my knowledge, the word BURE exists solely to draw attention to Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, two small countries of West Africa that might otherwise be eclipsed by their larger neighbors, Mali and Niger.

The map of the States on the wall was primarily for reference, but Iain used it to learn his states by pinging rubber bands at them from across the room: “This one’s for Tennessee…watch out, New Mexico, here I come!” 

As the children grew older, and particularly when they started driving, road maps jockeyed for position on the wall: Washington State, Everett, and the greater Seattle area were all readily available for trip planning or simply browsing. These maps helped us develop a strong sense of “north,” which a reliance on today’s GPS technology does little to cultivate.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance. Paperback available from Chelsea Green and e-book via Amazon! Looking for more tips? See “Bath Time,”Science in the Kitchen,” and “Reading Aloud!”


Our books are now distributed by Chelsea Green!

Starting this month, Propriometrics Press titles will be distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing! We are very excited to work together with Chelsea Green, who shares our commitment to engaging and educational books that promote healthy, sustainable, and nature-focused living.

“We are thrilled to be working with Propriometrics Press and representing their titles,” says Michael Weaver, Trade and Export Sales Manager for Chelsea Green Publishing. “Movement does matter—both for human health and for connecting with the natural world—and Katy Bowman’s books, and Propriometrics’ entire catalog, are a timely and valuable addition to our list. They’ve already taught me personally to see movement in a new way, and I’m excited to share that perspective with as many readers as possible!”
What does this mean for you? All of our titles are still available through all of the usual channels: your local bookstore, Amazon, and wherever you buy our books! You can also find all the Propriometrics Press titles on the Chelsea Green website! Visit it to learn more, and check out their fantastic catalog.

PP’s Holiday Gift Guide 2019

If you’re rushing around this holiday season, trying to find gifts for everyone on your list, we’d like to help you out a bit! There’s no better gift than a book, and at Propriometrics Press we have health, fitness, and nature-focused books that will be a hit with all!

Looking for a gift for…

The new mom? Katy Bowman’s Diastasis Recti focuses on an issue that is common post-pregnancy: diastasis recti. This book will help strengthen your core and explain the underlying habits that are causing abdo

The eco-lover? The collection of essays in Movement Matters, also by Katy Bowman, will pique any eco-lover’s interest as it delves into connections between the body, nature, and your greater community.

The Goldener? Dynamic Aging is a must-have book for those 50+ who are looking to either regain or maintain their mobility and agility throughout their Golden Years.

The goal-setter? Roland and Galina Denzel’s Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well is an actionable guide with 275 “take-action-now” tips and a checklist at the end of every chapter that makes it easy for someone to stick to their New Years resolution to become healthier in 2020.

The wilderness lover? Doniga Markegard’s lyrical memoir Dawn Again will take you along on her journey through the Pacific Northwest and beyond—tracking wolves, herding cattle, and becoming connected to the natural world around her.

The exerciser? Move Your DNA is one of Katy Bowman’s most well-loved books, as it provides corrective exercises, habit modifications, and even simple lifestyle changes that will all help you to become more movement-rich in your day-to-day life.

The scientist? Though you certainly don’t need to be a scientist to read, understand, and enjoy Katy Bowman’s Alignment Matters, her essays on the biomechanics of movement, optical alignment, and “troubleshooting the human machine” will definitely be appreciated by someone with a love of learning about the science of the human body.

The office worker? Is there someone on your list who is worried their 8+ hours a day sitting in front of a computer is wrecking their health and bodies? Get them Katy Bowman’s Don’t Just Sit There, which will show them how they can keep moving throughout the day, even when at the office.


The Marketing Director Gets Moving at Katy and Doniga’s Events in California

After almost a year as working as Propriometrics Press’s marketing director, I finally had the opportunity to meet and connect with both Katy Bowman and Doniga Markegard in person, and get the chance to really #PracticeWhatYouPublish! Although I live in Portland and work remotely, I was lucky enough to be able to join Katy and Doniga at their Wildnerness Moves retreat and talk at the Patagonia headquarters in Ojai & Ventura, CA on September 22. For those who were unable to make it but are interested in what these types of events look like, this was my experience.

Me! Emily HagenBurger Keough, Propriometrics Press marketing director. Photo credit Cecilia Ortiz.

Katy and Doniga’s “Wildnerness Moves: Food and Farming Movements” retreat was held at a lovely farm in Ojai (Poco Farm) that is used mostly for teaching local school children about farming and livestock and where their food comes from. There’s a small orange orchard, a herd of goats, and very friendly proprietors. We started early in the morning with a circle of the 30–40 attendees to go around and say their favorite food movements, which ranged from picking fruits to grinding coffee to chewing. 

Then Katy led us through some movement exercises, where she explained some of her teachings on alignment and the correct way of walking and carrying the load of our bodies. This was an invaluable in-person experience, since you were able to see Katy demonstrate both the right and wrong ways of holding, carrying, and moving your body!

After a short break, Doniga led us on a tracking hike in the area, where we examined the ways human involvement had changed the local landscape and looked for traces of animal activity. She pointed out raccoon tracks that led to a creekbed, and places where native live oaks thrived and where their environment was not ideal due to a lack of animal activity. It was amazing to be with Doniga as she shared techniques she had learned to look around our surroundings with owl eyes, and quietly walk like foxes through the terrain.

We then took a moment to eat an orange picked from the orchard—after asking for permission, as Doniga had taught us, and with Katy urging us to really be in tune with the experience of eating the orange— and then made ourselves useful on the farm by moving mulch around the orange trees, accidentally scaring a nest of mice in the process!

After some manual labor, making sure to move, squat, and carry as Katy had taught us in the beginning of the day, Poco Farm had set out a delicious and locally-sourced lunch for us that showcased the dairy, fruits, and vegetables grown in the area. To end the retreat, Doniga and Katy signed books that people bought or brought with them to the farm.

We were all exhausted and exhilarated by the morning, and met back up at the Patagonia flagship store in Ventura in the evening for Katy and Doniga’s talk on “Movement Matters: The Missing Piece from Our Sustainability Models.” The crowd at Patagonia was attentive and appreciative of Doniga and Katy’s in-depth discussion on how movement, food, farming, and sustainability all interconnect, and where we as a society are falling flat. It was especially poignant to see Doniga and Katy surrounded by Patagonia’s “Facing Extinction” climate action ads while talking about this topic! One thing Katy said sums it up well: “Eating without moving is not working for our bodies. Agriculture without movement is not working for the planet.”

I left these events with a renewed invigoration and a better sense of the concepts that both Doniga and Katy talk about in their books (Dawn Again for Doniga, and Movement Matters, Move Your DNA, etc. for Katy). If you ever get the chance to see one or both of these amazing, inspiring women in action, I highly recommend it!

And to see more, check out ABC 7’s Lori Corbin’s coverage of the event here!