Our Homeschooling Story




We have always been a homeschooling family, and I am often asked how and why we came to that decision. I write about our journey throughout our books, and would like to share our story here with you.


Over the years of working on this blog and writing to you all about our experiences; the things that I have chosen to share have been light and child activity related. I chose to do this for many reasons. The biggest reason was that we were and are, a busy unschooling/ home learning family.
We are fully immersed in life in the moment, and all of the learning that brings.
Our children's lives are now about research through living, gaming, playing; exploring life through their own lens, passion, and joy.
We live along side our children expanding into our own lives, and growing with them as individual people and as parents.
So honestly I wrote and shared when I had the energy and spare moments to do so. I am also an extreme introvert 💕 There are things about our children and life that I do not feel comfortable sharing, and this is my choice. I greatly appreciate those who share their lives in candid detail as this is a very courageous act and gift.
I would love to share aspects of our life that I hope may be helpful. So I shall share our journey to home learning with you.


My husband and I decided to have children after many challenges. For me the most difficult challenge at the time was working through Breast Cancer and treatment. Eventually we made the decision to see if having children was possible given the harsh chemotherapy I’d had.
The following Christmas Eve we were given the news, that our first child was on the way💗
I will try and pinpoint for you when we knew that we would always be fully invested in home learning. I really think it began when our 3.5 year old son Xander had eye surgery, to correct a rare eye condition named Cyclic Strabismus. Following this surgery, he developed what they referred to as a violent onslaught of stuttering or dysfluency that is sometimes seen in children who have undergone anesthetic. Our child who was a very fluent speaker with an extensive vocabulary, woke one morning having great trouble uttering the word mommy smoothly.
It was shocking and scary, and after things like neurological issues or anything health related were ruled out, we settled in to understand and do everything we could to help him.
So much of the research we conducted shaped our parenting, and grounded us as a family. Some of the strategies that we employed made so much sense for us; like slowing down our life, and focusing our energy on activities that we could do as a family.
We slowed our actions and speech and spoke to Xander consciously and directly into his eyes, ensuring he felt connected. We listened and let him speak without interrupting, and without making him feel hurried, or like he needed to act out to gain our attention and focus.
We played board games, read story books, experimented with arts and crafts; we watched movies and TV together, and we went to museums.  

We spent time together living in each moment focused and connected.
We worked to reduce family stress by cancelling any appointments or engagements that were not completely necessary. We altered holiday traditions to meet our needs as a family. We decided to stay home during the holidays, and let those who no longer had small children come to us; or we would visit before or after. Holidays can be stressful and chaotic and we tried to keep them simple, joyful and focused.

We involved Xander when he showed interest in cooking, baking, laundry, yard work, and cleaning. This is not an easy task but it was all about our loving and living together, as a respectful connected family. This was our life and such beauty and connection were born from great challenge.
When Xander turned 4 he wanted nothing more than to go to school. He’d watched so many shows that had depicted a glorious experience. We knew that this was more than likely not to be the case, however we honoured his spirit and independence as he willfully made this choice. We offered nothing less than good energy, and so much love to help him on this new journey.

I will not spend a great deal of time on the details, but after two months our bright, talkative, energetic, engaged little boy disappeared. He was sad, quiet and withdrawn. He’d been physically and verbally bullied and in danger, due to lack of supervision at his school. We withdrew him immediately, and continued on our path. Xander came back to us after a period, and we never looked back.
"Our life is about learning, 
and learning is our life." 

Montessori and many other amazing philosophies felt right, and completely complemented our life style. We kept and used what our children needed, and left the rest behind.

We had our daughter Ava, when Xander was three. At three and a half years of age, Ava was diagnosed with a metabolic condition Urea Cycle Disorder, and this was quite devastating.
Ava slipped into a coma after being ill with a stomach flu, and this was how we discovered her condition.

As she recovered there were many behaviours especially in terms of her relationship with food, that had direct connections to her illness that now made sense to us. Ava had developed extreme food aversions to dairy and other protein rich foods, and she was tested for allergies; which all returned back negative. This was so hard for her, and her diagnosis connected all of those scattered dots.

All of the strategies that we’d developed during Xander’s surgery were familiar, comforting and reassuring to us. We dug deep, pulled in close and took care of our needs as a family, because this was and continues to be an intensive long road. Ava’s condition is not curable, and must be rigorously managed day to day.

Homeschooling/unschooling has been such a gift to us. Montessori was and is an incredible tool to help us understand and stay out of the way, of Ava’s and Xander’s natural development and passion for learning. It has enabled us to focus solely on our children and their needs, as well our needs as a family without the pressure of societal imposed schooling, for the purpose of record keeping and scoring children as a measure of their intellect and development. It has afforded our children the opportunity to develop alongside their passions and interests. Home learning for us has become a holistic natural learning experience that placed focus and emphasis on the happiness and well-being of our children and family.

The amount of daily pressure from Ava’s condition has been adopted into our family, and very much makes Ava the person that she is; in all of her beauty and complexity. We are afforded the pleasure of watching her grow as with Xander, without some of the noise, hurry, pressure, schedule, bullying and imposed conformity that institutional learning would bring into our lives. Managing her medication and array of needs, has become background noise to the daily rhythm and joy that is our homeschooling life. Where if Ava were to enter the school system her basic safety, being dependent upon the delivery of medication and timely nutrition, monitoring of her physical activity and clinical well-being would be pushed to the forefront. Forcing Ava to conform to the environment would become pushed to the forefront, and the very essence of her individuality and all of the amazing things we do to assertively enable her to learn by interest and passion would in turn - become the background noise.




We continued on our home learning journey and were so grateful that we’d found Montessori. Not because Montessori changed our lives (though it does for many), but because it enhanced and fit so well with the life we were living.

My love of creativity, Montessori and my deep passion for researching was certainly met, as we explored the curriculum. I am a former Program Coordinator/ Director, and spent a great deal of time creating developmentally based programs, for families with children of all ages. They were designed to nurture and support the parent child connection, as these programs involved parents working directly with their children. Montessori and creating materials also filled MY creative cup.

I have greatly enjoyed researching Montessori philosophy and the materials, and I’ve spent nearing the last ten years doing so. I am not a Montessori teacher nor did I ever wish to be, I did however seek to find understanding of the great Montessori mysteries and secrets, that seemed so heavily guarded by many in the community I’d found online. It may seem funny to say that, but so many teachers and Montessori purists were very reluctant to share information about the method. Some actually told me, that none should use the method who were not trained teachers. There were however home learners who were living with the method, and writing about it online. There were a few supportive teachers who offered love and support, to those who were searching for alternative methods to mainstream education at home. I will forever be grateful to these individuals, and their numbers have grown exponentially over the last decade.


In truth we have all been home learning ever since our children were born, and for our family it’s been a rewarding, difficult, beautiful experience, of connection and love.
We all face different challenges as diverse families, and we must do what we can, and do what feels right. We must never let anyone tell us or make us feel that we are not qualified to teach our child. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot use the Montessori (or any other) method at home.
Your connection to your child will forever be stronger than a curriculum, philosophy, financial situation, size of your home, or community in which you live. Nothing is stronger or more important than your family connection. Take it from me… you can do this! 

If you have questions or would like more information please write to me! 
I would love to hear from you. Our life is an interesting creative mix of all things that bring us joy as individuals ~ living and growing together in our home.

If you are interested and would like to read more, 



Thank you for visiting,


  


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