1. Tell us a bit about your family..
I’m an Australian mum to two kiddlywinks – Master D (3) and Little Miss Q (27 weeks). I’m married to a wonderful man, who is my sounding board and we constantly steal each other’s thoughts Master D is full of beans, enthusiastic, happy and amazingly loving. Little Miss Q is an adorable giggly content bub (well most of the time!). Then there is the Wookie dog, our mischievous ball of black fur.
We are aiming to fill their childhood with magic, through imaginative play, homemade toys, the great outdoors (or our backyard), crafts and baking. I’m inspired by the wonderful blogs I have discovered about Waldorf, natural parenting, arts and crafts for children and adults alike, as well as simple living!
2. Have you always known you wanted to homeschool?
I have to confess here that I am a bit of a fraud, I’m not sure that what we are doing is really homeschooling, since Master D and Little Miss Q are too young for ‘school’ yet. I do think however that the activities we engage in allow them to learn in an ‘organic’ way, allowing us to adapt to their interests and what is appropriate for the rhythm of our days. So in terms of what the kids (and I) are getting out of it, I think it is amazingly valuable. I’ve also found that the blogs by homeschooling families are so inspiring and it is a wonderful community to be part of.
When Master D and Little Miss Q reach school age we are planning to send them to our local Waldorf/Steiner school. We recently went on a tour of the school and I must say it is amazing, the atmosphere is just beautiful and so conducive to learning. It was peaceful but joyous all at once. This choice feels right for us.
3.What is your favourite thing about home learning?
Getting to spend such quality time with my kids, and really getting to enjoy their childhoods and making it as magical as possible. Not rushing them, but following their interests. I’ve also found that I’ve rediscovered my ‘inner child’ and creativeness, which in turns helps us to come up with (what we think) are great ideas
4. The hardest thing?
Well from this past week I would easily say, lack of sleep when the kids are sick. I have to try extra hard to be patient and fun.
5. Did you do anything to prepare for “school” this year?
Over a week or two I jotted down activities we could do. I have organised them alphabetically (more for organisation/planning purposes than anything else). I’ve drawn on things I remember doing as a kid, books about arts and crafts and also from all the great blogs that I love visiting! We also have lots of visits to the library and depending on what books Master D chooses that will help direct what we focus on too.
6. Does your child ever ask to go to school?
Master D came on the school tour we went on recently and so he does talk about going to school when he is bigger
7. Do you follow a particular homeschooling philosophy?
Our approach is Waldorf inspired and we aim to have fun and try to celebrate the magic of childhood. I’ve also learned to embrace (or accept!) getting messy
9. What does a typical day look like at your house?
We generally have a relaxed approach to how our days go, I normally try to have at least one organised activity each day. Typically our weekly rhythm is something like this (with a lot of flexibility on when!):
Mondays – playdate in the morning and arts/crafts in the afternoon
Tuesdays – baking and cleaning
Wednesdays – quiet day, although sometimes an outing to do the shopping
Thursdays – arts/crafts and outdoors
Fridays – often a playdate, and also an outdoors day, gardening, playing…
10. What is your best homeschooling tip?
I’ve found that the more creative activities you incorporate into your days, the more creative you become and this has been invaluable.
11. As a homeschooling family, what is the one item you couldn’t do without?
I think this quote might capture it well:
Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?
– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Also, one of the strongest memories I have of my early schooling days was listening to the teacher read The Magic Faraway Tree. I was so captivated! It really helped spur my imagination. I hope that what we are doing will have a similar impact on our kids.
Thank you, Kelly, for your inspiring interview. It’s wonderful to have you as part of our community. Looking forward to future inspirations!