Category Archives: Learning

Iris Grace’s Mother: On Autism, Natural Play Spaces and Child Led Home Education

unspecified1Iris Grace is a seven year old little girl with a massive talent for painting. Her work has been compared to Monet and has been bought and shared by the likes of Angelina Jolie and Daniel Radcliffe.

Iris also happens to have Autism.

Professionals were ready to give up on her, writing her off and offering outdated, one size fits all techniques, but Iris’s mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson knew that there was so much beneath the surface that wasn’t being seen. She knew that if she could find the right way to communicate with this beautiful little spirit, she would help Iris to escape her anxiety and reach her true potential.

She was a mother on a mission and she wouldn’t give up on her child.

I was lucky enough to get Arabella to agree to an interview for Love Parenting, in which she shares how she made the decision to walk away from her dream of sending Iris to school and choose interest based home education instead. She discusses the affect nature has on Iris’s behaviour, and her personal coping mechanisms that helped her survive the darkest days and long sleepless nights with a child who didn’t like to switch off.

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See How We Learn: An Insight into Interest Led Learning

Little Cat turns five years old this winter, and this would be his first year in school. However, he won’t be going as we will be continuing with home education instead. We use no curriculum, we have no lesson plans and we don’t set out to teach. Instead, we enable him to find his own interests and learn all he needs to know through exploring these passions.
Learning is everywhere for the naturally curious child.

In this series I will share some of the ways he learns through life.

Today was a beautiful, sunny day and we used our long break from the hospital to head off to the woods to explore. Little Cat was in high spirits and had brought along a plastic bottle to collect some “specimens” in. He and Daddy attempted to catch several insects and we noticed the different leaves as we wandered. He was very interested in the stinging nettles which had grown nearly as tall as me in some places.

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Natural Learning on a Wintery Sunday

For once I remembered to take my camera out with me, so I thought I would share some pictures of Little Cat and his natural explorations from our cold and blustery Sunday…

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Does Unschooling Really Work? (And The Role of The Unschooling Parent.)

One of the biggest worries parents face when making the transition to autonomous learning for their children, is the aspect of trust.

Can I trust that I’m doing enough to support my child?

Can I trust that they will learn all they need to know?

Can I trust that this is healthy and positive for my child?

As parents, it goes without saying that we want the very best for our children. It can be hard to step out on unknown paths without feeling we could be making a horrific mistake. We don’t want to get it wrong. We don’t want to fail them.

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Pillow Talk Unschooling

We had some very deep pillow talk before bed last night, and it got me thinking how a lot of our big discussions and Little Cat’s big questions come at this quiet time just before drifting off to sleep. He doesn’t have any adult led scheduled lessons, we don’t try to imitate a school environment, we just take learning naturally as it comes.

With his innate curiosity, we get in to some pretty fascinating discussions.

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