Iris 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Professionals were ready to give up on her, writing her off and offering outdated, one size fits all techniques, but Iris’s mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson knew that there was so much beneath the surface that wasn’t being seen.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.
Continue reading Iris Grace’s Mother: On Autism, Natural Play Spaces and Child Led Home Education
These days it is commonplace for parents to come up with price lists for chores. They offer their child 20p for making their bed, 50p for tidying their room, £1 for mopping the floors and so on. The idea behind doing this is that the child learns the value of money and helps out the family whilst doing so.
Although this might seem like a win win situation on the surface, payment for chores is not something I will ever be offering my children.
I’m going to share something we do instead of paying for chores, but first let me explain why we don’t pay our children for helping with household tasks.
Continue reading I Won’t Pay My Child for Chores. But I Will Do This…
Today you were up before the sun. You kissed our five year little boy who was snuggled in bed beside you, kissed me goodbye, though I could barely open my eyes and headed outside into a howling gale to cycle the forty minute journey to a job that you don’t love.
You called me on your lunch-break.
You asked after the children and checked on how I was doing. You offered to buy something I needed from the supermarket so that I didn’t have to get the children there for one thing. You made time in that precious one hour break from your desk to talk to our son about what he had been doing during the morning.
You went back to the desk and you worked hard. I know this because you never do things by halves.
You emerged back into the wind and rain and made the forty minute cycle back home again.
Continue reading A Tribute to a Wonderful Father
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.
Continue reading See How We Learn: An Insight into Interest Led Learning
When I first began learning about parenting and Steiner Waldorf education, one thing that struck me was the importance of rhythm in the lives of children, especially young children under the age of seven. Rhythm can transform a child’s behaviour, bring them more confidence and stability and can make daily tasks run more smoothly.
Naturally, wanting the very best for my son, I wanted to incorporate a rhythm of our own to our days. Yet there was one big obstacle, namely, my dislike for routine and predictability. I like, no, I LOVE my freedom. I love spontaneity and adventure, and despise having my week all planned out, knowing exactly what’s to come. It stifles me.
At first, I went ahead with it anyway, hoping I would adapt and grow to enjoy it. I planned daily tasks that looked something like this-
Continue reading How to Create Rhythm in the Home When it Doesn’t Come Naturally