Tag Archives: Nature

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Professionals were ready to give up on her, writing her off and offering outdated, one size fits all techniques, but Iris’s mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson knew that there was so much beneath the surface that wasn’t being seen.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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An Unschooling Week – How Natural, Passionate, Interest Led Learning Occurs

I get a lot of people asking how our son can learn through unschooling. Am I qualified to teach him all he needs to know? How does learning happen without set lesson plans in place? Well it occurred to me that the best way to explain how natural, passionate, interest led learning occurs, was just to simply show you a little of our week. You see, where learning is concerned, every day is different and opportunities to learn can be found in almost everything we do. So here is a look at what we have been doing (and learning!) this week…

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Teaching Children To Be Still – The Benefits of Meditating With Children

There are many things in this life I trust my child will learn on his own through exploration and other discovery. However, for other things I take on the role of a guide. One such skill is the ability to be still in our ever rushing world. The gift of being able to stop, breathe and take in what is happening in the present moment.

Children are already little gurus when it comes to living in the moment, so really it is a simple task for me to undertake. All I have to do is nurture what is already there and prevent it from becoming lost, as tends to happen as children grow up.

And the best way for me to do this is by teaching him the art of meditation. I must admit, this is something I am still learning myself, but I am finding that in practising together we are becoming more centred and in tune with one another.

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Unschooling – Should I limit Sugar and Media?

This is a subject that is constantly brought up in unschooling groups and forums. Should I limit sugar and media? Of course, this is a choice that ultimately needs to be made by each individual family, but I want to explore the common arguments for each side, along with sharing which side of the fence we fall on. (If you’ve been here a while, I don’t think it will come as a surprise!).

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