How many of these incredible people do you know? I’m going to share the top educators that really changed my life for the better.
And by the end of the article, you will discover resources on how to emotionally connect with your child better and some support on the journey to being the parent you always wanted to be.
I am taking the liberty of assuming we all want to be that parent who has endless patience and knows how to meet the needs of their child [including finding ways of setting boundaries and supporting them when they are challenging].
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1| Janet Lansbury
Janet Lansbury is a parent educator who relies on the work of Magda Gerber to help parents learn to observe their children and to respond to them in a way that respects them as human beings. Two strategies that she uses that I find super helpful are:
- Talking to the infant as something is happening. For example if you were going to pick up the infant for a diaper change you would communicate that to them in advance and ask permission.
- She runs parent centres where parents gather with the goal of observing their children and only interfering when their children need support. She believes in something called sportscasting. You can read more about that in her article here. I have mixed feelings on sportscasting. More about that in another post. What I think is most powerful here is the opportunity for children to engage with each other with limited adult interference. I think that children learn through experimentation and when we preempt their social interactions we deprive of the opportunity to experience the impact of their actions and impede them from forming social bonds.
- However, the main reason that Janet Lansbury holds the number one spot on my list is because her podcast deals with ‘discipline’ in a very practical way.
Although her podcast focuses on younger children I have found it helpful for me up until this point. Mostly, it is helpful to understand where your child might be coming from, to remind you what is developmentally appropriate behaviour and to help you reflect and brainstorm on your own role in the dynamic that is playing out.
2| Ainsley Arment
I have mentioned Ainseley Arment on the blog before. She wrote the book Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education
I have to be honest. I love the book so much. It has alot to offer. It reassures you that you are doing the right thing. Confidence and staying the course and managing self doubt is a huge part of the homeschool journey. She also highlights various different homeschool methods that provide some structure to your education, should you need it. Her choices remain true to facilitating your child’s growth and protecting their sense of wonder and relationship with nature.
On her blog Ainsley offers monthly resource bundles and a nature journal course. The resource bundles are themed and you can buy past issues on the website. They are generally PDFs with ideas and experiences from other homeschooling moms depending on what the topic is. They are all beautifully photographed. I think these bundles are for the mama who is new to homeschooling and looking for inspiration.
Her blog also offers a nature journaling course. If you enjoy step by step video instruction then I think this course is worth checking out. Nature journaling is a great practice to learn how to see and observe things you might not otherwise pay attention to. I think that it is great for you as a parent. I think it can be great for children as well at the right time. It is important for children to first develop a relationship with nature, to love it and to wonder about it.
Finally she offers a podcast. On her podcast she interviews other guests. I find the podcasts to be hit or miss. It is nice to know you have a number of other moms out there who are also home educating, for their own reasons, and it is nice to hear and learn from other people’s experience. Some of the guests have a level of privilege and that might not resonate with you [as it didn’t with me] – however on the whole I think it is worth checking out.
3| Kim John Payne – The Overwhelm of Boys
One of the authors that I have read and reread since my little was young is Kim John Payne. For me his most interesting contribution is a documentary about the childhood of boys. He argues that the developmental needs of boys for play and roughhousing and movement is consistently overlooked with many mainstream approaches, expectations and benchmarks and this puts boys at a disadvantage. He also champions the needs to allow boys space and time to grow and to emotionally mature and regulate. A huge part of this is creating a culture which allows them to demonstrate their emotions and also models nurturing for them.
The documentary can be found online here.
Both of these are great in their own right. Simplicity Parenting demonstrates how many children who appear to need therapy just need simpler lives and he provides easy instructions on how to make changes. Soul of Discipline outline the changing role of the parent and the importance of matching the discipline style with the developmental age of the child.
Janet Lansbury, Ainsley Arment and Kim John Payne all have something to offer you on your homeschool journey.
Janet helps with practical suggestions on how to engage with little ones and to really understand where they are coming from and what is developmentally appropriate.
Ainsley’s largest strength is the reminder that we have so much to offer and that other mamas are doing it too and that we are NOT going to screw up our kids.
Kim really provides guidance for all parents about how to set boundaries and how to create environments in which your children will thrive.
If you enjoyed this article and are looking forward to more musings and support on your homeschool or parenting journey then please sign up for my love letters below!