Mom, Educator at Home
Almost 10 years ago, my husband and I realized a dream…we were stakeholders in a cooperative preschool in our home town. We united with those who shared our dream and together we built a foundation that grew to fifth grade.
My small family unit eventually transitioned out of the cooperative and we homeschooled together as we developed a new path–one that led to the essential component of our educational philosophy–truly embracing the world as our classroom. Our search began in Costa Rica as we spent a few years discovering a variety of schooling options. None were perfect.
Ken Robinson, an English author who speaks to discovering your passion and turning it into action, details people–who despite their short comings–make things happen for themselves. In his book The Element; How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything and coupled with our personalized innovation and entrepreneurial thought, Robinson inspired us to take our passion to the next level. We stopped researching and talking about it and we made we made it happen.
We recently landed ourselves in Mexico, a small town called Sayulita and with its neighboring town–San Pancho. Two communities tucked in the forest on the Pacific Coast. The two compliment each other as we reside in a strong surfing community where we can work and attend a school reflective of our needs for Otto–our son.
This Montessori classroom is one where choice reigns and although it may look like a typical classroom, it is NOT. On the day pictured above, our teacher was out sick. The students are expected to place themselves in leadership roles to accomplish their goals for the day. I didn’t have much faith in the school’s expectations until I visited the classroom at 1:00pm. I thought I would walk into chaos and fun. Instead, I walked into a tranquilo classroom. My experience as a classroom teacher, where I obviously placed far too much pressure on myself and my students–is to control the environment. This Montessori context proved a reality I have always wanted to happen with children AND made me realize the potential of a child in a leadership role. I stood in awe as they worked completely unaware of my presence. I turned quietly and left.
Lesson learned Sir Ken Robinson. The dream to have our child be independent in a learning environment is a success. And, our wishes for him to discover the world as his classroom is revealing itself in very BIG ways.
Placing ourselves in the jungle, on the Pacific Coast, in a small town to discover how things work, is the most profound learning experience we have as a family. Our experience is opening doors in many venues from work to play to language to culture to new friendships. As the sun sets tonight, we embrace Her. She is our inspiration to wake up tomorrow morning for anther adventure in our world classroom.