Homeschooling with Sue @reachinghappy
I’m so excited to be chatting today with the lovely Sue from @reachinghappy. Sue is a mother to 2 beautiful girls who she home schools in Canada and I love experiencing our shared Canadian Heritage through her feed. I was immediately drawn to Sue’s account when I first came across it a little while ago. With stunning photography, she shares amazingly creative learning activities she does at home with her girls. Her kind and gentle nature radiates in her work with thoughtful and considered images and reflections. I was so excited when she launched her Blog www.reachinghappy.com which is full of so many engaging, hands on learning experiences with loads of book based activities to inspire and get your creative juices flowing.
Inspired by the natural environment and a slower pace lifestyle, Sue has generously given her time to this article and talks openly about her home schooling process and what that looks like for their family. If you’ve ever thought about home schooling or you’re just curious about the process like me, this article is a must read!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself
I’m an East Coast Canadian girl who has been an introvert since birth, I grew up always lost in books, nature or art. At the tender age of 16, I met my best friend and we later married and even later, we welcomed two sweet girls to our family, Miss 4 and Miss 7.
This account began as a creative outlet while I was recovering from a debilitating illness last fall, I needed to feel connected somehow. It quickly became so much more as the online community embraced us, sharing creative ways to educate and inspiring our children and others to love learning…all the while combining all my passions: my kids, books, art and photography…what a rush!
You home school your girls, can you tell us a bit about this process and how you decided this was the best thing for your family?
As soon as we decided to have children, home schooling started to pique our interest. We knew a few families who home-schooled and their close-knit families really tugged at our heartstrings. To be a full-time family for as long as we could before our girls left the nest was a must for us. Then it was just a dream and now it is so much more, to learn and experience together, to see them blossom in their studies and skills has been the most beautiful gift a mother could ask for.
What are your biggest challenges you face home schooling?
Constantly re-evaluating what is working and what is not can be overwhelming at times…but then I remember that most teachers have to stick to one curriculum for the year so really having the flexibility to make changes mid-year is actually a blessing!
If someone is interested in starting to home school their children what 3 tips of advice would you suggest?
- Take the time to determine your child’s learning style…what works for one, will not for another but knowing your child can help you make the right curriculum choices.
- Don’t compare yourself or your child to others…we are all unique and having a happy, healthy, thriving child should be our only goal…we each get there in a different way.
- Save your money and use what you have in your community…libraries for living books, forests for nature studies and everyday errands for life skills!
Where do you draw your inspiration from for all your amazing activities?
Being a daydreamer and creative type, the wheels never stop spinning (even at night). This account keeps me focused on using those juicy thoughts to create deeper connections for my girls…associating visually appealing books with hands on activities, that’s always a win.
Is there a piece of parenting wisdom someone has shared with you along the way that has resonated with you?
From the moment I became pregnant with our first baby, the pesky, nosy questions began and a dear friend said to me “Remember this response: This is what works for our family”…and I did and I use it constantly!
What’s the biggest lesson motherhood has taught you?
To be in the moment as it happens…I did tend to live three steps ahead but these girls have me stopped in my tracks, staring in wonder at their faces as they experience life.
What would you like your daughter’s to learn most from you as a mother?
That real joy come from serving others, from digging in the garden, from wandering in forests and splashing in the sea, from caring for animals, from dancing and singing like no one is watching, from expression through art, from good books that make you think and from being yourself…to name a few.
How do you promote a love for literacy in your children?
I remember watching my mother read as a child…she would smile, cry or laugh out loud. I knew books were powerful from a very young age and wanted our girls to feel that. We live surrounded by books…kitchen, bedrooms, den and bathroom…stacks and stacks. We read all day and before bed my husband reads them a classic book…right now it is “Anne of Green Gables“… imagine associating this book with your father’s voice? Too cool.
What is your favourite read aloud book?
“Baby Island” by Carole Ryrie Brink
Lastly, do you have any projects coming up you’d like to talk about?
My biggest projects are teaching Miss 4 to sleep all night, to learn how to skate and to be patient and helping Miss 7 to love math, to do a cartwheel and find her voice…the rest is the rest.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on developing creative learning opportunities for your children at home. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there anything you’d like to learn more about with regards to planning or executing your ideas?
If you have any questions of comments for Sue please feel free to leave them below or jump over to my Instagram page and chat with us over there!
Teri and Sue xo