S2E6: Partnership & Adventure in Home Education - with Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson is a popular Brave Writer blogger and the only person I know who may love tea more than I do. In her blog, Not Before 7, she writes about homeschooling, parenting and adventure. In 2016, I put out a challenge for parents to show how they are leading an Enchanted Education lifestyle via Periscope. Mary used the hashtag #EnchantedEducation and walked us through her amazing child-friendly home to showcase the power of an Enchanted lifestyle. For Mary, there’s a Brave Writer lifestyle and then there’s a Brave Writer philosophy, which helps guide all of the other choices we are making. Mary first incorporated elements of the Brave Writer lifestyle into her home, and the philosophy naturally followed. She started by implementing pieces of the Brave Writer lifestyle that connected right away, like Poetry Tea Time, The Arrow and free writing. Mary was drawn to resources that allowed her to teach all four of her children together and effectively.   “It was so great to move to this place where I could teach all my children together and accomplish so much.”   Mary also started hosting book club meetings for her family and other families, but she takes the meetings to another level. She brings in appropriately-themed activities, puzzles, experiments, foods and even invitations to turn book clubs into an adventure. For “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart, Mary sent out invitations that looked like a newspaper ad, set out a series of clues, used a red bucket to collect items and communicated using morse code using flashlights in the dark. For “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, Mary turned her home into a jungle, procured a conch shell, started a fire and made food in the shape of pigs.   Children aren’t just learning at these parties – they’re also excited to keep coming back. Mary has seen kids start public high school and continue to remain in the homeschool book club because it’s such a highlight of their learning education and their social life. The Brave Writer philosophy has encouraged Mary to look at her relationship with the child first, to look at the total person in front of her. Adopting this philosophy helped her take a year to focus on improving one of her children’s mental health. The extra focus was extremely beneficial and it greatly improved academic progress for her whole family.   “Now we’re making so much more progress academically because we’re not fighting against the way my child is programmed. Now we’re working with the way that she is programmed.”   Embracing this philosophy has also helped Mary shift from a Teacher-Student role to a Partnership role. This shift helped her overcome the preconceived notion that the teacher’s goal is to, eventually, not be needed in the education process. Collaboration through partnership is not only a useful tool for the education – it’s also a critical skill in the workplace. The most effective employees, workers and entrepreneurs of the future are those who know how to collaborate on a peer-level with their fellow co-workers. The Brave Writer wants to free parents from any obligation they may feel to make their student self-directed in learning without any conversation, direction or lesson preparation. Freeing yourself will allow you to invest in your children’s education, as opposed to controlling it.   You can download show notes for the podcast here: http://blog.bravewriter.com/category/podcasts/   Resources: You can download Free Writing Lessons here: http://go.bravewriter.com/free-writing-lessons Mary Wilson: Not Before 7 | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

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