It’s an absolute pleasure to introduce the wonderful Ross Mountney to you all. With years of experience in home educating her own daughters, Ross has also written a series of informative and inspiring books. Here she talks to us about intuitive parenting, childbirth and education.
Thank you, Holly, for giving me the opportunity to pop in and have a chat about my work.
I so wish Holly’s blog had been around when I was having my babies. Maybe then I’d have had the strength to listen to those natural instincts all mums have but we’re usually dissuaded from which nearly cost my baby’s life.
You see I wanted to have a more natural home birth. My first baby was born extremely quickly, but in hospital, so I thought I’d stay settled safely at home for the second; that’s what my intuition was telling me. But being an ‘older’ mum I was talked out of it – emotionally blackmailed perhaps!
As a result I ended up in the life threatening scenario of having a rushed and frenetic birth in the car on the way to hospital, no one in attendance, my partner driving. It’s amazing we survived – I’m not sure my partner’s been the same since!
You can read the story in my book for mums; ‘Mumhood: How to handle it. Why it matters’ which I wrote to encourage mums to listen to their intuition and acknowledge the incredible impact they have upon the world.
I grew to trust my intuition a lot more as I matured into parenthood and realised what amazing champions all mums are. And I began to trust enough to make personal decisions for our children, rather than always sticking with conventional decisions.
One of the hardest personal decisions we ever made was in relation to school.
I’d worked in schools in my pre-baby life and had a strong intuitive sense that not everything there was good for kids. For example; some don’t thrive in noise. Others need longer to develop. Some feel threatened and uncomfortable with large groups. Some have particular learning needs that are not catered for. But I ignored my intuition at that time.
However, when our children became unhappy, unwell little people after a very short time in school we felt we had to do something. It was like they had a character change. And even worse; their desire to learn was destroyed. So we decided to listen to our gut instincts, bring them out, and give home education a try. We never looked back.
If you think about it, learning is a completely natural process for kids. They even come into the world learning – babies soon learn that a good cry gets them a cuddle! You can see them learning all the time; they just do it by stuffing things in their mouths, by investigating the dustbin or your tablet when you’re not looking. These are just strategies they adopt to learn about their world.
And during the time your little ones are at home pre-school you teach them many things quite naturally, perhaps without you realising. You teach them how to talk, how to eat, how to use the loo, how to dress, what things are called, etc. This is a completely organic and natural way of learning that you facilitate just by being engaged with them. It is quite possible to extend that into the school years. And this is the approach many parents adopt when they home educate.
Home educating can be a very intuitive way of learning. This is not to say that academic structure doesn’t come into it. But there are so many different ways to learn (YouTube is an amazing example), we no longer have to stick with the school way if it’s not working for us. Parents really can teach their kids all they need and families do so very effectively within the growing community of other home educators and by using many of the free resources and facilities online and in their area.
I’ve been writing to enable parents to understand this approach to learning. And this is what has brought me here as part of promoting my latest book to support home educating families; ‘A Home Education Notebook to encourage and inspire’.
A more entertaining read is our story ‘A Funny Kind of Education’, which describes the home schooling lifestyle from a personal angle and the fun we got up to. Good for laughs and tears my reviews tell me! A more basic guide for those just thinking about home schooling is my book; ‘Learning Without School. Home Education’. And I also write children’s books, so if you want to know more about any of these do pop over to my site and have a browse; https://rossmountney.wordpress.com
Of course, home educating wouldn’t suit all. But school doesn’t suit all either; some children need a more natural approach to their development and learning.
Parents are manipulated into getting their name down with the ‘right’ nursery, the ‘right’ school and on the ‘right’ conveyor belt almost as soon as their baby is born. But I’ve never been comfortable with this practice. It seems unnatural.
Raising a child is a natural intuitive process that increasing numbers of parents want to make as gentle, organic and personal as possible. This is what really gives children confidence – they don’t need to be battered by the world as early as possible in order to get used to it, that only destroys confidence. Many parents are proving that alternative, gentle, attached, more natural approaches really do work. And there are thousands of home educators proving a more intuitive education works too!
If you want to know more do get in touch. As well as my blog you can also connect with me on Twitter; @RMOUNTNEY7 or via my Facebook page; @RossMountneyAuthor Or find me talking about home schooling here.
Thanks for reading!
Ross is doing a blog tour this week – be sure to check out her other posts.
Thursday 2nd Feb with Becky’s blog www.family-budgeting.co.uk where there are some great money saving tips.
On Friday 3rd I’m over at www.downsideup.com where Hayley talks about her work to support parents and children with Down’s syndrome.
Saturday 4th finds me with Louise, a fellow author also home educating, who asks where ideas originate. www.louisewalterswriter.blogspot.co.uk
On Monday 6th it’s David’s turn at dadvworld.com who blogs from a dad’s point of view as well as home educating. He posed some thought-provoking questions!
And on Tuesday 7th I’ll be over with Keris who also writes about home education as well as children’s books at https://happyhomeed.com
Finally, on Wednesday 8th I’m with Holly at Naturalmumma.com talking a little about our journey through parenting and home education.
And just to finish off on Thursday 9th the home education podcast site will be chatting about my latest book at Ep.44 and have one to give away!