Meet Amanda: homeschool mom to two teenaged boys, central Vermont yarn shop owner and businesswoman, and avid outdoors woman. She describes herself as an extremely introverted mountain biker, road cyclist, nordic and down hill skier, hiker, gardener, knitter and reader.
Amanda and I met online, like many of my interview guests, and my family has had the pleasure of staying in her home a couple times while we've hiked through Vermont.
Listening to Amanda's experiences with homeschooling and roadschooling provides insight into the practical application of adult-guided, self-directed learning and education for children.
And her more recent experience of homeschooling through a divorce and working full-time as a business owner challenges the married, stay-at-home-mom stereotype associated with home education.
Amanda's homeschool strategy is to pay attention to her kids' needs and find a way to meet those needs. She builds a homeschool curriculum, and a life really, in response to the questions:
What are you interested in learning? What are your needs? What are the skills and support you need to achieve that? How are you going to get these skills?
Finding and executing the answers is a collaborative family process.
Amanda's honesty about what this actually looks like in the day-to-day living from elementary through to early high school will be appreciated by homeschoolers and non-homeschool parents alike.
There are many ways to raise children, many ways to build a family and Amanda challenges us to ask the important question; why are we doing what we're doing?
Our homeschool conversation was an episode in itself, so I'm releasing it here as a stand-alone segment of our whole interview, freely available to anyone. No Patreon membership required!
In the second part of this interview we hear how Amanda ended up in her early fifties newly divorced, owning a yarn store - a very surprising development. From there we talk about our mutual love for adventure, the outdoors and Vermont and her gracious hospitality to our family at a crucial time in our Appalachian Trail hike.
If you would like support for developing your own interest-led, relationship-based philosophical framework for education and practical ideas and strategies for implementing that in your home please check out my homeschooling course Freedom Education, with open enrollment.