Let me Introduce Myself…
My name is Shirley-Ann, I’m married to the most wonderful man in the world and we have two daughters whom we have homeschooled from the beginning. We come from Cape Town, South Africa originally but 8 years ago we immigrated to the UK. We naturalised in November 2017 so we are officially British!
Let’s begin with a little backstory. 14 Years ago the Lord called us to homeschool our two precious daughters. After homeschooling for so many years, I guess I could put myself into that category that seems to be a catch-phrase in the homeschooling community of being a ‘veteran homeschooler’. That means that you’ve experienced the highs and lows that come with making such a life-changing choice, lived to tell the tale and hopefully being able to pass on some hard-earned experience – the reason for this blog.
As is the case with many homeschoolers we kept to an eclectic way of learning. We started our homeschooling using KONOS unit studies which suited our small daughters very well and helped create many wonderful memories for us all to take forward in life. I was then introduced to the Charlotte Mason method by a friend in our second year of homeschooling and this had a huge impact on how we schooled. Although a CM ‘Trueblood’ would never condone it, I have to say that her methods meshed very well with our KONOS living. We’ve enjoyed a varied and rich education that seems to have equipped both our daughters fairly well as the eldest begins a Graphic Design & Illustration degree and the youngest begins a Fashion Marketing and Communications degree at university in September 2019. I guess that means that our homeschooling years are officially done. However, because we have now travelled this homeschooling road from 1st to 12 grade; having taken American qualifications rather than British and gained access to British universities, I have a lot to still share on the homeschooling front.
Writing for Homeschooling Publications…
Having kept a personal blog throughout the years of our adventures has connected me with many wonderful homeschoolers across the globe and afforded me the opportunity to write for Barb’s Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletter for many years and become a contributing author for the popular ‘Curriculum Choice’ website for which I still write. You can read all my curriculum reviews here.
So What Will I Find Here?
Great question! I’m glad you asked.
- Jesus is the centre of our lives and of our home. All that I am is because of Him. Yes, I’m a born-again Christian so you will find posts on our faith-filled days and pondering on the scriptures and on their application to our daily living and parenting.
- Because of the calling Jesus placed on my life to be the woman, wife and mother that He called me to be, homemaking thus goes to the heart of this blog. I’m all about making my home a cosy, happy, peaceful place for my family and those who visit. A place where the love of Jesus is felt and where grace and beauty abounds.
- When I think of home I think of the smell of baking bread, cookies and cakes. I think of nutritious home cooked meals, of hand-crafted quilts, sweaters, mittens and hats that I’ve lovingly created for my family. I think of being a good steward of all that God has blessed us with, of growing food and preserving it, of taking a moment to savour the small moments that crop up during day…observing a bird bathing or watching a caterpillar slowly inch it’s way across a sun-warmed patio. When I think of home I think of making each celebration a moment to remember, of establishing family traditions so that precious memories of both; a childhood with a myriad of memory roots, are carried with those I love into the future. So you will find lots and lots of posts that focus on the gentle art of homemaking and all that it encompasses.
- You will find posts on homeschooling because the Lord called us to teach our children at home 14 years ago. Both have now graduated but I have years of experience and insights to share, particularly using the Charlotte Mason method; book & curriculum reviews and recommendations and gaining entry into British universities through American SAT qualifications.
- Now that we have successfully navigated out homeschooling years I find myself in a new life season. I am trying to build a crafty home business. So you will find lots of crafty, knitty, stitchy, work-from-home posts. I’m still a homemaker, season lover, embracer of the all things English and nature lover. You will still find such posts here even though my children are now young adults and doing their adulty things.
- Finally, I’m gonna be real with you. So often homeschooling blogs only post the good and leave out the bad and the ugly which let’s be honest, kind of make us feel that we are failing on a spectacular scale. Lovelies, the truth of the matter is that even the most ‘collected’ of homeschooling mums has the bad and the ugly. Don’t be discouraged and give up the calling God has on your life and on the lives of your children. You CAN do this!
I can’t tell you how glad I am that you are here. Grab a cuppa and join me for a little chat for a while.