Devon Teacher Turns Home Educator and Soon To Be Qualified Coach

Devon Mum, Home Educator and Coach

Hello to the world of blogging…

…here I come!  This is my first ever blog post and I’m massively excited.  So you might be wondering, how does this woman have the time for everything?!?!  Yes I know what you mean.  I am also an Independent Consultant with Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic and involved in my church too, to add to the list above.

Funnily enough, time and lack of time is something I’ve been thinking about over the past year.  But in all honesty my teaching days prepared me well for having a jobs list that simply never ends and having to ‘put on’ many different hats throughout the day in my role.  I simply wouldn’t change it for the world and firmly believe it’s where God wants me to be today.

In this first post, I want to share with you a little bit more detail about my journey from teacher, to home educator to coach, so you know where I’m coming from right at the beginning of my blogging journey.  If you’re short on time then check out my ‘About’ page for a summary.

I think I can be pretty straight and honest with people generally speaking…

…but I’m not going to lie, sharing my views with the world is somewhat daunting.  I’ve also always been the type to roll my eyes at social media and I hate the kids staring at a screen for any length of time.  So what’s changed?

A very good friend of mine told me to blog years ago and I thought, I just don’t have the time.  But now that I’ve dabbled with Instagram and have just finished building my own website, I’ve had a feel for sharing my thoughts and ideas in the hope of attracting like minded people to share my journey with.  Also if you can’t beat em’, join em!  So if you’re still with me…thank you.  I appreciate you reading this and please let me know what you think.

“Teaching is the best and the worst job in the world.”  

The Headteacher at the school I worked at said this once and he was so right.  There were elements that brought me so much joy, but given that I’m a perfectionist and took a long time to do anything, it made the evening and weekend work even longer.  It was never ending.  I did love the challenge that it brought though and to be in charge of a class with responsibility for their learning felt amazing (cheesy but true).

During my first year of teaching I met a teacher who did things differently.  As soon as you stepped into her classroom you knew there was something different about her philosophy.  She taught me about Reggio Emilia and about how they view childhood.  She is now a very good friend and has an in depth knowledge about how adults and children learn.  I’ve got a lot to thank her for.

So I learnt from her and tried to implement things into my classroom practice that truly supported all aspects of children’s learning, including the learning environment, which is known as ‘The Third Teacher’ among the teachers in Reggio.  My parents came in to help me paint my classroom, including the display boards.  Initially I copied my friend whilst trying to understand what she did and why.  

I also tried to think about curriculum teaching and how I could personalise learning for children in Year 1.  This is very difficult when you’re having to teach in a specific way and follow the rest of the school with the same approach that doesn’t quite fit with where your thinking is heading.

Teaching Days

‘No Way, The Hundred is there.’

Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia approach wrote ‘The 100 Languages’ poem (see below for the whole poem).  This poem always brings tears to my eyes when I read it, because I believe it to be true.  So after realising this and after hearing about the option of being able to home educate, it laid the foundations of my thinking for when we had children.

Becoming a new parent to me is the same as becoming a home educator!

When your children are born and even inside the womb they start learning.  Babies inside the womb learn to recognise familiar sounds, for example, and we don’t stop learning until our body and mind sadly deteriorates in old age.

Why did I not send my children to school along with most other children in this country at the age of 4 years old?

For me, ‘learning never stops’.  I don’t believe that children, at any age, should be forced to sit down at a table to ‘learn’.  This not only teaches children that learning only happens between the hours of 9 and 3 and only when you are sat down at a table, but it also isn’t the best way that most children learn.

Children need to be active and interested in what they are doing for them to achieve a high level of engagement in their own learning.  They need to be encouraged to be independent learners and they need to be listened to.  Their ideas and thinking need to be treated with the utmost respect and only then, can they truly flourish.

As you can tell I have plenty more to say about how children learn but will save that for another post.

Babies Start Learning in the Womb

Being a stay at home, full time home educator means that I get very little time to myself.

It’s simply one of the hardest things about home educating, not having that quiet daytime space to simply ‘be’ and have time to think.

I was actually talking to my neighbour yesterday about the importance of self worth and we both agreed that it’s something very difficult to explain, but we both knew exactly what each other meant.  Something that needs thinking through to explain properly and putting into words!  But in a nutshell and put simply, having time to develop your own personal development to stimulate your brain and make you feel like ‘you’ matter in the world.

Joining Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic

I was always trying to think of new ideas and things for me to create to sell or focus on until I joined Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic.  This has given me such a great introduction into running my own business and something to focus on outside of being a mum and home educator.  It gives me such pleasure to use organic products on my skin and then share what a fantastic company they are with others.  Not to mention chatting about all things Neal’s Yard with my fellow consultants.  I genuinely love it and it brings me so much joy!

Lockdown Summer 2020

Last year I enrolled on a course recommended to me by a friend.  The coach running the course encouraged me to share what I’m passionate about and what excites me with people and to create a business around that.  Funnily enough, sharing about what we do at home and my beliefs about learning had been on my mind, so this gave me a big nudge in the right direction.

It was exactly what I needed and I wasn’t overly surprised by the outcome either.  I figured out, after looking at my strengths, skills, and beliefs amongst other things, that my purpose was to ‘Help Parents and Children.’  Great!  It felt completely right.  But what now?

Last September, when we managed to get away for a week

…I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘time’ and how much rushing around we all do and how we hardly take time to stop.  Prior to lockdown we were busy people.  Going to home ed groups, socialising with friends and family and not having much time to simply ‘be’.  The biggest thing I’ve learnt from COVID 19 is to stop, slow down and make time to think and simply be together.  

Also, what never dawned on me before, was that the kids actually love being at home and not rushing around everywhere!  So was I simply rushing around for myself?  I was doing exactly what I thought was right for us all at the time, but I’ve now learnt that that lifestyle needs to change.  I’m currently considering how to find a balance when everything goes back to normal, which won’t be an easy task!

Time to Explore
Peace Amongst the Trees
Time to Be

Enter Nancy Kline (Autumn 2020)

Nancy Kline’s books coming into my life was simply meant to be!  Thank goodness my friend gave me the recommendation.  Every word that I read makes me think ‘yes, yes, yes!’  Everything she says resonates with me and connects with my knowledge about how children learn too.  This approach was made for me and I believe it could be life changing.

I’ve always been a talker, but now I’m learning to listen.

I’ve always tried to give advice to help people, but now I’m learning to ask questions.

I’ve always been an interrupter, but now I’m learning to be patient.

Since practising with friends and family and in everyday situations I’m now ready to launch my own website to share what I have to offer, to step out boldly and make a difference.

I’m not perfect by any means but I hope you’ll stick around to hear my thoughts, insights and tips about listening, learning and how to look after you.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if something resonates with what I’ve said and in the wise words of Nancy Kline, 

“Everything we do depends for its quality on the thinking we do first.  Our thinking depends on the quality of our attention for each other.”

Thank you for reading.


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‘100 Languages’ by Loris Malaguzzi


The child

is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.


The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.


And thus they tell the child

that the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.

Look out for my next blog post coming soon.