Hi, I’m Jean! And I crafted this website to help homeschooling Mamas just like you create joyful, memorable experiences for their families. Here’s a bit about my own Waldorf homeschooling journey.
I’m the mother of three spirited, self-directed children and we began officially homeschooling in 1996 when our oldest entered first grade!
When we moved to Cleveland over 25 years ago, I was disappointed to find that there was no Waldorf school here. I met a friend through Mothering magazine and we declared, “let’s start one!” Well, that proved much more difficult than we could have imagined especially with young children at home!
We worked hard on an initiative, but after a few years and no school on the near horizon, many of the families involved chose Waldorf-inspired homeschooling when our children became school age. These many years later, I am now convinced that true educational freedom only exists in homeschooling. I also believe that having educational options is so very important and am pleased that Urban Oak School opened here recently.
What’s my life like these days? I live in northeastern Ohio with my husband of 29 years. Our youngest, a daughter, just started college this year! Our two oldest, both boys, are now grown and on their own, supporting themselves at jobs they love. My husband and I now share the house with our dog, three cats, and a rabbit. We are officially empty nesters!
I have an M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) and a BA in English. I started my teaching career in Atlanta as a high school English teacher (before having kids of my own!). I have taught in many different settings including public and private schools, tutoring, and homeschooling.
When my children were young, one of the things I missed most as a homeschooling family was the “school community.” And so, over the years, I’ve spearheaded several Waldorf-inspired groups including Bridgeways, a small homeschool group; Cedar Creek Community School, an attempted Waldorf charter school initiative; and Rainbow’s Edge, a cooperative grades group that I led for seven years.
Recently, I returned to one of my first loves, teaching literature and composition to teenagers. We have a wonderful Homeschool High School Learning Center where teens meet weekly for their core subjects and then study independently the rest of the week.
My knowledge of Waldorf education comes from attending lots of workshops and conferences, extensive reading, and planning and implementing many, many lessons. I share my planning strategies in my guidebook, Planning for Waldorf Homeschooling: Keeping It Simple and in my group coaching program, Plan It Out.
For the past eleven summers, I have worked with a group of wonderful Waldorf presenters at the Taproot Teacher Training, originally organized by my mentor, Barbara Dewey, of Waldorf Without Walls. Barbara has passed the baton to me and three years ago, I took on the organizing and registration! Taproot is such a special weekend where I find incredible joy in creating community in an intense four days with parents and teachers from all over the country who gather to explore Waldorf education.
In May 2013, I became a Certified Simplicity Parenting Coach. I love weaving the concept of simplifying into my homeschool mentoring. I was recently interviewed for this article “10 Tips for Simplicity Parenting.” As a Homeschooling Mentor, I help parents get in touch with their core values and create small, doable changes in line with those values. For myself, I also find deep inspiration from nature walks, poetry, and the creative arts, especially singing. My meditation takes the form of singing with my women’s group, Heartsong.
Have any questions or comments? You can contact me here. I would love to hear from you!
My family today!