From Surviving to Thriving

Helping your children to recover from school, how to go from surviving to thriving!

I want to discuss our recovery today and how that has looked for my family in our home Ed journey. It really saddens me at how regularly I am reading posts from desperate parents who have made the tough decision to home educate their child(ren) because of their suffering from high levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Sadly it’s all too common that children are buckling under the pressure of an often unbending “teach to test” system.

My children
This was definitely true in our case. My son went up to secondary school in Sept 2016 and he was soon receiving support from our local “Emotional Well-being and Mental Health Service (EWMHS,) we also had a family solutions case worker supporting him and he received daily help from the schools learning support team and yet even with all of this in place he was still signed of by the Doctor with acute anxiety within the very first term of starting.

My daughter went to school each day petrified that teachers would tear out the pages in her work book, which was the current technique they were using at the time to promote neater work and stop children from drawing lines through their mistakes!!!

My children were at breaking point and so was I, being a practising Christian I did only what I knew to do, I dropped to my knees and I cried out to God to help my children. I wanted us all to go from surviving to thriving but I had no clue how I was going to go about that.

Soon my husband and I found ourselves believing that we were being called to home educate the children! I was terrified but before we knew it the deregistration letters were in and we had started our new life.

but it wouldn’t be easy

you see it wasn’t as simple as just starting with how I intended to proceed as an educator, I still had damaged, depressed, anxious children to help before I could even consider any kind of academic learning. Over the next weeks and months I would come to rely on three basic principles for their recovery that I’d love to share with you today, because sometimes before we can move on to what’s next, we must heal from where we have come from. And so with looking at how God helped Elijah with depression in the bible I took my principles from there.

In 1 kings 19

we read the story of a man called Elijah who is fleeing for his life, there is a woman who is set on killing him and we see that he is at the end of what he can bear when we read.

1 Kings 19:4 New International Version (NIV)

while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

Interestingly God responds in this way

1 Kings 19:5-7 New International Version (NIV)

Then he (Elijah) lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

So here are my three principles

  1. Some time in the wilderness (get some space)

The story shows us that Elijah journeyed away from who he was with and where he was to go to the wilderness, put simply he created some space for himself, For us this was some time away from all structured learning, which is commonly known in the home Ed world as deschooling. In this time I didn’t instruct my children to do anything whatsoever, for us this lasted around 7/8 months, because quite frankly they needed to recover. It felt like we were in the wilderness too. Nothing looked or felt familiar to me, education became something which felt alien, where we focused on what we needed to do to get through each day. I as their parent was discovering that learning about ourselves and our desires, our hopes and our dreams was just as important as learning times tables and correct punctuation, in fact for this period it became more important. Now we have been home educating for ten months I still find we need wilderness days, or days ‘out’ where we recover from the pain of the past.

  1. Sleep

My kids can really sleep, (so can I for that matter) once we’re out, there is little that wakes us easily, but sleep initiation has always been a huge problem for us. For years whilst attending school my children would spend half the night awake and have to be dragged out of bed for school each morning, I decided early on in our home Ed journey that sleep would take high priority, that we would trust our natural sleeping patterns in order to maximise productivity during our waking hours. Nowadays we don’t expect our children to get up early because they naturally fall asleep later and naturally get up later. I know that some people make the argument that this isn’t preparing them for work life (i.e. 9am-5pm working hours) but my response to that is that if we don’t think a parent failed a “want to be” nurse by not teaching them in shift patterns then we shouldn’t think a home Ed family is failing their child by choosing unique working hours to suit them. If in the future my children need to get up for work early I will help them with that, but for now I am trying to help my children learn in the best possible circumstances, so for us that means to start from a well rested place.

  1. Eat and drink

I love in the bible story above that God sent an angel to prepare food and water for the downcast Elijah. I have felt for a long time that my own mother is some kind of angel who always makes me incredible home cooked food, and it never fails to build me up for whatever life has next for me. Now of course I know that angels and humans in the bible are not the same but we can certainly learn from the angel in this story! Healthy home cooked food and water that will sustain our children can have a massive impact on their mental and physical well being, just as spiritual teaching can help our children’s growth too.

I must admit I am not a natural chef, I don’t find cooking enjoyable by nature but I do value it’s importance in my children’s recovery and that is why lately we have tried to focus our attention to what we are eating, the quality of that food and trying to opt for preparing it ourselves as opposed to something that was processed before we bought it. When my children went to school and I worked in a school we lived off processed food, our lives got too busy and I didn’t have the mind set to make things from scratch let along the time. Home education has meant we can learn to appreciate and educate ourselves on the food we eat as a team, the adults are as much in the process as the children are.

So for anyone who is just starting out in home Ed and you have a child/ren that are recovering from anxiety, stress or depression from school life I have this advice on where to start. Get yourselves into the wilderness for a while, prioritise getting some really good, restful sleep (whenever you can get it) and focus your efforts on preparing  some really good quality food!

Not Just for home Ed
and the thing is that the bible story I looked as was not about a home ed child. The principles that we learn here can be for anyone feeling like they are at the end of what they can cope with, it’s a lesson for all of us.

Bless you for reading

Love Leanna Ellena x


Dates, Dots and Dresses

Happy New year to all my readers!

There is something that really excites me about January, each year it’s that feeling of starting over. A brand new year with lots of possibility and challenges awaiting me. January is a good time for me to reflect on the previous year where I carefully consider the parts that will be cherished forever. I also grieve for the things that I had not planned for and I lovingly say goodbye to the things that I can’t take with me into the new year.

This time of reflection includes events, people, ideas, attitudes priorities, core beliefs among many other things. And I concluded that self awareness is crucial to this task and helps me to learn and grow to become more of the person that God planned for me to be.

It’s also a time where I think about the new happenings and beginnings, the things I intend to bring with me or adopt entirely in this new year, the things that I will be looking out for along the way as well as the life lessons I wish to impart to my incredible, watchful, young people.

Which leads me onto today’s topic. This week I did something new. I went on my first intentional self care day, it will be the first of 12 in 2018 as I have decided that this year weaved into our Home Education journey, I want to introduce my children to the subject of self care.

I don’t think this is something I can simply tell my kids to do, it’s more something I need to model to them.

In a world where we are constantly told to take action to…

do more! do more! do more!”

I want to slightly come against this notion by showing my kids that it’s probably more important to

“be you! be you! be you!”

when I was their age (around 10 and 12) I remember having no clue what I enjoyed doing or who I liked to spend time with or how I might go about relaxing. So I looked to the people around me to try and find clues about who I might want to be.

Let’s just say in my experience you can get into a right pickle when you are trying to be someone your not, so I figured that along with our English and Maths lessons, home ed trips, animal care, faith chats and all the rest I’d quite like my kids to be learning or maybe just thinking about their true selves from as early an age as possible.

So for one day each month I will do something for myself, something that is entirely for me that boosts my energy and gives me strength for the coming month.

You see I realised that my children do better when I’m functioning at my best, they are also more likely to look after themselves and grow to be authentic people that know how to keep themselves mentally, physically and spiritually well if they have had that modelled to them.

so here’s how it works

I ask myself…

  1. If you could take yourself on a date where would it be?
  2. would you like to share that date with another person, if so who would you invite along?
  3. Check there is a day that suits everyone involved (including having someone there for the kids.)
  4. Write that date down in the diary and notice if just the idea of it makes you feel happy and excited!

Some of the dates I have in mind include

  1. An outdoor photography trip with my 3 dogs.
  2. A Christian women’s conference day with a friend.
  3. An arts and crafts exhibition, with my mum.
  4. A spa day with the hubby.
  5. A day with a friend, catching up on the latest.
  6. A trip to Centre Parcs with my gorgeous daughter (ok its more than a day but quality girls time is crucial)
  7. An art day in an empty house , all alone, with only dogs for company.

I’m sure I’ll make more as the year continues. These ideas possibly would have happened anyway this year, the only difference is that I’m being intentional about it and it’ serves a purpose.

This month I decided to visit the dressing room at polka Dots & petticoats. I’ve put on a lot of weight lately due to medication I take and I had been feeling really rubbish about myself. So I took my most honest shopping partner (my beautiful Mum) and bought some dresses to make me feel better and I had the most wonderful day. I did end up with some beautiful dresses but the day I spent with my Mum laughing and chatting and getting some lunch together after the appointment will be a cherished memory forever.

So what do you think? do you value self care in your family? Do you do things that are just  for yourself ? and if you could go on a date with yourself where would it be?

Bless you for reading

Love Leanna Ellena xxx


Tis the Season to be Jolly

Hello! and it’s a very wintry welcome to you from the Ellena household. We have really been feeling the season here this week having had snow for the first time since we moved to Frinton-on-sea, just under three years ago.

I don’t know about you? but I always think there is something a bit magical about snow, as it sparkles in the sun and makes everything ordinary look simple and  beautiful (even if only for a few hours or days) and for us it felt that extra bit lovely as we were be able to appreciate it from the comfort of our own home (and in our PJ’s.)

I was reminiscing the other day about when the children were at school and snow came along in all it’s beauty, but with it, also came it’s own set of unique problems. I remember not wanting to drive with the ice on the roads, so telling the kids we’d have to walk to school and I’d spend half the time re-enacting that well known scene from Bambi, skidding about all over the place and the other half telling the kids they had to stop playing and walk faster or we’d be late. There was always the hope that the school boiler might have packed up in the cooler conditions and we may be granted a much cherished ‘snow day’ but more often than not, despite the festive fun that beckoned out of the window, it was business as usual for the children.

For my family, this year, the whole festive period was certain to be a bit different. The kids came out of school in May so this was our first December as a home educating family. I was excited to have them all to myself for the whole season and I decided that I wanted it to be really special.

Being a practising Christian family, you could say Christmas itself is a pretty big deal in our home but I always felt a bit robbed in this season of Advent. The preparation time, the period of waiting for our saviour, it was often taken up with the long list of things going on at school, leaving me with burned out/ hyped up children only a few days before Christmas, at which point the fevers would peak and everyone would be full of cold, just in time for two days of manic present opening and severe over-eating.  Before I knew it, it was time to put away the Dec’s and they were back to school again. I don’t mean to groan but it all felt too rushed for my liking, I wasn’t sure my kids were even really understanding the true reasons behind this incredible celebration, and it certainly wasn’t the same as the romantic pictures I’d conjured up in my head about this time of year when I was just starting my family.

So with no school this year, I decided we would really try and honour this very special time, I would dedicate the whole of December to Advent meaning we would hopefully glide into Christmas in a more gentle manner rather than our previous years of “crash and burn!”  In November I told the kids that I wanted to make our very own Advent bucket list. We spent some time goggle-ing and browsing pinterest for ideas and came up with a whole list of different things we could do to mark the season, have some fun and prepare properly as a whole family for Christmas!

And I thought I’d share with you, what we came up with, so here is our list!


I’m not sure we’ll get through the whole lot but were sure gonna try. And it’s funny because all I was trying to do was have some fun as we prepare for Christmas but in the course of doing so I realised we had covered quite a few “subjects” if you like

We managed to do some Art, Performing Arts, R.E. Cookery, Business, Math’s and Budgeting, Writing, Problem Solving, Serving in our Community, English Literature, History and Science. If you asked my kids if they’ve done any work this December they would tell you no, if you asked me I would tell you they haven’t stopped!

So as this year draws to a close and I think about this journey of home ed we have embarked on, I would have to say that I’ve discovered that education really is in everything we do and every day we are blessed with. It can be found in the fun, hidden in the home or obtained in the outdoors. For us education is no longer just about subjects, it’s more about learning through life.

Wishing you and your families every blessing this Christmas

Love Leanna Ellena

The beautiful act of Play

“What has Mum been teaching you lately?” Anyone else loathe this question being asked to their kids? Maybe it’s just me but for my newly Home edding, autonomous family it’s the kind of question that keeps leaving us a little stumped.

You see it’s not that we’re not learning anything but rather our approach is no longer measured, we have little to tell people as we don’t follow a syllabus We threw learning outcomes out the window months ago along with the national curriculum because nowadays we rely on our kids rather than ourselves, we are learning to trust that our children will acquire new skills at their own pace and only when they need them.

Think about it! We (parents) all trusted our babies to learn to smile and babble then moving onto words that glided into sentences and then later we saw how they mastered the trick of refraining from speech, whilst in certain situations (noting that some kids get this a lot earlier than others), we believed that our children would develop the physical strength to hold their heads up then one day they could sit on their own without falling backwards, then somehow they could crawl and pull themselves up to cruise along furniture eventually walking steadily before learning to run then we hoped they would master the trick of not running in certain places ( again this came more quickly to certain kids compared to others)

I don’t remember giving my child the talking lesson or the ‘how to run’ seminar it boiled down to the trust that they could find a way to acquire the new skill or knowledge when they had  the ability and the desire and the resources. If I strip successful learning down into three key factors, for me, it would be that simple

  1. The learner must have the ability
  2. The learner must have the desire
  3. The learner must have the resources

Now when my children left school I noticed that they definitely had the ability to be successful in their learning, but what worried me was that there was little to almost no desire. They had been conditioned to sit still, listen and pay attention for so long that they had lost their desire to learn anything.

I had to try a new approach I wanted to reignite their old spark for life, to reboot their thirst for new information, like they naturally had as small children.

So I stopped and observed, I waited and I waited and I waited and I discovered that the desire could be found in the simple, beautiful, act of play. so we did more of it and more of it and more of it. and now when people ask me what I’m teaching my children I have to confess that they are actually teaching me, they are teaching me how to play again

You see the saddest thing was not that my children had almost stopped playing but that for me playing was practically extinct. I found it hard to try something for the sake of enjoyment, I had to fight thoughts of ‘what’s the point’ and ‘I’m far too busy’ So we literally spend most of our time learning through play because I trust the journey my children are on and believe that if the desire is there and the ability and resources are there then learning just has to happen.

  • We play with nature and animals
  • We play with texture, media, art supplies and raw materials
  • We play with music, sounds and instruments
  • We play around with new ideas and old ones too
  • We play with a wide variety of technology
  • We play around with differing opinions, facts philosophy and beliefs
  • We play with numbers, currency, measures, estimates and amounts
  • We play with words, sentences, stories and plays
  • We play in forests, beaches, gardens, galleries, soft play areas, homes and offices
  • We play with food, baking, cooking, serving and selecting
  • We play board games, computer games, role play games and figure games
  • We play with toys, tools, furniture, utensils, equipment and stationary
  • We play with children, relatives and family friends

It’s not a cop out it’s an educational method and for us it’s working, I’m pleased to report that my children have the resources, the ability and are regaining their desire to learn.

Thanks for reading,

Love Leanna Ellena x

You Home Educate! so how do you make working, work?

This week has been an exciting one for us in the Ellena Household, The children have been rehearsing like mad for their show (a modern take on Alice in wonderland) which they will both be performing in, this weekend and alongside that I decided this would be the perfect week  to launch a new business venture. Okay so maybe my time management has been a tad off, but this is In fact, only the first of four new business ventures I’m planning to launch in the next 12 months!!!

However I still found time for a little ‘sitting and scrolling’ on social media (you know you do it too) and It was then that a post on a Home ed fb page caught my eye. It was from a parent considering home Ed and asking about the area of work. They basically were all up for it and starting to believe that home ed could be for them but wanted to know how others make work…well work

It’s a good question. with more and more pressure on both parents to go out to work it could mistakenly be viewed as a luxury rather than a lifestyle choice to home ed. I want to say here and now that home Ed is a full time job in it’s own right! it takes passion, drive, commitment, financial investment and hard graft. It is enough and if you choose to home ed without working alongside I salute you.

Now I have also heard of families who home Ed where both parents go out to work and I hear it takes a lot of organisation but it’s more than possible, if this is you then I think you deserve a medal! keep on keeping on as they say.

In our home my husband goes out to work full time and I run a printing business from home. I had the business before we chose to home Educate and I have decided I want to keep it going.

So back to the question of how I make this work (I mean practically) well I suppose it’s important for you to know that it isn’t full time, the hrs required to oversee things can happen around the fringes of family life, so evenings and weekends or I may snatch an hour occasionally when the children are engaged in their own activities and I’m free for a while, but it could not and would not ever stop us from providing a full time education for our children, they are our priority! I also have an incredibly dedicated husband who supports what I do and helps me with advice, help and an extra pair of hands on a regular basis.

I’ve been thinking and suppose an even better question would be not how but why I make my work, work. Here is a little list I have come up with

  1. Autonomy: The Cambridge dictionary tells me that autonomy means “the ability to make your own decisions without being controlled by anyone elseand I believe that the best way to teach my children about Autonomy is to actually live it, so I guess I’m saying I work because I decided I wanted to and I had the freedom to try.
  2. Team work we have always called our family Team Ellena and aside from being a cute pet name it’s there because I want my children to know that this family is made up of four people (and a lot more pets) My children love to act and sing and dance so their play and rehearsals are very important to us. Nothing could keep their Dad and I away on their show days and we burst with pride when they win awards for their efforts. With this in mind I know that my husbands football team is massively important to him and we care about his team’s score when he’s had a match, and my business/blog writing/ faith is important to me. The children need to see that we have to make room for one another’s dreams and passions and make space for one another to live these out.
  3. Business studies some of the things I do on a regular basis include providing something that people want to pay for, marketing myself, having an okayish website and social media presence, making a product to a high standard, providing good customer service and working to a deadline among many other things. All of these skills are transferable I love that my children can grow up watching the inner workings of a business happening around them all the time, so when they get to the age if they want to run a business they already understand about the foundations of business. It means our children can have a go too and they do! often one will come and ask me if I can turn their designs into a t-shirt or mug so I’ve found it’s a great educational tool.
  4. Showing others I want to empower other women to have a go! believe me if I can do it anyone can. There are so many amazing talented women out there who have a burning desire to do something with their lives, maybe they crochet stunning colorful scarves, maybe they paint beautiful nails, maybe they can plaster a perfect wall or create an epic website, but so often I meet women who dream but lack the confidence to have a go! I want to tell you today that you should try it! imagine all the life lessons in healthy risk taking you’ll be passing onto those little eyes who look at you and see a supermum!
  5. Finances I’m not going to go without saying that a large motivation of running a business is to make money, I want to help towards providing for our family (there’s that team work again) I want for us to experience the best that life has to offer and money certainly helps with that, I’m not going to lie.

So there you have it! not only how I make my work work but also why. So how do other families tackle working I’d love to hear if you solely home ed, fit in a job outside the home or work from home and how you find it.

To find out more about my latest business venture 
click here:

The biggest problem with deschooling

Yesterday we were lucky enough to attend a beautiful wedding. The Church was glorious, the outfits were stunning, the people were fantastic company, the drink was flowing in abundance and the conversations were…

A little awkward at times actually!!!

Let me explain I’m only a few months into Home Education and I approach all conversations with strangers about it with caution. You could say I’m a little on edge as to the reactions or questions I may receive once they learn that we don’t do school.

It was at this wedding that a parent who was sat on our table at dinner quite understandably commented  on it being the summer holidays when my daughter interjects with “we’re not on summer holidays because we don’t go to school” quickly I explained that this was because we are home educating our children and that’s when I saw the raised eyebrow and I took a small, sharp involuntary breath inwards and waited for their response.

What I got was nothing I haven’t been asked before
“Do you do that yourself?”
“Do you get any financial assistance with that?”
And a personal favorite of mine…”Where do you get the national curriculum from?”

I answered their questions as honestly and briefly as I could explaining that I do indeed do home education myself (there’s no daily tutors here) That when I chose home education I also took on all the financial costs that come with it and finally that I was in fact letting my children follow their own interests and learning through life rather than following the national curriculum as we are currently in a transition period between leaving school and settling into our preferred home ed style (AKA deschooling.)

I got a little polite smile and the subject was quickly changed to something slightly less controversial and I took a big sigh of relief.

But since then I have noticed myself playing our exchange over and over again in my head because of course it was this very conversation that highlighted the biggest problem of all about deschooling, which is:

The desire to cave!

It’s literally every time that I discuss home ed with someone new that what follows is heightened anxiety that maybe the deschooling stage is taking too long and the desire to rush out and purchase some Science and English workbooks becomes quite unbearable, so instead I find myself looking up the annual fees for an IXL Maths subscription, again!

So I’ve been reflecting and I believe the desire to cave creeps in because well firstly I’m new to this and secondly I honestly want the very best education for my children alongside wanting them to be happier and more well rounded individuals I also want them to be able to earn a living some day!

Is the deschooling stage taking too long? I start to wonder, I mean will they forget how to read and add up if I don’t make them do it daily? and might they completely forget how to socialise with other human beings if they don’t set foot onto a school playground this year?

It’s during these moments that I have to take myself off and do a little self soothing the best way I have found to do this is to look back over my personal facebook home ed group. It’s a private place where I upload the things my children have done since we left school, the idea was recommended to me by another deschooling Mum to which I’m extremely grateful for.

And it’s here that I can see all the choices they have made, the children they have met, the new places they have been and the activities they have done. There’s loads of it! Day after day of experiences and learning and very rarely a child sat on a sofa under a blanket watching TV. (there is one of those actually)

So my advice to you if you are deschooling or about to deregister and deschool, and think you may fall into the trap of wanting to cave in and get structured, then I urge you to

Document your journey

Whether you start a diary or a facebook page or just take lots of photos and make an album or create a scrap book just do something to document what you’ve been up to, as this has been the only thing that keeps me going some days.

Then every time you feel that urge you can also self soothe and remind yourself what an incredible journey you’re on!

Do you feel the urge? did you feel the urge?

Anything you did or have thought of to combat the biggest problem of all about deschooling, I’d love to hear about it please feel free to like, share or comment below.

pho duvet

Love Leanna Ellena xxx

My top 5 discoveries as a new HE mum

Are you allowed to do that!!!!?

This it often the response I get from people when I tell them our children recently left school at the tender ages of  9 and 11 because we have decided to home educate! and what’s worse, I currently do absolutely zero structured learning! People find the concept rather odd and a little challenging tbh but of course the answer to their question is “absolutely yes, it is perfectly legal to leave school and home educate your children”

Team Ellena (my family) are exactly two months in, to the exact day and oh my goodness it’s been so much fun taking this massive leap into the unknown, and on this small anniversary I’ve been reflecting a little bit on my findings, so here are my top 5 discoveries as a new HE mum.

discovery 1. Learning is not just about subjects.

I discovered that Education is not just about a grade C or above in Maths and English like the world would have me think, but in fact, learning is everywhere, it’s all around us, it’s happening in our daily experiences, challenges, opportunities, successes and mistakes. I discovered that learning is cumulative as it builds on the last nugget of truth that we received as our own. And by nature, as living things, we organically add to the skills we’ve already mastered. Learning for my family has recently jumped out of its neat little subject boxes and made a giant, creative, beautiful mess all over our home.


discovery 2. That I feel free rather that trapped.

in my head Home ed was going to be really tough! it was a sacrifice that I was willing to take for the sake of my children’s mental health but I was a little scared that in doing so I could possibly be putting my own at risk. I mean, taking steps which would lead to me being around my own children ALL OF THE TIME!!!! (mental idea) I was prepared for anything I thought at worst it would literally kill me and at best just trap and isolate me from the real world…

But I’m ever so relieved to tell you neither has happened, I wish I’d known then, that I would actually feel freedom to become the truest version of myself which, in turn would start my children on their own paths of self discovery. I actually feel more alive than ever before and spend so much time out in the world having adventures that I’m actually needing to add in some days at home to make sure we have some down time. I had no idea I was free to be me! and the kids were free to be themselves, it’s awesome.

discovery 3. That a period of autonomous learning (no structure) was as much for me as it was for the children.

Having worked in the education system myself I initially struggled with the idea of laying down all the structure, I genuinely got to a point where I said  to myself “Leanna, step away from the timetable!”

but in all honesty autonomy just seemed like a cop out for those parents who couldn’t be bothered to sit their children down and teach them properly! (yes I was that narrow minded, sorry!)  but through this season I’ve started to get the point… I’m as much the student as they are! because really none of us ever stop learning. and suddenly, I was off the hook,  I didn’t have to know everything! halleluiah!!!  It was okay for me to show my children as I tried out new things and learnt alongside them that I could honour things that were important to me just like they could. and as I said it’s only been two months but in that time I have been able to show my children:

  1. My faith is at the root of who I am. I believe in a good God who loves me and them.
  2. I am a fan of mixed media art
  3. I have a deep desire to empower other women to be courageous, and live the life they are called to live.
  4. That I’m especially peaceful when I’m at the beach
  5. It makes my heart happy when I’m caring for animals
  6. And Finally, that I love the fun you can have with hair dye!


discovery 4. That I would develop my own Home Ed philosophies

This one was a bit of a shocker! little me, the girl who never went to Uni and was always in the bottom set would actually come up with educational philosophies all by herself! the two fundamental beliefs I have (with regard to educating my children) are

  1. that they know who they are before they work out what they do.
  2. rather than to be taught, I want them to love learning

discovery 5. That I would actually like my children more.

Possibly the most unexpected and saddest truth I’ve reflected on is that when my children were at school I had a relationship with them that could be likened to that of a prisoner and his prison officer. I know it sounds a little extreme but I didn’t like being around them much because all our interactions were difficult and strained. It had become where it was my job to force them to do stuff that they didn’t want to do. I would regularly bark out orders like “Eat your dinner!, do your homework!, get out of bed!, go to school!”

It wasn’t what I’d pictured motherhood to be like but I was assured by other Mums that this was how is was for their families too.

Luckily since leaving school they laugh more and I bark less! we have more time to do the things that really interest us and that in turn makes us more interesting to each other and I’m thrilled to report that I  actually like my kids company a load more than I ever dreamed possible!!!!


So that’s it, if you made it all the way to the end of this beastly blog post I’m eternally grateful that you stuck in there, please feel free to leave a comment on what you thought and share with others interested in home education but I guess it’s important to end with this:

No it’s not perfect, no I’m not a hippy who walks around in floaty dresses, barefoot and pregnant, no it’s not all hearts and songs. but yes we’re all definitely learning heaps and definitely heaps happier

Till next time

Love Leanna Ellena x