A course for parents of 0-7 year olds, since 2018
What does a beautiful childhood look like?
There is no right answer. I believe in an eclectic, rights-based approach to raising children: in picking and choosing different ideas and methods to fit your own family values and needs, in being inspired by numerous philosophies and not being afraid to try things out to see what fits your child best, in slowing down and taking your time when the world is trying to hurry you and your child along.
That’s why the Beautiful Childhood course is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of a wide range of educational and parenting approaches for young children, as well as practical and achievable ideas based on these philosophies for you to try out at home. Over the four weeks we spend together, you will be introduced to a feast of ideas which you can dip into and try out as you please.
I know that not everyone with young children has the time or energy to read books about every approach they come across, so I’ve taken my years of research and experience and created this course to share my knowledge with you in a way that is overwhelm-friendly. With a mix of written, recorded, and live coaching content, think of it as a knowledgeable and compassionate friend in your back pocket who will cheer you on when things are good, and commiserate with you when they feel hard.
What does the course cover?
The course is split into four weekly modules, and includes a bonus week at the end of the four weeks
Week one: The Hundred Languages of Children
We start the course by considering what a beautiful childhood looks like for us – and crucially, what it might look like for our children. This module dives deep into Children’s Rights and the Reggio philosophy, and also covers:
- What makes a beautiful childhood (connecting with your family values; children’s rights and liberation; children as born people; tuning out external expectations)
- The Hundred Languages of Children (love as a language; embracing children’s unique needs and voices; getting to know what makes your child tick)
Week two: The Prepared Environment
The second week of the course grounds us in the home, considering the environment all around us. This module dives deep into the Montessori + Charlotte Mason philosophies and also covers:
- The prepared environment (the feeling of home; why our environment matters; tips for decoration, storage and toy rotation with young children – all budget, small-space, and renter friendly!)
- Home as a site of freedom (facilitating independence as a form of respect; creating an atelier; kitchen and bathroom focus; systems, hacks, and letting go of guilt aka your success matters too)
- Your home library (choosing ‘living’ books; sourcing materials; loose parts; ‘living’ TV?)
Week three: Rhythm in the Home
This week we are diving deep into the idea of rhythm, and what rhythm can offer early childhood. This module dives deep into the Steiner-Waldorf + Forest School philosophies, and also covers:
- Rhythm in the home (creating a rhythm which suits your family’s unique needs; daily rhythms including transitions; weekly rhythms; seasonal rhythms; yearly rhythms; creating rhythm when days are very different)
- Building time outdoors into your rhythm (why spend time outside with your child; when getting outside feels tough)
- Storytelling as an anchor and connection building (telling stories from scratch)
- Creating joyful celebrations for your family (keeping celebrations calm; rooting celebrations in your family values; ideas for creating beloved family celebrations; gifts, toys, and play; peaceful parenting when feeling overwhelmed)
Week four: Curiosity and Wonder
This module dives deep into the Unschooling + Classical Education philosophies, and also covers:
Building beauty and joy into the everyday (centring joy and wonder; supporting your child’s natural curiosity)
Early learning (what is the purpose of education?; an argument for slow academics; meeting the child where they are; the Leuven Scales; how different philosophies approach learning in the earlier years; partnership learning; project-based learning)
Over the four modules, the course brings in a wide range of ideas and principles from the following philosophies:
- Children’s rights theory
- Forest School
- Charlotte Mason
- Classical education
As well as bringing in ideas from each philosophy, each week will introduce you to certain theories in depth.
Bonus week: Choosing your Path
The bonus content covers:
- Making choices around childcare (looking at family care, childminders, nurseries and how to decide what will work best for your family, what questions to ask potential caregivers, what to look for in a setting)
- Deciding out how you would like your child to be educated (discussing considerations around choosing schools, the sorts of questions to ask, deciding if home education is right for your family, what to do when your local school provision isn’t great but there’s no other option, and more)
How is the course run?
The course will next run from 14th November 2022
The course runs for four weeks, with an extra bonus week, and comes with lifetime access so that you can do it at your own pace, revisit it whenever you want, and benefit from any updates I make in future.
At the start of the course you will receive two beautiful PDFs: a workbook and a guidebook. The guidebook is packed full of information and achievable ideas for you to try out at home (think of this as the ‘textbook’ for the course), and the workbook contains journaling prompts as well suggestions for practical exercises and space for reflection.
Each week you will access recorded video lectures, mini-podcasts, and a curated reading list in case you want to delve deeper into any of these topics we have covered.
Each week there will be a live coaching call for you to ask any questions you have and access personalised support. This takes place on Zoom. You can send in questions in advance if you can’t make it live, and all the calls are recorded. Coaching calls will take place on Thursday evenings at 7pm UK time.
A private Facebook group provides a supportive space for ongoing community discussion with like-minded parents (although you don’t have to join).
Please scroll down for FAQs.
Eloise Rickman is an author, home educating parent, and founder of A Beautiful Childhood. She works with clients around the world through her online courses and coaching, and has supported over a thousand families since 2018.
Her work focuses on children’s rights and liberation, and asks what parenting and education can look like through a liberation lens. Extraordinary Parenting (Scribe, 2020) is her first book, and she is currently working on her second book which focuses on children’s liberation.
Eloise has a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University where she first became interested in how childhood and family practices shape society, and she is currently working towards an MA in Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights. She believes that parenting can be a radical, joyful, and beautiful act.
Eloise lives in South London with her husband and daughter and their beloved family cat.
How do I book?
***Please note that the course will run from Monday 14th November 2022 for five weeks***
Places cost £79, and include the workbook, guidebook, all recorded materials, five live coaching calls, access to the Facebook community, and lifetime access.
I regret that refunds are not offered on online courses, though places are transferrable. By booking your place, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
We know times are hard at the moment. There are a number of “pay what you can” spots available to families with a low income, who would otherwise find the course unaffordable. If you would like one of these spaces, please just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you simple instructions on how to book.
Wait – last time I checked I’m sure this course was different?
Yes! It used to run for eight weeks, with each week focusing on a different philosophy such as Montessori or Waldorf. Whilst participants loved the course as it was, I felt it made sense to group the content by theme rather than philosophy. I also wanted to make it shorter and crucially more overwhelm-friendly, to reflect the busy lives most of my clients lead, and more affordable too.
I really liked the ‘old’ version of the course, but I’d been running it since 2018 and felt like it needed a refresh to ensure you get the most out of it. I think it’s even better now, and I can’t wait to share it with you in its new and improved format!
And if you liked the idea of learning about all of the different philosophies, don’t worry – they’re all still in the course, it’s just the material is organised differently now. You won’t miss out on anything.
I notice that the week on rhythm has some material similar to your Rhythm in the Home and Calm Celebration courses…
Good spot! I no longer run Rhythm in the Home or Calm Celebrations as separate courses, but I loved the content so much that I’ve added many of the materials from the two courses into the guidebook and content for week two of this course. I think it sits really well together, and you’ll get much more out of it this way.
If I took the old version of this course, do I need to re-book? Can I access the old-style materials?
If you took a past version of this course, you will automatically receive all of the new and updated materials. If you’d like to access the old version of the course materials, drop us an email and we’ll make it happen.
You say the course is recommended for ages 0-7, but my child is older. Is there any point in me taking it?
Many of the core principles and ideas from the course are applicable to tweens and teens too, but the examples given will be suitable for early childhood, and the other parents on the course will likely have children in this age range too. However, if you have an eight or nine year old and feel a strong desire to book onto the course, I won’t stop you!
My child’s other parent / babysitter / grandparent is interested in learning more, do you do group discounts?
Even better – they can access the course for free. You can either share your login with them, or email us and we can set up their own account for them. Please keep this to people who immediately care for your child, though – if you’d like to join with a friend we’re happy to offer you both a discount of 10%.
Is this a course for home educating parents?
No, it’s for any parent or caregiver of a young child, whether your child is in daycare, school, at home with you, or a combination.
Do I need to be in the UK to participate?
No – people join in from around the world every time I run the course! All you need is an internet connection.
Will I need to print off the workbook and guidebook?
If you can, I recommend printing at least the workbook, but if you can’t then you can use the prompts with a regular notebook / scrap paper / back of an envelope! Many of my clients have found printing the materials and having their notes in the same place helpful when it comes to implementing ideas and reviewing the course at a later date.
How much does the course cost?
Places cost £79, and include the workbook, guidebook, all recorded materials, five live coaching calls, access to the Facebook community, and lifetime access. I know times are tough for many families at the moment, so there are also pay-what-you-can spaces available.