Montessori. Steiner-Waldorf. Forest School. Reggio. Unschooling. Classical. Charlotte Mason. You’ve heard people talking about these approaches. You’ve noticed #waldorfinspired, #natureplay and #montessoriathome. You’ve read a few blog posts, and they all sound good – but you’re still not quite sure what is behind these approaches beyond the beautiful wooden toys, lovingly presented trays, and Pinterest-worthy outdoor crafts.
You want to give your child a beautiful childhood and to make the most of your time with them whilst they are young, but you feel overwhelmed by all the books and blog posts you could read. You’re not sure how you’re supposed to choose an approach – or if you even should choose one! – when they all seem to offer so much.
That’s why I am delighted to be offering A Beautiful Childhood e-course, which 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.
I truly believe in an eclectic approach to raising children; in picking and choosing different ideas and methods to fit your own family values and needs, and in being inspired by different styles and trying things out to see what works best. I know that not everyone with young children has the time or energy to read books about every approach they come across, which is why I have taken my research and experience and created this course to share my knowledge with you in a way that is manageable and very practical.
This is the course that I wish had been around a few years earlier for me.
What does the course cover?
The course covers the following philosophies:
- Montessori. What is Montessori? Sensitive periods. Respecting children, the Montessori way. The importance of the prepared environment. The Montessori approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years. Play the Montessori way.
- Steiner-Waldorf. What is Steiner-Waldorf? Is Waldorf education religious? Head, heart and hands. Rhythm in the home. Celebrating all year round. Storytelling with children. Waldorf and the arts. The Waldorf approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years. Play the Waldorf way.
- Forest School / Scandinavian approach. What is Forest School? The benefits of being in nature. The Scandinavian approach. Delayed academics. Play the Forest School way. The Forest School approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years. But my child goes to mainstream school. Kit list.
- Charlotte Mason. What is Charlotte Mason’s approach? Good habits and character. Living books. Building art into the everyday. Nature walks and nature study. The Charlotte Mason approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years. Charlotte Mason for the 21st Century. Plus a brand new video on teaching a foreign language.
- Reggio Emilia / Project-Based Learning. What is the Reggio philosophy? The Hundred Languages of Children. Inside the atelier. A theory of loose parts. Observation and recording. Reggio in the home. Project-based learning. The Reggio approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years.
- The Classical approach to education. What is the Classical approach? The value of a classical approach in a modern world. The Trivium. Why Latin? The Classical approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years.
- Unschooling. What is unschooling? Why do families choose to unschool? Do they really play all day? Being an ally to our children. The unschooling approach to literacy, numeracy and science in the early years.
- You will also have access to some bonus material looking at the Pikler and RIE approaches.
Each week you will learn the key beliefs and reasoning behind each approach, and how each views child development. You will be given practical ideas around creating a nurturing environment for your children, and guidance on toys and play.
I’ll also be providing guidance on how to decide on the right kind of approach for your family when it comes to making choices around childcare (looking at the options of family care, childminders, nurseries and how to decide what will work best for your family) and figuring out how you would like your child to be educated (discussing considerations around choosing schools, the sorts of questions to ask, deciding if homeschooling 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 in February and March 2021, beginning on 1st February. The course runs for eight weeks, 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.
Each week you will access a video about one of the approaches (Montessori, Steiner-Waldorf, Forest School, Charlotte Mason, Reggio Emilia & Project-Based Learning together, the Classical approach, and finally Unschooling). There will also be an introductory week to kick off the course and get you thinking about what a beautiful childhood may look like for your family.
Alongside each video (which will also be available as an audio if you prefer to listen rather than watch), you will receive some mini-podcasts and a PDF guide for you to download and keep each week, full of information on each approach, interviews with families who are using them, and practical, achievable ideas inspired by each philosophy for you to try out at home.
You will also find a curated reading list in case you want to delve deeper into any of these approaches, journaling questions for you to explore, and a practical task for you to get stuck into each week.
Each week there will also be a detailed live Q&A video for you to ask any questions you have, and access personalised support.
A private Facebook group provides a supportive space for ongoing community discussion with like-minded parents (although you don’t have to join – all the course materials will be available for you on this website), and you will have lifetime access to the course including any changes I make.
How do I book?
Regretfully, the course is now sold out. Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the waitlist for Summer 2021.
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:
Eloise Rickman is an author, parent educator and founder of A Beautiful Childhood. She works with clients around the world through online courses and coaching. Her work focuses on evidence-based parenting, home-based and alternative education, and helping families find more rhythm and ease in their daily lives. Extraordinary Parenting (Scribe, 2020) is her first book.
Eloise is a trained doula, and previously studied social anthropology at Cambridge University where she first became interested in how childhood and family practices shape society. She believes that parenting can be a radical act, and that changing the way we raise and educate children has the potential to shape and change society for the better. Her work has been featured on the BBC, and she is a regular guest on podcasts. She lives in South London with her husband and young daughter, who has been home educated from birth.