Trinidad’s artist and author Susan Mayclin Stephenson, who travels the world instructing educators about Montessori teaching methods, had trips to South America, Europe and Mongolia canceled this year because of the pandemic.
She has filled her days writing a book, Montessori Homeschooling One Family’s Story about her and husband’s 15 years of homeschooling their son, Michael, through elementary, middle and high school.
Susan wrote the book not for Montessori educators but for anyone who is having to learn to live with their children at home and to oversee their education.
Because the book is on Amazon, the author has received messages from people all over the world who are being helped by it: a young mother in Vietnam, a publisher in Serbia, a Montessori consultant in Amsterdam and an adolescent education expert in Chihuahua, Mexico. But one of her favorite comments came from a Trinidad grandmother, who wrote:
“We do not home school and we were not really familiar with Montessori until reading this book. Now, after reading it we feel more confident in facing the task of overseeing ‘virtual’ learning during this pandemic. While juggling work with having kids at home, many parents and grandparents, I’m sure, fear their children aren’t receiving the education they want for them (at least in our family that is the case). From this book I learned the importance of looking at the big picture of what education is all about. Most importantly it is about kids learning they are part of a family, community, society. It’s about learning compassion for others, and being kind and respectful to all.
“I am a grandmother whose grandchildren spend half the time with us. The silver lining in this pandemic has been that we have gotten to spend valuable time together as a family. Having this time, our grandkids have been able to feel valuable in helping with all of the daily work of the family. Also because of this book many of our dinnertime conversations include discussions of different cultures and academics of all kinds. This book validates the importance of learning outside of a traditional school setting; it brings to our awareness the fact that real education can help children uncover their own unique gifts. This book is a tool for parents and grandparents desiring to make all this possible for their kids.”
Susan has included many local people in the book: music groups, Suzuki instructors and an Humboldt State University teacher. It is available locally at Trinidad Trading Company and Murphy’s. With both Trinidad School and Big Lagoon School relying on virtual lessons now, local parents and grandparents may benefit from Susan’s home-schooling experiences.
Email Patti at [email protected].