Worldschooling in France (Part One)

Welcome to Handwork Homeschool!

Let’s start at the beginning…at home.

Come take a glimpse into the time we spend here – learning, creating & making.

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The Parents.

We are Elizabeth & Will…

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The kids.

this is Arabella & Andrew…

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The Kittens.

these are Minerva & Llewllyn & lastly (& certainly not least)


this is Aurora (when she was  teeny, tiny baby – she’s a lot bigger now!)

We’re Canadians, who decided back in 2010, to sell our city house and most of our belongings, buy a glorious old house in the French countryside, pack up the kids and live on the wild-side!

We have 5 children, 3 grown adults & the younger set, who are 7 & 11 years old.

Andrew & Arabella have been homeschooled their entire lives.


Our Wild Waldorf Ways

I say wild, not because the kids swing from the trees during their lessons (well, not usually!), or spend their days in their PJs (they’re usually dressed at some point) but because I pick from the many Waldorf theories & techniques that make sense to me, mix them in with a bit of Reggio & add a dash of my own style.

I call it “Worldschooling”.

We do a lot of learning, making & general fun stuff during our homeschool days.  As a Wild Waldorf Mama – I generally don’t make much of an effort to separate the “learning” times from the “play” times.


I do make plans for the year, design lesson blocks, gather books & resources, gather the children for a circle-time & teach Andrew a main lesson 4 days a week.  The rest of the time we just DO.  My kids are learning from the moment they get up until the moment they fall into bed at the end of a busy day.

I have been known to “forget” about wet-on-wet painting for weeks on end, build entire lessons around handwork & use cranes, diggers, princesses & fairies as teaching tools.

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Andrew’s Office

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Arabella’s Play Space

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Our all round lesson/baking table

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Our giant PURPLEboard !

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Construction word writing

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Cute sight words

Our homeschool is inspected once a year by a state inspector and the interview is conducted entirely in French (I can speak fairly well but I still worry that I’ve said something totally nuts by mistake!)

The kids are picking up the language through daily interactions with friends (old & young) and by being totally surrounded by it! Our tri-lingual babysitter comes  to hang out with them and ensure that they end up with great accents!

A peek at some of our lessons & “school stuff”.


My kids are lively, engaged & learning in leaps & bounds. My son (9) has 5 minutes a day to spend wandering around virtual construction sites online & other than that, they never look at a screen. They don’t miss electronic media one bit.

They are too busy telling their own stories, drawing their own pictures & making their own things.

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Fireside Reading


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Handmade INDOOR Sandbox

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Andrew’s First Knit Horse

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The Princesses

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Safety first !


Here are some self-directed projects (wood working is a big one at our house), play-time & as my Mother would say “wool-gathering time”.


house pear tree


We are restoring our house, bit-by-bit. My husband does most of the construction work, I tell him what to do (ha ha!) and the kids help when they’re needed (or they want to)!

We are with each other almost all the time as my husband works from home. Our days are always busy.

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Building an Ikea Kitchen


Andrew's bedroom (one day)

Andrew’s bedroom (one day)

A bit of the always-ongoing restoration around the house & the great view out my kitchen window of the reverse ravine that wraps around the back of our house.


Come & explore Our Secret Garden (see the pond, river, bridge, ancient stone ruin, old orchard & new veggie garden). It’s amazing how much fun you can have with a bit of dirt & water. Click HERE for Part 2


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