Hi, I’m Erin. Welcome to The Usual Mayhem! Feel free to email me at theusualmayhem at gmail dot com to talk. Please note that I try to answer in a timely manner but sometimes it may take a couple of days, especially when the house is full of small, cute, bottle-fed ruminants. Your patience is appreciated:)
Our family of 5 lives on our own 9 acre homestead on an island in Northern Ontario. We lived in urban Quebec up until 2013 and finally made our dream come true. We’ve never looked back and we still can’t believe we’re this lucky!
We have an indeterminate and ever-increasing assortment of animals- currently 4 goats (three of whom are pregnant and due in late winter), 7 sheep, 2 rabbits, two ducks, and 25-odd chickens including our rooster, Sir Peck-A-Lot), a large vegetable garden and as many flowers as I can plant before the chickens eat them. We also have three shaggy dogs, all rescue dogs or re-homed. They’re quirky, funny and we wouldn’t trade them for the world!
We’ve been homeschooling since 2003 (wow….I just did the math in my head for that one….it’s been a while!) We started with our oldest son, K, now 24 and a homeschool graduate. School was not a good fit for him, to say the least, but we didn’t learn that you could legally homeschool in Canada until he was 12. We yanked him out of traditional education and the rest is history.
He works construction, does a lot of the care for our animals including building his own flock of sheep, and is an extremely gifted nature photographer……any really great pics you see on the blog are his. I’m so grateful that he shares his work with me! He’s definitely a hands-on learner.
M, 16, is homeschooling high school and has never been to a brick-and-mortar school. She’s a whiz at programming, cake decorating, and horrifies us regularly with the special effects makeup she’s learning how to do. She’s autodidactic to a high degree and I love to watch her teach herself new skills.
D,9, is a high-energy ball of enthusiasm. He seems to learn by osmosis as far as we can tell, although hands-on nature study is his next favourite. We ‘walk’ outside together daily and any learning that involves throwing things, running like a maniac, or bellowing out tunes or poems are sure to be a hit. He tried school for exactly 3 months in grade 1 and decided it wasn’t for him. He can often be found with a chicken tucked under his arm like a purse, or in the goats’ fenced area playing tag with the animals and/or riding Cletus, our buck. We call the latter Goat Rodeo.
Our homeschool style is what we refer to as “Fresh-Air Homeschooling”….. a hands-on eclectic mix of real life outdoor activities and craftiness, child-led for the most part…..I think the politically correct way to put that is “inquiry-based, delight-directed learning” but really we’re just very easily distracted! Nature study is ALWAYS our number one choice and we try to work as many subjects within that framework as possible.
My husband Simon has his own very funny corporate training blog. He works from home for a large financial services company developing training programs for the various systems. He also accepts clients on the side, so if you need an entertaining and thorough training program developed for your employees, whether large or small in nature, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk it over. For the right price he’ll even fly out and do the training himself.
Finally, our goats and our chickens provide us with yummy brown eggs, fresh milk and cheese and our vegetable garden which gets bigger every year allows us to eat healthy food without driving to the nearest town some 25 km away…..of course, always combined with a library trip when we do have to go, because we have the best librarian ever!
We are passionate advocates for eating sustainably, natural living and old-fashioned community spirit. Essential oils play a role too and you’ll read occasional posts on the subject.
Random interjection here: If you’re ever interested in buying raw wool straight from the sheep, drop me an email at theusualmayhem at gmail dot com; I do sell it on the side and we have wool from Shetland, Jacobs, and Suffolk sheep.
I also have an Etsy store called Made On Moonbeam where I sell vintage linens and hand-crafted items, which is mostly because I LOVE vintage bedding and quilts and need a reason to buy them at auctions.
You can find any new posts on our blog’s main Pinterest board I’m also active-ish on Instagram lately and you can find me as erind_theusualmayhem where I’m sharing random pics of our life and days that don’t fit in blog posts.
Feel free to contact me any time if you have questions about homeschooling, homesteading, or anything else at theusualmayhem at gmail dot com. I’d love it if you signed up for free email updates too – I promise not to spam you or sell your info to anyone.
Thanks for being here at The Usual Mayhem…….you’re my inspiration.