I was born and grew up in Kenya, and qualified as a Key Stage 2 teacher with the London School of Modern Montessori. My children were also born in Kenya and as we lived too far from any town, it became necessary for me to home school them. We had no electricity, so entertainment took the form of reading, resulting in a love of books for the whole family.
Homeschooling the children was a wonderful experience. Teaching them to read and write gave way later on to more structured lessons in English, Mathematics and Science. Our classroom was frequently on the beach, in the forest or in a more formal, classroom type environment in the house. By the time the children went to an English National Curriculum school in Nairobi, at the ages of 10 and 7, they were well prepared and able to adapt to normal school life very quickly. The reading ages of both were well above their chronological age by the time they went into formal schooling.
I also became a teacher in Kenton College Preparatory School in Nairobi – a member of the IAPS group of British schools around the world. I stayed there for almost 20 years, teaching a variety of Key Stage 2 classes. I left Kenya to live in England where I became a private tutor to children who felt the need to supplement their school lessons. My students all achieved an improvement in their SATs results. I also help students working towards their 11+ exams.
My most rewarding experiences have usually been as a result of teaching. Whether in a formal, classroom setting, when a child suddenly understands something he/she found complicated, or just sharing a small piece of information with someone whose response was, “Wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for telling me.”