The Back to School season is certainly feeling a little different this year. With all the uncertainty surrounding sending our little ones back to school, we know how daunting the new season can be. If you’re after a bit of flexibility or looking for some alternative teaching solutions but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place!
We sat down with Erin Loechner, the founder of Other Goose, to learn about her journey creating her at-home educational strategy for children ages 2-7. Here she tells us all about Other Goose and homeschooling in general, as well as offering plenty of helpful tips and tricks on how to approach this untraditional school year!
Other Goose was really created out of my own need. When the time came to choose a homeschooling plan for my kids, the search felt so impossible. I knew there had to be a better way to have everything I wanted for my own kids. I wanted short, 20-minute lessons that were totally self-paced and used things I already had at home. I wanted lessons that were accessible online or in print, and I wanted lessons that trusted me, the parent, to kind of move the learning process in whatever direction I chose. I just knew there were a hundred ways to teach a kid well and I wanted to incorporate the beauty of it all while still keeping it really simple for me.
Children are far more capable than we think. It’s been such a joy hearing parents witness such incredible leaps in maturity, independence, and creativity as their child becomes challenged on a more holistic level.
I think they coexist, absolutely! As parents, we’re teaching our kids every single day, whether it’s a complex math equation or how to wipe down the sink after they wash their hands. Remember what it was like to potty-train your first child? None of us had ever done it before, and yet, we all somehow figured it out! Teaching is precisely the same thing – a series of attentive interactions, prompts, and discoveries that guide our kids toward becoming empowered, independent self-educators over the course of their entire lifetime.
Even though it’s called “homeschool,” I’ve always considered us a “village-school.” Our family is heavily involved in relationships and community-building, from Chinese lessons with our neighbor to nature hikes with friends to a theatre troupe downtown. We’ve had to get very creative about maintaining such close relational structures while still honoring state mandates and personal comfort levels.
“Children are far more capable than we think. It’s been such a joy hearing parents witness such incredible leaps in maturity, independence, and creativity as their child becomes challenged on a more holistic level.”
Erin Loechner, founder of Other Goose
Finding a learning rhythm that balances both structure and freedom (hopefully with some “me time” in there, too!). Parents are often overwhelmed with the many resources available and they start out strong, but quickly run out of steam. And I 100% get it! Our role is not to busy our kids- that’s an instant recipe for burnout! Instead, at Other Goose we encourage just three simple pillars: (1) a short, 20-minute lesson together, (2) reading aloud, and (3) free play outdoors. For ages 2-7, that’s truly EVERYTHING they need!
My hope is that parents will become more comfortable with the idea that they might know more about educating their unique child than an institution does. It’s wonderful to see families educating and raising their children to think critically about their role as an advocate for the world around them. Seeing children learning from their parents, but also parents learning from their children is a beautiful picture to consider.
Thank you Erin, we loved hearing all about Other Goose and the inspiration behind it. You can browse Erin’s mantras below and in the meantime, Other Goose is offering 3 weeks free to any and all interested! Sign up here.