Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you”* why I launched Homegrown Sonshine.
Contrary to what most people thought, our launch at the wake of COVID 19 in April, wasn’t just in response to the school lockdown. Arguably, the timing was fortuitous, or God ordained, if you are that way inclined.
A month before the media began to hint at the possibility of the Wuhan crisis becoming a global issue, I had gone into a lockdown of my own. I secluded myself every moment I could find to map out a vision that had long been on my heart.
In 2018, my son experienced a series of traumatic experiences over two terms at school. After a term of complaining and being dismissed whilst my son suffered in silence, I took the bull by the horn and plunged into Home Education with little know how. As arduous as it was to set up shop with little experience and support, I am still grateful for the lemons that helped me make the sweetest lemonade of my motherhood experience yet!
This lemonade catapulted me into a deeper connection with my son through an enchanting home culture that reflects the longings of my childhood dreams. Hey, don’t get me wrong, we have struggles like any family. However, these bitter moments are often sweetened by our mutual love of learning, art, travel, nature, music, faith and socialising with friends.
So naturally being the people person I am, I began to incubate a vision for a home education consultancy that would help parents like me, who may be feeling dissatisfied with the soul sapping, highly pressurised education being offered to their children at school but don’t know what to do about it. I wanted to create a comprehensive home education service that would help parents, regardless of race, social status, or geographical location to know that there is an alternative way to educate their children without comprising on character, compassion or their cultural or faith identity. Ultimately, I want to offer discerning parents, easy access to a high-quality education that leads to a holistic, character and capability-based education for the heart and mind of a child.
WHO WE ARE
Homegrown Sonshine is a new London based home education consultancy dedicated to helping parents who are intentional about offering a wholesome education to their children, craft their unique home education journey with meaning, ease and confidence.
We help new and existing home educators channel their attention on educating and building connection with their children whilst we do the back-end prep work that can so easily deplete home education of its joy.
Our offering includes:
One-to-one guidance – we offer consultation on all aspects of home education including how to get started, how to schedule your day or week, knowing which resources and curriculum to buy or which philosophy best suits your worldview, etc.
Free resources – we offer a range of free resources, tips and ideas to suddenly new home educators.
Paid Resources– we are in the throes of launching our newly designed, high quality, culturally diverse Charlotte Mason inspired ‘grab and go’ Morning Time Resource.
Courses – Our Home Education 101 course for new home educators called The Art of Crafting a wholesome and meaning Home Education-TACHE, is offered as a 6 part group workshop or a one to one coaching session.
Inspiring talks – we can offer a range of inspiring talks on various topics around home education, including creating inclusive curriculum, creative learning and soul care for the home educator and more.
Host of rich and inspiring content– we offer a host of inspiring content through our blogs, webinar videos and soon to be launched podcast.
OUR UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
Our services and learning resources are designed and largely delivered by Alberta Stevens, a Black-African-British, Urban, Christian mother of one. Alberta also happens to have lived and worked in the Middle East for a considerable time.
Deeply enamoured by the Charlotte Mason and Classical education approaches, with a penchant for the divergent thinking that Unschooling sparks, Alberta is committed to ensuring that Homegrown Sonshine offers a fresh, culturally relevant interpretation to what is usually a very white, western-liberal context to an otherwise wholesome educational feast.
As a home education consultant, Alberta draws from her two years home education experience and 22 years of designing and delivering informal learning programmes for young people and marginalised and diverse communities in London and Doha, Qatar.
Alberta’s background in designing active citizenship programmes which sought to empower young people to make positive contributions in their local and global communities, has informed her desire to help parents, especially mothers, be more intentional and culturally aware in their path to raising future leaders and global citizens.
WHO WE SERVE
We believe all parents are home educators by default, whether your kids are educated primarily at home or not. The issue is often whether parents are consciously using their time at home to intentionally influence their children’s hearts, minds and conscience for good. This is why we point our services to all intentional parents and caregivers, that includes those who work at home, from home or away from home. We work with parents of faith or no faith by offering resources faith based and secular learning packs.
Our content invites parents with children at home or at school to reimagine their homes and their time with their children as a fleeting and therefore precious opportunity to offer wholesome, spiritually and culturally meaningful education that raises wholesome citizens who make our world a better place.
Our coaching and training service starts from the premise that anyone literate with good intentions for their children can home educate. With intentionality, tenacity and a willingness to learn alongside your child(ren) we are able to coach any parent to take the reins of educating their child at home in a matter of weeks.
WHAT WE DO
We bring a fresh and culturally relevant context to the wholesome, joint character and capability-based learning approaches of the Charlotte Mason and Classical Education methods. We pride ourselves on offering a truly culturally diverse educational context that appeals to parents with or without faith, whether their parents are in or out of school.
Our offering includes:
- One-to-one consultation on all aspects home education. This includes anything from exploring the value of home education, combine work and home-edding, sourcing the right educational philosophy and curriculum, planning extracurricular, managing socialisation issue, managing difficult behaviour to home adding special needs and so much more.
- Resources-In addition to our growing portfolio for free resources for new home educators, we are in the throes of launching our ‘grab and go’ Charlotte Mason inspired and culturally diverse Morning Time Resource.
- Introduction to Home Education Course – Our six part Home Education 101 course; The art of crafting a wholesome and meaning Home Education-TACHE, takes a parent by the hand through nebulous journey laying the foundation of your home education, (which often takes 3- 6 months), within 6-8 weeks. We cover everything from designing your education philosophy, to choosing the right curriculum, learning your child’s unique learning styles, setting the right atmosphere and facilitating independent and creative learning, navigating socialisation and more.
- Talks and webinars- We offer thought provoking and inspiring talks on all aspects of home education. In addition to tips on how to home educate the current context of COVID-19, our recent talks have covered a wide range of educational topics such as the purpose and value of education in the 21st Century, the benefits of home education within and beyond COVID-19; how to facilitate creative learning at home; why home education appeals to people of faith; home education in Africa in the 21st Century; Soulcare: cultivating the inner world of the life-giving parent.
- High quality and inspiring free content – We curate a rich selection of blogs, videos, webinars and soon to be launched home education podcast.
“As a mum and home educator, my mission is to inspire and equip parents to be intentional about crafting a wholesome (which also means spiritually and culturally relevant) and purpose-driven education for their children at home. I believe that when parents grab the reins of nurturing the inner lives of their children, they automatically begin to cultivate their own inner lives which invariably leads to the resurrection of dormant dreams that soon impacts the world around them.
I have set up Homegrown Sonshine to help and equip parents to do just that.
The recent global outrage, heightened awareness of racial injustice and the ensuing civil unrest in the US at the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd may have sent us into deeper feelings of anger, fear and discomfort for some. Added to our already fragile and disconnected state due to COVID-19 lockdown, makes for a precarious psychological state. If however, these tumultuous and innately uncomfortable situations cause us to dig deeper to feel the visceral convictions that brings about systemic changes which I believe starts with educating ourselves and our children at home, then maybe, we may just be heading in the right direction, after all.
The opportunity to Home Educate your children is a privilege to press reset on your child’s life and become the biggest influence in their lives. As parents, we have the opportunity to set the thermostat in our homes for the world we want our children to lead in the future. What kind of temperature are you setting? Do you know how to? Do you believe you can? We think you can, especially mothers. Start by paying attention, notice the discomfort and make a decision to bring the change you wish to see. We are here to help”
Please get in touch via website, if we can help you chart your home education journey in any way. We would love to hear from you.