New Podcast!

I’m so excited to announce that I am launching a new podcast along with my husband, Aaron Schiller, called Muse and The Catalyst. It’s a podcast all about inspiration and taking action to create the life of your dreams. We’ll be covering topics such as lifestyle, business, family, parenting, design, minimalism, mindfulness, art, creativity, education, travel and so much more.

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Being A Backyard Explorer

After 3 months on the road we finally had to give back the Airstream and head home to California. During our trip, we explored 22 states, many cities, and countless points of interest within those places. Now that we’re back home, we want to make sure we continue exploring all around us.

Why is it that we live 15 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge and have never walked across it? We put off doing “touristy” activities here at home because we know it will still be there when we finally get around to it. Sometimes it takes traveling to other places to realize how much exploring you can do in your own town. It’s similar to the art events that I planned on the road. After 5 amazing family art events across the country, I can’t believe I haven’t done one here in the Bay Area! So I’ll definitely be planning a local art event soon.

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How We Homeschool On The Road

One of the questions we get asked a lot on this #EndlessCaravan trip is “Do you homeschool on the road?” We aren’t following a curriculum and we don’t have textbooks, but I can say with certainty that the girls are learning so much more than could ever be assessed by a worksheet or a test.

Roadschool

We do a mix of “roadschooling” and “unschooling” where the girls learn about the places we are visiting through their curiosities. Sometimes we research about a place before we visit, other times we arrive and learn on-site through a guided tour or written information.

We never make the kids learn the information, but they almost always jump at the chance of investigating the fascinating places that we visit. This is one thing that I love about roadschooling. Seeing places in real life- getting to touch and experience them first hand- motivates the kids to want to learn.

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Family Art Events On The Road

When we began planning this 3-month Airstream tour around the US, I knew right away that I wanted to host pop-up family art events along the way. I wanted to connect with families across the country and share creative activities that might inspire them to bring more art and creativity and into their lives. But how was I going to pull that off?

The best thing about being a blogger is the friendships that I have made with other art teachers and creative mamas around the world. So once we had our trip route down, I of course went straight to my community of art teacher friends along the route and asked them to collaborate on a family art event in their town.

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On The Road: Family travel and taking a leap of faith

About 8 months ago I decided that it was time for our family to take a leap of faith and head out on a grand adventure. The girls were 4 and 7, Aaron and I were both self-employed, and we were considering homeschooling Karuna for 3rd grade.

I was determined to begin our journey sometime in early 2017 and wanted to travel for at least 3 months. I didn’t know where we would go, or how we would make it work financially. We had some debt, no savings, and were living paycheck to paycheck. Being self-employed was a bonus, but Aaron’s business was locally based so it was hard for him to imagine how he would continue to serve his clients on the road.

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Less Is More!

Have you joined the pre-holiday toy decluttering challenge? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. For a little more inspiration during this challenge, I have asked my friend, Alana Chernecki of Brillante Design, to give her two cents on decluttering. Alana is the only other Reggio-inspired preschool teacher turned designer of children’s spaces I’ve ever come across and I’m so excited to introduce you to her today. Read on for her guest post and see her beautiful spaces.

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Art Workshop For Children: Self-Portraits

Let me introduce you to my favorite new book about process art and Reggio-inspired learning. Friends, meet Art Workshop For Children. Art Workshop For Children, please meet my friends. I’m sure you guys will get along really well.

Art Workshop for Children, by Barbara Rucci and Betsy McKenna, is a breathtaking book (the photos literally made me gasp when I first flipped through the pages) filled with unique process-based art activities for kids and tips on how to prepare your art space for creative exploration. I especially love the thoughtful reflections woven throughout the book by Reggio-inspired educator, Betsy McKenna, on how to raise creative thinkers and why this is important for all children.

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Homeschool & Building A Life With Intention

Did you see my post about our upcoming road trip? If so, you know that our family is embarking on new adventures and that we are opening up to some radical changes in our lifestyle. We are putting a lot of focus on our hopes and dreams for our family and are taking some big steps to build a life with intention.

One of these family dreams is to offer our kids an education that is full of incredible life experiences and uninhibited exploration. We don’t know exactly what that looks like or how to achieve it, but we know we are ready to try something new to get there.

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Got STEAM?

You probably know by now that I’m all about art, design, and child-led learning, but there’s one hot topic where I feel sadly inadequate when it comes to working with kids. That topic is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math). Thankfully, the new STE(A)M initiatives have added the A for Art so I’m not at a total loss! I have been learning more about how to engage my kids in STEAM activities and am excited to share a new resource that is helping me do this.

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Reggio Inspired Art Secrets

You probably know this by now, but I am a huge fan of the incredible art teacher and blogger, Meri Cherry. I remember discovering her work a couple of years ago when she wrote a post about wood working with toddlers. I immediately felt a kinship and was so excited to find another Reggio inspired art blogger. We eventually got to meet in person over a plate of tacos and we both couldn’t stop blabbering on about Reggio and kids art. We have been friends ever since! Meri has a way of sharing her experience as a teacher that is unlike any other teacher and blogger I know. Her beautiful photos and down-to-earth voice bring you into her world and make you feel like you are being let in on a secret. So it’s no wonder she recently published an e-book called  Art Secrets Every Teacher Should Know, A Reggio Inspired Approach.

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