School holidays are coming to an end, and we're entering the last term of the year for 2021! Oh em gee where did this year go?!
It's been an interesting year to say the least but one thing that 2021 has taught us is - Resilience. Sure, we'll moan about how life is hard right now (and it is!) but for the most of us, we get on with it and adapt.
Today I'd like to put the spotlight on a new business which responds to the many challenges that parents have experienced this year with home schooling or as our guest calls it "crisis schooling". Mums and dads out there - this one's for you!
Tiffany has turned her own personal challenges into opportunity by developing an amazing program and app to help parents with every aspect of planning, recording, and reporting in a home-school.
Tiffany is also one of my wonderful customers who has time and time again supported my small business (thank you so much!). I've always loved seeing how Tiffany uses the Moodyboards as part of the learning process and really wanted to learn more! So here's a bit more about Tiffany :)
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? Have you always wanted to be in business?
I'm Tiffany and I am a Mum to 2 beautiful kids aged 7 and 10, wife to my best friend Aidan and I am the co-founder of Freely home-school planner app.
We didn’t plan on home-schooling, however our son had some pretty serious health concerns and as we investigated further we began to realise things weren’t adding up. His health came first and we found ourselves suddenly and unexpectedly home-schooling both of our children!
It was a HUGE change for us. I found myself looking for a planner that was online to help with documenting and keeping records of our home learning and general organisation, and I couldn't believe it didn't exist. This was when my husband and I decided to create it ourselves.
2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?
I love our Moodyboard (we have 4!) . They help me daily in many different ways. I am creative, so I needed something pretty to look at and inspire me, the Moodyboard certainly does the job!
In my work space for Freely, I will write with chalk pen my focus for the day. When we are developing a new feature I tend to create a visual mock up and set it on the board with our colour scheme and leave it there for the day to allow me to think more on it.
I also have two black Moodyboards in our home-school space which I use like a blackboard. My kids adore them! They are just so handy! It really helps me to keep my visual learners focused on their learning. It also allows us to keep our space looking beautiful and homey and less like a classroom, because that’s really not our thing.
Click here for a tour of Tiffany's Home-school Room Tour.
The kids can move them around easily to wherever they want to learn and we have been known to set up for the day outside with our Moodyboard hanging in the chicken coop while the kids sit with their favourite chicken. That’s just another day when you home-school.
3. Tell us more about the Learn Freely App that you and your husband have developed and how it can help parents who are currently home-schooling their children due to COVID?
"I’d really love to let parents know who are home schooling due to COVID in lockdown that they are not “home schooling", this is crisis schooling. It’s harder and more challenging than home schooling ever would be. I think it's important to understand the two because they really are completely different but predominantly because with crisis schooling the school is in control of what you spend your time on. True home schooling is where the parent is in control, often following natural interests which makes things far easier despite generally achieving the same learning outcomes. So parents, if you are feeling stressed and burnt out, give yourself grace, be kind to yourself. This would be hard for anyone to deal with!"
Question 4: As we all know, home schooling is no easy feat, what advice do you have to parents who are new at home schooling?
Home schoolers often follow the path less travelled because they don’t fit within the boxes that traditional routes try to put them in. We get that all kids learn in different ways, some love to sit and listen to stories, some love to fidget and play with manipulatives, some need movement to take the information in. Most don’t love sitting and writing but many love to build, explore and create! Freely compliments each child's learning style by making it easy for the home educator to plan, capture and report the way that best suits that learner.
Question 5: As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?
I think sharing with our kids our passions/work is really important, and to let them know that work is not more important than they are, but it still is important to us. This is the way we have approached it.
Not having help in the classroom is challenging but through home schooling and spending all that time together perhaps gives them an outlook on life to follow your dreams and fight for what you believe in. I hope they see that by following a passion, it’s really not work in the traditional sense of the word.
It’s more about prioritising what is important. There will always be something we can and need to drop and focus on later. As long as we have clarity around that and self awareness to know our own capacity of handling what we take on. That’s been the key to our families happiness.
Question 6: As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out or thinking of starting a business?
I have always been passionate in everything I’ve done and there has always been a business in it. Money has only ever been the last thought. The driver has always been the passion for helping people in some way. So I guess my advice would be: Think of the thing you love to do most in the world. Do that, make that your thing.
Tiffany's Desk at home
Moodyboard in White in Tiffany's Pantry.
Thanks so much Tiffany for sharing your story and passion with us - Home schooling is truly a selfless and rewarding job and I'm sure that many families will benefit from the Learn Freely App !
Follow Tiffany on instagram here!