23: Serving & Learning From Homeschoolers in Your Nature-Based Practice with Sarah Collins, OTR/L

Homeschooling, unfortunately, comes with a lot of stigmas from those who aren’t familiar with it. On the flip side, it’s also becoming more and more common as parents want to find more individualized ways of learning for their kids.

In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Sarah Collins of Homeschool OT, who provides consultation services for occupational therapists and homeschoolers. She’s sharing practical ideas for both homeschoolers and OTs, best practices for OTs on how to approach conversations with homeschoolers, and three homeschooling philosophies and how they’re beneficial to nature-based therapy.

Nature-based therapy practitioners can benefit from understanding the ecosystem of homeschooling, and homeschoolers can benefit from integrating nature-based OT practices into their daily lives. I hope this episode inspires you to learn more about how you can work with homeschooling communities as an OT.

We’ll discuss:

  • How homeschooling her kids led Sarah to transition to specifically working with homeschool communities/parents and occupational therapists as a homeschool consultant with OT experience
  • What to say and what not to say as an OT working with homeschool parents and communities, and debunking stigmas about homeschooling
  • Finding the balance between letting homeschool kids develop at their own pace and catching any needs early so they can be addressed, and how to approach providing support to homeschool communities as an OT
  • The Charlotte Mason method of education; the beauty and importance of living books; how the science of relations works in narration, and how it teaches us to listen
  • How unschooling lends itself to nature-based therapy, how traditional school subjects are innately built into the learning, and how you can build therapy into the child’s interests
  • How COVID gave a lot of people the confidence to homeschool
  • The Waldorf philosophy, and how form drawing can be beneficial in nature-based therapy

Connect with Sarah:

Homeschool OT website

Follow Sarah on Instagram

Join Homeschool Therapy Ideas Facebook group

Resources from this episode:

Perspectives of Homeschool Educators on Occupational Therapy: A Pilot Study

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (a great example of a living book for middle schoolers!)

Simply Charlotte Mason podcast episode: How to Spot a Great Picture Book

Karla the UNschooling Mama

John Holt, unschooling proponent

National Home Education Research Institute

Coastal Connections Pediatric Therapy

Angela Lord’s book on form drawing

If you're ready to take the next step in this adventure, join our free Therapy in the Great Outdoors Community at therapyinthegreatoutdoors.com. The TGO community is a private space just for nature based pediatric practitioners. We have loads of resources there to support you as you start or grow a nature based practice or program.

Download my free guide The Nature-Based Practice ROADMAP to help you focus (and avoid costly mistakes!) as you start or grow your nature-based pediatric therapy practice.

If you’re serious about taking your nature-based practice to the next level, come join the Business Bedrocks Group Coaching Program in The Business Hive. You'll get clarity & confidence to grow a profitable and personally fulfilling business that runs on auto-pilot as much as possible. 

Are you a pediatric therapist interested in taking your work with children out into nature? The ConTiGO Approach Online Course will open for registration soon: visit www.ConTiGOapproach.com to join the waitlist.