Autumn 2021

It has been such a lovely summer here in Orkney that it is hard to imagine the calm mild weather ever being replaced by strong winds and heaving waves, but nevertheless I am quite sure that they will come soon as we are well into September as I write. In August, our last native wildflower

Lambing and new creative project

I just came in from feeding a lamb in the paddock. It’s 11pm and the sky was still bright enough for me to be able to walk about without a light. A snipe was drumming overhead either looking for a mate or establishing its territory. The lamb went into feed from its mother who had

Spring 2021 – Summer is coming!

An update from Isle of Auskerry  One of the hardest things about this last year has been the lack of personal contact with our lovely customers. As a result, we decided to stay in touch with you by launching a quarterly newsletter to share what’s been happening at Isle of Auskerry. In this weather the Northern

Home-Educating Survival Guide Part 10

I wrote this survival guide in response to friends asking me how I managed to educate my three boys alone on an island. No-one had really asked me before, and I knew that some people thought I was somehow depriving my children of a ‘proper education’, by not sending them to school. In fact I

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 9

When I was home-educating I had no access to the internet, and had to rely on the books that I had and my own creativity to make lessons interesting. Some days the children were tired and I felt we needed to escape from the home education routine, so I would plan activities to break up

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 8

Having three headstrong boys of very different ages to teach at home was an enormous challenge. of all the difficulties I faced I think the ability to keep going however tired I was might have been the biggest challenge of all. I distinctly remember thinking that I was pushed to the limits of my energy

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 7

Teaching my children at home in our remote island home meant that we could not look for resources in the local library let alone online, so we looked elsewhere for learning experiences. When we first came to Auskerry the beaches were littered with driftwood. Amongst the fishboxes and debris from shipping lanes, the boys often

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 6

Living on a remote island in the Orkney group, off the north coast of Scotland, it was difficult to go on holiday, not least because the weather made getting boats to take us off when we wanted to go very stressful. Yesterday felt like the first day of summer here in Auskerry, and it made

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 5

When my eldest son was three, I was told by the local Education Authority that I would have to either move or home-educate as they were not going to help with his education if we stayed farming our island home. As so many families have been thrown in to home educating during the pandemic I

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 4

The thought of the end of the holidays and having to get the boys back to work again was always tough. They were not keen to lose the freedom the holidays gave them, and I was not keen to return to the planning and marking on top of everything else I had to do! I

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 3

Although I enjoyed teaching my children during the term time, I loved having the perfect opportunity in the school holidays to play games with them. They accuse me now of being far too competitive, but I argue that there is a difference between slightly handicapping yourself to make it a more level playing field and

Home Educating Survival Guide Part 2

When I was home-educating my three children in our remote island home, the Easter holidays were always greeted with huge relief as there was always so much to do on the farm in this period. I loved not having to plan lessons every night, but mainly it was the freedom from having to constantly encourage