Friday, August 12, 2011

Canadian Hippie: Meet Arie Brentnall-Compton

Canadian. Hippie. Throw in redneck & you have most of me covered!! I'm Arie Brentnall-Compton, with too many titles to name. I owned Tadpoles & Butterflies, a babywearing superstore, with my BFF for 4 years. I sold the store, but I still work very closely with it on a daily basis. I operate the Canadian Babywearing School in partnership with another friend. I'm a public speaker, traveling to workshops & conferences. I'm a freelance writer, writing copy for babywearing industry sites, a little ghostwriting here & there & a little bit of activist blogging too. I'm a lactation consultant & doula in private practice. I sit on several industry boards.

And I'm a homeschooling mama to 3. Our boys are 9, 6 & 4, in grades 4, 2 & kindergarten.

We live in the country in the rural Canadian west. We're an 8 minute drive from our province's capital and about the same distance from half a dozen other towns & cities, but our neighborhood's as country as it gets. I married my cowboy husband when I was 20 and we've lived rurally for most of our life together. Our province is well off, with amazing opportunities for wealth if you're willing to work. It's also a hotbed of homeschooling, with one of the largest concentrations of homeschoolers & the best legally entrenched, funded HSing system in North America.

I was raised to question authority, to speak up when I saw wrongdoings, choose my own path and to value education. I've always made choices that flew in the face of the mainstream. My children were born at home, exclusively breastfed. We never seriously considered the public school system for our kids; homeschooling was a natural choice made early on.

We're unschoolers, or life learners. We all have interests we pursue, from classic cars, aquariums, dirtbiking, archery and history to Lego. I've seen how, by focusing our attention on how to learn instead of on what to learn, our children's growth has been ensured.

We live in & for the outdoors, with our animals being central to our lives. We have 2 horses, 2 large-breed dogs, 2 cats, 2 guinea pigs & a tank full of fish & snails. We ride, train, hike, camp, shoot, wildcraft herbs, gather fruits, chop wood and enjoy our land.

I'm a total foodie and an apprentice herbalist. When I'm not online I'm in my kitchen, preparing the from scratch traditional & decadent foods & medicines my family eats. We mill our own flours, preserve fruits & vegetables in many ways, make kefir & kombucha and cook huge meals for our family & friends in cast iron dutch ovens. I drink for the unbridled love of good booze and my kitchen door is always open for a party. Hospitality is a virtue I want my children to embody.

I'm often of the impression that I was simply born in the wrong century.

I'm pleased to meet you, I hope you'll stick around and let us support & inspire your own homeschooling journey.

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