This week’s momma actually doesn’t live in Austin but is inspiring many Austin moms, and moms around the country, to spend more time out of doors and enjoy the many benefits of play outside through the #150hoursoutside project. She’s the mom behind Your Natural Learner, Leah McDermott. I’m pretty sure that as you read our interview you’ll get the feeling she’s an Austinite at heart!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in your current town?
I’m actually not an Austin mama (and it’s the one big city in Texas I’ve somehow missed visiting – guess I need to put it at the top of my list now)! I live in Eugene, Oregon, and have been here for the past 4 years. Before that, we lived in central Pennsylvania.
Children and their ages?
I have two sons – Charlie is 7 and Desmond (Dez) is 4. They are spirited, adventurous boys who would spend every second of their lives romping around outside if they could!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I think people would be shocked to find out that I’m quite introverted and would much rather spend my time at home in some cozy PJs watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns than out socializing. Because of my business, I spend a lot of time connecting with families online, doing live calls in my groups, leading workshops, etc. so I think people assume that I’m a pretty extroverted person. While I love chatting with moms and teachers about natural learning, I secretly can’t wait to get home and curl up on the couch!
What is your favorite thing about living in your town?
Again, not an Austin mama, but my favorite thing about living here in Eugene is the incredible outdoor opportunities that are so close! I’m walking distance to the river and amazing natural trails and parks. Gorgeous hikes and waterfalls are a 10-15 minute drive away. I can be standing in the Pacific Ocean in an hour, playing on snowy mountains in an hour, or exploring the desert in short drive. It’s pretty fantastic!
Yes, it sounds amazing! Other than the nearness of the Pacific, it sounds just like Austin! What do you love to do with your family around town?
Outside of outdoor adventures, we enjoy the library, museums, movies, and trying new restaurants.
Tell us a little about Your Natural Learner. We are so fascinated by what you do!
My business, Your Natural Learner (link: www.yournaturallearner.com), came into being after I left my job as a classroom teacher to stay home with my oldest son. As I started blogging about the activities and experiences I was doing at home with him, I had tons of moms asking me to share more and more how I was creating a natural learning experience for him (and then later, my youngest son too). Five years later, I now offer one-of-a-kind curriculum for homeschooling families, courses for parents who want to provide natural learning experiences for their kids, and a beautiful following of families around the world. My overall goal is to help parents and teachers make learning a natural and meaningful experience for all children around the world, creating a new generation of inspired and creative learners who are ready to solve all of the problems that we face with unique solutions.
Are you involved in anything else within the community?
I run a local Forest School group in my community for homeschooling families. It’s so much fun!
Outside of my local community, I run the #150hoursoutside Project, which connects thousands of families all over the world as we commit to spending more time outside with our children in 2019.
Y’all have got to search #150hoursoutside and join in!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The #150hoursoutside Project Community has inspired me in so many ways! Seeing how much just a little bit of inspiration can push people out of their comfort zone gives me so much motivation.
South Austin Moms really hopes you’ll make it to Austin for a visit, Leah! Please get in touch when you do so we can show you around all our great outdoor spaces!
To learn more follow any of these links:
Leah’s website: www.yournaturallearner.com
#150hoursoutside Project: http://www.yournaturallearner.com/150hoursoutside-project/