Hi, I'm Mari-Ann. I was born and raised in Minnesota, USA, but I'm currently enjoying life without snow on the island of Bermuda.
The most important thing in my life is my family:

photo taken on one of our first dates :)
I'm a blessed wife of 13 years to my dearest friend, Paul...

(born April 2007)
a stay at home mom to our bright and beautiful  boy, James ...

(born August 2011)
and our sweet and wild child, Juliet.

Oh, and I'm a slave to two loving, yet mischievous kitty-cats.

I have many interests and hobbies: I love knitting, sewing, painting, spinning wool, organizing, reading, writing, teaching, singing, thrifty shopping, gardening, photography, cooking, listening to music, traveling, and exploring this beautiful island.

Why "Counting Coconuts"? I came up with the name after seeing my son count the coconuts on a large palm tree outside our old home. It was his favorite tree and he always made sure to stop and take notice of it. Counting Coconuts seemed like the perfect title for our blog because it mirrored not only my son's love for math and his favorite tree, but also our love for nature and our journey through homeschooling.

Our decision to homeschool did not come easily.  We had never planned on homeschooling, but when we moved to Bermuda we realized we weren't pleased with our options (or the cost of some of those options!).  To us, teaching our children and being able to cater to their learning styles seems the best thing we can do for them.  We've been homeschooling for 3 years now and it's going beautifully - our 5 year old is reading at a 3rd grade level, doing math at a 2nd grade level, and is very happy, healthy, and imaginative.

There's a special place in my heart for the Montessori method. I am a certified Montessori teacher and for the early part of my son's homeschooling I used this method (and I will do the same for my 1 year old when the time comes).  You'll find all of our Montessori activities here on this blog.  I value Montessori's philosophy that we should "follow the child" as it pertains to their interests and abilities.  For that reason, my son has shifted into using workbooks for school with a good dose of tactile activities which I prepare for him.  Practical Life work remains ever constant in our home.

I also appreciate the beautiful world of Waldorf, and we incorporate some of it into our daily life as well.  We have a reverence for nature and explore it as often as possible. We also enjoy using various mediums to express our creativity - watercolors, wax molding, and working with fibers.

I hope you find some useful ideas here! If you have any questions you can contact me at countingcoconuts1(at)gmail(dot)com.  I can't promise I'll always get back to you quickly, but I will do my best to respond as soon as my schedule allows.

Thanks for stopping by!


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