Welcome to Joy and Marvel; I’m so glad you’re here. This blog shares about how my family learns and laughs together at home. Here is a little of our background, and my aims for the blog.


Our story

My life, like everybody else’s has been full of twists and turns. It has led me through a Biochemistry degree; living in France; being a qualified secondary science teacher; travels through Mongolia and Peru; management consultancy at Deloitte (c), and project managing at social enterprises.

I’ve ticked a lot of things off, but I always had an itchy foot. I never felt fully settled or present in my life. I was always searching for The Next Thing.

This was until a sabbatical period from working in London, where I set off wwoofing around the south west of England. I knew that the third farm I arrived at was special from the very first day. As I was collected from the local village and driven across the local moor, with Dartmoor looming in the background, I felt I had come home. Cutting a long story short, a month’s stay at the farm turned into many months and culminated in me buying a cottage in the same area.


A new addition

My enchanted life in the middle of the rolling Devon countryside, on the edge of a wood, was missing just one thing. In January 2016 I embarked on the adoption process through the local authority. In January 2018, my beautiful daughter came home, aged 2 years old. She is the inspiration for this blog.

joy (noun) –  a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

marvel (noun) – a wonderful or astonishing person or thing

She is most certainly both of these things. Having faced an unsettled start full of upheaval, she is truly remarkable; a marvel. She seizes life with both hands and has brought so much joy.


The next chapter

While I researched furiously and soaked up all the information I could find about helping adopted children settle and thrive, I also found myself being more and more drawn to blogs and stories about children learning at home. In particular I have been inspired by the Waldorf philosophy, Charlotte Mason’s writings and Reggio Emilia’s approach. I don’t know if my daughter will go to school or not yet, but I do know with certainty that I want to incorporate a sprinkling of these lovely ideas into her childhood. As well as her bringing joy and marvel into my life, my biggest hopes for her are that her life will be filled with joy and marvel. Our starting point will always be the natural world.

marvel (verb) – be filled with wonder or astonishment