Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Laps.
Rebecca Logey says what she wants for Mother’s Day is another lap, or two, or three. And a long, hot bath with Himalayan salt from Nature’s Own.
Other than that, she’s pretty happy with her life; a husband who is a life partner, five beautiful children and one on the way, and a home in a community she loves.
Her children are aged 10 years and younger, which would seem daunting to most people, but Rebecca, who has been a teacher for much of her life, and with the support of Sherman, her husband, manages to create a homeschool/home living situation that is organized and loving.
Along one wall of her home in Nederland five small hand-painted chairs fit into individual cubbies that contain supplies, pictures and books. Each chair has a name painted on the front and a sign language drawing of the name on the back. There are two regular “adult” chairs in the room, for mom and dad. On the floor a large piece of cloth is spread, with a stack of construction paper, paint and brushes.
The children, Xavier, 10, Sky, 8, Airabella, 5, Zenya, 3 and Shem, 18 months, are home-schooled, but join in many community learning projects to augment their education.
Rebecca was drawn to teaching at an early age. She grew up in Sterling, Kansas with an older brother and sister in small rural town. Her single mom ran a daycare center in the house and Rebecca found herself always watching other people’s children.
“When I was 12, I had three different jobs, but I always wanted to teach. When I was little I would line up my stuffed animals and grade them as if they were students. Before I could write, I was a teacher.”
She worked at a Five and Dime store in town and was a nanny. School was easy for her and she got good grades. In her senior year of high school, she participated in a work study program in a daycare center.
When Rebecca was 17 she met Sherm who was 20 at the time and they knew they would live their lives together. After graduating from high school, Rebecca worked as a para-educator for special education kids in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. She and Sherm lived in her mother’s basement while Sherm attended barber college and Rebecca studied Early Education at Barton Community College.
The couple moved to Lawrence, Kansas where Rebecca worked for Head Start and then earned her degree and went to work for the University of Kansas Children’s Education Program.
In 2007, Xavier was born and Rebecca knew that she wanted to be with him in all the stages of his infancy and childhood.
“I wanted to see what his view of the world was. He was amazing to watch. After so many years of watching kids, now I wanted to see the world fresh through new eyes.”
The couple moved back to their home town and Rebecca began watching other people bring their children in at six weeks old and pick them at 5. She spent more day time with the children than their parents did. She decided she didn’t want to do that with her children. So she kept Xavier with her and taught Yoga and Pilates classes.
Sky was born and Rebecca and Sherm bought their own home. The young couple had been growing, changing their view of the world, becoming vegan and learning new values, which were not to be found in the community they lived in.
When they were married, Rebecca and Sherm had honeymooned in Colorado and Sherm’s family lived here. They decided to move. Within two weeks Sherm found a place to live and a job in Firestone.
In February of 2014, they came to Nederland. Their home in Firestone had been flooded by the St. Vrain and they found themselves displaced. They considered moving to Lyons but Sherm had a sudden intuition and the couple put up construction paper signs around Nederland saying they were looking for a place to live.
At this point Sherm was working at the Northside Barber Shop on Arapahoe and a man walked in saying he had never been there before, had walked by and felt the urge to get his hair cut. It turned out he owned an apartment in Nederland that was for rent. Sherm told Rebecca to start packing.
At that time Rebecca decided not to put Xavier in kindergarten. “He was already into his own learning program and I didn’t want to interrupt him, so he stayed home. I wanted my children to be free to learn what they wanted. Every child knows his or her talent, has an individual inclination. They should be enjoying what they do. Adults should pay attention to what their children are good at.”
Rebecca’s dream is to find other adults who are passionate about their hobbies and interests and connect them with kids who want to learn. She believes that it is not necessary for everyone to have the same knowledge. She says Xavier shows an interest in biology and genetics and is constantly seeking to learn more.
Besides studying at home, the children attend home-school programs at the library, have horse lessons at the Rising Sun Ranch, participate in the Mountain Movers dance studio, and work with the Gilpin Robotics Club.
Rebecca likes to say that at home the kids are “unschooling me.” Her life was scheduled until Xavier was born, but now she feels that schedules are not real life.
Although the family has not given into the typical television, devices style living, Rebecca got a lap top so Xavier could hone in on what he needed to do for robotics.
The computer is to be used for specific reasons. It came easy for Xavier. “I believe we have collective consciousness, that kids these days already know how to use a computer, they automatically know how to do it.”
Being a mother involves evolving with one’s children and Rebecca says that she has learned to go to bed every night happy and start each day fresh. She says she makes mistakes but the children are forgiving, they don’t hold onto things.
“Motherhood should be fun. If you get upset, go on. If the kids get upset, they are soon fine. When they are helpful and loving, I tell them.”
And there are times when Sherm comes home after work and the kids are in bed and she can take a hot bath and read. Being a night owl, she uses this time to bring her back into being her own person.
On Mother’s Day, both sets of grandparents will visit, more than eager to sit down and allow their laps to be filled with their granddaughters and baby Shem and to watch their grandsons already becoming responsible for their own decisions and education.