More about Page Olson
Page was raised in a home with no TV. A home where academics were considered a cornerstone of a child’s future but not to the extent it overshadowed the importance of child-driven learning. In her early years, Page and her siblings enjoyed countless hours playing, engaged in a wide variety of experiences, “bumping into new things”, and exploring, tinkering and experimenting with their new found information.
Once Page started formal school in kindergarten her life changed. She began to feel as if she was living a double life. One that was in school and one outside of school.
After being publically humiliated by her kindergarten teacher for not being able to memorize the months of the year in order, Page knew she was different. The way she was told “how to learn” did not fit “how she learned”. By first grade, she felt misunderstood and that no one really cared. Even though Page put in extra hours studying, her test scores and other work never showed how much she actually knew. After graduating from Lakeside School, it was off to college. That lasted one year. Her grades were horrible and a college professor told her she was smart but there was something wrong with her. She did not know how she learned or that how she learned was different from others. It would not be until later in her adult life that she would come to discover and understand her unique way of learning.
Her saving grace were experiences, activities, and opportunities that happened outside the formal classroom. “Bumping” into things she found interesting, she was encouraged, and supported, especially by her mother, to explore those interests for as long and as in-depth as she chose. It was this exploration and experimentation into interests that eventually lead her to a very successful professional career.
Along the way, in her later 20’s, Page started riding and working with horses. This began her journey into observing behaviors as a messenger. By observing the behaviors of different horses, both while riding and watching them in the fields, she started to understand them as individuals with their own unique personalities. She also realized at any given time their behaviors were a window into their emotional well-being at that moment. Instead of forcing her will on them she learned how to work with them to help them through difficult times, learning when to let go and when to push through. The horses taught her that clear communication, timing, consistency, and follow-through were critically important in building and maintaining healthy relationships.
In her early 30’s Page was blessed with children and made the decision to leave her career to become a stay-at-home mom. Because she never really felt understood by anyone, her parenting style was to seek to understand first by asking questions beginning with “Why is…” or “Why does…” rather than questions beginning with “How do I…” or “What do I…” Seeking to understand by listening to behaviors, observing the children at child-led play, applying what the horses had taught her, and offering a multitude of different experiences, Page and her children developed close trusting relationships. This was how she knew what to do when her son struggled in preschool – remove him.
In seeking to understand, Page discovered both her and her son’s brains are wired differently. While their learning styles and strengths have differences, both fall under the “dyslexic label.” This lead to an unexpected but very successful cosmopolitan homeschooling journey.
Learning from her own experiences, she encouraged and supported an innovative, explorative and linguistically rich home environment for her children. As they grew older she encouraged connections that focused on their chosen interests and strengths that included positive generational role models. These connections, experiences, and opportunities were the catalysts for child-directed, child-motivated post K-12 paths that eventually lead to self-chosen fulfilling careers in environments that support who they are.
For over twenty years, Page has brought her unique style of listening and observing children to a wide variety of activities including instructing at and writing interactive hands-on learning curriculum for a natural horsemanship school for kids; pony day camps and birthday parties; involvement in Cub Scouting from starting or helping to start three cub scout packs – one for which she received the District Award of Merit, planning and directing summer day camps, and training cub scout leaders; and since 2004, she has volunteered her time with a non-profit fire-based historical organization where she is past-president, helped start and staff a museum, put together a power-point presentation on the Great Seattle Fire, and is in her seventh year of coordinating a free public Seattle Fire Festival event.
Page enjoys the outdoors: hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing as well as history and exploring historic sites. She is also enjoying delving into her genealogy.
A love for animals led her to rescue horses, dogs, and cats. At present, she has two horses, one dog, and three barn cats. A third horse, owned by a friend recently came for a stay for health reasons.