Foundation for child-rearing guided by personal struggle
“Who Are You?”
Page Olson’s drive to seek to understand first stems from her own experience as a challenged learner in a formal academic classroom and a parent who witnessed the same struggles in her own oldest child. Page believes in life-long-learning. She believes the passion for live-long-learning begins with the environment the child is immersed in from birth. She believes the power of seeking to understand makes all the difference in a child’s life 15 to 20 years later. She knows the best way to fight fear is through knowledge.
For over twenty years, she has brought her unique style of listening to and observing children to different types of activities and groups, including:
- A natural horsemanship school for kids: creating the curriculum and being the primary instructor.
- Cub Scouting: she took the existing Cub Scout curriculum and adapted it for three different cub packs focusing on accommodating the needs of the family. For two of these cub packs she was also Cub Master.
- Homeschooling: she spent 13 years homeschooling her children. She developed many unique strategies to help them discover and explore their interests, innate talents and passions.
- Joint volunteer planning and running of community events and day camps:
- Family based activities, including: Cardboard Box Challenges (2015 &2015) in conjunction with Seattle Parks and Recreation and co-chaired the Pioneer Square Fire Festivals (2010-2014).
- Different types of week-long day camps for kids under 10 including: pony camps and cub scouts
Founder of Innovative Play For Kids LLC
Page grew up in a home where academics were considered a cornerstone of the future, but not to the extent it overshadowed the importance of child-driven learning. Her home had no television. In their early years she and her siblings explored, experimented, and tinkered. School, however was a different world; she felt humiliated, misunderstood and embarrassed because she was not able to perform as was “expected”. She had a difficult time especially with reading; multiplication tables; and rote memorization. She put in long hours studying, but still was not able to demonstrate on tests when she really knew. No one took the time to help her understand how she learned. During her only year in college, a professor told her “You are smart but there is something wrong with you.” She was dismissed after that first year. Page was devastated. It would be decades before she could look back with clarity and understand how differently she saw things.
Her saving grace were activities and opportunities that occurred outside the formal school setting. These experiences provided opportunities for information and wisdom provided by generational connections. Through her activities, she had opportunities to meet influential people who would eventually lead her to a very interesting investigative career at which she excelled.
In her early 30’s, Page was blessed with two child born 20 months a part. Determined her children were not going to be misunderstood, she found herself wondering, “Who are you?” At birth, Page made each child a promise – to seek to understand first. This became the driving force behind the family’s child-rearing style. After her son experienced behavioral changes in preschool, Page discovered and became a student of understanding dyslexia – both her own and her son’s. As kindergarten neared, Page and her husband made the decision to home school their children. As a result she also learned how to raise a child who engaged in the world with a very different temperament and learning style than her own.
Learning from her own experiences, she encouraged and supported an innovative, explorative and linguistically rich learning environment for her children. She spent time actively seeking to understand them; pursuing positive generational role models for her children; and encouraging connections that focused on their interests and strengths. These connections, experiences, and opportunities lead to child-directed, child-motivated paths based on career interests, in an environment that supported how they learned. Both children, now in their early 20’s, became involved in self-chosen community service activities as teenagers; successfully made the transition to post K-12 formal academic education; and continue to happily pursue their own individual journeys as they enter the work-force based on their own unique individual temperaments, passions and interests.
Many of the parents Page has come into contact with have commented, we love what you do with our children but we can’t do what you do. To help parents learn how “to do what she does” Page founded Innovative Play for Kids LLC.
Along with raising her two children Page has a passion for outdoor activities such as hiking and canoeing
history, genealogy, and rescuing animals – 4 horses, 3 dogs and multiple barn cats to date.