Farrar Williams, Consulting Muse
Farrar Williams is a longtime educator who left the classroom to homeschool her twin sons. She’s now eight years into her homeschool journey, and is excited to be coaching and helping others individualize education for their own families.
Farrar received her undergraduate degree in history from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and her master’s degree in education and teaching from Goddard College, where she focused on alternative approaches to education. She has been lucky enough to have a wide variety of experience in the classroom, including teaching at a traditional public high school and at an elementary school in China. She spent the longest part of her career at a small Quaker middle school that catered to kids who didn’t fit into traditional schools, and Farrar continues to bring the core educational values of Quaker education — a strong emphasis on the child as an individual learner with individual needs, and on education as an ongoing process, not as a product — to her work.
Farrar doesn’t believe that any one approach or curricula is right for all families. She has an extensive knowledge of different curricula, resources, and philosophies, and has developed her own curricula. She also has experience with alternative forms of assessment. Crafting individualized plans and routines that really work is a particular passion of Farrar’s. She is an expert on children’s and young adult literature, and on incorporating good books into learning.
Farrar has headed the online homeschool community for Washington, D.C.-area homeschoolers, taught theater classes, at different local arts programs, coached Destination Imagination, and helped run a small, family-centered learning co-op. She currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she writes fiction and blogs about home-based education at I Capture the Rowhouse.
“I’ve known Farrar for a long time and watched the way she has worked with her boys. Her kids are engaged and they do all sorts of cool stuff in her household. She’s been an inspiration for a numbers of years. For a variety of reasons, my family chose an unschooling non-academic approach (with outside classes thrown in). However, we now have a high school freshman and are stepping up the formal academics because he wants to be ready for college. He’s doing more and we have to do more record keeping than ever before.
Farrar came over one evening and talked us through time management strategies to implement with him. She listened carefully to what our daily life is like and then gave us really good ideas for helping us get started with a day planner and ways to help our son manage his own time and for us to monitor what he’s up to. She also knows curriculum well and helped us choose one to get our son on track to high school math. Her suggestion to make math a one hour a day commitment has helped us all get moving. Fortunately, our son is motivated so we are not fighting any battles, but without Farrar’s recommendations we might still be flailing around trying to figure out how to get started. She has her own philosophy for her kids, but was very receptive to where we are and what our lifestyle and philosophy are. She made suggestions that fit our life and was not pushy or judgmental about what she thought we “should” be doing.“
– parent of a homeschooled high schooler.