The internet is a wonderful way of connecting with like-minded people, and we love to meet our online friends in real life. When she heard that we were in the area, Pip invited us to visit us in Kerikeri.

We met in town, and Pip told us that they had just received the official paperwork granting an exemption so that they could pull 6yo Tom out of institutional schooling. She and her husband Grant are comfortable with the practice of unschooling. It suits their lifestyle, so they’ll be making new routines over the next couple months with Tom staying at home with his two younger sisters.

Edinboroughs' house, Kerikeri, April 2012
The Edinboroughs live in a rural area near Kerikeri with lots of room for children to roam.

Edinboroughs' house, Kerikeri, April 2012
Before they go into the house, our girls try out the springs on the large trampoline (which also acts as a chook pen).

Pip and Grant Edinborough, April 2012
Pip is a trained physiotherapist, and Grant works as a police officer at the local station.

Pip is the one who introduced us to Jaynie, and they are good friends, fully comfortable at each others’ places. It’s been a privilege to get to know Jaynie and her boys at the Edinboroughs’ home.

Playing in the Edinboroughs' house, April 2012
When Pip's friend Jaynie comes over with her three boys, the house is a full of noise and joy (and a make-shift cubby).

Raife Cummings, April 2012
3yo Raife tries out the linen fort. His mum Jaynie remembers making terrific cubbies in her parents' hay barn.

Eating outside, April 2012
Sending the kids to eat outside is a great way to have a moment of peace in the house.

Our little son is at the age where he catches the eye of many with his smiles. Pip and her daughters have succumbed fully to Elijah’s charms.

Pip and Elijah, April 2012
Pip is happy to cuddle Elijah, and he marks her with his own special brand of baby spew.

Meghan and Elijah, April 2012
20-month-old Meg is enthralled with Elijah and loves to play with him.

It’s been particularly wonderful for our children to be with other kids again — exploring new toys, playing freely and interacting with people their own ages. We love the way our girls have learned to build friendships quickly, and the Edinborough children have been particularly warm and inviting.

Delaney in the swing, April 202
Delaney tries out the canvas outdoor swing. This great model is made by Solvej and is a wonderful alternative to hard plastic toddler swings.

Tom Edinborough, April 2012
Tom finds a monarch butterfly slowing dying outside and brings it in to show everyone.

Kate Edinborough, April 2012
Kate practices writing her name on the dining table. Grant and Pip have painted their dining table with chalkboard paint so the kids can draw on it anytime they feel like it!

Aisha and Max the rabbit, April 2012
Aisha gets close to Max the rabbit. Aisha and Calista received hair cuts today so they don't need to brush their hair so often.

Tom and Brioni playing as pirates, April 2012
After Tom and Brioni dress up as pirates, Brioni retrieves a treasure map she has drawn several weeks ago and stowed in a bag in our truck.

Aisha in a peach dress, April 2012
The Edinboroughs' dress-ups box is the most popular toy in the house during our visit, and this peach dress is a favourite with our girls. Pip says she wore it when she was a flower girl at the age of eight.

Elijah, 5 months old, April 2012
When he's not charming everyone around him with his smiles and chuckles, Elijah continues to work on his crawling skills — usually backing himself into a corner somewhere.

Aisha and Tom playing with lego, April 2012
Tom's room is barred off from toddlers with a child-gate. This keeps all his Lego creations safe, and all the small pieces stay in one room — a win-win solution for son and parents!

It’s wonderful to make contact with the someone who is part of the local homeschooling groups, as I’d like to continue to network with Northland homeschoolers. Our children benefit so much from these special relationships with other homeschooled kids.

When we move on, we know that we won’t be particularly far from the Edinboroughs for long. We’re often in the area, and now we have good friends here too! Thanks for hosting us, Pip and Grant.