Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc.

Behind the Scenes at AHEM: Milva McDonald

This series profiles the volunteer board members of AHEM who answer your phone calls and emails; keep the AHEM website updated; follow MA legislation; maintain the homeschool policy and practice database; and dream up and make happen events and programs like Fall Fair, Spring Fling, Getting Started Homeschooling workshops, regional coops, and the Slow Homeschooling podcast.

Milva McDonald, cooking up something tasty in her bustling kitchen.

Milva lives with her husband in a big old house in Medford, where various dear friends and adult children come and go on a regular basis. She started homeschooling her four kids, who range in age from 19 to 33, after her eldest child’s disappointing time in kindergarten. While that experience led her to homeschooling, she stayed with it because, well, it’s a wonderful life! Her family’s active, community-based, child-led style made for a bustling household, filled with books, music, meetings, lively discussions, and above all, play. Her home has been the site of countless homeschool support meetings, book and writing clubs, puppet shows, house concerts, parties, potlucks, and rehearsals of Shakespeare plays. She enjoys helping others on their homeschooling paths, so co-founding AHEM in 2003 was a no brainer. She’s led creative writing workshops for homeschooled kids for many years, and continues to be inspired by their enthusiasm, creativity, and sparkling individuality. Milva recorded many of her thoughts and adventures in Unschoolers, a work of fiction she co-authored with Sophia Sayigh, and Slow Homeschooling: Short Essays About Mindful Homeschooling. She continues to write about homeschooling, unschooling, and education on her blog, A Potluck Life.