Scheveningen, Netherlands, 1956
I was born in Den Haag, Netherlands. My family immigrated to the USA in 1956. I started third grade a few weeks after we arrived in the States. I knew very little English – I could count to 100 and could say and understand the word street.
I wish I could remember how I learned to read in English. All I know is that within a few months, I was taking books out of the town library to read. I began to read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The third grade class I was placed in was making butter as part of the related activities of reading the book. I thought this was fun. Years later I lived on a 40 acre farm in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada and milked goats, made cheese, and trained a work horse to work in harness. Those Little House books had had a great influence.
Before writing my book about learning at home, I was a La Leche League Leader for many years, helping mothers breastfeed their babies. After writing and publishing my book and as my children reached their late teen, early twenty years, I became an infant massage instructor and taught new parents how to massage their babies just as I had massaged my own babies years before. The baby massage classes showed me that there was a need in my community (Victoria, BC) for a program of songs and fingerplays for parents and their babies, so I developed and taught one. It is such a delight when I go to the grocery store now, to unexpectedly meet moms who remember me from those classes and introduce me to their babies who are now preteens and teens. Because I taught these classes fairly recently, I recall many of the fingerplays and recite them when I play with my grandchildren.
- What do you suppose? A bee sat on my nose.
- Then what do you think? He gave me a wink
- And said, “I beg your pardon. I thought you were the garden.”
When I was teaching Games to Play With a Baby and Baby Massage, I also spoke and led workshops at homeschooling/unschooling conferences in various parts of the US and Canada.
I created needle felted snow friends to sell as a fundraiser for my local food bank. With the assistance of the photography skills of my son, Noah Layne, I published a children’s picture book, The Happy Snow Friends Counting Book, that continues my tradition of fundraising for food banks.
Contact – info @ marty layne. com (remove the spaces)