​​​​Meet our Staff

Tanya Collins Appleton

Director of Learning in the Woods

Tanya is a self professed "Born Again Naturalist" who has fallen in love with the natural world all over again alongside her son. She is a strong believer in the transformative power of nature connection. Tanya is a former high school teacher and current homeschooling mom.
Before teaching, she worked at performing arts camps with children and teens and facilitated anti-discrimination workshops with middle-schoolers throughout Halton. Tanya is passionate about child-led learning and creating respectful and peaceful relationships with children and adults.

Soren Cowie

Learning in the Woods Facilitator

​Soren is passionate about urban farming and he brings his knowledge about outdoor survival skills and foraging to Learning in the Woods.  He grew up in an unschooling family and understands how to balance needs in multi-age environments.  Soren is also musically creative and we look forward to finding ways to incorporate his many talents into the fold at We Learn Naturally!

Jessica Carrasco

Learning in the Woods Facilitator

Jessica was born in Santiago, Chile and she moved to Canada in 2005. When her daughter was born in 2008, she didn’t know homeschooling was possible, so she struggled a lot thinking that she would have to send her to school. Then she met Lenore, who told her about unschooling and she just jumped up and down with happiness. She feels that taking care of her child 24/7 has taught her more about human nature and about herself than any other lesson she has ever had. By looking out for her daughter's well-being she has found her own, and now she feels more connected to life, people and nature than ever before. Mindsight, nutrition and brain development has been her main focus along this path, but most of all, taking her daughter everywhere to explore the world and learn from real life experiences. Jessica is a plastic artist and a writer. She has published two books for children and has a column in a Latin Magazine called Upbringing and Learning (crianza y aprendizaje) in Halton Region. She also has studied Social Development and Educational Management.

Grace Workman-Porecki

Learning in the Woods Facilitator

Grace appreciates the humor and "in the moment" experiences she gains from hanging out with learning and developing brains. When Grace has free time she enjoys playing the ukulele and piano, teaching her dog new tricks and hanging around on her aerial silk. She is a lover of animals, nature and having a good time. She is always up for an adventure. She loves traveling, talking, meeting new people and making new experiences. She is excited to get to know everyone in the We Learn Naturally community!!!

​Shooma Orzechowski

Learning in the Woods Facilitator

Shooma is a registered ECE, DJ, and a kid favorite at Learning in the Woods.  He loves working with young children, coffee, and cats.  Shooma's experiences of love and connection in his own family and his self-directed learning educational experiences make him well-suited for this line of work!

Lesley Sardo

Life Strategy Coach for Baby Connect Program

Lesley is a life coach specializing in topics related to women in transition through her company Collaborative Coaching.  Before becoming a life coach, Lesley was a teacher, so she understands the motivation behind We Learn Natuurally to create educational alternatives.  She loves spending time with her kids and husband at home in Burlington and in sunny Florida.

Erin Fleming
We Learn Naturally Founder, Director of The Barn School
Erin has always been interested in the big questions related to health, happiness, and learning.  She is using her educational background in Kinesiology and Business and work experiences as a public school teacher to help families find happiness, peace, and fulfillment through alternative learning. Erin is a certified Attached at the Heart Parent Educator through Attachment Parenting International and an Infant and Toddler Sleep Educator and Consultant (for those parents who want an alternative to cry-it-out methods).  Her parenting education website is Nurturing Family Education.  She also appreciates Nonviolent Communication, RIE, and Gentle/Positive Parenting approaches when working with children.

Carolyn Ralph

Connection Architect, The Barn School

Carolyn is a connector - passionate about developing human capacity for positive personal, social and global change; dedicated to peacefully advocating for children and for parents who are drawn towards compassionate parenting. A mother of 2 homeschooled children of her own, she was introduced to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) while her daughter was in school and she felt compelled to use this process of compassionate communication to affect change in her world. Having completed her undergraduate degree in medical anthropology and a post graduate certificate in complementary medicine, she is now pursuing post graduate studies at McMaster's School of Social Work and is currently engaged in research regarding Adultism, which is defined as the favoring of adults by dismissing young people, and privileging the values, attitudes, beliefs and actions of adults, which leads to discrimination against youth and children (Fletcher, 2015). She sees her role with We Learn Naturally as a facilitator of connection – assisting others who are seeking a paradigm shift in how we relate to ourselves, others, our world and especially - our children. She was drawn to We Learn Naturally because of her "vocational arousal" - her need to practice peace through creating communities that are rooted in nourishing and caring for each individual.

Jessi Potter Michaud
​Back-up Facilitator

Chelsea Bohnert:  Advisor and Blog Contributer

Ellen Roy:  Advisor and Learning in the Woods Back-up Facilitator

Meaghan Jackson:  Advisor and Learning in the Woods Back-up Facilitator