Lawrence Lefcort

I was born in Montreal in the anglophone community. My years in elementary school were not easy. From an early age, like many kids, I had a lot of energy and had a hard time sitting still in my grade 1 classroom. I would always excitedly talk to my neighbour sitting next to me. This resulted in numerous trips to the Principal’s office… at the tender age of six!

If I had been given the choice, I would have much rather stayed at home. At school, I craved attention and was often the class clown. I realize now that it was because I missed being home with my family that I so often cried out for attention at school. I’m sure I was not alone. 

High school was no better as I never really had the opportunity to follow my true interests and passions. I got good grades, but was not really interested in anything I was studying. As a result, heading into university I had no idea what really motivated or interested me, nor what I enjoyed doing in life. This would have to wait until I hit my early thirties. 

I do not want my son (nor other children) to repeat what I experienced, which is why I am passionate about Champ Libre. I do not want him to go through endless hours of boredom that accompany school life. I want him to be free of stress, competitiveness, bullying, and emotional exhaustion.

I believe that the competitive, judgmental, and individualistic nature of our schools is one of the primary reasons for the current state of the world. I believe that it is through the unschooling of future generations that we will be able to create a world based on cooperation, sharing, and well-being for all.

In my twenties, I lived and travelled throughout South and Southeast Asia, studying yoga and various forms of meditation along the way. I eventually developed a great passion for Shiatsu and thanks to fortuitous circumstances, I met Ryokyu Endo, founder of the International Tao Shiatsu Society, at a workshop in Montreal. I am now a Tao Shiatsu therapist and teacher, and I also offer personal growth and positive thinking workshops to children and adults.

Anne Mergault

I spent the first 20 years of my life in Brittany, France, by the sea. After completing a year of university in Letters and Languages, I had a strong desire to take a break and travel. Therefore, I set sail for Quebec…and here I still am 23 years later!

I lived 13 years in Montreal and worked for several years in event planning and management. However, my intuition led me elsewhere: to become a yoga teacher. I met Lawrence, my life partner and, eager to live in nature and slow down our rhythm of life, we decided to move to the Eastern Townships. Not long after, our son was born. 

Parenting is for me a huge springboard for evolution: above all, it allows me to listen to and respect what is most sensitive and alive in me. This has led me to rethink many of the conditionings I identified with, especially education! Guided by my intuition, once again, I read extensively, was inspired by numerous research studies, and attended several impactful alternative education conferences. All this allowed me to confirm what I felt instinctively, and to evolve in consciousness. 

While we have been accompanying our son on the homeschool path for 8 years now, he has proven time and again that by trusting him, by simply answering his questions (without anticipating them or asking them for him), offering him complete support, he can evolve in the most authentic and fulfilled ways. He has demonstrated to us that children are fundamentally good and curious, and that they seek to forge links with the world around them. He has shown us that learning operates constantly, at its own unique rhythm. 

This is why the vision of Champ Libre resonates with me so much. Champ Libre embodies the greatest respect we can offer to the spontaneous tendencies of human beings. For me, Champ Libre is a societal project that will allow all generations who take part to cultivate inner peace and a joy of being. 

I will be present at the center one day a week and will also be available to support parents in their interactions with the Homeschooling Department at the Quebec Ministry of Education (Direction de l’École Maison du Ministère de l’Éducation).