Hello and welcome to Castle View Academy (formerly Crystal’s Tiny Treasures). My name is Crystal McClean. I’m mother to two wonderful children; Tristan aged 12 Kallista aged 9 and wife to my loving husband, Phil.
I attended the University of Regina, Canada; convocating in 1997 with an honours degree in Psychology (specialising in development , children and adolescents and those with special needs) with a minor in North American Indigenous Studies. I also received a certificate in Business Administration in 2001 while working for the University’s sports department.
Needing a bit of a change, I went to Japan to teach English from 2001 to 2003, mostly to children from 3-15. I met the most wonderful people, some of whom I’m still in touch with. I travelled to all 4 of the main islands and many places in between. It was an amazing time and I left a part of my heart in Toyama.
I came to Northern Ireland in 2003 and through my job I met Phil. I was already making plans to leave the country….isn’t that the way it goes!
After our mountain-top Canadian wedding, we were very quickly blessed with our little sprout, Tristan, who was born over 11 weeks premature. To see his story and how the tiny treasures name was born, click here. Two years later Tristan became a big brother to Kallista (born only 3.5 weeks early). This was a trying time in our lives, and we have been fortunate that there haven’t been any developmental issues with Tristan. It has been interesting to watch him learn and grow, achieving each developmental milestone as he should.
We have now found ourselves on the home education path to learning. It wasn’t something I’d considered until after Tristan was born. Children here in Northern Ireland start nursery school as young as 2 years 10 months old, and mandatory education begins from the age of 4. This, among many, many other reasons had us thinking about it. I enjoyed my time so much with my children we just continued on having fun together. Like every family there are challenges, but they aren’t any different from the usual growing pains.
Tristan loves everything Lego! When he’s not “actively learning” he can be found dismantling and upgrading his Lego creations. He also loves crafts and this is definitely a way to bond with him. Sitting down together, taking our time, and making something creative is one of our favourite things to do together.
Kallista loves to dance and ride her bike. She knows what she likes. Currently, she’s trying to learn to wink ‘with one eye’ like her big brother! Kallista loves to try new things. Foreign languages seems to be her niche. I love languages, but I’m just not very good at them. I’m so glad to have children who enjoy learning about cultures and the world.
Phil loves to watch movies, with Star Wars and Superman at the top of the list. The figures you may see in the background of photos are his – not Tristan’s! Phil’s newest hobby is to create his own animated movies using ‘Blender’. Each morning Tristan will ask his Daddy what he did with it the night before.
It will be interesting to see where the future leads us. But come along for the ride and join in the fun along with us. The more the merrier!