Things I Want To Shout From The Rooftops!

My homeschool philosophy or
Things I want to shout from the rooftops or
Things I seem to say over and over….by Kim McIntyre

1. If you’ve decided to embark on the homeschool journey, good for you! If YOU call yourself a homeschooler, I will too. Who am I to say otherwise? And being a homeschooler does NOT mean I am anti other schooling. Thank goodness we have choices.

2. There is no right or perfect way to do it. There are tons of methods, resources, curricula etc. Chances are what works for one kid won’t work for another. (Maybe even the other kids in your family!) Thankfully, whatever you choose only has to work for your kid. And it only has to work today. It might not work tomorrow and that’s okay because there are tons of methods, resources, curricula, etc.

3. Kids learn ALL the time. Even if it doesn’t really look like it. Even if it doesn’t look like you want it to. Kids often learn in spite of us. Kids’ learning often looks a lot like play and like a lot of fun. Join in! You just might learn a thing or two.

4. You WILL miss things! It’s impossible to teach EVERYTHING. Instead focus on basics (reading, writing & arithmetic), help them figure out their learning style, how to find information and to think critically. Hopefully, you can demonstrate that even adults still need and want to learn things. Hopefully, they will LOVE learning. There is no rush! They have their entire life.

5. High school is just a continuation of what you’ve been doing. Or maybe you are just starting…if so, good for you (see #1)! In some ways it is easier because the kids already know the basics and can clearly express their interests and preferences. (Oops, sometimes that makes it harder!) It’s really great when they can drive themselves to lessons, classes, and activities. You CAN give them a diploma and transcripts (the important part) are not that hard!

6. Going to college is no more of a challenge for homeschooled students than any others. Colleges have DECADES of experience with homeschoolers! Research and prepare but DO NOT WORRY!

7. Savor this moment because it will not last. If it’s a bad one, it will soon pass. If it’s a good one, it will soon pass. Be kind to your kids. Be kind to yourself. It’s a journey…don’t forget to look at the scenery along the way.

Kim McIntyre is a veteran homeschooler with 17+ years behind her. Her youngest graduated from home in the spring of 2014. She has two degrees from the University of Michigan. Currently living in Great Falls, MT and substitute teaching. Quirky fact: She has lived in four different states, all beginning with the letter M. Wonder what the other two are? 

The Charlotte Mason Method in the Secular Homeschool

Great explanation of homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way for secular homeschoolers! Thanks, Emily!

SEA Homeschoolers - Secular, Eclectic, Academic

“I am, I can, I ought, I will.”*

If you’ve been homeschooling for any amount of time, chances are you’ve heard the name Charlotte Mason. She has made quite a name for herself in the modern homeschool movement, despite the fact she lived over a hundred years ago. Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923) was a British educator who advocated for improving the quality of education for children. She promoted the idea of a “liberal education for all” not just those of a certain social class.

If you’ve ever searched for Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum or information, you probably found a variety of resources that were nearly all Christian in nature. While it may appear that the Charlotte Mason method of home education is not compatible with a secular lifestyle, I strongly disagree. Even though many of her ideas were based on Victorian era Christian ideals, her education methods can and…

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Brain Food for Children: Vital Nutrients and the Foods that Supply Them!

We know the general importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and clean, lean meats for our family’s well-being, but do we know the details? How does zinc really work in the body? What is phosphatidyl choline and where do I find some?

child Head

I would like to share the 10 key nutrients that are helpful for thinking/ scholastic performance, concentration and memory and the foods that carry them. Plus, I would like to address one of the most important pieces for all of these key nutrients to work and that is a good night’s sleep. Before we dive in, I would like to discuss the importance of organic.

The biggest reason for organics, other than not wanting to ingest any pesticide/ herbicide, is the active ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the #1 herbicide spray Round Up. It’s not only used on lawns to kill everything in sight but it’s sprayed on 90% of our soy, wheat, corn, and sugar beets. It’s also fed to our meat supply. The process by which glyphosate operates is to starve the weed of its minerals by 11046811_10206632941048671_8345728619766836734_nbinding the minerals in the soil and preventing them from moving into the plant. This process is referred to as mineral chelation. This chemical is fast absorbing and slow degradation. What we spray today will reside in our soil for up to 20 years. This translates to a severe loss of soil minerals which then depletes minerals in our produce and animal protein. When we ingest glyphosate, it performs the same task within our digestion, leaving us mineral depleted.

Let’s get back to the nutrients!

Zinc – important for fast cognition and sustained attention http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11509102
B vitamins (B1,B6,B12, folate) – boosts I.Q. and improves speed of thinking http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/ss11/cognitive.html
Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, GLA) – improve emotional intelligence and behavior and is considered “food for the brain” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18072818
Phosphatidyl choline – for memory and mental function; used to make acetylcholine as well as B1.B5, B12, and C) http://www.lef.org/Magazine/2011/1/Feed-Your-Brain/Page-01
Phosphatidyl serine– also for memory; used as a “docking port” on neurons where neurotransmitters latch on to deliver messages.
DMAE – makes acetylcholine; reduces anxiety, stops racing mind, improves concentration, promotes learning and may mildly stimulate the brain; enhances memory http://www.lef.org/Magazine/2004/11/aas/Page-01
Glutamine – fuel for the brain; enhances mood and mental performance http://neurogenesis.com/amino-acids/glutamine/
Pyroglutamate – enhances learning by boosting acetylcholine production; boosts receptor sites and improves communication between both hemispheres of the brain.
Vitamin A – improves eyesight which improves hand/ eye coordination and reading skills http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02759/facts-about-vitamin-a
GABA – neurotransmitter made from amino acid glutamine; helps forge the link between memories and calms down an overexcited nervous system http://neurogenesis.com/amino-acids/glutamine/

Foods that Supply These Nutrients

When thinking about what foods to consume that are rich in these nutrients, I had to think like a child. Even though oysters are the best source for zinc, is little Johnny going to belly up to the bar and scarf down some raw oysters with a shot of hot sauce? Probably not, so I’m going to keep it as easy and cost effective as possible. A lot of these foods combine several key nutrients so even better! (Just to reiterate: your best bet to make sure your meats contain a healthy amount of these nutrients is to consume pastured grass-fed beef and chicken and wild-caught fish. Any other source will have minimal to none of these nutrients). Another note: No need to purchase supplements for these nutrients if you are consuming a variety of these foods listed. Supplementation has its place but if you are generally healthy, food should suffice and more is not always better!


Zinc: pumpkin seeds, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, lima beans, buckwheat, hazelnuts, almonds, and gingerroot.
B Vitamins: brown rice, dark green leafy vegetables, pecans, almonds, chicken, fish, eggs, beef, bananas, cabbage
Omega- 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA): cold water fish such as wild caught salmon, sardines, anchovy, flax seeds, chia seeds
Phosphatidyl choline: salmon, eggs, beef and milk (low fat milk defeats getting PC. Organic whole is where it’s at)
Phosphatidyl serine: white beans and soybeans (fermented soy is even better such as tempeh and tofu), milk, and eggs
DMAE: salmon, anchovies, and sardines
Glutamine: your body makes glutamine (non-essential amino acid) but certain situations can deplete it so outside sources include, beans, cottage cheese (grass fed), parsley, and cabbage
Pyroglutamate: found in meats, fruits, vegetables
Vitamin A: carrots, dried apricots, kale, sweet potatoes, parsley, spinach, mangoes, cantaloupe, and broccoli
GABA: green tea and fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi (my kids like fermented pickle and cabbage shreds on their burgers. They have no idea its cabbage)

Last, but most important to our children, is a good night’s sleep. I know from experience it’s much easier for me to tell you the importance of sleep than actually making this happen. Sleep is vital for all of these nutrients to work. Our bodies need that time to regenerate and heal from the day’s depletion of resources. Here is a list of nutrients and foods that will promote good sleep:

Calcium and magnesium- dark leafy greens, seeds, nut milks
Reduce/ eliminate sugar consumption
B vitamins- brown rice, lentils, beans
Tryptophan- chicken, cheese, eggs
Melatonin- brown rice, oats, bananas

Beyond food, a good routine also helps. Make sure your child gets plenty of sunshine and fresh air daily, electronics removed one hour before bedtime, soothing bathing routine, reading (to or on their own), darkened room and if a little lavender helps, you can add this to the bed sheets!


Courtney Ellis, CNTP, MNT is a holistic Nutrition Therapist in Denver, Colorado. Her practice focuses on getting to the root cause of symptoms and educates clients on nutrition therapies specific to his/her individualized needs. In her free time, Courtney enjoys the Colorado outdoors with her husband and two children. She is also currently building her practice and website, in the meantime, she can be reached at Root Functional Nutrition (303) 895-8589. If she doesn’t answer right away she might be with a client or she could be off on a run, or hula hooping her little heart out!C Ellis


A Public School Teacher Speaks from the Heart to You ~ the Homeschooler

Mark Twain has famously said, or has been said to have said, something along the lines of, you should not let school get in the way of your education.

quote-Mark-Twain-i-have-never-let-my-schooling-interfere-100661_1 I was blessed to have been born into a family which held this attitude. Also, I was fortunate to have lived in places, where outside of school, there were a plethora of educational opportunities. My parents took me in and out of school to allow me adventures and opportunities that sitting in a classroom would never have allowed. The schools were fine with this. There was a time when there was some mutual respect between parents and school, but in the age of accountability, much of that has gone away. Restrictive absence regulations are in place. Why? Every minute your child spends in a hard plastic chair equals a modicum of progress in the educational Holy Grail – the end of grade tests. I have a passion for what I do; I am a public middle school teacher. I do believe that what I do makes a difference.

However, I know I am working within a flawed system. Hundreds of articles by other teachers attest to the fact that many teachers feel the same way. Until education reform is based on a philosophy that holds the child above all else, rather than on political agendas, this will be the case. As a teacher, I can say that what public schools and most private schools are good at is educating a large population at one time. The hitch is this means there is little room to recognize or sculpt curriculum to a child’s individual needs. If your child has no individual needs, public school is a great place for him. Oh, wait! All children have individual needs. This is why, as a public middle school teacher, I make every attempt to find out my children’s talents and interests, but in a class of 25 plus, I would be lying if I told you that I could really build on those each and every minute they are in my class.

If I discover your child has a passion for nature photography, I can’t haul the entire class out to the Arboretum to help cultivate that passion, while linking it to lessons in optics, botany, biology and writing, then have them all back at school in an hour for their next class. These limitations are the main reasons that I think homeschool parents should feel good about the choices they are making for their child’s education. Yet, there are others. Public school education, even at the lowest grade levels allows for very little physical activity. Recess time has been whittled down to allow more time in class to allow for higher test scores. From this arises a whole host of problems for children such as over diagnosing of hyperactivity and attention disorders, emotional disorders, and to me the worse, children hating school — hating learning. Learning, the great joy of many of our lives, made a hated thing?

Perhaps one of the most hurtful policies is the pushing of advance learning goals to lower and lower grades. For instance, reading in pre-K. Most children are not ready to read for many years after that. Boys especially may not be ready to read until they are seven or eight. My own father never really read until he was ten. When he did begin to read his love of reading and his skill was a force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, my son read at two. He was the unique one though, not like my father and his slower progress. These years of non-reading garnered my father shame and scorn. He thought he was stupid. This is a situation that more children are facing now because of the reading standards are pushed even lower.

In our test crazed system, children are expected to progress according to the standards, not their own unique timetable. However, these standards are not compatible with child development. As I said before, I try to get to know my students and what drives them. I must admit that I can do little with this knowledge and the knowledge I gain is imperfect. You, the parent, KNOW your child. You know what is best for them. If you have misgivings about your choice to homeschool or unschool, this incontrovertible fact should give you heart. You know your child. You know what is best for him or her.

As a final salve let us list some people who were homeschooled and did okay: Thomas Jefferson, Louisa May Alcott, Teddy Roosevelt…feel free to continue the list.

Lisa Hope Vierra-Moore

I have always thought of myself as a homeschooler who sent her children to school. In my upbringing as an “Army Brat,” I have experienced just about any educational environment you can think of. The good, the bad, and the train wrecks. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany in the early sixties and moved often from that point on. As a teacher I have taught high school English, psychology, world history and philosophy. For the last 10 years I have taught 7th grade English Language Arts. I received my undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College. I am a great lover of literature and the arts. Creating whimsical art from found objects, painting, cooking and family fun fill up my non-work time.


Zen and the Art of Homeschooling from an Improv Perspective

Zen and the Art of Homeschooling from an Improv Perspective

Your suggestion is “write me a blog entry.” Go!

It’s 9:30 a.m. on a homeschool day, and I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. The kids are still asleep, which means I have time to finish this article. And by “finish” I mean “actually write.” But the hard work is done; I have a title.

Laugh if you will, and I will say the title is the most important part of the article: it gives the writer appropriate context, so that as she is filling up the Word Processor, she will not spill out so many random thoughts. More importantly, it narrows the available options on what to write from infinity to a much more manageable set.

This is one of many little hacks that I have learned from practicing, performing, and teaching improv. People who take improv classes are often surprised to find that improv is so much more than getting up and being funny. It changes you. The skills and techniques that improv is based around are incredibly valuable in business, life, and —yes — homeschooling.

Much has already been written about the value of improv for business leaders and school-age kids. Even the single improv lesson on learning to fail can have a significant positive impact on kids.

And this post isn’t about helping the kids to grow, Mom and/or Dad. It’s about you.

And how you can benefit from taking improv classes (even if you never, ever intend to perform), or at least read and practice the techniques (sometimes called “rules of improv”). Improv is great for parents in the same way ballet helps football players: it strengthens the auxiliary and complementary muscles that help with balance and strength.

Let’s go through those techniques and see how they apply to being a homeschooler:

“Yes, and”
Of all the improv “rules” this is easily the most recognizable, thanks in large part to Tina Fey. The premise is simple: when you use the word “but” it stalls the dialog. In improv, it means the scene is usually over. In life — and I have found especially with teens — it means the conversation is over (and not generally on good terms).

This simple change is so powerful, it has its own book and is a centerpiece of today’s communication coaching for business leaders. It does not mean you must accept what the other person suggests. It is simply a way to affirm what the other person is saying, in order to bring the conversation together. Consider:

Kid: I just want to play Minecraft!
Parent: Yes, but you still have school work to do.

Although perhaps not intended, this response from the parent carries the weight of an either/or proposition. Using the word “but” tends to polarize our thinking: in this case, the kid is likely to now think of the situation as one where he can play Minecraft or do schoolwork, but not both.

Kid: I just want to play Minecraft!
Parent: Yes, and you may when your schoolwork is done.

It is a small change, and it will yield surprisingly positive results both in you and your kids!

Let it go
Don’t let the Disney association fool you: “Let it go” is more than an auditory virus that you can’t seem to shake. Zen masters and improvisers know the value in not being attached to particular outcomes. In improv — unlike scripted sketches or plays — we never know where a scene will go. All we can do is be present, listen to our scene partner, and make good choices for the now, trusting that whatever comes will be worthwhile.

Yeah, it does sound a lot like life. Especially homeschooling, where many of us begin the process before we fully understand it.

There are far too many outside pressures pushing you to have very specific, measurable outcomes. Don’t let that keep you from following your good instincts and moving forward. And the best way to “let it go” is to embrace your inevitable failures.

There are no mistakes, only opportunities
One of my kids is, and has always been, a bit anxious. A few years ago, at Christmas, the whole extended family was sitting around the table playing cards. When it came E’s turn to play, he froze. “I don’t know which one is the best to play.” Several adults offered up suggestions, without much success. I turned to E and said, “Remember our motto.”

Almost immediately, E smiled and played a card, no longer concerned about the best possible play. My brother asked, “OK, I have to ask. What is your motto?”

E beamed and said, “We suck, and we love to fail!”

This is always the hardest technique for adults to really buy into, probably because we weren’t taught how to fail as kids. Although recognizing failure as something to be embraced has been gaining traction recently, there’s still a great deal of stigma associated with it. The problem with shying away from the failures isn’t that you’ll make fewer of them, it’s that you won’t see the opportunities that are available from them.

In an improvised scene, if everyone has dialog that is appropriate and normal, the scene will probably be fairly dull. When someone makes a mistake — by saying a phrase the wrong way, or using the wrong word when they meant something else — we all move toward the mistake. Because that’s where something interesting happened. And more importantly, because we all support each other on stage, we know that we can make that mistake something amazing!

You probably already encourage your kids to explore, to take risks, and to revel in and learn from the mistakes they make. How about giving yourself the same grace? After all, how better to demonstrate that failure is not permanent nor shameful than letting them see it in their parents?

Stop bridging
This technique is for those of you who are considering homeschooling, and haven’t yet decided to do it — perhaps because you’re worried about your qualifications, or your patience, or whatever. Stop bridging.

The term “bridging” is when you know you need to get to the other side of the river, but instead of just crossing it, you spend time building a bridge. In a scene, often when we all know (including the audience) that a particular character has to die, or that two characters are going to rob a bark, or whatever. Bridging is when we stall or otherwise over-plan without actually getting there. People do that a lot in life, too.

Building the bridge helps us to feel like we are getting something done, without actually having to cross the river. Because getting to the other side is often a little scary, and — perhaps more significantly — we’re worried that we might fail once we actually get there.

Now that you accept failure as a necessary AND AWESOME part of life, there’s no need to keep bridging. Jump in, swim across, and be done with it. You’ll figure out what you need to figure out once you’re there!

…and that’s scene!
I badgered my wife to take improv classes. It’s true. I’m not proud of it, but I am glad I did it. I had been doing improv for a while, and finally convinced her that the skills would be useful in her writing (she’s a writer, so it was a brilliant argument on my part). When she finally gave in, she made sure I understood that she had “absolutely no interest in performing.”

She’s a full cast member now and performs most weekends. And she’s hilarious.

See, you don’t have to be a “comedian” or the person always making jokes to be great at improv. You just have to learn how to give and receive support, to trust in yourself and your scene partners, to give up on knowing how things will go, and to embrace mistakes. If you can do that, you’ll make some great improv comedy.

Funny thing is, it’ll also help you make some great homeschooling.

Carey Head is a writer, improviser, entrepreneur, minor league humorist, homeschooler, and generally opinionated scuttlebug. He lives in Belmont, NC with his wife, three boys, dog, cat, cockatiel, and assorted insecurities. He loves long lists and the Oxford comma.

You can find outdated information on him at http://careyhead.me

Happy April Fools’ Day! Get out there and laugh!

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhots.net

5 Purely Random Meditations on Homeschooling

I came into homeschooling by chance. It was by chance that my second child was born with a learning difference. It was also by chance that, in the third grade, he landed one exceptionally bad teacher in an otherwise exceptionally good school. So it happened that one warm, sunny April afternoon, without having any previous notion I would be homeschooling ANY of my children, he and I sat looking at each other in shock and disbelief. I think we were both wondering if I had just really told the principal he wouldn’t be returning the next day, or any other day for that matter.

I remember everything feeling very surreal as I drove directly to the public library, and checked out all they had on homeschooling (3 books). We went home like any other afternoon, except that the largest shift ever, in our family dynamic, had just occurred. It rumbled up from the earth and shook us from our roots, through our core, to our tiny budding leaves.

Fast forward a few years; now that I’m a veteran homeschooler of exactly 1 child, I can reflect on the new life that has emerged for us. As a result, I have strung together 5 seemingly unrelated, but nonetheless profound ~ to me ~ meditations on homeschooling. Maybe, some of these are familiar to you too.

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhots.net

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhots.net

1. Those fears I had about homeschooling were unfounded.

Anyone who has considered homeschooling, even if it was just a fleeting thought, has had these fears: I don’t know if I can do this, I don’t know if my child will learn, I’m afraid I will leave something out, I’m afraid my child and I won’t get along or he/she won’t listen to me, I’m not smart enough, I suck at math (or science, or grammar, or whatever).

I’m relieved to report that I found all of this to be untrue; this doesn’t mean I don’t have to chase away the doubt monster which is always creeping in – but no matter what, when I look at my (mostly) happy, (definitely) thriving child, I know my fears were unfounded. It’s not just test scores that say it. Actually, the test scores are the least important indicator to me that this is working.

It’s the feedback from him in a thousand tangible and intangible ways that let me know those things I was so scared of, on the way to the library that day, were unfounded. It’s also feedback from those around him: his friends, his friends’ parents, the folks at the science center, the youth leaders at the Y, his art teacher, the cashier at the grocery store, other family members, etc. The interactions he has with friends, family, and community put my mind at ease. We can do this. My child is learning. If we discover a hole in our curriculum (geography!), we can pick it up any time. We can get along (almost every day).

I’m no genius, but I am smart enough to facilitate my child’s learning – which is an innate drive within him, as a human being. I am not the vessel of all knowledge that must be poured into his brain. I might suck at math, but I’m excellent at seeking out a curriculum that works for him, and takes the stress off of me – which for us is Teaching Textbooks, at least this year.

2. Except One – Homeschoolers are weirdos.

It’s the most common misconception, right? “Homeschool weirdo” is an actual term. I’m sure it’s in a dictionary somewhere. In my naïve homeschooling infancy, this was one of my fears too. My kid was going to be a homeschool weirdo. But unlike the previous point, this one turned out to be true.

My kid is a total homeschool weirdo.

Because homeschoolers are weird. Just like public schoolers. Because kids are weird, and people are weird, and that’s just a straight up fact.

The first homeschool group function I went to, I looked around at everyone, very carefully evaluating their weirdness. Just as I suspected, it was a strange bunch, and I was fascinated. There were a few religious zealots. There was also the kid who arrived on the back of his mom’s Harley. There were a couple of radicals, who felt all word problems were created by the liberal left, and the ones who had never had a haircut their entire lives. There were the brainy ones, who answered all the questions before the teacher even asked them, and the awkward ones, who shuffled off to the side and didn’t want to interact. There were also the ones that appeared “normal” on the outside, whose eccentricities were below the surface, but were no less real. It didn’t take me long to realize that homeschool kids are weird, just as weird as the tribe of public school kids that we had long been a part of.

3. I love Nickelback.

There. Now it’s out there. Let the internet flames rain upon me. I love the one band everyone in the world seems to agree sucks. But, I have a semi-reasonable justification for it.

With my son at home, I’ve had many more opportunities to experience his evolving person. The way I loved The Wiggles when he was 18 months old, and he would dance and sing along to them like they were gospel – that’s the way I love Nickelback now. To see how he sings every (god awful) word while he sketches. Or watch him put “Photograph” on repeat and jam while he cleans up one million Legos for the one millionth time. I love it. Seriously. I love it because he loves it. If I am in the car, and Nickelback comes on the radio, I turn that sucker up. It’s my way of giving thanks for this parenting opportunity that I might have otherwise missed out on.

4. Child labor is a good thing!

I remember watching Michelle Duggar of reality TV fame, and thinking rather judgmentally that she was running a child labor camp. Every kid had what seemed like an endless list of “jurisdictions” or chores they were responsible for, and most of them involved meetings the needs of younger siblings. I’m not the only person out there who criticized her delegation of duties; it seemed the kids were all mini parents of one another. After becoming a homeschool veteran (smirk), I can say one thing: Mama Duggar was on to something. I’m not about to sprout a quiver-full of kids, though some would argue that my 4 already are, but I will readily admit my opinion has changed.

Here’s the deal. When my son was in school, I felt bad asking him to do any chores at home. He had already been cooped up all day, he had homework to do, and I wanted him to be able to spend time being a kid. Simple chores that he would have been entirely capable of (and benefited from) were left to me or his father. But remember that shift in our family dynamic I mentioned? This was a biggie for me. One of the best things about homeschool is the labor I get out of him. Trash? Done. Bathrooms? Working on it. Dishes, laundry, prepping dinner? He is part of it all. And perhaps the pot of gold at the end of the jurisdiction rainbow – childcare. He helps meet the needs of his younger siblings. He can give baths, read books, change clothes, feed snacks, even play dollhouse if I really need him to. He has successfully calmed a feverish and vomiting toddler when I was unable to get to him. This may have literally been the moment I was most proud of my 11-year-old ~ to see him calmly comforting his little brother, on his lap, while they both sat covered in puke. I just felt like “Hey, this guy is fantastic, and he is gonna grow into an exceptional adult.” He has the opportunity to contribute to our family, and nurture other people in a way he never would have before. I am trying to come up with an academic skill more important than that, and I can’t. Just can’t.

So Michelle Duggar ~ if you are out there. I was wrong. You knew something I didn’t. I admit it!

5. I could totally be Secretary of State.

Actually, I think this one might be true for any parent, but homeschooling just underscored it for me personally.

One day I was a mother of two public school boys, and in a matter of hours I became a homeschooler. I had zero preparation, zero forethought, and very little grasp of what I was getting myself into. That first afternoon, I felt I was sinking. But damn, if I didn’t get a grip on myself and put my big girl panties on, as they say. It was rocky at first, but I figured this gig out. I know I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; worries and doubts cloud my thoughts on a daily basis. But, I went from being completely overwhelmed by what I thought was an unimaginably tall task, to feeling ever so slightly ahead of the 8-ball. Frankly, I believe that the doubt I feel helps keep me accountable to this task. I can always do better.

I’ve had opportunities to gain confidence in my adult life: graduation from college and grad school, accolades and promotions in my professional life, childbirth, maneuvering marriage and family, like we all do. This undertaking though, has given me confidence in ways nothing else has. And I am not kidding when I say that if I woke up tomorrow, to find some apocalyptic circumstance in which I was appointed Secretary of State, I could figure that gig out too.

– A.A.


Anne Alloway is a homeschooling mother of four who gave up personal space a very long time ago.

Timeline History Games Review

Homeschool Gameschool

**I received nothing for this review. This is a product I purchased on my own for use in our homeschooling and I loved it so much I decided to review it.**
timeline game review

Which was invented first, the wheel or fire? The record player or copy machine? Timeline is a game all about discovering world history and with easy & quick game play it makes a perfect game for just about anytime! In this card game for elementary ages and above time and history collide in a way that makes learning history fun.


Timeline is a fantastic series of games made by Asmodee and the premise is simple: make a timeline by placing your cards in chronological order. Simple, right?

Here is how game play works:

-Each Timeline card features a historical event, one side of each card is the fact side. The fact side tells you what date the event occurred…

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