I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

The BEST of The Unlikely Homeschool 2017

The BEST of homeschooling 2017- tons of tips and lots of encouragement

I've got my 2018 calendar spread out on the bed. I'm slowly starting to plug in writing commitments and TO DOs onto the pages. But, I'm determined to be kind to myself by holding the next twelve months loosely, writing only in pencil, or at least in erasable ink.

As I cast a vision for the upcoming year, I can't help but sift through the memories of the last one. 2017 proved lovely for my little space on the web. I've was humbled by the tribe of women who consistently showed up for the conversation here, on Facebook, and on Instagram every single day. They all generously shared their struggles and strengths. Time and time again, their vulnerability was a welcome balm for other mothers walking a similar road. Even when topics got a bit dicey, as they often do on social media, grace was always extended and friendships were kept intact.

Looking back

Certain topics and ideas hit more nerves than others. In case you missed out on any of them or are relatively new to the party, here's a peek at the Top 12 most talked about posts from the last 365 days.

Why I Don't Give My Kids Tests- I had a conversation with an extended relative recently. She drilled me on the quirks and oddities of home education. She was not interrogating. She was just curious. When I mentioned that I don't give my kids curriculum tests, she paused.

"Not even weekly spelling test?" came her reply.

"Nope, not even spelling tests." I said. "They're just not necessary."

I don't give my kids tests. Here's why...

Why I Use Teaching Textbooks {and why you should too}

Why I Use Teaching Textbooks {and Why You Should Too}- It's not often a curriculum saunters into my life and steals my heart. Teaching Textbooks has been homeschool perfection for this momma who has a very real aversion to all-things-math. Since starting the program, year after year my kids have scored above grade level on their mandatory state achievement tests.

Raising a Knight in a Decaying Culture

Raising a Knight in a Decaying Culture- My husband and I want to raise modern-day knights. So we parent a little differently. We've gotten our fair share of raised eye brows and critical comments. But we don't care. We swim against the current with our parenting.

When Homeschooling Feels Lonely- Many homeschoolers say that it’s so easy to find activities and to connect with other homeschooling families that there’s not enough time to fit it all in. But, that isn’t true for everyone. Sometimes homeschooling can feel lonely.

50 Stocking Stuffers for Sneaky Learning {all under $10}- Since I stick to a pretty tight, debt-free Christmas budget of $60 a child and since I have no desire to buy cheap toys and trinkets that will break or get tossed aside, I'm very purposeful in my purchases. I'd rather use my pennies to buy intentional gifts--fun toys that will not only breed delight but also learning in my home. Here's a list of my favorites. At the time of this post, they are all under $10.

How to "Soft Open" the Homeschool Year- Although the public school's play is to just rip the bandaid of summer right off, fast and furious, that doesn't have to be our plan of attack. We can start a little softer. We can tiptoe into the shallow end and slowly work our way to the deeper side.

Here are tips from me and 20 other mommas for transitioning from summer to school without all the tears (yours or your kids').

Big Fat List of Annual Achievement Tests for Homeschoolers

Big Fat List of Annual achievement Tests for Homeschoolers- If your state requires annual tests or if you choose to administer them regardless, here's a big ol' list of the major norm-referenced tests, the ins and outs of each, and the major distributors that sell to homeschoolers.

A Missing Piece that the Public School Can't Provide

A Missing Piece that Public School Can't Provide- Proofs of homeschooling aren't always immediate. Many times, we won't see the evidence of WELL DONE until our kids launch. But every now and again, we get a glimpse that this homeschooling thing is working. Jessica, a momma of three with a Master's in Education, wants you to know what the public school just can't provide for your kids.

Big ol' List of Books By & About Homeschoolers

A Big ol' List By and About Homeschoolers- Books about diversity are good. They're great! But sometimes you don't need different, you need same...you need to read a book about someone who understands your unique struggles and strengths. Someone who gets it. I've compiled a huge list of books written BY and ABOUT homeschoolers so that homeschooled kids can see SAME in their DIFFERENT.

But, What About Socialization?- All those silly little snarky remarks people tell you about your "unsocialized" homeschooled kids are debunked in 5...4...3...2...

How We Homeschool Without Grade Levels- Grade levels are a necessary evil for traditional schools. They help to corral children of similar age, size, and learning ability into a manageable herd. In the early 20th century when school districts were being restructured and small one-room, rural schools were consolidated and replaced by larger urban schools, grade levels became the standard. But, they don't have to be. At least not for homeschoolers.

It's Homeschool, Not School-at-Home

It's Homeschool NOT School at Home- As John Holt famously wrote, “What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children's growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn't a school at all.” I decided to homeschool because I wanted a different outcome. As a former teacher, I knew that if the outcome was going to be different the path to the finish line had to be different too.

Looking ahead

2018 is coming in hot! I've been working on a project for you that I can't wait to tell you about. Look for some big announcements in the coming months. Until then, I hope you'll continue to join me here as we all link arms and march on, homeschooling with the end in mind.


  1. OKay- I have to share this story with someone who understands. Since you posted the 'What about socialization?" post, I know that YOU will.

    The other day my children and I attended a school concert for my nephew. He plays the sax and we wanted to support his 7th grade skillz. ;-) Obviously, his family was there- his parents. His Dad (by BIL) sat next to my 14 year old girl and I was waaaaaaaaaaayyyy down at the other end (I have five kids, my sister has three so...way down) and it looked like they had a great time visiting with one another. My daughter told me later that my BIL (the Dad) said at one point "I think homeschooling is wrong because I want my kids to have proper socialization skills. So I send them to public school." Which is hilarious to me because he was in the middle of an evening filled with successful conversation (and socialization) with my 14 year old. !?!?!?

    In the words of Inego Montoya (Princess Bride) "I do not think that word means what you think it means."


    1. Palm on forehead! I've had a very similar experience with a librarian who had a lovely conversation with my son one day while he was checking out books. When I came up to them both after a few minutes, she remarked how articulate and polite he was, then asked what school he attended. When she found out that we homeschool, she began to drill me on socialization. Whaaaaat?

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