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Many years ago I decided to travel to America. It was to be a short visit; a fortnight at the most. Australia had always been at the top of my list of places to visit but opportunity landed me at DFW airport toting one tiny suitcase and a snazzy duffel leaving my parents wondering what they were going to tell the neighbours about my sudden departure.  A handsome Texan, complete with Hawaiian shirt, had fallen in love with me at Victoria station in London and sent me an invitation with a plane ticket, to visit his home in Dallas while he was between rock and roll tours. 'Nothing ventured nothing gained,' I thought as I made my way through customs and into his waiting arms.

Twenty-a-lot years later I am an empty nester with a story, lots of stories in fact!   I am homeless an orphan and have moved back in with Mum...my Blue Eued Cowboy's Mum to be precise.  

Australia is still on my bucket list though I've made a few friends there through my show.  

My life in Texas has seen me raise four grown children now aged 28-22 who were my guinea pigs when I accidentally stumbled into the world of homeschooling. They willingly acquiesced for the fifteen-year lifespan of Wildflower Academy, the fancy name I affixed to my one room schoolhouse.

I became the mother of the year for allowing: snakes to co-habit with us and shed their skins in my bath-tub; raccoons to learn how to swim in our pool; baby squirrels to be bottle fed every three hours and abandoned opossums to cling upside down from my hands by their tails. 

With looming empty nest my Gent and I packed our bags and headed to London for a fashionable Gap Year.  We learned how to live as a couple having only ever had children on our minds and we found that we really rather liked it and are still mad about each other!

After returning to America, ousting our sons from our house, planning a wedding and selling our family home of 28 years we returned to my fair shores and sold the London flat.  

Hence the move back in with Mum...to wait on God to let us in on His plan for the rest of our lives.

When I'm not rushing around volunteering and walking in ancient woodlands, or around a Hideaway Lake in East Texas, I enjoy reading and thinking.  I write a personal blog, a Radio Show blog and guest write for Vibrant Nation.  I am the host of The Sociable Homeschooler on Toginet Radio.  

 

My gallant Texan and I share dinner dates at home each weekend, we reckon that our food is infinitely better than anything a local restaurant can set before us. We have the added fun of tasting while we cook, chopping veggies side by side, creating sauces and indulging in wickedly funny conversation. 

Who knows what this next year will bring? Tune in to my show, The Sociable Homeschooler, Fridays at 12 noon CT or 6pm GMT, to find out, first hand!  

"He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing"  (Zephaniah 3:17)

Marriage in the Homeschool: Tom & Julie Meekins

                                                 

With me on my show this week, where I believe homeschooling is a unique lifestyle, are frequent visitors Tom and Julie Meekins.  This remarkable couple have a heart for parents raising children with challenges.  

In walking the talk they decided to dedicate their professional lives to helping families navigate the scary world of parenting and this week they are going to be talking to me about how their marriage has fared during some of the more trying times of homeschooling. Tom and Julie have been married for 34 years, have four children and in a moment of certifiable insanity chose the homeschooling path and now have four young adults who are doing fabulously.

They both became certified in child development and health coaching and in March 2011 started a company called March Forth Family LLC to help other families needing someone who totally understood the struggles they were having.   Their many blessings and powerful witness allows them to be able educate, equip, and empower parents to reach for the best FOR their children and IN their children while being supported in the process.   Bring your tea and join us this Friday as we explore ways to find the silver lining always on the other side of every cloud.

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Artios Academy: Lori Lane & John Michael Lane

                                                           

I am delighted to have as my guests this week, Lori Lane whom I chatted with on August 1st about her company, Artios Academy, and her son John Michael Lane.   Lori is a homeschool veteran of 20 years she and her husband John have four sons ranging in age from 16 to 29, the three eldest are homeschool graduates.  Lori has spoken at Conventions, served on panels, directed and produced many children’s choirs and stage productions both in schools and community theatres.   In the fall of 2000, she began the Artios Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts as an advanced level arts program for high school students.   Lori lives in Colorado with her husband and youngest son, where she enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and skiing.

                                                   

John is a 2004 graduate of Artios Conservatory and attended North Greenville University to study Theater… and Georgia State University to study Economics.  He is currently the Director of Development for Artios and in addition to teaching several classes (Worldview, Government & Economics, and Film/Video) he is also the creator of the Artios Home Companion Series.  He and his wife, who teaches and choreographs with the Academies, co-direct the Artios Outpost Summer Camps and Internship Program during the summers.

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When Life Throws a Curveball: Laura Grace Weldon

                                                   

Laura Grace Weldon is a poet whose poems have been published, but not the ones she likes.  In a collection called Tending.

She is an author, her new book, Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, is full of the curative value of connecting more deeply with nature.

She is an artist, a messy one at that, a tincture and meal concoctor both skills demanding courage and a degree of risk from their recipients.  She has deadlines but would rather hide in books or watch foreign films.  Laura admits that complete self-reliance is happily not her goal and farm dwelling allows her to sing to bees, feed cows, preach about hope, acknowledge the holiness of all things and find peace, sometimes.

With her husband and four homeschooled children they raise plants, animals and occasionally Caine in their simple partnership with the natural world.  Her socks have holes in them, the window molding is unfinished, there are muddy footprints by the door, but none of that matters, she and her family are together exploring ways to be themselves using ancient wisdom.

Come and meet this lovely lady again on Friday, bring a cuppa and prepare to laugh while we talk about what happens when life throws us a curve ball while homeschooling!

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Challenges in the Homeschool: Sherry Hayes
                                                    
I am welcoming Sherry Hayes back to my show this week.
Sherry is the inspiring Christian mother of 15 wonderful children and has been homeschooling for 26 years. She has seen the “graduation” of several of her children from her home in colorful Colorado and she and her husband, David, are enjoying rearing the remaining few still under their tutelage.
She has been a compassionate promoter of redemptive home educating for almost a quarter of a century and has maintained the belief that it’s God’s venue for national and world revival.
In her spare time Sherry has been a proactive advocate for homeschooling, a key speaker for homeschool support groups, and a successful writer encouraging practical Biblical family living on her blog, Large Family Mothering.
She has written two new books, Homeschool Sanity and McGuffey’s Primer Flashcards, Helps & Hints, to encourage and help to facilitate others who have decided to embark on the exhilarating journey.
This week we are going to be talking about how homeschoolers handle real life when it hits their families, be it marital struggles, our children finding themselves (also known to us as rebellion!),  health setbacks, and unexpected additions to the family...in other words when things are just not going right in the homeschool...
Bring your tea and join me on Friday at 12 noon Central for a gentle discussion about how we can best handle the ups and downs of living while holding down a bustling homeschool.
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Verbal Math: Nina Levin

                                                   

Joining me this week is Nina Levin who is CEO of Mountcastle Company, an independent publishing company with offices in California and New York City.

Mountcastle was first established in 2000 as an educational publishing company, focused on exceptional products for teaching children to read. Beginning with the company’s first (and bestselling) book, The Reading Lesson, Mountcastle Company has been committed to publishing the most effective and original products for young children.  Mountcastle Company is also the publisher for the bestselling series, the Verbal Math Lesson.

In 2012 the company got a new, fresh look and a new CEO, when Nina Levin took over the business.  Nina has since added new amazing products to the catalog for homeschooling families and is passionate about bringing the best educational products to families across the country and around the world.

Join me on Friday with your cup of tea and an alert mind to experience verbal math first hand when Nina and I enter into the world of mental arithmetic, at 12 noon Central.

Use sociable2014 as coupon at checkout for 30% off. 

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Recent Shows
Title Date
Artios Academy: Lori Lane & John Michael Lane
10-24-2014
When Life Throws an Curveball: Laura Grace Weldon
10-17-2014
Challenges in the Homeschool: Sherry Hayes
10-10-2014
Verbal Math: Nina Levin
10-03-2014
Beautiful Feet Books: Rea Berg
09-26-2014
Simply Charlotte Mason: Sonya Shafer
09-19-2014
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