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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)

Demme Learning: Gretchen Roe

                                                       

My returning guest, Gretchen Roe, is joining me this week for the second part of our conversation about another major change in her life. 

You will best remember Gretchen as the Community Liaison for the Calvert School for 19 years.  Recently  she began working for Demme Learning, known by homeschoolers at Math U See.  During the show today we will find out exactly why the math programme, developed by Steve Demme, works so well. 

Gretchen will also talk about their new addition Spelling You See an innovative spelling curriculum that will revolutionise how you teach your children and open your eyes as to why some of your children seem to have a natural aptitude for spelling while others struggle. 

Gretchen and her husband, Pat, and two of their six children, moved from Maryland, where they lived for 20 years, to Western North Carolina where Gretchen and Pat grew up, to live on a 3 acre farmstead and raise meat rabbits, pigs and chickens and turn two of their homeschooled children over to the local public schools.

Bring your favourite hot drink and join us this Friday at noon to listen to Gretchen and me talk about math and spelling.

 

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12.12.14 Media Angels: Felice Gerwitz

                                                    

My guest this week has her own Radio Network so is no stranger to talking up a storm about her passions.

Felice Gerwitz was homeschooling two teens when she launched Media Angels in 1994.  She then learned she was expecting a baby and not being the most organized person in the world she asked for help!  Probably in a very high voice!  Felice pulled in the troops, made a plan and with the help of her family and friends went ahead with her brainstorm and Media Angels was born as well as her third child!

Felice became innovative (homeschooling as a stay-at-home Mum and author will do that!) and was led by the Lord to launch several more endeavors including online conferences and the recent Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Today she is still married to her best friend, Jeffrey, and they have five totally homeschooled children and several successful businesses.

But it’s not all work for Felice as you’ll hear when you join me on Friday at 12 noon Central to hear how she balances her life with walks on the beach, baking, reading, camping and hiking with her family, and the occasional girls day out with shopping and lunch.

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12.05.2014 Raising Grown Ups: Carol Topp

                                                                         

I am delighted to have Carol Topp joining me again this afternoon to talk to us about a presentation she made at 3 homeschool conventions this year entitled, We’re not raising Children We’re Raising Grown Ups.

Carol and her husband live in West Chester, Ohio and have two grown daughters, both homeschooled through high school and launched into adulthood!  Carol worked from home throughout her homeschooling days and authored, Homeschool Co-Ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out.  She is also the author of the Micro Business for Teens series where she gives tips and advice to aspiring young entrepreneurs. 

If you pop over to my Sociable Homeschooler page you will find her other shows where she talked to me about co-ops, how to encourage children to be entrepreneurs and her own careers.  

I am sure Carol’s words this afternoon will encourage those of you who are learning how to sow the seeds of independence as well as those of you who are newcomers to homeschooling.  Carol can be found at  MicroBusinessForTeens.com. and www.homeschoolCPA.com . 

Join us this Friday at noon CT for an interesting conversation about how to hold on to yourself while letting go of your children.

 

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11.28.14 A Complete Change of Pace: Gretchen Roe

 

                                                        

I am welcoming to my show this week my friend and regular guest, Gretchen Roe.  Since it’s that time of year we are going to be talking about the upcoming holidays and what life looks like for her now that she and her family (at least some of them) have moved. 

If you remember from our last conversation on April 18th, Good Friday, Gretchen was preparing for lots of changes in her life.  She and her husband, Pat, and two of their six children, moved from Maryland, where they lived for 20 years, to Western North Carolina where Gretchen and Pat grew up.  

We will be hearing about the 3 acre farmstead they now live on, the upcoming acquisition of livestock, clearing land and having bonfires. 

We will also talk about education and the seamless transition from Calvert to public school for her two sons, aged 8 and 15.  Gretchen says she no longer has a say so in their education but they are loving every minute with their new friends and teachers. 

Homeschooling may not last forever and Gretchen’s experience will encourage some of you who may find yourselves in a similar situation.  Bring your coffee or tea and join us this Friday at noon for an uplifting look at life and the celebration of Thanksgiving.

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11.21.14 Holidays Not Harried Days: Marcia Washburn

                                                             

This week I am thrilled to be welcoming back my very creative and artistic friend, Marcia Washburn.

Marcia holds a Master’s in Music Education and taught public school music for eight years prior to the birth of the oldest of her five sons, whom she and her husband homeschooled in rural Colorado for nineteen years.  Marcia and I have talked in the past about the Shuar Indians of eastern Ecuador and her hands on electronic book, Beethoven Who? Written for any teacher who wants to teach music but may not be fully equipped to do so!

We’ve talked about encouragement for homeschooling Mums and Marcia certainly knows how to offer that in a warm and humourous way.  Marcia is a columnist for two major home education magazines and speaks nationally and internationally about homeschooling and building a firm foundation for our children that won’t crumble under pressure.

Marcia has a series of e-books called Management for Moms and I have been promoting one of them, Managing the Holidays .  You can buy it for just $0.99. and follow some of Marcia's insightful tips for turning your Harried Days into the Holy Days God intends them to be.

Today we are going to be talking about how to Spread out the Joy this holiday season and fully enjoy those festivals God gave us in order to grow and be refreshed.

As all of us know, Thanksgiving and Christmas are hardly times we busy Mums think of as restful holidays.   Join us this Friday at 12 noon Central and find out how to turn your harried days back into Holiday.

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Recent Shows
Title Date
Demme Learning: Gretchen Roe
12-19-2014
Media Angels: Felice Gerwitz
12-12-2014
Raising Grown Ups: Carol Topp
12-05-2014
A Complete Change of Pace: Gretchen Roe
11-28-2014
Holidays Not Harried Days, Marcia Washburn
11-21-2014
We Are Cherished: Polly Wright
11-14-2014
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