Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Homeschool Open House!

I originally wrote this post for Tiany's Homeschool Open House. Randi from I Have To Say invited me to join in for Back To Homeschool Week that she is hosting. If you are stopping by from her place, welcome!!

Welcome to Homeschool Open House 2007 hosted by Tiany at Less Of Me~More Of Him!


I thought I would begin by telling you a little about our family. My husband Phillip is the oldest of 7 children and was homeschooled from 6th grade through high school. I'm the oldest of 6 children and was homeschooled from 2nd grade through 11th grade.

Our oldest, Grace, is 9 years old and is starting 4th grade. Emily is 8 and starting 3rd grade. Benjamin is 6 and starting 1st grade.

Here they are, ready to begin the open house!

~Our Schoolroom~

We have converted our formal dining room into our schoolroom. While doing our "tablework" I sit on the far left, Benjamin sits beside me, and Emily at the end of the table.

Grace sits at her desk which is right behind me.

For our history, science, and read-alouds, we all sit together in the livingroom.


We have used the Sonlight curriculum for the past 5 years and are very happy with it. Grace and Emily are only 16 months apart and are able to do a lot of the same work. We also use various other books-whatever looks good!

The #1 homeschool book that I recommend is Charlotte Mason Companion-Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola.

Two more of my favorite books are Educating a Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson and Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. This book has wonderful book lists for picture books and read-alouds.

Helpful links:
Karen Andreola Articles


We usually homeschool year round, doing lighter work in the summer. We took most of the month of June off and will take several weeks off in October for a vacation so we will be hard at work during August and September.

As far as a daily schedule goes our goal is to start by 9:00am. (When this doesn't happen, we work later into the afternoon).

We start our day around the living room coffee table with the following...
-The Lord's Prayer
-Pray aloud time
-Bible reading
-Pledge of allegiance
-Sing "America, the Beautiful"
-Sing a hymn
-Memory verse memorization

Then we all go into the schoolroom for...
-Language Arts activities

The rest of the morning is spent on...
-Reading lessons

We read our "read-alouds" after lunch.

~Organization Tips~

My favorite organizer for all our school papers is this Rotating Desk Organizer. We just call it the "Big Spinny Thing" though. :0) We have used it every day for the past 1 1/2 years.

Each of the four sides have compartments for papers and books. In the middle are hanging file folders and room for more books.

Each corner has a section for pencils, scissors, etc. It is easy to pick up and take into the livingroom for our reading time.

Our workbooks our kept in these plastic holders.

The girls and Benjamin each have their own clipboard where I keep blank worksheets.

Once finished, they go into the hanging files labeled with their name and T.B.F. (to be filed).

Once I get around to cleaning the files (sometimes they get really full!), the papers then go into 3 ring binders. Each binder is used for a year.

Helpful links:
Donna Young's free forms and planners
Chart Jungle free printables

Now I would like to share a few of my favorite things with you!

-Nature journals~

Here are a few of my favorite books on Nature Journaling:

-Wild Days - Creating Discovery Journals by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe
-Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Leslie and Charles Roth
-Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
-Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola

Various pages of our nature journals

A Cedar Waxwing

Bluejay and Cardinal feathers

Pressed leaves from our garden and leaf rubbings

Helpful links:

-More detailed information about our Nature Journals.


What is a lapbook? It is a file folder, refolded with a "shutter-fold" and filled with mini books and flaps. It can be filled with information on any topic you choose.

I discovered lapbooks many years ago when the girls and Benjamin were too young to help. My goal for this coming year is to have them make their own books.

I made one for each of the girls and Benjamin. Here is Emily's book:

Inside are flaps and mini books for personal information such as full name, address and phone number. Seasons, days of the weeks, months of the year, poems, prayers, a hymn, Bible verses, the pledge of allegiance, names and calls of common birds, and names of common wildflowers.

A Lapbook on Manners

Inside is information on:
-Little things you can do to help the whole family
-Being a good friend
-Being a good sport
-Mealtime manners
-How to apologize

How to take tea

I have also made a lapbook on flowers and...

the life cycle of a butterfly.

Helpful links:
Cindy Rushton's Lapbooks
How to Begin Lapbooking
Pictures of Lapbooks

The wonderful hostess of Homeschool Open House 2007 is Tiany from Less Of Me~More of Him. Be sure to visit her to read about other homeschoolers and also for information if you want to join in the fun!

Thank you for hosting the Back to Homeschool week, Randi!

If you have any questions about what I've shared or you want to see more pictures, please let me know in the comments!


Julieann said...

Oh, Kelli. I so enjoyed this post--how wonderfully organized you are. I just love those lap books---I am going to make some for my children--what a great idea. Thank you for the tour:)


Anonymous said...

I loved the tour of your happy little school, Kelli!!! I can just imagine all the fun times you all have learning together everyday. You are so blessed to be able to spend this time with your children, and they are blessed to have you!!! =)

Cheryl said...

Wow... I get up, take a bath and then I'm needing a nap! Very impressive girlie! Your kiddo's are lucky to have such a wonderful mommy like you~

Anonymous said...

I just hopped over from Tiany's open house. It is great how organized you are.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are so organized!

We love to do lapbooks as well. I keep meaning to take photos and put them up on my website... must do that soon!

Thanks for having us in your home :)



Anonymous said...

You are my first "stop" on the Homeschool Open House, and I must say that it was fun getting a glimpse inside the day of another family. It was kind of neat to think, "Hey, we do that!" but also see new ideas too.

I noticed you use Clare Walker Leslie's book for nature journaling. We love her stuff, and in fact, because she lives around here, we have actually been able to go on nature journaling hikes with her where she has taught us how to observe and draw nature. You can read a bit about our experience with Clare here:

Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

You are my first stop as well! You are so organized! I enjoyed reading about your homeschool.


Tracy said...

I loved this post! I especially like the lapbooks. I've never seen them before, and this reall got my interest piqued!

Melissa Markham said...

Thanks for the tour! I enjoyed your post!

Momma Roar said...

This was so great - I absolutely loved the tour! It is always nice to be able to see how another family organizes their school. Plus, that picture of the Clarkson's book makes me want to go find it and start reading it again - I had started and then stopped - thanks for this post!

Paula said...

Thanks so much for opening up your school for us to visit today. :) I especially enjoyed seeing the lapbooks you've made.

Mrs. C

dot said...

I like the way ya'll start the day. I'd never heard of home schooling when my kids were growing up. Maybe I could have taught Tina to spell better!

Susan said...

I don't have kids at home but I enjoyed this post. You are very organized and I know that has to be the #1 requirement of home schooling. Blessings to you and your 3 as you begin a new year of learning.

Kristi said...

I love your "Big Spinny Thing"!! I think we are going to look for one for Jesse!! Thanks for all the great lapbooking suggestions!! It was nice taking a tour of your homeschool!!

Jenn4Him said...

What a fun open house! Thanks! I see we have a lot in common with the books we love.

Anonymous said...

I was just getting ready to make my Open House post, but I decided to pop over and visit a few others first. Yours was my first stop~ you inspired me to take a few pictures before I post!
Thanks for sharing about your homeschooling days~ your kids are adorable!

Lori ~ The Simple Life at Home said...

Wow, you are so organized, Kelli! I really like that spinning organizer - I might have to get that for myself. And how blessed you are to have a room for school. The lapbooks are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This is great. Thanks.

Amber said...

That was so much fun Kelli. I love that spinny thing! I will have to invest in one of those. I also love how you are starting your day out with prayer and the pledge of allegiance.

Lapbooks are fun. My good friend makes them with her children all the time. That will be something we will do.

Anonymous said...

What a great post - thank you for sharing! I found that I have several of the books you mentioned!

Anonymous said...

I SO loved reading this!! What an inspiring post. I am going to look for a "spinny thing."
Loved all your pictures, too. Holly

Anonymous said...

Wow I am totally impressed with your school! Blessings...

Anonymous said...

What a great tour! Thanks :)

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

Love the lapbook book idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

Many blessings...

Rebecca said...

Kelli~I am going to echo the sentiments of all the others who posted here. This was just WONDERFUL and I am SO happy you took the time to share with us so freely-in words, links and pictures.

You know this has been a topic of, well, er, stress for me~so it is greatly welcomed.

I was going to participate but didn't have anything TO participate yet-so I will enjoy going through all the tours and hopefully learning a thing or two.

You are an inspiration Kelli. You REALLY are.

KatieBug said...

Thank you so much for sharing! You have some great ideas. I am totally getting a spinny thing. :)

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of lapbooks before -- what a wonderful idea!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed my tour around your blog. Your organization is so inspiring. Your children are very blessed to have a mother like.

Christine said...

Wow, Kelli, thank you for sharing so much great information. I love your children's nature study materials. I love Charlotte Mason,as well. I also love all of the creative lapbooks that you and your children have made. I just adore lapbooking, isn't it the best? I so appreciate your organizational recommendations. Blessings!

Julie said...

That is amazing! My daughters are 26 and 24 and let me just say that college was a struggle for them after Public high school. You are giving your children a great gift!

Sharon said...

Although my homeschooling days are over, *pout*, I enjoyed reading about your homeschooling days and how you organize. Bless you!

Sonya said...

Great post! I loved getting to see the things you do with your kids. I love the lapbook idea but have never put one together. We do hope to do that this year though. Thanks for sharing your homeschool with us! It's always a great source of encouragement for me!

... said...

this was all very interesting. looks like you've done a great job with everything.

the homeschooling books you mentioned in the beginning look good. i'm not a home schooler, but i wish i had seen some of these when my kids were younger.

and i'm fascinated by the lap books. i've never seen anything like them. they look like great fun.

thanks for sharing.

Ruth said...

I enjoyed your post. I teach in a regular classroom, but I really admire homeschool and how it is accomplished! I love the lapbooks! I think I can use that idea at school. Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC!! I'm so impressed. Just amazing....I'd love to homeschool. No space here in my little house and how do I teach them a 2nd language?
I love how you have things set up. Your children are blessed by your efforts!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelli,
This was a great post! You and I even have a lot in common when it comes to homeschooling! We use Sonlight, and we also do some of the same type of lapbooks, nature journal stuff, etc. Your schoolroom is very nice and I love your organization tips. I'm afraid that's where our similarities're so organized and I'm, um, not! But I am a wannabe, so I'm learning from your great example! LOL
Thanks for sharing this! Once again, you have motivated me so much! Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, that the charlotte mason companion is a MUST have book! I loved your big black organizer thing. I have got to get one of those! We are always lugging around the pencil boxes, crayons, and rulers. It would be so much easier having them all in one spot!

Me said...

I love how organized you are!! Thanks for all the wonderful info you put in your Open House!!


Anonymous said...

I just started our school and have to admit that I feeling a little overwhelmed right. I hope that I'll be like you when I grow up. LOL
Way 2 Go!
Thanks for sharing...

Question... Do you use the same curriculum for History, Science and Bible for all your children? Or do they have different grade levels that you use?

Wendi said...

Love the lapbooks! I am going to file that away for when Megan is older.

Sharon said...

how wonderful the open house was. I am sure that your little ones are learning more from you then many learn in public schools. My grandson was home schooled for many years. He is now in H.S. and for the first time going to public school. He is way ahead of the others in his class. That says a lot for his mother.....Good luck this year..mother, teacher and principal...Sharon K

Anonymous said...

I love your lapbooks! We are going to do them this year for American History!

Have a blessed day!

Susie said...

Hi Kelli,
I've enjoyed reading about your homeschooling. What a cheerful organized place for your children to learn. From reading your blog, I know you have so much to share and to teach them.

Mindy said...

I enjoyed the tour of your schoolhouse!! Have a wonderful and fruitful school year!!

Sheri said...

Kelli! Thank you so much for opening your home school to us! Oh I learned to many great tips and ideas!

You make home schooling look like so much fun too!!!

Many blessing to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Such fun to hear about your homsechool and homeschooling days!

Karen said...

Hi, Kelli! Your organizational tips and schedule helped me so much. I'm getting ready to homeschool for the first time. I have a 9, 4, 17 mo. old, and a 10 wk. old and feel a little overwhelmed, but anxious to get into it. I'm Connie a.k.a. Simply Quilted's daughter in law and she directed me to you. Look forward to visiting again!

Open Roads Mama said...

Wow, all this was so interesting to read and the pictures are great! Thanks for sharing! I didn't know anything about home-schooling and now I do, thank you!

Anonymous said...

What an informative post! I love all of the pictures (especially your "Big Spinny Thing"). Thank you so much for sharing.

Mrs said...

Kelli, love the glimpse into your home school! I have incorporated more notebooking and lapbooking this year. I've already starting making the lapbook "spot" so they may spend more time in creativity and less time hunting down materials! Alas, our home school room is still in progress. God's timing, right?

Blessings on your year!

Just Mom said...

You inspire me.

Just Mom said...

Forgot to mention...I just got "Honey For A Child's Heart." I plan to review it soon on my book blog.

Jennifer in MS said...

Awesome post Kelli!!! I love your pictures of your school room, your organization, and your beautiful lapbooks! Thanks for sharing!

I finally started back blogging!

Have a great day!

Jennifer said...

Wow... this was so much fun to read and see images of your homeschooling tools. Even though we don't have children yet, it's something that I am considering for the future.

I just love the LapBook idea. How great to have so much information in a neatly organized folder!

Front Porch Society said...

This is the first time I have ever heard of or seen a lapbook. That is a great idea for kids to make as they learn about stuff.

Anonymous said...

We could sure use a "Big Spinning Thing" on our dining room/school table too. Where'd you find yours, Kelli?

Kelly in MN

Anonymous said...

Never mind...just caught the link. Thanks Kelli! ~Kelly in MN

Betty said...

Great post...I'm always interested because of Amy homeschooling my grandchildren........

How did you and Phillip meet?

Thanks for visiting with me...Betty

Lynne said...

You are so organized Kelli. I love the lapbooks and your children's nature drawings are so cute. Looks like a fun place to learn.
I don't have children, but I so need one of those "big spinny things".

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your homeschool. I loved the pictures. Blessings. ~Holly

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your homeschool with us. I would love to get me one of those "big spinny thing".

Have a blessed week.
Lynn (mcgyver959701) Camelot Homestead Academy

Disney for Boys said...

Hi Kelli,
What a wonderful post, I especially loved your lapbooks, they are amazing!!

Thank you for participating in the Open House!It has been such fun putting it together and this is the icing on the cake for me, visiting you all!

When you get a chance please email me so I can get some gifts to you! :-)

Hugs & Blessings,

rcsnickers said...

Thanks for sharing your homeschool with us! I love the spinning thingy too. I needed the idea of container to hold their individual workbooks and a good filing system. Will work on that one.

Thanks. Hope you have a wonderful school year.

Renee said...

I just popped over from Tiany's Open House. I really enjoyed the "tour" of your homeschool! I rally liked the ideal of lap books and the nature journals. I have picked up so many great tips/ideals to try out this year with the boys. Thanks so much.

Have a great homeschool year!


Terri said...

We used Charlotte Mason when we homeschooled. I miss it.
Your school looks totally organized! I am impressed.
God bless.

Lori said...

Wow! You are so organized. I love your rotating organizer too.

Thanks for sharing your homeschooling schedule with us. I loved seeing all of the pictures.

I think it is neat that both you and your husband were homeschooled.

Kriss said...

Kudos to you on homeschooling. I have thought about it but I just really don't think it would benefit my children, as my patience is low. I am so glad it works for your family, as it looks fun!

Anonymous said...

I have REALLY enjoyed my visit. You had a lot of wonderful things to share. I plan to visit often. It is so nice to meet a fellow Canadian.

God Bless
In Him<><

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this tour! (I've passed along some of the links to my daughter too.)

I have not heard of lapbooks, but what a great idea, and thank you for sharing information about them. I'm thinking this might be something I could make for my grandchildren.

Have a wonderful day!

Jennifer said...

Love this post! You have really inspired me as I am getting ready for our school year. Thanks for sharing in such detail and with such wonderful pictures!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post. I never thought of using a rotating desk organizer. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for inviting us into your homeschool.

Have a great week!

Tammy said...

Hi Kelli!

Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I decided to drop over here today! I didn't know anything about the home school open house...
I loved seeing yours!
Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas. I am going to embark on my third year (and my youngest will Kindergarten) and I have to say, my organizational skills are a tad lacking.
I picked up some wonderful tips here...thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelli,
Thanks for sharing about the laptop books. I want to make a couple for my gd Olivia.
I am going to make a nature journal for myself.

Anonymous said...

Great post and pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Betsy said...

Love your school room! You are so organized!

Sarah said...

Wow! I'm not going to participate in this topic for myself, since I'm not a homeschooler, but I grew up homeschooled and can't WAIT to homeschool my own kids hwne I have some. You are SO organized! Even more so than my mom probably was, and she was pretty organized (although she'd argue that she wasn't at all).
We used large parts of the Sonlight curriculum through my jr high and high school years and I loved the literature focus. I think I am a testimony to the success of homeschooling - and it's really fun to hear of someone who grew up homeschooling continuing and probably improving on the process!

rohanknitter said...

Great post - I really enjoyed seeing all this.
We have so many of the same books!!!!!

Jenn said...

I LOVE your post on your wonderful looking homeschool. It sounds like you've got it all together and I LOVE your organization!!! I found it very helpful that you listed links to several things, and I will definitely be checking them out!

I have a question. How have you been keeping records such as grades and also when one term ends and another begins? I need to learn this so I can have my stuff straight should my district request records at the end of the year. This will be our first "official" year and its nerve-wracking for me!


Patty said...

wonderful testimony to the success of homeschooling ! A second generation doing so well.
Thanks Kelli for sharing your school with us

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for sharing your homeschool, Kelli! I loved reading about everything. I have one more year until I start homeschooling so I am going to start gathering ideas now. Loved the lap books. :-)

Anita said...

Wow Kelli, that was a great post, with lots of interesting information!

Homeschooling it totally unknown (and not possible) here in Germany and that's why I am really interested in learning more about this!

Have a very successful new homeschooling year!

Best wishes, Anita

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your homeschool with us! :)

Jodi said...

Oh, Kelli ~ what a fun post! I so enjoyed seeing how you do school with your children. Love the Sonlight catalog just for the list of books! :o) Beautiful days full of beautiful memories!

Heather Anne said...


I just read this amaxing post - and i am so inspired! I now know how you have time for the wonderful fun memory building stuff you do with your children - you are organized! I need to get more organized too so that we can have more time for fun! Thanks so much for sharing!

lindafay said...

Kelli, what a beautiful post. You are inspiring. I always enjoy visiting your blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kelli,

I didn't know that you were homeschooled! I think it is so neat when people are 2nd generation. I am hoping for the same with my own kids.

Lapbooking is on my to-do list this year so it is nice to read your take on it. I have wanted to do it for a number of years now but i am a procrastinator!

I am having a Back to Homeschool Week on my blog next week and I would love it if you would like to link there too. This post would be a blessing to many!

Stephanie said...

Wow! This is an amazing post. You are very organized, and know what you are doing. Thank you for sharing your helpful links. They were very helpful

bubbebobbie said...

Kelli this was a lovely post. Your Mom did a wonderful job. I am so impressed with Lab books, they are easier to store than years of Dioramas! Very Clever.
Because of Jesus, Bobbie

Cris said...

Oh Kelli, I am touched by the way you handle everything so well and with so much grace. I also come from a big family, I am the 5th of 7 kids, and my husband is the 5th of 5 kids. Homeschooling is not big here, and you cannot have any schools in a certain ratio if you are willing to homeschool, so I really enjoyed reading your post, I was homeschooled for my kindergarten, my mom did it with the help of her nieces, who were teachers. xoxox

Anonymous said...

Wow, Kelli - what a wonderful open house! I especially loved the pictures of the lapbooks - thank you for all the great ideas for the future!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love your open house! Fabulous! And thanks for linking to my lapbooking page. I made that. (You've called it lapbooking pictures.) :-)

blessings to you and yours

Beckyb said...

What a great post - TONS of good info!! I am also a Charlotte Mason fan, so we have lots of those books at our house!! So fun to see your "space"!! Enjoy the upcoming year!

Amelia Antwiler said...

I love it! Great post!
I want a lazy susan for our dining table - maybe the spinning thing could go on the lazy susan until we need to eat dinner. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great Open House! I Love the Rotating Desk Organizer. I will be purchasing one soon. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Love your "Big Spinny Thing!" Thank you for sharing your homeschool lifestyle with us! I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. How wonderful, too, that both you and your dh are homeschool graduates!

Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

You have a wonderful homeschool! I want to try lapbooking this year, and you gave some nice links for more information. I see you have a tape player at your schoolroom table. Do you use a lot of music?

Marybeth Whalen said...

Hi Kelli-- I have been a reader for quite some time and have you on my blogroll. I so enjoyed this post in particular, as it encompasses both a visual tour as well as tons of great ideas. I am calling our local Staples first thing tomorrow morning to see if they carry that "Spin Around Thingy" and adding that to my collection of helpful supplies for this year. Thanks for putting work into that post-- it showed!

MrsMomma said...

Thank you, Kelli! I've had such a wonderful time reading your post. From the organization to the nature journals and lapbooks. It's been a joy! I have a 9yo dd, too, and I think she would love the nature journals. I've made a note to check them out.


Theresa said...

What a great post. I love it and all the photo's! Your lapbook looks great and I enjoyed your resources and links.

Amber said...

I love how you start off your day around the living room table. I also like the idea of rotating organizer.

This is just like a homeschool Show and Tell. I have mine up finally if you want to stop by.

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I like your welcoming crew and loved the tour!

I have gone back and forth and back and forth on the desk apprentice, you like it though huh? Maybe someday I'll break down and buy it.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I enjoyed all the pictures and organizational ideas (the spinny thing!!). We really need to try lapbooking, too.


Jen said...

I have been thinking of homeschooling Miller just through his pre school years....he will be 2 in November. DO you have any advice or info to send my way? I think you are amazing to homeschool.

Unknown said...

Hi Kelli,

I loved your post and am very interested in how you combine sonlight curriculum with lapbooking. I'm using an ecclectic approach, basically making up my own curriculum using state standards as starting points and making lapbooks for different topics. We've made around 15 lapbooks this year and we love it! BUT, I'm searching for a curriculum that has more planned out for me (to save me some planning time) but would still work easilly with lapbooks and give us time to make them (not too much busy work). How well do you feel Sonlight works with lapbooking and how do you do it within the curriculum framework? Do you have to take extra time or days off from the structure of Sonlight in order to do that? Thanks for the help! Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for sharing all those beautiful ideas!


texasmcvays said...

Hi Kelli,
I just wanted to let you know that I linked this page to my blog as part of a week long series of posts. I did not want to just lift your pix and then give you credit I hope you do not mind let me know if you do and I will remove it. Thanks for the inspiration you provide Mrs.H (my real life friend who is more fabulous in person) and I really love your blog!
Mrs M @ Rooster Hill

mamakt said...
i have just found THE template i want to follow this year. this is THE BEST post on homeschooling/what we do/where we do it/curr/ideas/tutorials, etc. that i have EVER SEEN and i have seen a LOT!
my kids are a bit older but i know i can incorporate a lot of what you are doing! we 2 use sonlight & i've done a lapbook or 2. you've inspired me w/ your schedule and i want to put NATURE notebooks back into place this year! THANK YOU!!! U R hereby BOOKMARKED!!!
bless you! kt

mamakt said...

kelli: i am also going to send this post link to those interested in homeschooling. you've mentioned JUST THE RIGHT BOOKS! great job!

ALSO it is NOTEWORTHY that you and hubby were homeschooled. pooh on all the 'naysayers!'