I have written about a variety of homeschooling topics, including personal experiences, homeschool legal and legislative matters, support group dynamics, book and product reviews, and an occasional interview. I have been represented in coverage of homeschooling by a variety of media, including The Industry Standard, US News & World Report, The Washington Post, WRIR radio, German Public Radio, and CNN-FN.
A Virginia native who has officially homeschooled since 1995, I am well versed in the Home Instruction statute of the Old Dominion. I have written numerous articles for the bimonthly VaHomeschoolers Newsletter, and for two years wrote the “National News” column for that publication. In addition, I edited and provided content for Home Education Magazine’s Online Newsletter for about 2 1/2 years.
I am part of an extensive homeschoolnetwork that brings me awareness of homeschooling’s latest trends, knowledge of legal issues, and comprehension of homeschoolers’ current concerns and successes. I spearheaded the grassroots coalition that created a good partial-enrollment policy and succeeded in eliminating the onerous “approval before removal” clause from the homeschool regulation in Prince William County, Virginia.
I am available for speaking and freelance writing and invite requests for reprint permission.
My most recent public speaking engagement was at the 2010 VaHomeschoolers Conference & Resource Fair on March 13th, 2010, where I hosted a session titled “Build Your Resume While You Homeschool.” In previous years I presented other sessions: Creating a Low-Maintenance Support Group on a Shoestring, Eclectic Homeschooling: choose what works, Unschooling as a Way of Life, and Build Your Resume While You Homeschool.
In addition, I created and hosted Beginning Homeschooling seminars for VaHomeschoolers.
Writing & Editing
For two years I was the Managing Editor of the VaHomeschoolers newsletter.
As well, Linda Dobson’s book, The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas; 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12, includes 22 of my best learning tips, such as creating a human sundial, home-made geometry manipulatives, making an inexpensive sandbox, how to get the most education from a zoo membership, the value of a cheap cassette recorder, an object lesson in cooperation, creating an interactive timeline, learning geography with vegetables, playing games for learning about money, and the 4-page chart titled “All the Curriculum Materials you Need for Less Than $100.”
Home Education Magazine (HEM)
The world’s most widely read and respected homeschool magazine. Contributing Author, 1999-
I wrote my first article for Home Education Magazine (HEM) in the spring of 1999. Titled Colorado Case Inspires National Support, it describes how the Home School Legal Defense Association responded weakly to a cry for help from a longtime member. Shortly after it was published, I began work on the most difficult piece I ever wrote, The Truth About Cheryl. Reading, re-reading and re-reading the 3,000+ pages of the transcript was tedious and took a great deal of time, but I knew in my heart that the piece had to be published; it was a story that must be told.
After that, I wrote more articles about homeschooling for HEM, including:
Waiting for Unschooling to Work
Unschooling is not easier for its lack of structure, and sometimes the hardest task of all is to simply let go and trust.
An Argument Between Friends: Compulsory Education vs. Unschooling
A disagreement between myself and a friend over the importance of compulsory education.
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers
Since 1996 I have written extensively for VaHomeschoolers, creating extensive website content and contributing newsletter articles, including these pieces:
Partial Enrollment for Prince William County
Scroll to the lower half of the page to read how a handful of homeschool parents in a local support group changed Prince William County’s partial enrollment policy from “not until it’s mandated” to “welcome!”
Home Education Tax Credit? No, Thanks!
A homeschoolers’ perspective on the negative effect of potential tax credits for homeschooling.
Handling it Ourselves
We can choose to empower ourselves by knowing the law, by providing only legally required materials and by learning from, and joining with, other homeschooling parents. Through these measures we can face our fears and respond confidently and appropriately when dealing with school officials who may ask for more than the law requires.
In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, as an experienced homeschooler involved in the community, I was qualified to speak with a candidate, a Senator, or whomever — if I could just swallow my fear.
How to Talk to a Politician
How do you, a regular homeschooler, talk to a politician about homeschooling? Well, sometimes, you just wing it.
What Volunteering for VaHomeschoolers Has Given Me
Being involved with my state homeschool organization gave me support for making my unusual educational decision, helped me become effective in dealing with authorities, put me in contact with a tremendous network of people who have enriched my life in a wide variety of ways, and served to sharpen my skills and bring me new and marketable capabilities.
Virginia Homeschool History Timeline
Using information from archives, interviews and legal research, I present the fascinating grassroots development of the initial Home Instruction statute in Virginia.
Answering the CPS (Child Protective Service) Questions by Shay Seaborne
A CPS representative answers your questions in this informative article about homeschooling and CPS.
When the Media Calls, YOU Can Answer
With the accelerating media interest in homeschooling, chances are increasing that you will receive a request to speak with a reporter for a magazine or newspaper article, a television or radio program. What will you do? You could say “no,” and leave it up to someone else. That would be the simple and easy response. Or, you could say “yes,” and find yourself at the start of a new and educational experience.
How to Choose a Homeschool Support Group
There are two basic types of homeschool support groups: general, and those with a specific focus. Learn the difference, so you can determine which is right for you.
Owner/Author, Skipper’s Log.
Contributing Author, TheHomeSchoolMom.com blog.
Guest author, Linda Dobson’s Parent at the Helm.
Contributing author/photographer, Life Without School.