A Pioneer Homeschool Story, Parts 26-28

Following are three more posts from A Pioneer Homeschool Story.  The first two address chores and work.  Jeanne shares creative ideas how to encourage children to contribute with household chores, as well as how to teach children to "be their own bosses" and to build lasting work habits.  The final link is a clever study of science with a medieval twist.  Another amazing school year.

The Lighting of a Fire: 24-years of homeschooling, part XXVI: Chores and Charts

The Lighting of a Fire: 24-years of homeschooling, part XXVII: Chores and Charts, part 2

The Lighting of a Fire: 24-years of homeschooling, part XXVIII: Knights of the Periodic Table, 2001-2002


A Homeschool Pioneer Story Continues

I need to do a better job keeping up with our Homeschool Pioneer.  Included in this post are two years of homeschooling: a National Geographic year, literally a year of personal exploration, and a huge year called The Unfinished Symphony, hence, the three posts with the same name.

Part XXII: National Geographic Explorers: 1998-1999
Part XXIII: The Unfinished Symphony: 1999-2000  (String Quartet)
Part XXIV: The Unfinished Symphony: 1999-2000
Part XXV: The Unfinished Symphony: 1999-2000 (Student Projects)


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part XXI

The next post for A Homeschool Pioneer story is a very essential part of homeschooling.  Not only does a mother need her husband's support in the decision to homeschool their children, but children need their dad's leadership and encouragement.  And what kid does not love to see his dad dress up and play a character from history?


Catching up with Homeschool Pioneer Stories

Even though I do not write on this blog anymore, I wanted to continue the story I have been following about a homeschool pioneer whom I was able to do a few years of Epic Adventures with.  She is done homeschooling her family and is sorting through her memories and sharing her experiences.  Now I am just catching up.  There is a lot here to look through, but you will find a wealth of ideas and information.

Part XV A House of Learning 

Part XVI  Blazing the Trail to Zion 1996 - 97

Part XVII  Poems of the Week

Part XVIII  A Rich Efflorescence of Fantasy  

Part IXX  L' Académie des Beaux-Arts  1997 - 98

Part XX  Project Videos from the Art Years 1997 - 98


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part XII

Continuing my coverage of A Homeschool Pioneer, Jeanne recalls the highlights of her 1992-1994 school years.  She wonders if reading Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson will be too advanced for her five-year old, but instead discovers

parents can and should read at greater levels than a child can read to themselves.  This way they will be exposed to more complex sentence structure and learn vocabulary by context.
Read more here:

The Lighting of a Fire:24 Years of Homeschooling, Part Twelve—Buried Treasure and the Voyage of the Frugal Frigate 1992-93, 1993-4


End of This Blog; Beginning a New Focus

Summer is almost at its end, and a new school year will begin.
Earlier this year, I wanted to make a solemn effort to change my focus of homeschooling to our Savior
and figured it was probably best to change our school name, too, 
which was The Walden Academy - 
named after Henry David Thoreau's book about independence and self-reliance. 

Now we call our school A Mighty Fortress Academy. 

With that change in place, I also decided that I would homeschool on my own again 
since I wanted to go in a different direction.  
We have been doing Epic Adventures with a large group of homeschool families 
for the last three years.  
This was a very difficult decision because our most memorable school years were with these families, and I realize that I am probably not going to be able to duplicate the magnificent environment 
we experienced when we were with the group.

Having made those changes, I finally decided to end this blog officially.  
I will continue A Homeschool Pioneer Story
sharing posts from a fellow homeschool mom 
and her journey through the early years of homeschooling.

But if you want to keep up with our new homeschool adventures, 
you can visit us at our new blog:

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part XI

The next school year, Jeanne takes her children on an adventure through California history.  Here is an excerpt from her post: 

"The things we let the kids do during this school year remind me of a conversation Captain Von Trapp has with his governess in The Sound of Music:
Captain: Do you mean to tell me that my children have been roaming about Salzburg dressed up in nothing but some old drapes?!Maria: (affirming) Umm, hmm, and having a marvelous time.Captain: They have uniforms.Maria: Straitjackets, if you'll forgive me...Children cannot do all the things they're supposed to do if they have to worry about spoiling their precious clothes.
My sentiments exactly!  This year the kids ran around like wild Indians and had a marvelous time." 


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part X

An excerpt from Jeanne's next post:

"Almost exactly two years before our colonial field trip back East, we took a family trip to Ohio, New York and Washington D.C. We saw many historical sites like our colonial field trip, but with one great exception--we hadn't studied and lived the history behind those places the way we did for our colonial trip.

These two trips were like night and day--one was a nice trip, and one was an exciting adventure that we will always remember. 

That was also the difference between our first and second years of homeschooling--night and day.  
This year changed our homeschool lives forever."

To read more, go to Part X: "Closing Days".

For previous parts to the story:
Part VIX
Part VII
Part VI


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part IX

The "P" in EPIC stands for patterns because after our brain gathers information through Exposure, it sorts and files the information into Patterns while it begins to make sense of the information.

To see previous parts to the story:
Part VII
Part VI


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part VIII

In this next post about a homeschool pioneer story, Jeanne covers field trips.  I have worked with Jeanne these last three years doing Epic Adventures, and she never skimps on field trips.  She finds the most interesting, educational, and relevant stops to fill every minute.  Tired is not in her vocabulary.

To see previous parts to the story:
Part VII
Part VI


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part VII

Continuing the story about a homeschool pioneer, Jeanne talks about the "E" in Epic, which stands for Exposure.  "Our brains gather information through exposure through the world through our senses."  And with that, there are six ways our brain gathers information; Immersion is one of them.

To see previous parts to the story:
Part VI


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part VI

In this next post about a homeschool pioneer, Jeanne covers her colonial school year visitors.  Visitors are an essential part of securing the memory of a person or event and bringing that person or event to "life."  

As Jeanne writes: "Just a little imagination and fun brings the children into the adventure of learning."

To see previous parts to the story:


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part V

The continuation of the story of a homeschool pioneer: Jeanne talks about the first beginnings of Epic Adventures and how to write your own homeschool curriculum based on how children learn.


A Homeschool Pioneer Story, Part II

I am continuing the story of Jeanne, a homeschool pioneer.  Last week I introduced her story to you here: Part I.  Now learn how it all began in


The Inspirational Story of a Homeschool Pioneer, Part I

For my last three homeschool years, I have had the honor and pleasure of working with a homeschool pioneer, Jeanne Bradley; and now that she has finished homeschooling all of her children, she has decided to share her story and her journey through homeschooling during a time when homeschooling was rare and unique.  Her story is a long one, and for as long as it takes I will link her posts here as she releases them on her blog until she is done.  It is well worth the read because it is inspiring, encouraging, and quite educational.  Whether you are just starting out in your homeschool journey or are a homeschool veteran, you will appreciate Jeanne's story: