Lifeschooling and The Arts (Part 2) – Lorina Harris

Lifeschooling and the arts part 2(There is a bit of an echo in this recording. Apologies!)

In part 2 of my interview with Lorina Harris, we focus more on what their own homeschool looks like.

We start with a discussion of the importance of art with regard to academics. Studies have shown that involvement in the arts actually boosts test scores among students. There is something to be said for exercising both the left and right sides of our brains. As Lorina points out, all the various arts–music, acting, visual arts–help us learn to study detail and see things we are not used to looking for. There are subtle nuances we miss as mere observers that are gleaned when actually studying these creative disciplines as students. This skill of observation is transferable to many other subjects and areas, including business and entrepreneurship.

Lorina and I also talk a bit about the connection between music and math and how that has helped her son, in particular. We talk also about their family’s methods and philosophy of homeschooling. Lorina has always tried to expose her children to many different types of experiences and field trips, showing them how learning relates to real life and developing a love for learning in her children. Even during the fun times, there has always been a focus on learning. Video games are educational-based, for example, and not just mindless entertainment.

She relies heavily on “living books” and doing what works for their family rather than relying on rigid curriculum or highly structured co-ops and classes. As she puts it, “I don’t believe there’s a curriculum out there you could follow fully 100% and get everything you need for your particular family.” With such an emphasis on books, her daughter in particular has grown to love reading and we talk about some of the challenges of a voracious reader who needs to be constantly “fed”!

I ask Lorina how homeschooling has strengthened the relationships she has with her children. “We have a different kind of connection. We’re closer. My daughter considers me her best friend and I’m thrilled that she says that out loud to her friends.” She talks about the importance of talking to our children and being honest about our mistakes and weaknesses.

We talk at the end about Lorina’s art studio and her plans to begin offering online art classes. She also currently offers sketch excursions in the D.C. area and around the world. And in January, she will be launching a podcast called “Be Inspired Now” available on iTunes. You can find Lorina on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheArtSmartstudio and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/theartsmartlady.

Did you miss part 1 of this interview? Go here to listen now!

Lifeschooling and The Arts (Part 1) – Lorina Harris

lifeschooling and the artsEpisode 23

Lorina Harris is married to her husband, Cornelis, and they have two children that they have homeschooled for 18 years. Originally from Queens New York, Lorina has had the pleasure of being raised seeing great art in the museums and galleries, of NYC. Lorina started and completed her baseline year at the University Of Hartford Art School, but ended up studying and graduating from the Amsterdam School of the Arts with a degree in fine arts, teaching art, and art history at the highest level in the Netherlands. She has had the honor of participating in numerous solo, and group exhibitions, both in Europe and in the United States. Lorina now owns and operates a small art studio in MD where she works, holds Visual Art Parties, teaches art classes and private lessons, in addition to lifeschooling her two amazing children.

Here are some questions I asked Lorina:

You and I met at one of Rhea Perry’s Educating for Success conferences several years ago and clicked because we’re both artists and I know you do school in a more lifeschooling manner.

First of all, I just have to ask… Do you do art with your children? I am horrible about that! But I know you have a business with your art, so I’m wondering if that makes it more of a natural part of your homeschooling?

Tell us more about your family’s homeschooling journey.

Many homeschoolers bring the school model home because we all tend to just do what we know. Is there anything in particular that helped shape your educational philosophy?

Do you think art is an important part of education for our children?

I know that being in Rhea’s inner circle group, your family is really focused on entrepreneurship. Tell us how your children have pursued their gifts and used them to create businesses that bring in an income.

How has homeschooling strengthened your relationships with your children?

How do you fit homeschooling with your family’s unique situation and responsibilities?

Has your family ever been tempted to quit homeschooling and how did you navigate through that time?

If you wold like to learn more about Lorina’s online or in-studio art classes, you can visit her at www.theartsmartlady.com or her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheArtSmartstudio/

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Missions, Movies, and Lifeschooling (Part 2) – David Cook

Missions, Movies, Lifeschooling - David Cook part 2

On this episode of Life as a Lifeschooler, Danielle wraps up her interview with David Cook, a former MK who was homeschooled and now works in the Christian movie industry.

David grew up on the mission field in Spain. A homeschool graduate, in 2001 he started working in media, both radio and television in Spain. In 2009 God placed it on his heart to get involved with feature filmmaking. Moving back to the United States, David started working with Advent Film Group to start the learning process and get hands on experience on film sets. Since that point, David has worked on 18 feature films in various capacities, including The Screenwriters, Polycarp, Princess Cut, Beyond the Mask, Badge of Faith, War Room, Like Arrows, and most recently the upcoming films Overcomer and Once Upon a Time in Mongolia.  David also helps with the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival in Franklin, TN, where he enjoys sharing with others what he has learned and encouraging them to follow what God has placed on their hearts to do.

Here are some of the questions I asked David on this second part of the interview:

Tell us about your journey into the Christian film industry.

When did you start to develop an interest in Christian film and did your parents tailor the education around the development of your gifts and interest in film?

What has been the most exciting thing about being in film? What has been the biggest challenge?

What was your favorite film set to work on?

I know you do a lot of traveling with your work. How many countries have you traveled to while working in film?

For those who may have children interested in getting into film, what would you suggest?

If you want to find out more about the Christian Worldview Film Festival, you can visit their site here.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

 

Missions, Movies, and Lifeschooling (Part 1) – David Cook

Missions, Movies, and Lifeschooling - David CookOn this episode of Life as a Lifeschooler, Danielle talks to David Cook, a former MK who was homeschooled and now works on many of the Christian film sets.

David grew up on the mission field in Spain. A homeschool graduate, in 2001 he started working in media, both radio and television in Spain. In 2009 God placed it on his heart to get involved with feature filmmaking. Moving back to the United States, David started working with Advent Film Group to start the learning process and get hands on experience on film sets. Since that point, David has worked on 18 feature films in various capacities, including The Screenwriters, Polycarp, Princess Cut, Beyond the Mask, Badge of Faith, War Room, Like Arrows, and most recently the upcoming films Overcomer and Once Upon a Time in Mongolia.  David also helps with the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival in Franklin, TN, where he enjoys sharing with others what he has learned and encouraging them to follow what God has placed on their hearts to do.

Here are the some of the questions I ask David on this first part of the interview:

Tell us about what your homeschooling situation looked like.

The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you in light of how your family homeschooled?

How did homeschooling strengthen your relationships with your siblings? I know you now work with your siblings on set quite often. Tell us about that.

How did your parents fit homeschooling with mission work and all the responsibilities that came with that?

Were there any particularly rough patches with homeschooling and how did your family navigate through that time?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Mentorship and Lifeschooling – Craig and Deana Thompson

Mentorship and Lifeschooling - Craig and Deana Thompson

One of the most inspiring and impactful ways to help educate our children is through mentorship. On this episode of Life as a Lifeschooler, I had the opportunity to talk with Craig and Deana Thompson, who have helped each of their children through an intense and amazing mentorship program that Craig designed for them.

Craig and Deana reside in Tennessee. Craig is the owner of an internet company and is the editor of Preaching through Proverbs and is also currently writing a mentoring curriculum and related books. Craig and Deana have successfully graduated two children and are currently homeschooling four. They believe in a global education for their children and have participated in numerous mission trips throughout the world, both before and after having their children.

Here are some of the questions I asked Craig and Deana on this episode:

  • Craig, I met you at Rhea Perry’s Educating for Success conference and we didn’t get to talk much, but I was just so impressed with your daughter, who was actually one of the speakers that year. She gave an amazing presentation about her year of mentorship that you set up for her, and I just remember being blown away by her level of maturity and her ability to engage the audience at her young age.
  • I know she attributed much of her personal growth and maturity to the mentorship program you created. Tell us more about that.
  • What was your purpose in creating this program and who do you think it’s suited for?
  • Did you always homeschool this way? Tell us a bit about your homeschooling/lifeschooling journey.
  • Deana, how did you fit this mentorship program in with the homeschooling that you were already doing?
  • As you know, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and share with us a bit more about how your family lifeschools?
  • What are some of the gifts that you have seen in your children and how did mentorship help with the development of those gifts?

You can purchase Craig’s mentorship program at www.52GodlyMen.com and you can see some of his daughter’s videos on her mentorship experiences at www.52GodlyWomen.com.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!


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Living Books and Lifeschooling – Michelle Miller Howard

Living books and lifeschoolingToday we are talking to Michelle Miller Howard, author of TruthQuest History.

For over 20 years, Michelle has been a librarian, home-education consultant, author, columnist, and speaker, specializing in top-quality living books, educational vision, and history instruction.  It began in 1985, when she pioneered, funded, and acquired a library of such rare children’s literature, which has been thriving ever since; her Children’s Preservation Library (in Michigan) now houses over 20,000 valuable volumes, serving patrons in several counties.  A second library, Living Learning Libraries, is underway in Florida, with plans for additional libraries, and thousands more rare books already acquired.

Michelle is considered a national leader/expert on living books libraries and literature, and helps others around the nation found and operate such libraries as well. She has also developed a massive database on specialized youth literature.  She is a regular contributing columnist to various national magazines and educational websites, as well as a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Michelle wrote the multiple award-winning TruthQuest History curriculum, which steers families through American and world history with deep, engaging, spiritually-probing commentary, and which embeds her vast knowledge of topic-specific living book recommendations throughout.

Here is what I asked Michelle on this episode:

  • So, you and I have never met personally, but we’ve interacted online as part of Rhea Perry’s Educating for Success group. I love all the books you recommend and you have so much knowledge in this area! Have you always loved books? Tell us why good books are so foundational to education.
  • What are some of your favorite books and how did you incorporate them into your homeschooling?
  • Tell us more about your homeschooling journey and how did you come to write TruthQuest History?
  • Is there anything in particular that helped shape your educational philosophy?
  • The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and share with us a bit more about how your family lifeschooled?
  • How did homeschooling strengthen your relationships with your children?
  • How did you fit homeschooling with your family’s unique situation and responsibilities?
  • Was your family ever tempted to quit homeschooling and how did you navigate through that time?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw in your children and how did you tailor their education around the development of those gifts?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

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Cancer and Lifeschooling – Barbara McCoskey

Cancer and Lifeschooling - Barbara McCoskeyRecently I had the lovely opportunity to combine our kids’ movie planning meeting along with a podcast recording session with my dear friend and cancer survivor, Barbara McCoskey! What fun lifeschooling as we all worked together on our projects (and the little kids played in the pool as we watched from the window)!

Barbara and I talked about field trips to the end of the driveway (yes…you’ll hear what that was all about) and lessons on T-helper cells, among other things. Barbara’s cancer journey eight years ago gave their family a wonderful opportunity to lifeschool! Listen to hear how.

Barbara McCoskey treasures being married to Todd for over 17 years. They have four children, two before her 2010 cancer diagnosis and two adopted after her cancer treatments ended. She and her family are featured in the documentary, the 5-Day Adoption, a movie demonstrating absolute faith and the power of God in answering prayer, released in 2016. She is also the author of Dear God, Please Heal Mommy’s Cancer: One Family’s Journey through the Eyes of a Child and is currently working on her second book, I Will Not Die, but Live. 

Barbara has a passion to encourage others to embrace God’s calling on their lives and to persevere through life’s challenges and started CreatedToProclaim.com to share that passion. She and her family live in Charlotte, NC, where they have been lifeschooling for over 15 years.

Here is what I ask Barbara on this episode:

  • Tell us about your lifeschooling journey.
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and share with us a bit more about how your family lifeschool?
  • I sometimes ask my guests if they have ever been tempted to quit homeschooling. It would certainly be understandable for you to struggle during this time when you had cancer. Were you tempted to quit?
  • What are some of the gifts that you have seen early on in your children and how have you tailored their education around the development of those gifts? Were you able to do this through your cancer journey?
  • Tell us a bit about your books and let our listeners know where they can find a copy.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Hope you’ll join us next time!

The Best Option: Homeschooling – Sam Sorbo

The Best Option: Homeschooling - Sam SorboAt the recent International Christian Film Festival in Orlando, FL, I sat down with actor and model Sam Sorbo, whose book on homeschooling, They’re YOUR Kids: An inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate, has had a positive influence in encouraging moms that not only can they homeschool, but that it is, in fact, the best option when it comes to education. Not afraid of offending if she must, Sam Sorbo tells it like it is. You will be encouraged by her boldness in sharing the truth about education and homeschooling!

Sam Sorbo is known for her quick wit, fun personality, voracious work ethic, and strong commitment to principle. She holds many titles including radio host, actress, international model, activist, author, wife, mother, and home schooling advocate.

Sam’s new book, They’re YOUR Kids: An inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate, recently released to rave reviews. Of course, the Sorbos home school their three children.

Sam and Kevin released a movie around Christmas, 2017, written by Dan Gordon and Sam Sorbo, and Directed by Kevin Sorbo. The film, “Let There Be Light,” stars Kevin and Sam with their two boys, Braeden and Shane, and features Dionne Warwick, Michale Franzese, Travis Tritt, Daniel Roebuck, Gary Grubbs, and Donielle Artese. Executive Producer Sean Hannity also plays himself in the movie. (Bio taken in part from https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sam-sorbo-show-affirming-feminine-convictions/id1140303542?mt=2.)

Here is what I asked Sam during our interview:

(Note: The surrounding crowd was a little noisy, but it gets quieter after about 10 minutes into the podcast.)

  • So, I’m sure most of our listeners are really curious about how you ended up homeschooling and how you came to believe it is the best option. Why don’t you share a bit of your story with us.
  • Relationship is a foundational principle in lifeschooling and is one of the main reasons why the pioneer homeschoolers started this movement…to build relationships with their children. I know that was a big part of your decision to homeschool. How has homeschooling strengthened your relationships with your children? What changes did you see?
  • Many homeschoolers bring the school model home because we all tend to just do what we know. What experiences shaped and influenced your educational philosophy?
  • Given that both you and your husband are actors, how has travel fit into your children’s educational experiences? Do you study and integrate subjects related to places you visit?
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and can you share with us a bit more about how your family lifeschools?
  • Tell us your biggest struggle in homeschooling and have you ever been tempted to quit, despite believing it is the best option?
  • What are some of the gifts that you have seen early on in your children (I know they are currently pursuing acting) and how have you tailored their education around the development of those gifts?
  • A thought struck me as I was reading a section in your book where you talk about preschool and how distraught many children are. My heart really broke for the little girl in your son’s preschool that you described as crying every single day and I thought, doesn’t the Bible say to “do to others as you would have them do to you”? If we really put ourselves into the shoes of our little child who is experiencing something that truly feels traumatic to her, then I don’t think we would do something that really is not necessary. Why do you think parents do this, especially with young children? Are they just not seeing things from the child’s perspective or are they just so conditioned to think that it IS the best option?
  • I am so thankful for someone like you who already has such a prominent platform writing a book advocating homeschooling and showing parents that they can do this. Tell us a bit about your book and let our listeners know where they can find a copy.

You can check out Sam’s site at www.SamSorbo.com and follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

 

The Homeschooling Movement and Lifeschooling – Israel Wayne

The Homeschooling Movement and Lifeschooling - Israel WayneIsrael Wayne, regular conference speaker and author of numerous books, joins me on the show to discuss lifeschooling and the homeschooling movement in general. Having been involved in the movement since its inception, Israel has a unique perspective that is always enlightening. His personal stories will be an encouragement to other parents, as even veterans and leaders in the movement are still figuring this homeschooling thing out!

Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker who has a passion for defending the Christian faith and promoting a Biblical worldview. He is the author of numerous books, including Homeschooling from a Biblical WorldviewFull-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, Education: Does God Have an Opinion? and his newest book, Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask. He has been a regular columnist for Home School DigestHome School Enrichment and The Old Schoolhouse magazines. He is also the site editor for ChristianWorldview.net.

Israel has written articles for magazines such as Answers (Answers In Genesis), The Baptist BannerAbove RubiesHomeschooling TodaySamaritan Ministries, to name a few, as well as websites such as CrossWalk.com, ChristianPost.com, Christianity.com, and many others.

He is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. Israel has been involved with the homeschooling movement for over 30 years, as his family began home educating in 1978. He has been featured in national and international publications including TIME MagazineWORLD Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Israel has been featured as the keynote speaker at various conferences, with over 5,000 in attendance. He was also the keynote speaker at the 2016 Lifeschooling Conference. (Bio taken from https://www.familyrenewal.org/author-info/.)

Here is what I asked Israel on this episode:

  • As I mentioned, you were the keynote speaker at the very first Lifeschooling Conference in 2016 and I know that you were excited about the mission of our conference because you were actually homeschooled yourself in a very “lifeschooling” manner. Tell us a bit about your experience homeschooling before there was a homeschooling movement and it was even “legal” in this country.
  • So, I’m sure it was a very natural thing for you to just homeschool your own children, given your own experience. Was this just a given with your wife when you got married? I think she had been homeschooled too, right?
  • One of the things most veteran homeschoolers stress is to know your “why” with homeschooling. I think after authoring so many books, you have a pretty good handle on that. But tell us what stretches your faith most in homeschooling?
  • How do you balance the stresses of travel with lifeschooling and how do you homeschool on the road?
  • As you know, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and how does your family lifeschool? What does a typical day look like for your family?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how have you tailored their education around the development of those gifts?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Also be sure to visit www.FamilyRenewal.org to purchase Israel’s latest book, Answers for Homeschooling – Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, and to see his current speaking schedule.

Chronic Illness and Homeschooling – Tricia Soderstrom

Chronic Illness and Homeschooling - Tricia SoderstromHave you ever felt sick and miserable, but still had to push through a homeschool day? What about every single day? Tricia Soderstrom (AboundingInHopeWithLyme.com) shared with me how she and her children survived homeschooling for many years with chronic illness (Lyme disease). Once again, we talk about the faith element in homeschooling and how when we obey His call, He provides all we need!

Tricia lives in the beautiful state of Maryland with her husband and children. She’s been married to Scott for 28 years and together they have four children who are now 23, 20, 17 and 10. Their two oldest have graduated from their homeschool and they will graduate another one this year.

Tricia decided to start a blog after much prodding and nagging, or rather encouraging from family, friends and even from people she met along the way who insisted she share her story and experience living with chronic tick-borne diseases. So in January 2015, she began Abounding in Hope with Lyme where she shares her journey with Lyme, homeschooling and her deep faith in God.

Her whole family was diagnosed with Lyme disease, Bartonella, and Babesia and a host of other things. You can read more details in My Story on her site. The purpose of her blog is to share her experience with Lyme disease in the hopes that it will be encouraging and informative. Lyme disease can be a devastating disease and Tricia’s hope is that the information on her site will help you to be educated so that you can protect yourself and your family or get the help you need. (Bio taken from https://aboundinginhopewithlyme.com/about/.)

On this episode, I ask Tricia the following questions:

  • For those of my listeners who don’t know, we have a personal knowledge of Lyme disease ourselves, as my husband has suffered with it (to varying degrees) for the past 18 years. Tell us your story and were you already homeschooling when you became sick with this chronic illness?
  • Were you ever tempted to quit homeschooling?
  • What are some of the considerations for those who may be dealing with chronic illness, but want to homeschool?
  • One thing I read in one of your aticles on deciding to homeschool was, “You can homeschool when you’re sick but make sure your children are being nourished in every area of their lives, not just educational book work.” This is so true and is what lifeschooling is about! What does that look like in your family?
  • How has Lyme shaped and influenced your educational philosophy?
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and how does your family lifeschool?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how did you tailor their education around the development of those gifts? How did Lyme influence that?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!