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!

Lifeschooling and the Arts

On this interview, we talk to Lorina Harris about how and why she incorporates art into her lifeschooling.

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!

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

On 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 movie sets.

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!


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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 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!

Unhurried Homeschooling – Durenda Wilson

Unhurried Homeschooling - Durenda WilsonFor this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Durenda Wilson, author of The Unhurried Homeschooler, a mercifully short book on homeschooling, and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. I just love Durenda’s heart for unhurried homeschooling and her passion for helping moms learn to trust fully in the Lord with their children’s education. I know you will be blessed, too!

Durenda is a homeschooling mom of eight (born 1991-2004), five of whom have graduated. She has been married for 28 years to Darryl and they have 4 grandchildren. Durenda has written The Unhurried Homeschooler-a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. She is the owner/writer/host of her blog and podcast, Durenda Wilson. She is called to a ministry of encouragement and has a very special place in her heart for moms and homeschooling moms because she believes, for many reasons, that motherhood is not only a gift, but often the unseen place where God moves in very powerful ways. This is why she is convinced that Christian moms must have a working knowledge of the Word that will give them the courage to raise their children as faithful followers of Christ above all else.

Here is what I asked Durenda on the show:

  • Tell us first of all how you started homeschooling and how it became unhurried homeschooling?
  • In reading your site, so much of it resonated with me and I felt like I could have written it! In particular, you talk about today’s homeschooling parents as being bombarded with all this information about what is best for their children. You say: “In an effort to do what we think will ultimately benefit our children, we are, in fact, robbing them of the very thing they need to engage in higher learning and become well-adjusted adults. The results are that our kids are having to cope with the complexities of adulthood and losing their one chance to be a kid.” Explain to us more of what you mean by that.
  • What has had the biggest influence in shaping your educational philosophy of unhurried homeschooling? Were there any books that had a particular impact on you?
  • 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.” How does your family lifeschool? Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you?
  • Tell us about a typical day in your homeschool and has this changed over the years?
  • 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?
  • I think for many homeschoolers who have not yet seen homeschooling through to the end with any of their kids, it is very reassuring to hear veteran success stories, especially from those who have embraced unhurried homeschooling. Tell us a little bit about the children you have graduated and what they are doing now.
  • You wrote a couple books, The Unhurried Homeschooler, a mercifully short book on homeschooling and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. I love that… “a mercifully short book…” by the way, because I think most of us homeschoolers struggle getting through an entire book! Tell us a little bit about your books and where to find them. (You may find Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart and The Unhurried Homeschooler on Amazon.)

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