Standardized Testing

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Last week, my children took their annual standardized tests at our umbrella school in Knoxville. In Tennessee, one can sign up under the local school district, or with an umbrella school. Umbrella schools come in different shapes, forms and sizes. Some are remote places that will not require much of you in exchange for the piece of paper which shows that you are not truant.

Terra Nova 3 test prep materials

Test Prep books we used – our test is called Terra Nova 3.

Others are local brick-and-mortar schools with a homeschool umbrella program. As such, they will give your child a diploma when high school graduation comes around. The diploma will not even mention the word “homeschool,” which makes the umbrella school hold parents to a high standard. Many such local umbrella schools require annual testing.  Continue reading »

Our Fourth Homeschool Year Begins

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The other day I took the kids to the pool and an acquaintance asked if they start school soon. I knew that question implied that she thought they attend the local public school system. So I replied, “We homeschool, so we start whenever we want. But yes, we started Monday.”

Boy Starts Third Grade

Our son starts third grade.

She said, “Oh, cool. You homeschool. Is this your first year?” I said, “No, it is our fourth.” She said something positive about it again.  Continue reading »


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On June 25, 10am-3pm, Smoky Mountains Home Education Association will present its second annual Homeschool EXPO in Knoxville, TN at West Towne Christian Church, 9300 Middlebrook Pike.

This is a free event. There will be an exhibit hall and several workshops on how to homeschool. Before the break out sessions, homeschooling families are invited to participate in a general session.


June 25, 2016

Last year, this event drew about 200 families and they expect just as many if not more this year. Come be encouraged, make local connections, and pick up a tip or two or more for the next school year.

The vendors will have drawings and lots of cute mascots will be on hand for pictures with small children and children at heart. Last year, the Zoo brought several animals and had a seminar where the kids could pet a snake or a rat. Glad I was not there. Daddy took ours to that seminar while I was presenting in another room.

This year I will be speaking on two topics:

  1. 10 Foundational Principles for Preschool and Kindergarten – Laying a Solid Foundation: if you follow these principles, I guarantee your children will be read for first grade. Also, you will learn how these principles can be taken into the older grades.
  2. 10 Ways to Homeschool: you will learn more than one way to skin the homeschooling cat and how to choose the right one for your family.

So I hope to see you there. Please walk up to me and introduce yourself. I really enjoy meeting new homeschooling families.