What I Have Learned Through Homeschooling | This Stuff Is For All Of Us

This year marks our 12th year of officially homeschooling and as I reflect back over this journey I am in awe and humbled by what has been invested, how our family has been impacted and how I have changed as a mom and wife.

A few weeks ago I was talking with Kelly about all of the things I have learned about our home, family, children and myself over these years homeschooling. The biggest being myself.  Whether your kids are in school, you homeschool, your kids have moved out or you have never had children…I think at some point of this list you may see yourself. Life is beautiful in the ways it allows us to change and grow when we are open to it.

1.Start Before You Are Ready

This is the story of my life but it has served me well. I have dived into schooling and business before I knew what I was doing and I figured it out along the way. I have constantly adjusted the plan when necessary but also stayed true to the heart of why I was doing it and if I got off track (because it happens) you find your way back.

2. Less Is More

When the kids were little I had the games, art supplies, books, curriculum etc. I had ALL THE THINGS and that was fine but the older the kids get the more I truly believe that less is more. When we don’t get distracted by the “stuff” we are free to see the learning, beauty, and connection all around us.

3. Any Moment Is Good For a Restart

We homeschool and run a business together from our land, home, and studio. We are together a lot and that means that there are days that we are not lovely, to say the least. Any moment is a good time for a restart when you feel that you are off and that it is impacting your own behavior or those around you. You have no idea how many times I have stopped our day and declared a do-over. We made the conscious decision to have a different kind of day.  It has also been a good lesson to live in whatever you are feeling but to go be by yourself when you are feeling that way. Somedays you just need to be by yourself and that is OK and good and healthy.

4. We Are Atmosphere Changers

I know that I am the biggest atmosphere changer in my home. I set the tone. That is an honor and huge responsibility. It also requires humility and honesty. The restart above I talked about is often me. I need to change. I need to ask for forgiveness or I need to take a break to not selfishly impact all of those around me.

5. Don’t Save The Best For Others

This is probably one of my favorite things I have ever learned as a woman, mom, and wife. Show the people in your home (including yourself) that the good dishes, linen napkins, good food, pretty silver, good music, flowers, and candles are first and foremost for THEM. Your list may look different than mine but the intention will be the same. Instead of storing the prettiest things away for special occasions find daily reasons to live with your beautiful things, use them up and lavish those in your life. We really use ALL of the pretty things. I want my family to know that each day is worthy of the “good stuff”.

6. Become Lifelong Learners

We read, we talk, we question and we listen. If our children do not leave this house having the skills to gather information, process and then question what is around them then we have failed them. Our job is to not just allow them to “agree” with us but for our children to know where we stand and then find their own way. Our education goals for them have always been to have them become lifelong learners.

7. Be Present

Have a plan but be open to it changing. This lesson has been a big one for me. I love checklists, schedules, and accomplishments. I have also come to appreciate and truly love being open to what the kids are open to learning, when we just need to shut the books and go for a hike, take an impromptu “field trip” and be open to unexpected guests. When the weather is magic to take advantage of it and when there is a snowstorm to stop to play. When a child needs to talk that I notice the signs and completely stop and turn to them. The being present part of life is when all the good stuff happens.

8.There Is Not Just One Way

We can all do things differently and respect that different things work for each of us. This can be curriculum, schooling, politics etc. Being able to stand in our differences and loving each other beyond what we have in common.

9. Find Your Gifts and See It In Others

So many times growing up I didn’t feel seen for my own gifts. That can be so hard to not feel honored and then try to fit into the giftings of others to fit in.  Having children, being married and homeschooling our kids has opened my eyes to those around me and how I want to truly see, honor and recognize THEIR giftings. I can notice when friends and family don’t acknowledge our business etc. but then I have to be honest with myself that maybe I haven’t been seeing what is going on in their lives. It goes both ways.

10. I Don’t Just Love You…I Truly Like You

The best part of being a mom and having this time with the kids is being with THEM. This is the hardest thing I have ever done but nothing compares to the deep knowing that they are extraordinary people. Each one with their own gifts, personality, love language, and struggles. Each one with their own dreams and needs.  It has been my greatest honor to watch them become and to continue to watch them unfold.

If you would like to follow more of our day to day life I would love to have you join us on Instagram. 

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Studying Under The Masters For KIDS! {registration is open}

For children, art isn’t about rules and critiques. Art for kids is about expression and creating and fun! Creating art with kids is like opening the most fantastic Pandora ’s Box of possibilities. You never know how they will express themselves through art. Going back years and years to some of the most beloved Masters of art is a great way to intrigue children about different forms of art, different styles and different mediums. When young people used to aspire to be artists, they would take on the apprenticeship role under Masters of art. I want your kids (and you!) to come along with me and become apprentices to some of art’s Masters!

Studying Under the Masters for Kids was created to teach children about art, history, techniques, and how to learn from and be inspired by great artists. In this three-week course, we will visit three artists who created art in different time periods and places on the map.

Come and read more about this course that will begin on September 19, 2016 and will be lead by Alicia Hutchinson.

We’ll go to Japan and learn from Katsushika Hokusai and his use of woodblock prints, how he could magically capture the movement of water, and study his beautiful landscapes.

We’ll travel to Switzerland and study about Paul Klee. We’ll learn from his love of color theory, mixing mediums, and how his geometric shapes took on fluid movement.

And we’ll explore Austria and the great Gustav Klimt. We’ll study his most famous paintings, learn about his love of shapes and mosaics, and how one of his favorite mediums to work with was quite extravagant!

Each week, you’ll learn about a different artist. A video will introduce the artist, show many pieces of art by him, and we’ll learn some interesting trivia along the way too. After we’ve learned a bit about the Master, you’ll watch another video about that artist’s famed technique—printing, watercolors, mosaics, and more. When your child has gotten a grasp for the techniques we’ll move into the fun stuff—the projects! We’ll create lots of beautiful pieces of art inspired by our teachers—art to hang on the wall, to decorate with and even to wear!

Ways To Use this Course:

  • Invite the kids’ friends over and have an “Art Week.” Choose one of the artists and create art all week with your friends!
  • Use as a unit study. Check out books from the library, go online and watch videos and fully immerse yourself into the life of the great artist. When you’re creating art like him, you’ll have such a personal experience!
  • Use in your homeschool for a month or more of art classes.
  • Create a wonderful one-on-one time with your art-loving child and create art together—make it a special date!


Who is this Course for?

Art should be enjoyed at all ages, but because this course goes pretty in-depth about the lives of artists and their specific techniques, it’s probably geared more towards older kids. My suggestion would be ages 7-12. We will be using supplies at times that won’t be suitable for little, tiny hands. If you have younger kids, you can always get them their own box of art supplies and they can create with their own supplies near you. Having both boys and girls myself, I try to be sensitive to not making our art projects too girlie. I was conscious of this when creating this course and it is definitely suitable for boys and girls alike. There is one project where we will be creating jewelry, but this would be a great gift for Mama or your son could make a more “masculine” version of the project.

What will I get with this course?

When you sign up to take this course, you’ll be receiving lifetime access to all the video content—over 7 hours. You’ll get a Student Notebook with information about each artist, spaces to take notes, book lists, art supply lists, and more. You’ll receive video content on many great art projects, tips on storing kids’ art, and videos on help with creating art with kids—even if it’s not your strong suit!

I so hope you will join us in Studying Under the Masters for Kids! It was a blast to create and I can’t wait to see what your children come up with! See you in class



The early registration price for Studying Under The Masters For KIDS is $38, will have 7+ hours of content, all videos will be pre-recorded for your convenience and has lifetime* access.

The course will begin on September 19, 2016.

If you are new to our creative network here are easy steps to get you started…

1. Register at jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free).

2. Once your account is active you are able to take advantage of our free courses, series and even pay for courses.

3. Go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and along the top header click on “COURSES” and you will be able to view all three pages of online courses and free series.

4. To purchase a course please choose your course, click on the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be INSTANTLY in the classroom.

5. All videos can be found along the right hand side of the page under “COURSE CONTENT”.

*as long as we manage the jeanneoliver.ning.com creative network


Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

High {low}

Once a week my children go to an enrichment school for homeschoolers.

My kids love it…I love it…all is well on glorious Thursdays!

It is nice to have a day that everything they tell me is a surprise.

I like to play a game with them on the drive home.

We play high/low.

They tell me one high and one low.

They will also ask me.

We also play this game around the dinner table and it is fun for Kelly to have a better glimpse into our day.

It is really fun, fast and gives us a little glimpse into what the kids are feeling.

So, I thought I would play high/low with all of you.

I am going to include the whole week.

My low this week was having difficulty with production.  This is definite growing pains for me with my business and I am learning a ton.  It has been hard though and stressful.  I know it will be good that I have more help but these past weeks have been uncomfortable.

My high this week was really connecting with Ben.  He is four and so not a baby.  I had a little alone time with him this week and I had slowed down (in the midst of the chaos) to really look at him.  Really.  To notice his small hands that won’t be small much longer.  His kisses are free and abundant.  We blew bubbles. When was the last time you blew bubbles…it is fab.u.lous!  He is my little boy that will get me swinging high on a swing and all I can see are my toes against the clouds.  Please stop growing Ben. Please.

What was YOUR high/low??

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes