A little about my educational background and experience:  I graduated from Indiana University, let’s just say decades ago, with a BS in Business/Marketing.  I had a hard time finding my niche in the business world, and after a few jobs, landed a temporary substitute-teaching job in Los Angeles.  I was so intrigued and enamored by the children, that I decided to pursue my elementary teaching credential in the evening while still working.  I had found my calling, and I loved it.  I recollect feeling that I would stay in this profession even if it didn’t pay a dime.  That sentiment actually realized itself as I eventually became a homeschooling parent!  I enjoyed 10 years as a classroom teacher, in grades kindergarten through 2nd grade, and finally settled into my favorite, preschool.  As I just mentioned, the classroom was eventually replaced by the contemporary one-room schoolhouse, (also known as homeschooling!), where I am still teaching after 13 years.  And that comes to one of the purposes of this blog…

Every school year’s story is so different from the one before it, and the one to follow.  This year is one which I will hold close to my heart forever because this year is the last year that I will have all 3 of my daughters under my homeschool umbrella.  My eldest, Sabrina, will be graduating from our itty bitty high school at the end of this school year. Every year has its share of good and bad drama, tears and joy, and this one is no exception.

If you are contemplating homeschooling your own family, my hope is that you find “Ring the School Bell 180” encouraging and realize that even a veteran classroom teacher and experienced homeschooling teacher seldom has days where all goes as planned, and that the daily structure of the school day varies considerably, unlike the traditional school setting. And that is okay, because ultimately the same goals get accomplished in the long run.

For other parents who have been doing this a while, I hope that you find it amusing and maybe pick up a few ideas, here and there, as well as renewed strength when the going gets rough.   Finally, for those of you who are not contemplating homeschooling, I am sure you can also relate to the craziness and busyness of life with growing children at home and that you also encounter many of the same situations and frustrations often.  After all, we are all homeschooling parents in the grand school of life.

This being a family-style blog, I invited family members to be part of it.  The Melissa’s Corner category is a place in which Melissa, my daughter, shares some of her hobbies and ideas.  She hopes that you will enjoy them.  Sabrina and Sarah have also made their contributions of perspective, art, and videos throughout the blog.

I also have a section reserved just for allergy-free recipes.  My daughter Sarah was born with multiple severe food allergies, some life-threatening.  The chief allergies include nuts, peanuts, dairy, and egg.  Through trial and error, I have adapted many recipes, so that she could enjoy what the rest of us were eating.  As challenging as that has been over the years, ultimately we are the healthier for it!  Our food contains less saturated fat and cholesterol, and we are less “nuts” than the rest of the population. (probably not!)  Most of the recipes I have developed, I actually prefer, to their allergen-filled counterparts.  I hope you enjoy them too.  Feel free to leave feedback on any recipes you try, or about allergies in general.

Finally, entrepreneurship is something I encourage in my family.  Here and there, you will find items for sale, which are all homemade by my daughters and I. See the “Boutique” tab located on the menu bar for shopping fun.

Snow Pattern Velum 10- Rose 4 U
Roses for You!

*A note to the reader:  The reflections of “Ring the School Bell 180” were originally from the school year 2013/2014.  My notes were scribbled down every day, in the hectic-ness of it all, and then ultimately drafted to be presentable to you, the reader.  Although, the day-to-day diary is of that school year, the current revision includes thoughts and reflections of the present day.

**Did any of you spot the “heart” hidden in Melissa’s Dandelion photo, featured at the top of this page?  It is not “photoshopped”!  Just a reminder that love is all around us, even hidden in the Dandelions, if we just look.