Welcome to HomeSchool ThinkTank! My name is Jackie. I’m a homeschool coach, consultant, educator, and longtime homeschooling mom dedicated to helping you homeschool your kids successfully.
Through HomeSchool ThinkTank’s blog, podcast, and coaching services, I serve homeschooling parents worldwide.
Here’s a little about me.
- Founder of HomeSchool ThinkTank.
- 15+ years of experience as a Homeschool Mom.
- Licensed Physical Education Teacher for Grades K-12.
- Certified Life Coach who helps parents with homeschooling and personal issues.
- Homeschool Consultant for both parents and organizations who serve the homeschool community.
- Experience teaching in private and public schools.
- Experience working in a Nationally Accredited Preschool with children ages 2-5.
- Author of THINK HOMESCHOOL: Live & Learn Your Way.
- Host of the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
Ultimately, I combine my education, skills, and experience to help parents succeed at homeschooling their kids.
About HomeSchool ThinkTank & Jackie
I want to share a little about HomeSchool ThinkTank and how it has grown to serve homeschooling parents worldwide. As with every organization, the origin story begins with the founder. To keep it quick, I’ll share a simplified version of my own history.
As a child, I loved going to school and was good at following the path laid out before me. However, when I entered college, I didn’t have direction. While I earned good grades, I lacked purpose and floundered through nearly six years of college before earning a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and obtaining my Teacher’s License.
Upon graduating college, I worked at a Nationally Accredited Preschool and later taught Physical Education at a local elementary school.
Teaching at an Elementary School
I loved being the P.E. Teacher at a local elementary school. However, in my last year of teaching, I was pregnant with my oldest child. During that year, I began to see the school system very differently. I began to see public education through a mother’s eyes.
Rather than simply seeing the subjects children were learning, I noticed all of the other things children were learning.
- Raising your hand to speak.
- Asking for permission to use the bathroom or get a drink.
- The constant lining up of children.
- The unhealthy food served in the cafeteria.
- How children’s evenings were filled with homework.
This is only the beginning of a long list of things that were beginning to bother me. My view of the public education system shifted in the year I was pregnant with my first child. As a result, before my last day of teaching in a public school, I knew that it was likely that I would homeschool my unborn child.
Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
With the birth of my first daughter, I resigned from my position as a physical education teacher. Since that time, I have been a stay-at-home mom. When my children were young, I loved being a stay-at-home mom, and I knew I wanted to continue as a homeschooling mom.
Since the day my first child was born, teaching my children at home was a natural way of being. I was reading books to my kids as infants, teaching them along the way, and gathering with other stay-at-home moms and their kids. This all seemed so simple.
Five Years Old and Beginning to Homeschool
I vividly remember the day my oldest would have gone to Kindergarten if I had enrolled her in public school. Instead, I registered her as a homeschooler, and we started homeschooling. What’s funny, though, is nothing had actually changed.
Just like every day, I read to her and her little sister. We also completed a reading lesson. Months before, we had started a math book. We listened to history CDs over lunch. I played a game with her. We went outside to play.
I remember thinking: “Yep, my daughter is learning what’s important, but she isn’t learning to walk quietly in a line through the hallways.” As a former teacher, I knew this was how the first school days were spent.
Feeling the Weight of the Public Education System
While nothing had actually changed on that first day of home schooling, I did start feeling the weight of the public education system on my back. While I had read about and liked the idea of unschooling, I couldn’t bring myself to adopt this unorthodox approach.
In reality, unschooling is precisely what I had done before my daughter turned five, and it was working beautifully. However, my concern about being checked on by the state left me feeling that I should take a more classical approach to education.
I began modeling our day after the public education system. Rather than simply helping my kids learn, I started doing “school-at-home.” I was trying to fit “subjects” into time blocks. With hindsight, I realized that doing “school-at-home” was a mistake and hampered my children’s education.
Ultimately, I discovered that my home was not a school. While education was and is important, homeschooling is not about school.
Homeschooling is about education, community, family, learning, and life – but it is not about school.
Homeschooling Was Simple: Until It Wasn’t
While homeschooling my first daughter was simple, homeschooling my second daughter was challenging. I was baffled, I knew so much about children and child development, but I was struggling with my own child. When my youngest was around eight, I couldn’t imagine homeschooling her one more day, so I enrolled her in a private school.
While this sounds simple, it was a very difficult time for me. I felt like a failure as a mom. I sat on the bathroom floor and bawled. All I wanted to do was homeschool my kids, and I had failed.
Watch This Video
How & Why We Serve Homeschool Families
But Did I Fail as a Homeschooling Mom?
I don’t think so. I did what was right for my youngest child at that time. She was in a good school with a small class and an excellent teacher. It wasn’t what I had imagined for her education, but neither was our homeschooling reality.
As a result of my challenges with my youngest child, I sought out the help of a therapist. He told me not to help my daughter with her homework. When my husband was home, Dad could help her. When my husband was out of town, my daughter was to do her homework independently or not at all.
Eventually, I realized that our therapist’s main goal was to help me re-establish my bond with my youngest daughter. While I hadn’t founded HomeSchool ThinkTank yet, this lesson has greatly impacted my homeschool philosophy.
p.s. Throughout this time, I continued homeschooling my oldest child.
My Daughter Returns to Homeschooling
After about a year and a half of attending a private school successfully, things beyond our control had changed at my daughter’s school. My youngest struggled with the classroom environment, and we cautiously resumed homeschooling her.
Upon homeschooling my youngest daughter again, I carefully protected our relationship. In challenging moments, I would repeat to myself, “Connection Before Curriculum.” I knew that to homeschool successfully, I had to nurture our relationship.
This mantra, “Connection Before Curriculum,” has become a part of the HomeSchool ThinkTank Philosophy. When homeschooling your kids, you must remember to nurture your connection with your child.
The Inspiration to Write a Book
During my oldest daughter’s pre-teen years, she started a habit of writing every morning. Each night she had dreams that inspired her, so she would rush to the recliner each morning with her laptop in hand. For the first hour of each morning, she would write.
At some point, I realized that my oldest daughter might want to publish someday, so I set out to learn about self-publishing and marketing a book. I didn’t want to learn about self-publishing with the book she had worked on for years, so I decided to write my own book.
The first day of writing my book was brainstorming ideas of things I could write about. I quickly ruled out fiction and decided to write a non-fiction book. By the end of the morning, I had a long list of ideas. I bought an online course to help me write my book. By the end of the week, I decided to write about homeschooling.
The Founding of HomeSchool ThinkTank
While I had decided to write a book about homeschooling in the fall of 2017, I postponed starting the book until after the holidays. In the meantime, I was thinking about my own homeschooling experience. I became aware of the many challenges I’d had over the years.
During this timeframe, I’m not exactly sure how things came together, but I became obsessed with homeschooling. I was doing research and thinking a lot about homeschooling. In addition, I was learning about self-publishing, and through it all, I realized I wanted to start a business around homeschooling.
While writing THINK HOMESCHOOL: Live & Learn Your Way, I became increasingly aware of the many dilemmas I’d had as a homeschooling mom. However, I also started thinking of ways to solve these homeschooling problems. I knew I couldn’t be alone and that other homeschooling parents must have similar challenges, too.
With a desire to help solve problems that homeschoolers face, I founded HomeSchool ThinkTank in January 2018.
I Lost My Book: The Entire Book
For six months, I worked on THINK HOMESCHOOL. One afternoon in May of 2018, I leaned back in my chair, and with a smile on my face, I proclaimed that the book was finished. The next morning, I dropped my kids off at a homeschool activity, went to the library, opened my laptop, and tried to open the file.
Nothing happened. The file had been corrupted. The entire book was gone, and I had not backed it up anywhere.
I knew better. I went to college and backed up every paper I’d ever worked on. But aside from this book, I hadn’t worked on anything significant since college. I had simply forgotten. Backing up my work hadn’t even crossed my mind.
My brother is an IT Specialist and went through my computer thoroughly. The file was not to be recovered. The book was gone.
Was I Going to Give Up?
The next morning I woke up with a sob. I lay there staring at the ceiling. I had a decision to make. Was I going to give up or keep going?
I got up and started the book again. This time I backed up my work in multiple places.
And by starting the book again, I put a stake in the ground. I would write my book, AND I would make HomeSchool ThinkTank a successful organization that served homeschooling families.
I Need to Toughen Up If I’m Going to Succeed
After losing my book, I thought, “If I’m going to succeed in business, I must toughen up.” As a result, I started seeking information to help me improve my mindset.
While I started learning more about mindset to help me with HomeSchool ThinkTank, I realized that what I was learning and doing was helping me become a better parent, too. I thought, “Every homeschooling parent needs to know this stuff.”
p.s. I now realize that I didn’t need to toughen up, but I did need a better awareness of my thoughts and how those thoughts were impacting my life.
Listen to This Podcast Episode About HomeSchool ThinkTank…
Life Coaching for Homeschool Parents
While I didn’t act immediately, it didn’t take me long to decide to become a life coach. I knew the education I would receive through the Life Coach Certification Program would help me serve homeschooling parents better. While I have been studying mindset work for years now, I completed my Life Coach Certification in June of 2023.
As a Certified Life Coach, I help parents with the day-to-day aspects of homeschooling their kids. In addition, I am qualified to help parents with many other problems, too.
As a homeschooling mom, I understand that ALL of your life impacts how you show up as a homeschooling parent. By working through the things that are bothering you, whether related to homeschooling or not, you will be a better homeschooling parent.
I genuinely believe every parent would benefit from working with a life coach, which is why HomeSchool ThinkTank offers life coaching to homeschooling parents.
Homeschool Help & Guidance for Parents
When you have questions about the logistics of homeschooling, I can help you. Whether I directly answer your questions or set you on the right path, I am confident I can help you understand the ins and outs of homeschooling. During conversations about homeschooling, I offer parents additional insight they might not have considered.
As a homeschool consultant, I can help you understand your homeschooling options so you can succeed at homeschooling your kids.
Homeschool Consulting + Life Coaching = Homeschool Coaching
My goal is to help you succeed at homeschooling your kids, and that path can take many different forms. When you work with me, I combine my knowledge of homeschooling with my skills as a life coach to help you homeschool your kids successfully.
Is My Homeschool Coaching Program Right for You?
Here’s who I work with…
- Parents who want guidance with homeschooling.
- Moms and Dads who want to improve their parenting skills.
- Parents who are struggling with homeschooling their kids.
- Homeschool parents who want help with personal problems or goals.
- Individuals, groups, and organizations who serve the homeschool community.
As a homeschool consultant and certified life coach, I have the knowledge and skills to help you homeschool your kids successfully. When you work with me, you’ll get individualized homeschool guidance and coaching.