Questioning School Content

I don’t know about you, but I’m concerned about the growing content in schools that focuses on political agenda, sexual orientation, and racism. What happened to reading, writing, and math?

I don’t have children in school anymore. Our youngest son is a junior in college. But I have grand kids, friends who have kids, and friends who are teachers. Let’s just say we’re all stunned that education has come to this.

That said, Discovery House embraces a lifestyle of learning. It allows children to explore the world of language, art, math, science, history, culture, dance, music, food, and fun so they can learn, create, and problem solve. Not test take.

As we continue to look for suitable properties and funding, I’d love to get feedback on whether that kind of an environment would be appealing to you.

We’re not a school, but we learn a lot!

We’re not a museum, but we have hands-on experiences that foster questions and help us discover.

We’re not a day care. Participation by students and even parents is expected and applauded.

We’re a family of lifestyle learners who want more that sitting at a desk, taking tests, and reading or watching questionable material.

Sound like something you’d be interested in? Check out the rest of our website for more information. Please give me a thumbs up or comment in the section below.

(Currently, we’re in Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida, but I hope to open and expand in numerous places.)

True Learning

If you let kids learn, they will learn.

Create an environment of discovery and people are naturally explorative. God, who made us in his image, is a creator. The combinations of colorful, creative people, animals, insects, plants, planets, ocean life, etc. is infinite. We will always possess a longing to discover and understand it all.

Unfortunately, our current educational system pushes “learning” on children from infancy with ideals often comprised by those who don’t really understand the basis of education. Learning isn’t simply imparting knowledge.

This is part of an article by Kate, the Modern Alternative Mama, that is an excellent example of the breakdown in education. I appreciate her outside the box approach.

Preschoolers Need PLAY, Not Academics
I took my youngest, who’s 4, to story time at the library today. I knew about what to expect, having done this years ago with my older ones.   And generally it was accurate — a couple stories, a song, and a craft.  He loves listening to stories, wasn’t a fan of the song (stood next to me the whole time), and enjoyed the craft.  He also just loves leaving the house and being around others. But. The leader spent time on “letters of the week,” expecting the kids to be able to recognize them (3 – 5 year olds).  She also mentioned they should write their names on their projects.  And she sent us home with tracing sheets to practice writing letters, and an alphabet chart. This is what the mainstream considers developmentally appropriate for preschoolers…and it isn’t.  It’s no wonder so many parents with young kids feel pressured and worried that their kids are ‘behind’ when they’re not. What kids this age actually need are stories…songs…hands-on crafts…a chance to interact with other children.  They need to explore the world and the people and things in it.  They need answers to all their (many) questions. They do not need to recognize or write their letters.  That will come, later.  Every healthy child in a literate world, with supportive parents, will pick up on these things when they are ready.

Some children at an early age, my oldest son was one, will ask to write letters and want to explore language in reading. Other children may like numbers, counting, adding, and make collections of items. Perhaps they love watching bugs, finding rocks, or catching lizards. Colors might fascinate them and you can find them “drawing” in their yogurt or pudding. And all of them will figure out reading by the ages of eight to ten because that’s when their mental growth allows for it. (Check out educator John Holt and Dr. Raymond Moore for further information.)

We are all different and will be motivated in different ways. For visual learners, books and movies fascinate. Auditory learners love to make sounds and listen to stories. If a child is a tactile learner, they will want to feel, smell, and taste everything. Music, art, nature, interacting with people, spending time alone, and movement are some other avenues through which individuals best learn.

Bottom line? Children will learn, if we let them.

Discovery is the Best Teacher

It’s official. School’s in session this week (at least in our Florida county), and children are dragging their sleepy bodies out of bed to head off to “learning” outlets. On my morning walk two days ago, I passed by one such young man, maybe around ten or eleven years of age, with tired eyes and a wide yawn as he straddled his bike waiting for his mom and older brother. I smiled and wished him a great first day back.

But what I do know, from decades of teaching in various settings, and from friends who are teachers, is that this year is not in any way like previous years. Not only that, but very few students are looking forward to sitting long hours doing schoolwork when much of what is thrown at them, they will not remember nor ever use. One of my brilliant and creative grandsons just let it be known that he is in no way wanting to go to school. He wants to be doing, not sitting. His new hybrid school situation does sound like it will be different and more interactive. We all pray, for his sake, it is.

How sad for kids who if given the right environment love to learn.

Also tragic is that students have to be locked down in their schools with drills because of the very real, and more often occurrence of unexpected violence. School and mall shootings are becoming too common. While I was teaching a class last year at a local high school, we experienced one such drill. Of course we were relieved it wasn’t real, but still unnerving enough.

How do kids study in that kind of environment?

And don’t even get me started about the sudden shift in content this year. I’m pretty sure that no matter what people believe politically, they don’t want some stranger teaching their kindergartner about sex and its varieties.

But on the positive side, recently I watched an incredible video from Mark Roper, the science guy. The way he thinks, experiments, and instructs with his fun and easy explanations creates the best environment for learning. I discover so much from simply enjoying his videos on YouTube, and the entertainment factor doesn’t disappoint. Mind-blowing from every side. He even has new classes. Always hands-on because doing is learning.

So if you’ve never checked him out, this is a good place to start, but I’ll bet you get hooked by his elephant toothpaste and squirrel obstacle courses too just like I did.

Educate or Indoctrinate?

In California, a proposed curriculum is encouraging chanting to the Aztec gods of human sacrifice. A private school in New York has released new guidelines for eliminating words like mom, dad, son, daughter and any gender specific references. And those are only two of numerous examples of the current educational situation.

Call me crazy, but if my kids were currently in school, I’d be a little concerned.

Okay, a lot concerned.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on

Not only is the current situation stifling youngsters with outdated methods that only cater to one set of learners (sit and listen to lecture), but many schools, cities, counties and states are deciding what to add or delete to indoctrinate our children.

This is only one reason I chose to home educate my children. As a parent, I want to be the one to decide what they learn and how they learn it. Especially if they are being taught outside philosophies that contradict our family beliefs.

For example, at one point when our children did attend elementary school, we discovered our first grader’s class was participating in yoga classes which encouraged emptying their minds meditation. I realize a number of people welcome yoga as a physical exercise practice, but I don’t believe the school should be the one to teach my child what or how they should meditate on.

Every family is entitled to their beliefs. Ours happens to be following Jesus Christ and the Bible. Yours may not. But isn’t that the point? Shouldn’t each family get to decide what’s best for their students?


Family is now a word in question that means many other living situations because according to some educators, “mom,” “dad,” “boy,” and “girl” are no longer acceptable.

Now’s the time to really be aware of what is going on in schools while we still have freedom to choose our path of instruction.

In School or Out of School?

So much talk of when kids can go back to school. I get that parents are trying to navigate it all. They need to work and having kids around doesn’t make for an easy or even manageable way to do that. Whether mom and dad work at home or have to work outside the home, it can be a crazy challenge.

Sometimes that calls for a new strategy.

I really like a couple of VRBO ads that show families enjoying “vacation” while the kids are outdoors compiling objects for a report or examining their surroundings. Parents are shown on their computers (presumably working) at times, but also spending valuable time with their children. Discussions, play, and exploring are all part of the learning process. Parents are the first teachers.

Recently one of my children took to the highway, staying with friends, family and in AirBNB’s with their spouse and two kids. They sold most of their things, packed up the rest and headed out. The adults work remotely – a situation they asked their employers about and were miraculously granted in amazing fashion – and the kids are learning in the process. Their education is in a huge part based on the adventures they are experiencing along the road. What an incredible year they will have and are already enjoying!

School doesn’t have to look like a building (or zoom room) with a bunch of kids and a certified teacher. It can, but it doesn’t have to. Learning comes from experience more than anything.

What experiences are your kids having today?

What’s Most Important?

At Discovery House, our goal is to instill two important truths in our kids’ hearts.

  1. You are loved. Everyone needs to know that they are loved and accepted for exactly who they are with all our strengths as well as weaknesses.
  2. You have a purpose. Each person needs to understand that we were created for a purpose. Our unique blend of personality, talents, and abilities are designed to help us function with a specific purpose and plan for good.

We help kids explore not only the world around them, but the uniqueness of who they are. We love and encourage them to become all they were created to be.

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Learning?

This is reprinted from an email letter I received from Connor Boyak, author of The Tuttle Twins books. To read the article in its entirety, you can find it here.

A parent took to Twitter to share an experience she recently had:

My daughter turned around yesterday to grab her charger and her teacher immediately snapped and said she needed to be facing forward at all times. I said, “Go ahead, let the computer die!” in the background and the teacher quickly apologized. Didn’t realize I sit through every class!

Another parent responded saying, “Zoom school is really showing how much of American education is just about controlling and punishing children and not actually, you know, teaching and educating them.”

We used this series of tweets in one of our social media posts and a parent shared her opinion that, “The mass exodus of kids from government schools to unschool is an unintended consequence of media fear hype over the virus. Now there are going to be free thinking kids with an actual education who are not indoctrinated in socialist political views of liberal teachers and the establishment is terrified!”

I don’t know that I think the public-education-powers-that-be are terrified of parents choosing education freedom—they seem too arrogant for that—but I do think it’s true that parents are opting out of this en masse. The data has certainly shown a trend toward parents making the decision to homeschool permanently as a result of lockdowns and virtual learning requirements. I suspect that this trend will only continue as the months wear on and parents have more and more experiences like the woman in the tweet.

Obviously, not everyone can—or wants to—homeschool their children. I get it. I myself am a product of public schools, and I suppose that’s evidence that kids can still turn out okay after getting off the conveyor belt.

Unschooling may be the answer to many parents’ legitimate concerns for their children. We at Discovery House believe learning best takes place in an environment of exploration and discovery where kids are encouraged to ask questions, develop their thinking skills, use their hands, and collaborate on problem solving.

It’s a unique approach. One not easily explained when the idea of school has been so ingrained in us. We are not simply a different kind of school. We exist to engage kids in the adventure of a lifestyle of learning.

Check out the rest of our website for more information. Contact us if you’re in the Fort Myers, Lee or Collier County FL area to talk about current availability.

What’s A Parent to Do?

As September approaches mid-month, parents turn their focus to the questions of how school is going for their students. Questions that never plagued us before, permeate the educational field. Parents are fearful that their children may not get a good education, or they may get infected with this virus, or they may be forced to stay home, and what will that mean for their family?

The two questions I’m hearing/reading most often are these:

  1. Can I still homeschool my children if I have to work?
  2. My children are four and five years old, and I’m worried about what curriculum to use.

So I thought I’d offer my thoughts as an educator and former homeschool mom.

First, the question of what to use to teach your young children. My answer is: you don’t need a curriculum. Here’s what you can do with them that will best prepare them to learn well:

  1. Answer their questions and show them how to find answers.
  2. Let them ask questions and ask them questions to help them think rather than for a “right” answer.
  3. READ to them! A lot. Every single day. You’ll thank me later. This builds their skills, but also creates a great lifelong bond between you and your child. They are never too young (yes, in the womb), nor too old for this.
  4. Play games with them. I’m not talking video games. I mean card games, board games, games like pick-up-sticks which all help them develop analytical thinking skills as well as math and reading comprehension. (Trust me on this!)
  5. Teach them while you’re out and about. Talk about what things cost at the store and show them how to figure out per pound prices or how much an item they want will be with 10% off. Count with them. Show them how to read signs like STOP. Help them learn to observe by pointing out things around them. For example, how things look the same or different, sizes, colors, shapes, etc.
  6. Let them be creative. Give them things to create with. Even a big cardboard box goes a long way. Make tents out of blankets. Play with balloons. Paint, markers, and big pieces of paper are worth the mess because it fosters a love of learning.

You are their best teacher. Don’t let a system tell you otherwise. It does take some patience and diligence, but can also be really enjoyable. They are little people who are sponges soaking up information. Fill them with good stuff. Make good impressions in their “wet cement.” And don’t forget the best lessons are training them in polite, obedient, and kind behavior. Kids with boundaries are fun to be around for you and others.

As for the other question: Yes, you can. I did it working full time as a single parent for a few years. It takes some flexibility and creative planning, but it can be done. There are options. Depending on the age of your students, co-ops, trading off with other homeschoolers, college or community classes, creating a an “envelope” schedule for your students are all potential plans.

And in case you need more help in this area, we are here for you. Check out the rest of our website to see how Discovery House might be an answer for you.

It’s Working =)

Picture taken by student on our nature walk.

We started on a small scale this week with our first student in our home environment. This participant is enjoying our unschooling approach and has already learned and accomplished so much in a couple of days. I’m having a blast with this incredible young person who didn’t “fit in” with a traditional school style. This individual is intelligent, interesting, talkative in a positive, creative way, and eager to learn. All characteristics that others had expressed were not true – in fact they claimed the exact opposite!

I love to see children blossom when given a chance to discover a lifestyle of learning!

If you’re in the Fort Myers, FL (Lee or Collier County) area and need a different approach for your child, please feel free to contact me.

Let’s talk about how we can help your child learn to love learning!

Welcome to Our House

We love learning. Every day the world around us holds so much for us to discover. What are some things you wonder about? How are houses built? What does an armadillo eat? Which snakes are poisonous? Where do diamonds come from? What does annihilate mean?

Couldn’t we go on all day?

At Discovery House, we encourage kids to ask questions and find the answers or solutions. Our goal is for kids to love learning. Exploring and discovering create an adventure in learning.

Sometimes we need a little help.

Our mentors are available to answer questions and to inspire kids by asking them the right kinds of questions. Questions that help them think for themselves. Not simply expecting them to spit out answers they memorized for a test and will forget shortly afterwards because the information had no relational context for them.

At Discovery House we use various methods to help instill and foster a love of learning. Thus, we are able to meet the needs of every family who uses our facility by employing a mixture of these styles.

Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason describes in detail what she calls the five flavors of Homeschooling in the following video. Her descriptions and the “quiz” she uses to help parents figure out what best describes their family is a great example of how Discovery House works.

Check out the rest of our site for more details on how Discovery House works.

We are currently in process of obtaining the property, licensing and permits to open Discovery House in the Fall of 2020. For anyone interested in investing in this unique educational opportunity, here is our GoFundMe link.

Whether you’re a Lee County, Florida parent looking for a different option for your family or anyone interested in furthering a new way of corporate learning, we’d love to hear from you at

We appreciate your comments and sharing!