No Limits

This post is about opportunities, possibilities, fun and straight unabashed Mom bragging!

When I pulled the boys out of public school to embark on what was a big unknown- doing school at home- never did I ever think that things would end up the way they did. The whole endeavor was blessed- plain and simple- and we are truly thankful! That combined with hard work and perseverance has reaped some incredible opportunities…

Our youngest left two weeks ago for a field school in Cajamarca, Peru. It’s a 5 week program with his anthropology/archeology department worth 6 credits towards his major (anthropology). He worked his butt off to get accepted as a rising sophomore- taking an extra archeology class on top of his regular freshman classes so he’d qualify. The top pic is from him- a day off from the digging and cataloging up in the mountains to explore the town – a farmers market, street food, practicing Spanish 😉 he is over the moon- we are so proud of him!

Our oldest is home for the summer from New Orleans – doing his third summer of internship with a local architecture firm. No goofing around or lazy summer days for him working full time racking up necessary internship hours…but the payoff: Italy. To be more specific, Trastevere, Rome- where he’ll be for the Fall – attending the Pantheon Institute to do the first semester of his 4th year of architecture studio classes. The second pic is of the letter he received the other day…official confirmation and documentation/passport/visa. He has been working like a dog for 3 years to get here- what an amazing thing he gets to do…live/work- go to school in Rome!! He’s chomping at the bit to leave at the end of August!! We are so proud of him😊

I ask you…Is it weird to be a tad envious of your children?!? ‘Cause, we definitely are! Hahaha😊 actually, we’re thrilled for the both of them- truly living out some big dreams❤

If you’re worried that taking kids out of the public system will limit them in any way- don’t be…kids who do school at home can do great big amazing far reaching spectacular things out there in the real world!






I Can’t Learn From You (3 stars)

I don’t particularly like the way that looks…it’s no longer a solid 5 stars.

This post is inspired by my first bad review- well, not bad but less than good- not 5 stars but 3. A measly 3 stars.

When I first read the review I honestly felt like I’d been slapped in the face- ouch! I knew this day was bound to come – it’s an inevitability – not everyone will love what you have to say. But wait…the reviewer did not hate the book.  In fact, she says it was, “Enjoyable enough”. Haha- I’ll take it 😉

The reviewers’ disappointment came with the realization that we’d used an online curriculum.  Because our way of doing school at home was too different from her way…she felt she could not gain any encouragement from our story.


Of course we can all be encouraged by one another. Like I say in the book; there are a million different ways to do school outside the public system- all good – you choose the one you think will work best for your family…if it doesn’t work, choose a different plan of attack. It’s important to NOT get hung up on doing everything perfectly or the ‘right’ way.

The truth is you will find naysayers and discouragers all over the place- you will also find some of that judgmental negativity within the homeschooling community- don’t listen to them…their way is NOT the only way or the best way.

You do you- ask lots of questions and listen to people who’ve completed the race, and won- people who are willing to share their trials and successes with you😊

So, I thank this reviewer for her honesty and the idea for this topic- it’s important to know you’re not alone regardless of the method you choose- I feel like there’s lots to be gained from listening to those who’ve gone on before us even if they did things completly differently than you are doing things – besides, she does say the book was ‘heartfelt’ and ‘good, albeit short’. All true!! I guess 3 stars is more towards half full than half empty!


College (If you’re wondering)

Misconception #4092: Kids who do school at home can’t go to college – will colleges accept them right out of high school?

Yes, you betcha!

Like I state in the book…there’s nothing a good community college can’t fix – but if the goal is to go directly from high school at home to a four year university- it can most definitely be done! There are many different ways to do it with more, and more schools adding a ‘homeschoolers’ application process  to their websites every year. In our case the program we used is what is called an ‘umbrella’… we had a records office, official transcripts were kept, accreditations and certifications galore, so applying to universities was not too terribly different for my kids than it was for their public/private school counterparts.

People who choose to ‘unschool’ or do a mish-mash of curriculum choices can keep their own records- there are a million ways to do things and a great deal of support out there from those of us who have graduated kids from home! There are a growing number of schools who allow homegrown transcripts and records (that have become quite official over the years)- a place to submit pictures of science and art projects etc.. almost like submitting a college app portfolio rather than the good ol Common Application.

Also important to note…there are a growing number of schools that are making the SAT and ACT optional.

The moral of today’s post is simply this: Yes, kids who did high school at home can get into the top universities from all over the world – it can be done, and done exceedingly well – not to toot our own horn here at the Smiley Academy (ok, maybe just a lil toot lol) my guys received academic recruitment letters with offers of merit scholarships from a vast and varied assortment of schools – their final choices pictured at the top of this post😊

Misconception #4093: Kids who do school at home will not be able to keep up with the rigor of a four year university. Sorry, that’s incorrect! Of course there are always outliers, but for the most part the opposite is true – many colleges have figured out that these kids who did school at home are MORE ready – already being self sufficient self teaching self learners who had to become well organized and focused to survive high school at home. An unintended consequence that has most definitely worked out in our favor…year three, and year one of college for my boys very successfully in the books😊

*pro tip* be as proactive as you can possibly be – become your students best advocate- research and be aware of all academic and admissions requirements- have them hit the ground running in ninth grade- senior year arrives in a flash!!