Born and raised in Montana, I graduated from Montana State University with a B.A. in French Language and Literature. This choice of major resulted in my spending one year of post-graduate study in France and then returning to the states for graduate school. I received an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland.
Prior to homeschooling, I worked as an editor and technical writer for NASA and The National Eye Institute and performed contract work for Microsoft. Currently I am a regular contributor to the online magazine of Grace Church.
The 2023-2024 school year will be my 18th year teaching writing classes. I have used the IEW method for all of those years and have been IEW Certified since certification became available in 2009.
I home-schooled my own three children for 13 years, two of of whom are now graduates of the University of Florida and full-time teachers, and one earned an Associates Degree and is working a technical position at Universals Studios.
Although my courses are designed to prepare students for college-level work (and beyond), I am far more passionate about preparing them for life. There is no way to teach a student everything. Instead, my goal is to partner with you, the parent, to give students the tools they will need to take ownership of their learning and to self-educate so that they can fill any “gaps” in their knowledge.
What that looks like in practice is somewhat different than the traditional classroom. I do not assign a long summer reading list, but I urge you to encourage your student to read for delight. We do not cover large volumes of classic literature, but rather focus on a few and really delve into what makes them classics. Very little class time is devoted to lecturing if I can help it. I prefer students to gather information outside of class so that we can discuss it in class.
For composition, I choose the IEW method of developing writing skills, as it trains students not just what is considered good writing, but how to accomplish it. Additionally, the IEW method is excellent for training students how to think first and then present their thoughts clearly.
I believe very strongly that if we train students to learn independently and to think for themselves, they will be able to learn anything they need —for a lifetime! Armed with these skills and a biblical worldview, I believe students will be best able to accomplish anything the Lord calls them to do and stand firm in a culture that is increasingly in opposition to their faith.