AMY KOONS, along with her husband, is a second-generation homeschooler. She wasn’t initially thrilled when her parents pulled her out of third-grade public school. In fact, her parents might not put it that nicely. Now she has four children of her own, ages nine and under, and homeschools the older ones while simultaneously trying to keep the two-year-old from burning the house down. Homeschooling children, with toddlers and/or babies underfoot, is the most difficult thing she has ever done. (Law school was a breeze compared to this!) It’s easy to feel stretched thin when trying to be all-things-to-all-children. She tries to keep perspective and a sense of humor when the road is rough. She enjoys watching her children learn and grow and is thankful for the extra time she has with her kids, because of homeschooling. Amy believes homeschooling is rewarding and definitely never dull!
CAROLYN BALES started drinking coffee during high school debate and hasn’t stopped yet. She was homeschooled through middle and high school, got her degree from Patrick Henry College, and is just beginning to homeschool her own daughters. She has a quote for all occasions, considers green chile the best food for head colds, and, while more of a book nerd herself, she appreciates science humor. Her new rental house is the best because it has a craft room. You can follow her at www.pinterest.com/pinoncoffee/.
JESSICA COLE, as a second-generation homeschooler, has firsthand experience with the student side of homeschooling and is enjoying the challenge of learning the teaching side as well. In 2006, shortly before graduating from Patrick Henry College with a degree in English, Jessica married fellow homeschool grad, Jeremy. They now have four children: three girls and one boy. Jessica enjoys writing, especially encouraging other moms, often through stories of her own mistakes and lessons learned the hard way! She enjoys working on building her small photography business as she has time. She is a daughter of HSLDA co-founder Mike Farris and his wife, Vickie.
JULIE SCHNATTERLY is a reluctant expert at homeschooling in the midst of difficult circumstances. Multiple cross-country moves, career changes and unemployment, chronic illnesses, hurricane evacuations and more, faith-based homeschooling was an anchor for her family during times of crisis. Julie has worked as a Grant Administrator for the Home School Foundation for nearly six years assisting families experiencing difficult circumstance and strives to balance discernment with compassion as she meets them on familiar ground. When she’s not working, this wife and mother of three young adult children and a grandmother to one precious girl spends her time on several hobbies which among writing include designing and constructing signs from pallet wood, cooking, hiking the Appalachian Trail in her backyard, knitting and crocheting as well as new interests in gardening and photography. Keeping up with it all requires a zest for life, learning not to sweat the small stuff and significant amounts of coffee.
RACHELLE REITZ is a second-generation homeschooler who went on to work in college admissions after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. She has a passion for excellence in education and college and life-preparedness among homeschoolers. She left college admissions to raise her own family, a son and two daughters. She home schools and works part-time as a travel coordinator for two limited-government policy organizations. She resides in Saginaw, Michigan with her husband Michael and their children, Ben, Kyrie, and Evie.
ROSE FOCHT is a homeschool graduate who now enjoys teaching her children at home (most days). Her six children range in age from ten to zero, and provide an endless source of joy, inspiration, frustration, and conversation.
Rose’s homeschool experience involved an accelerated learning schedule that allowed her to graduate high school early and pursue a college degree while working. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Humanities, and intends a career in law, politics, or medicine in the distant future. Right now, her interests include reading, writing, home management, healthy living, and of course education.
SARA JONES, wife of HSLDA attorney Darren Jones, enjoys her life as a freelance writer, a wife, and a homeschooling mom (not always in that order).
In addition to raising and educating four kids, Sara is always spinning stories in her head, baking, messaging friends, and taking long drives along Virginia’s back highways. “Her debut novel, The Fellowship explores spiritual abuse and the search for grace. She blogs at SaraRobertsJones.com.
Their reasonably happy household includes Bookgirl (13), Gamerboy (12), Sparkler (8), and Ranger (5).
TRACY KLICKA MACKILLOP (widow of Christopher Klicka, former Senior Counsel, HSLDA) is a 25-year homeschooling veteran of seven children who loves encouraging other families in this amazing journey called homeschooling. From the crazy, busy, yet joyful early years of parenting (at one point, she had six children, seven and under, four in diapers, nursing two!) to the challenging but deeply rewarding season of raising young adults (five teens at once exceeds the legal limit!) to her current season as a mother of several married, adult children (tip: your kids still need you just as much!) Tracy’s message for homeschooling moms is one of hope and joy in a good God. In addition to serving part-time as the director of development for the Home School Foundation, Tracy is a writer, and conference and retreat speaker who continues to homeschool her youngest of seven children. Tracy and her husband Peter live in Northern Virginia.