Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

It's that time of year to get all fancied up and climb into your limo to head over to the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5MinutesforMom.

I am Nicole, Lead Teacher at Pursuit Academy (we have a new name!) I blog here at Journey to Excellence about the schooling experiences of my children: Dawson, age 15 in the 9th grade (homeschool), Eli, age 8 in the 2nd grade (public school), and Brynne, age 6 in the 2nd grade (homeschool). I also have a 17 year old daughter, Kyndal, who lives in another state with her dad. She is a junior in high school. My husband, Rick, is an engineer and supports our schooling endeavors. Starting next year, he will be taking on a more active role by leading our children in Science Saturdays.

Our homeschooling journey started two years ago when Dawson, a then 7th grader, begged to come home. God had already been speaking to me about this, so we jumped right in the next year. Eli and Brynne were in public school ... Eli in 1st grade, Brynne starting kindergarten. After about four weeks, Brynne started having problems in school (they were the problem, not her). So, we brought her home and started schooling her as a 1st grader. Eli remained in public school for 1st grade and this year, 2nd grade, to continue to receive the speech therapy, occupational therapy, and extra help with his reading resource teacher. He had progressed so much, however, that we have decided that he will be homeschooling with us starting next year. Yayyyyy!!!!

What goes on here at Pursuit Academy? What will you find on Journey to Excellence?

* Every week I summarize our week on Friday, telling specifically what we have studied that week.

* I love unit studies, particularly ones based on literature, or a local event occurring, or an upcoming movie or play, so I post lots of my unit study lesson plan ideas. Some of our favorites have been:

Ice Age 4 (coming up .. don't miss it!)

* Just this year I was chosen to be part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew! I will have my first review this week!!!

* I also chime in on the TOS Blog Cruising topics weekly (usually).

* Some other weekly linkys I participate in are Collage Friday, Favorite Resource this Week, and Blogging Through the Alphabet.

I also sometimes get opinionated about how I feel about home education versus public school, and society as a whole.

What started out as homeschooling out of necessity has become something that my husband and I are passionate about! We believe in it as a theory, and truly believe that if you have the means and family lifestyle to do it, that YOU SHOULD! I do not judge you if you choose public or private school. But, I feel bad for you that you are missing out on some AMAZING opportunities with your kids. I love my kids and actually ENJOY this Journey we are on. I only wish I would have homeschooled right from the start with all my kids.

Who am I? I am a Homebody Extraordinaire! I love my home. I love the people and animals in my home. I love my back porch. I love the birds that call my home "home". I love coffee. I love my pj's and robe. I love slippers. I love my bed. I love to watch t.v. I love to read. Planning school days makes me giddy. I love to experience learning in EVERY opportunity we have. I recycle, try to garden, try to feed my family healthy meals. I do everything in moderation with healthy balance. Because of all this, I shut down by early evening every night. I don't particularly like to go out and socialize, unless it's just my husband and I having dinner together. I prefer a grocery store date with him to just about anything. Although, I love and CHERISH the vacations we take together. I love to spend time with my mom and sister, and my parents' house in Pensacola is my retreat of choice. I love that my husband plays golf and loves it. He is brilliant at what he does for a living, and I am immensely proud of the man he is in his industry. He is full of integrity, takes excellent care of our family, and just wants to be with me as much as possible. I don't deserve him and often taken him for granted, I am afraid. We just want to live simply, and to be happy as a family.

And this is us. I also blog at Taulman Times where I get even more opinionated! It's my place to be completely narcissistic. You can stop by there if you'd like.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you will visit often. I look forward to getting to know many more at the Blog Party.



  1. "I do not judge you if you choose public or private school. But, I feel bad for you that you are missing out on some AMAZING opportunities with your kids." That's exactly how I feel! I wish everyone could experience homeschooling!

  2. I love homeschooling, too, having tried private school a couple of times. Never ventured into public school, but my girls are now using a virtual school program, though still homeschoolers. We love it! Still use some other programs as extras. Love Sonlight! Nice to meet you on the UBP! Hope you'll stop by and see me, too!

  3. Great blog! I'll be stopping back often. I'm also on the TOS Crew and participating in the UBP.

    Following you now. =0)

  4. Hopping over from UBP. Glad I made it & met you. I loved homeschooling for 10yrs. My youngest graduated last yr and I miss that time together.

    I loved reading your bio. I could have written the 1st 1/2 about myself - I love my home & would rather be home. It takes me forever to go to the grocery store these days b/c it's just me & hubby.

    I'll be back to see what you are doing.

    Stop by when you get a chance

  5. Nice site! Glad that I've made it here. I hope other moms out there will be inspired too with what they will read here regarding homeschooling their kids. :)

  6. Fellow homeschooler stopping by from UBP!! You are spot on... homeschooling is about creating memories/ moments with your children that might not otherwise happen! I know we've had our share and my son is only 4.5!

    Nice to "meet" you ; )

    Kristina @ School Time Snippets

  7. Hi! I'm stopping by from the UBP - belatedly because my week was just insane so I had no time before now to visit anyone - and am so glad to "meet" you. I, too, am a homeschooler who writes about our home learning journey as well as other things. Hope you'll stop by: http://tinahollenbeck.blogspot.com/2012/04/2012-ultimate-blog-party.html.


We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!