Recent Posts

baby sleeping in a woven wrap on his mother

Bedtimes with Young Children: How We Skip the Battle and Encourage Sleep

Are bedtime battles inevitable? While they're a staple of evening life for many families, we don't war over sleep—here's what we do instead.
the cover of the book Arbitrary Lines by M. Nolan Gray

Book Review: Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It by M. Nolan Gray

You might expect zoning to be a boring topic, but M Nolan Gray makes a compelling case for why you ought to care about zoning, explaining what it is, where it came from—and why we should abolish it.
a rock cairn of angular stones with a river blurred in the background

Productivity and Balance as a Parent: Challenges, Ideals, and Strategies

Balancing work with family life presents unique challenges for mothers and primary caregivers. How do we do our research, writing, and other work while also giving enough time and attention to our families?
top down view of a bucket of spiky chives, many with buds or flowers, kind of like a chive firework exploding toward you

How I Planted My Suburban Yard Garden, How It Grew, and What I Learned (Gardening, Year 4!)

A long, cold spring; a late first frost; new spaces, new flowers, new tools—here's how this year's garden grew!
the cover of the book Is Graduate School Really for You? by Amanda I. Seligman, featuring a road splitting left and right with the title in a big yellow street sign above, and a person looking out of a stopped red car on the right road

Book Review: Is Graduate School Really for You? The Whos, Whats, Hows, and Whys of Pursuing a Master's or Ph.D. by Amanda I. Seligman

A practical, informative question-and-answer book about the culture, expectations, and experiences of graduate school.
Several braided rag rugs stacked on top of each other

Tutorial: How to Make a Braided Rag Rug From Old Sheets or T-Shirts

Upcycle old shirts and sheets into wonderfully colorful braided rugs in 6 simple steps! Minimal or even no sewing; easy-to-follow instructions; lots of photos!
WWII propaganda poster with the words 'Your own vegetables all the year round…' above a picture of a basket of vegetables with the text 'if you dig for victory now' below'

Why Idaho Needs a Victory Garden Tax Credit

Global supply chains are fragile. We need supply chain resilience—especially food independence. To that end, we propose a “Victory Garden” tax credit, which, like its namesake in WWII, will prompt people to grow some of their own food. Dig for Victory!
a barn owl looking directly at you

What You Gain From 2 Years of Writing a Weekly Blog (5 Key Lessons)

What makes writing a blog worth it—especially when you're starting out and traffic is low? How do you analyze your content, build an audience, and keep up the motivation to write every week?
Three young children with their backs to the camera coloring with chalk pastels on large pieces of cardboard

A New Interest-Led Learning Initiative: North Idaho Sudbury Co-op

We're attending a new homeschool co-op on a local farm. It follows an interest-led learning or self-directed education philosophy. So what does that mean? And how does it play out in practice?
a woman wearing a white hat, a blouse, and jeans crouches in a garden row while an older man standing near her holds a hoe, leaning over as if working, green trees in the background

What Is Localism?

Localism prioritizes the local above the distant, the organic above the centrally planned, insisting that local communities be stable, sustainable, and relatively self-sufficient. Here are seven ways localism benefits our communities.
close up of embroidered flowers on the edge of a linen skirt

How I Made A Linen Wrap Skirt With Rainbow Embroidered Flowers

Women's clothing is so often function or pretty—but rarely both. This project was my attempt to bridge that gap by making my own wrap skirt and learning embroidery to decorate it!
the cover of the book A PhD Is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman

Book Review: A PhD Is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman

While this book is a fast, easy read with straightforward advice, it also suffers a lack of depth and a datedness that diminish its helpfulness.
a three-year-old girl with shoulder length curly hair wearing a red dress feeds grass to a white bunny, inside a barn

Looking Ahead: Here's This Year's Preschool and Kindergarten Homeschool Plan (Fall 2022)

Our kids have reached the age where people ask me what we're doing for school. Answer: lots of play, nature groups, a Sudbury co-op, music, reading, crafts, and more!
Four furry robots sitting around a wooden table inset with a tablet. From left to right, a red dragonbot, a blue dragonbot, a teddy bear robot, and a green dragonbot.

Why I Went to Graduate School

Ten years ago, I started grad school at the MIT Media Lab. Why'd I attend? Because it was going to be fun. Here's how I made that decision, and why you should consider the fun factor in your own decision-making.
the glassy water of the spokane river winds through banks of rounded river rocks, pine trees standing tall on the far side of the river and in the distance around the river bend

Seven Principles to Guide Development in Kootenai County

Our county faces rapid suburbanization and dramatic change of character as farmland is devoured by big development. Here are seven conservative principles we can use to guide the county’s future.
Three homemade sock hobby horses lined up on the floor, made with bright colors and fabrics that aren't particularly horselike

Tutorial: How to Make a Hobby Horse from a Sock and Scrap Fabric in 7 Steps

Upcycle an old sock into a classic children's toy! A straightforward craft that's infinitely customizable and leads to a neighborhood of fun.
book cover of A Little Way of Homeschooling by Suzie Andres featuring a picture of Saint Térèse

Book Review: A Little Way of Homeschooling: 13 Families Discover Catholic Unschooling by Suzie Andres

An inspiring book of essays by homeschooling/unschooling mothers about their philosophies, approaches, and journeys, with an emphasis on natural learning and relationships, family, and faith.
a fancy pen resting on a lined spiral bound notebook

#PhDone: Book Update 2 (A Complete Manuscript!)

I've finished the first draft of my book on thriving in grad school while staying healthy and happy! Read about my writing process and the next steps: Feedback, reviews, and revisions.
three brown eggs resting on soft green moss

Backyard Chickens: First Eggs, Starting Compost, and New Challenges

We set up our backyard coop and got chicks in late March. After months of waiting, the payoff is real: the first eggs! But not everything is peachy… flies? adventuring hens? What did we sign up for?
book cover of Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

Book Review: Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie

A wise, tranquil book that will appeal to Christians and non-believers alike, with solid advice on managing expectations, dealing with schedules, and reflecting on the goals of education.
old and worn stone steps hidden in dense vegetation

The Incremental Method to Achieving Long-term Goals and Getting Things Done

There's always that one weird trick, right? Here's the method you need to write a novel, get in shape, and accomplish your long-term goals!
book cover of Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff

Book Review: Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff

How can we better help children develop helpfulness, responsibility, confidence, independence, and emotional control?
a young boy rests his chin on his hand in profile, gazing boredly out a rain-streaked window

Four Reasons Why Boredom Is Better For You Than You Think

Boredom—the universal feeling of restlessness and dissatisfaction that has you reaching for your phone, ready to scroll. But did you know that boredom is surprisingly useful feeling that you can use to your advantage?
silver macbook rests on a wooden table beside a vase of bright summery roses

Deep Work for Parents: A Two-Step Strategy for More Effective, Efficient Work

Ever felt overwhelmed and frustrated when trying to work while caring for young children? Here are my top tips for making time, turning off distraction, and ramping up productivity!

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About

We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.


Connect:

whoo@deliberateowl.com

Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.