Recent Posts

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!
book cover of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey in serif font on a plain background with a snail sitting atop the word 'wild' and peering down inquisitively

Book Review: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

A quiet, reflective book that is part illness memoir, part nature nonfiction, and part friendship story. With discussion questions for book clubs!
tags: nature books
a pile of small letter tiles with black uppercase letters on them

Reflections on Our Homeschool Year (2021-2022)

Our children are young, so we're not big on formal curricula. But much of daily life counts as homeschooling! Here's what we did this year.
section of a tapestry depicting a flower, woven on a lap loom using strips of fabric and yarn

How To Consciously Be a Role Model in Creativity, Curiosity, and Crafting for Children

I want my children to be creative and curious, to do projects and work with their hands. How do I deliberately and consciously inspire and encourage them? Here are some ways.
book cover of This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick featuring yellow and white text on a red background with line drawings of houses in the between

Book Review: This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick

How many times have you moved? Do you wish you had deeper roots? In this book, Warnick explains that if you want to love your town, act like someone who loves your town. See my book club questions!
new raspberry leaves, vibrant and lush

Backyard Gardening, Year 4: Spring Planning, Planting, and Improvements

Each year I try to level up a few gardening skills—and this year we have to landscape along a new front fence and incorporate the chickens into our routine!
book cover of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Book Review: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

What's the key to being original, creative, and innovative? Why do minority viewpoints improve a company? How can we raise more original kids? All this and more in this book!
dry stone wall along a grassy path in the countryside

The Farmer's Lament, a Poem

Tolkien recognized the importance of lay poets and musicians. His characters sing and compose verse about the great deeds and events of their age. What about in our world? Here's one attempt, inspired by Tolkien's Durin's Song.
notebook laying open in the grass with a pen above it

Why Write a Book? How Do You Meet Deadlines? And Other Answers

When is the right time to write a book? Why a book and not something else? How do you manage caregiving and writing? How do you stay motivated? And other answers!
close up of sock rag rug

Tutorial: How to Make a Plush Rag Rug from Old Socks in 5 Steps

Save your socks! Upcycle old socks into a squishy, colorful rug—it's an easy way to make something beautiful!
book cover of Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide by Christoper Caterine

Book Review: Leaving Academia: A Practical Guide by Christoper Caterine

As billed, practical advice for both grad students and faculty on transitioning from academia to the wide world beyond—though it does leave a few things to be desired.
two chicks standing beside each other being fluffy

Backyard Chickens: Why We Got Them, Where We Set Up the Coop, and What's Next!

Chickens? We weren't going to get animals until our kids could do the chores. Here's why we changed our minds and how we got chickens set up in our backyard.
one kid standing in a mud puddle on a rocky outcrop with pine trees in the distance, another kid digging with a stick in the mud

"How do you do it?" 5 Ways to be Patient, Calm, and Improve Your Relationship with Your Children

Do you feel your kids are stressing you out? Here are tried-and-true tips for building up calmness and cooperation.
book cover of So what Are You Going to Do with That? by Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius

Book Review: "So what Are You Going to Do with That?" Finding Careers Outside Academia by Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius

A helpful book for anyone in the academy—grad student or faculty—who wants out!
randy and jacqueline walking away on a path in a park toward trees and grass

Ideation, Evaluation, and Iteration: How We Plan Our Lives

How do you design a product, project, business, or your own life? Here are the keys you can use to make options and not get stuck on an 'anchor problem'.
close up of braided flannel rag rug

Making Rag Rugs From T-Shirts and Old Sheets (Reuse and Upcycle!)

I love finding new uses for old stuff. I had a collection of old t-shirts and ripped sheets... what better thing to do than repurpose them into beautiful rugs?
book cover of Drive by Daniel Pink

Book Review: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Without external rewards and punishments, people wouldn't do much. Or would they? People are actually driven toward autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

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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.