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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
toddler sitting on a brick path by a lawn looking sideways, holding a large green pushbroom

Cooperation without Coercion: How to Motivate Children (5 Things to Try)

What do you do when your strong-willed child won't cooperate? Children love cooperating... but they also love showing their independence. Here are 5 things to try.
cover of the book The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feller showing the title in red text on a white silhouette of a house, with a blue background

Book Review: The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler

We're accustomed to working on our jobs, our marriages, and so much else. What about our families? This book explains how families can be happier, healthier, and flourish together.
the cover of the book The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson

Book review: The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Children More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson

Why responsibility and a sense of control are critical for children.
the cover of the book How Children Succeed by Paul Tough featuring the title over a line of colored pencils in the background

Book review: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Why do some people succeed and others fail? This book argues that it's not just how you're born. Instead, the key is noncognitive skills—and the good news is, you can practice and improve them.
ceramic plate with a fresh salad: spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, chicken, cheese

Why Watching My Parents Cook Means I Can't Share Soup Recipe—And How I'm Encouraging My Kids to Cook Too

Growing up, I spent many hours swiveling a barstool at the kitchen counter, watching my parents cook. Here's what I learned—and how I'm setting up my kitchen to encourage my kids to learn the same.
young children's paintings and drawings taped onto a door

Start of the Homeschool School Year with Three Children (Fall 2021)

Our kids are young still, but pretty much all of daily life counts as homeschooling. Here's what we have planned this year: books, music, crafts, math, and more!
sunrise over the water in La Paz, Mexico with a quiet sailboat in the foreground

Important But Not Urgent: How I Manage Daily Incremental Routines

Before I had kids, I had a regular morning routine. Now? Mornings don't proceed the same way twice. Here's how I make a routine work anyway and ensure I don't leave important tasks behind.
a toddler standing on a folding chair at a desk with three computers, pretending to type

How to Involve Kids in Modern Work

My 4-year-old son wants to help me work, but I write software—so how do I involve him? If I did physical labor or owned a farm, it'd be easy. But I sit at a keyboard. Here's what I'm trying.
word processing program with the words once upon a time

How I Wrote 50,000 Words in Less Than Six Months (As a Parent Without Childcare!)

I write a lot—so how do I hit 50k words while also caring for my young children? Here's my secret. It hinges on one plain fact: The job of your first draft is to exist.
woman sitting at a table writing in a small journal with a cup of coffee

My Experience Writing Morning Pages As a Parent With Young Children

Julia Cameron initiated Morning Pages as a creative practice. In theory, it's easy to squeeze into your morning and leads to profound changes. In practice? Read on.
small pepper plant just planted in the dirt in the garden bed

Backyard Gardening, Year 3: Spring Planning, Planting, and Pests

Starting tomatoes, planting herbs, and preparing for a season of fresh vegetables! But how do we deal with the neighbor's new bunnies?
toddler holding a magnifying glass up to her eye and looking up at the sky

How Curiosity Helps Children Build a Habit of Attention

Want your children to engage deeply with the world? Here's how to help them build a habit of deep attention and keep their curiosity intact.
boy pulls a big black wagon of squash and his little sister through a weedy field

Our Children's Future: Eight Current Trends in America to Prepare For

What will the world be like in two decades? I analyze current trends in America and discuss how I can prepare now to help my children flourish.
yellow marigolds in a garden bed

Gardening, Year 2: What I Improved and How I Planned, Planted, and Harvested My 200-square-foot Garden

Could I replicate year 1's magnificant tomato harvest? Here's what I planned, how it went, and what I learned.

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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.