Recent Posts

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!
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.
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.
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.
a stack of books about graduate school

#PhDone: Progress Report

I'm writing a book about thriving in graduate school while keeping a healthy personal life. Curious about my progress? Here's where I'm at this month.
5 year old boy standing in a grassy patch of sun, back to the camera, in a pine forest

A Poem for Identifying Ten North Idaho Conifers

Our topic this week at our forest co-op was trees! I wrote some verses to help us remember how to recognize ten of the most common North Idaho conifers.
silhouette of a person with arms outstretched on wintery day, in front of bare-limbed trees at sunset

Book Deal Announcement: #PhDone

I'm writing a book! Specifically, a pragmatic, up-to-date guide to thriving in graduate school while keeping a healthy personal life. Here's the scoop.
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.
elementary school classroom with desks and whiteboard

Why You Shouldn't Teach to Students' Learning Styles

Learning styles have been popular for half a century, but they're not the amazing educational tool some still think. Here's why they don't work, and what you should do instead.
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!
close up of an MIT brass rat class ring

Why I Left Full-Time Academia and What I Do Instead

A PhD doesn't mean you're stuck with a traditional academic career. Flexibility, family, freedom: Here's how and why I decided to take a different path.
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.
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.
ebook cover of homeschooling with gentleness book

Book review: Homeschooling with Gentleness: A Catholic Discovers Unschooling by Suzie Andres

This book discusses questions such as: Is moral education separate from academic education? What are common objections to Catholic unschooling?
pile of colorful crayons

How to Afford Homeschooling and Other Alternative Education For Kids on a Budget

Want to get your kids out of public schools, but afraid of the costs? Here are some tips on how to afford your kids' educational journey.
Jacqueline in a Vassar sweatshirt, grinning with arms outstretched

From Homeschooling to College

After my TEDx talk, several people asked me about my experience being homeschooling. What did I think about getting into college as a homeschooled student? Here's my reply.
Jacqueline on stage speaking at TEDx Couer d'Alene 2020

Coercive Schooling is Pervasive

When giving a TEDx talk, I was stuck by how inundated one organizer was in the coercive schooling system. Here are some examples—and how we can change minds about learning.
Jacqueline standing on a red carpet circle on stage in front of big letters saying TEDx Couer d'Alene

Kids Can't Be Taught, But They Love to Learn

I gave my first TEDx talk this year. It was the first time I'd been on a stage in quite some time. I'd spent hours memorizing my talk... would it go well?
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.

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Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament?

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

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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.