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.
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?
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 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.
two magnolia blossoms open in soft sunlight

How to Build Self-Discipline: Why Awareness and Intrinsic Motivation Are Key

Self-discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done, to stay in control, to accomplish your goals. How do you build discipline? Here are strategies I use.
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.
the face of a eurasian eagle owl looking with big yellow-gold eyes at you with a surprised but friendly face

Ten Things We Learned From One Year Writing Our Blog

We've been writing a weekly blog for a year! Here's what we've learned about meeting our deadlines, writing and editing, building readership, running a blog, and appreciating life!
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.
colorful sticky notes on a series of four large poster papers hung on a wall in a modern office

Brainstorming: Are All Ideas Welcome? Why You Shouldn't Discount Ideas Before They're Explored

Why I consider all ideas—not just the "good" ones—and how doing so improves my work, helps me find unique solutions in arguments and software, and leads to counterintuitive insights.
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.
Anzac bridge in Sydney, Australia on a sunny day

The Learning Edge: Independence Outside My Comfort Zone (Study Abroad #5)

To grow and change, we need to reach our limits and push beyond them. Being abroad was one big out-of-my-comfort-zone adventure—on campus, exploring Sydney, and beyond—and here's what I learned.
an inlet of bright blue water in sharp red-brown rocks at royal national park in sydney, australia, bordered by round green trees

The Necessity of Solitude and Reflection in Learning (Study Abroad #2)

Learning can have a cyclic nature from experiencing, to reviewing and reflecting, to learning from the experience, to planning for future experiences. Here's how that cycle played out for me while abroad.
part of the Quadrangle at Sydney University, a sandstone building in the Victorian Academic Gothic Revival style

Seeking Growth: Why I Decided to Study Abroad in College (Study Abroad #1)

Vassar's campus was a happy green bubble—but a predictable bubble. Outside the bubble, the unpredictable heralded change, learning, and personal growth.
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?
two kids stomping in a big muddy puddle filled with pine needles in a pine forest

Why Outdoor Time Is Important For Kids

We spent a lot of time outdoors. Being in nature makes everyone happier—and allows our kids to have more freedom and independence.
modern bridge over a river

Dialogue Takes Two: Why Sharing Ideas Matters

Friends have shut down conversations because they disagreed with me. But dialogue is important—for finding common ground, truth, understanding—and it's only possible if everyone in the conversation is willing to talk.
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?
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.
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.

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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.