st louis cathdrealOne of my first job interviews was located in the heart of New Orleans.  I have a horrible sense of direction, and I get turned around very easily.  Back then I didn’t have WAZE, googlemaps or cellphones, so I couldn’t ask Siri or call my dad if I got lost.

Before leaving for the interview, my dad told me to park somewhere on Canal Street, look up and locate the St. Louis Cathedral Steeple, and then just walk in that direction.  He told me, “You can’t get lost if you follow the cross.”

My dad’s directions are still my motto today.  I can’t get lost if I just follow the cross.

Continue reading “The 10 ESSENTIALS”


View recent photos

Valentine Special for all of our Friends! We LOVE you and want to spend time with you at our Special Weekend for Homeschooling Moms in March.

Did you miss Early Bird Registration? No Worries!!!
TODAY ONLY! Register for the event before midnight tonight and receive $10 off. Use the code 10OFF or the special link: 10OFF VALENTINE SPECIAL

Share the LOVE and spread the word! We want to see old friends and meet new ones this year March 27th and 28th.


Skip College?

cap and gownIt is hard to believe that my eldest is a college graduate with a BS in Psychology and a minor in music.  She finished her studies just shy of her 21st birthday and is now working to save money for grad school, studying for the GRE, leading classes for homeschool students,  planning her next international travel adventure, and for added fun auditioning at local community theatres.

My daughter never stepped into a traditional brick and mortar classroom until her first day of dual enrollment college classes at the local community college during her junior year of high school.  She homeschooled from Kindergarten all the way to high school graduation.  She was accepted into every college she applied to, earned scholarships, performed well on the SAT and ACT tests and passed the CHSPE at the ripe old age of 15.

Why do I share all of this?  It is my prayer that it will ease your fears.  Yes, you can successfully homeschool your child, even through the high school years.  And yes, your student will be well prepared for sophisticated academic pursuits at the college level – IF he or she decides to go to college and IF it is God’s plan for her to attend a four-year university!

Statistically speaking, homeschoolers perform on average or above average on standardized college entrance exams and are accepted into top-tier universities at the same rate as traditional students.  They also have the same or better university graduation rate as their traditionally schooled peers.  It is clear home education prepares students for college.

But dare I say not all high school students need to go to college!  Yes, I said it and I’m sticking by it!  I hate the expression, “He’s just not college material.”   The implication is that the student isn’t smart enough to succeed in college.  Hog wash!  I think the more accurate expression is “He doesn’t need college material to succeed!”  Not all students need college degrees.  Not all students need a college education to succeed in life and in the workforce.  If your child wants to be a doctor, an engineer, a therapist, a lawyer, an accountant or a teacher, then yes, a degree and certification are necessary, therefore, college is in his future!  However, in today’s modern workforce and in the age of information, many jobs, skills, and careers can be learned via internships, apprenticeships, internet, or trade schools.  Experts also predict that many of the jobs our students will possess have not even been invented yet!

disney-traditions.jpgAh, I hear you saying, “My son at least needs a degree of some kind just to get his foot in the door of any company or job.”  Dare I say, this is no longer true.  Mega companies like Apple, Google, and IBM no longer require a degree for higher- level and higher- paying jobs.  Then there are companies like Nordstroms, Disney, Home Depot, and Lowes that allow employees hired at entry- level positions to move up to the highest ranks of their companies, withOUT a degree.   Don’t forget about companies like Starbucks and Chick-fi-La that encourage their employees to train for manager positions and then encourage them to own their own IMG_6586franchises in the future.  In today’s market, creative and hard- working individuals who have an entrepreneurial spirit can build a portfolio, invent a new app, start a new company, publish their own book, produce their own album, or get paid just for using social media.  Some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inventors dropped out of college or skipped college altogether to pursue their dreams and passions or to develop a business model they started during their high school years.

Dare I say it again- Not all high schoolers need to go to college!  It takes just as much courage to NOT attend college in order to pursue a passion or to start a new business as it takes to attend college and pursue a college degree.  If your student needs a degree or wants to attend college, then go for it!  My daughter loved college so much she intends to pursue a master’s degree and perhaps even her Phd.  But her calling requires a degree (or two).  If your student wants to pursue an acting career, a sports career, a writing career or even an art career, consider skipping college.  If your student has no idea what he wants to do, or he has tons of ideas of what he wants to do, then consider skipping a four -year university.  Attend community college to save money and explore options.  Attend a trade school to learn a dying art or to get certified in welding, woodworking, or mechanics.  Find a mentor or an expert in a field for your son or daughter to train under.  Then encourage your teen to work his/her way up the ladder.  Not going to college does not limit their career possibilities; it might just make the possibilities endless!

skip collegeIf one of the main reasons you decided to homeschool was to instill in your child a love of learning, then one option might be to allow that child to use his ability to learn and to use his natural curiosity in the workforce instead of on a college campus.  If you are still not convinced it is ok to say “It’s okay to skip college” then I highly recommend you read the book Skip College:  Launch Your Career Without Debt, Distractions or a Degree by Connor Boyack.  You will be pleasantly surprised.  Boyack does not speak poorly of college. He actually spends the first few chapters discussing how important it is to determine IF college is something you want or need to do.  Then he spends the rest of the book speaking to the person who has decided to skip college.  The book is full of logical reasons to skip college and great ideas on how to succeed in the workplace without a college degree.

Where is God calling your teen to go?  What is God calling your teen to do?  Pray, pray and pray some more!  Then begin exploring other options for your teen who may want to skip college.  If your teen is ready, willing and able to step onto the campus for the academic rigor of a four -year university, then be assured your decision to homeschool high school will give him all of the tools he needs to get accepted and to succeed in college.  If, however, you feel God is leading your high schooler on a different track, one that does not necessarily involve the traditional college experience, take heart.  God designed your teen.  He knows his strengths.  He ignited those passions in his heart.   Be open to the fact that God’s plan for your teen’s life may not look like the plan you had envisioned.  Listen to your teen’s heart.  Listen to the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit.  Rest assured your decision to homeschool high school will also give him all of the tools he needs to follow his passions, learn important skills, and succeed in the workplace.  Perhaps skipping college is just what God is calling your teen to.

God bless,


**For more information on how to homeschool the high school years to prepare your teen for either college or the workforce, attend our special weekend for homeschooling moms on March 27th and 28th. On Friday evening, our first session is “How to Homeschool High School.”  Our panel of homeschool graduates will share their high school journeys, what they did (traditional and non-traditional) to meet the CA requirements, what they are doing now in the workforce and/or on the college campuses, and how homeschooling through high school helped each of them achieve their personal, academic and spiritual goals.  Dads and teens are invited to attend Friday night’s session.  Special Guests- Carolyn and Martin Forte.**

Click here for more information or to register

Click here to register.

homeschool adventure new flyer image



IMG_1325Early Bird Registration begins Jan. 1st for our 3rd annual Special Weekend for Homeschooling Moms!

map suitcase 2This year’s theme is Homeschooling Adventures:  A Weekend to Rest, Refresh and Rejuvenate. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths”  (Ps 25:4).  Come journey with us as we explore how to follow God’s path for educating our own at home and how to turn our homeschool calling into an adventure! Pack your bags, take a little stay-cation, and spend the weekend with other homeschooling moms.

Mark your calendar! Click here to visit Eventbrite to select   “REMIND ME”

FOLLOW our Website, Coffee With Carrie.   From Jan to March, our blog articles will be previews of upcoming sessions and speakers.   You don’t want to miss them!

instagram logo

FOLLOW us on IG  @coffeewithcarrieconsultanting!  We will have promotions, reminders, and giveaways for our special weekend event.

facebook_logoSHARE our FACEBOOK Event with your friends on social media.  We can’t wait to meet your friends!

Christmas Time Nature Studies

img_1410.jpgThis is the perfect time of the year to be outdoors and to do some Christmas and winter nature studies.  No matter the weather, take some time to enjoy the rain puddles, the snow flurries, the misty mountains, the night skies, and the glistening sunshine.  Doing a few nature studies is a great way to sneak in some “school” while taking a much-needed break during the month of December.  There is nothing like fresh air and God’s creation to help us slow down and re-center our focus this holiday season.

At this time of the year and during the winter season, there are so many things to observe that you normally don’t get to see at other times of the year.

poinsettia wild.jpgPlay “I Spy a Poinsettia.”  When on a walk, try to spot poinsettia plants growing in the wild.  You will probably see tons in pots on porches but if you live in CA, TX, LA, FL, HI, and other areas of the southern states,  there is a very good chance you can spot one growing in the wild or in someone’s yard.  Get up close and notice the pattern of the leaves.  Draw it.  Did you know the flowers of a poinsettia are actually not what we love to look at during Christmas time.  The red “flowers” are actually the leaves of the plant and the flowers are the cute little yellow blossoms in the center.  For added fun, read the Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola.

christmas tree wildObserve and learn about evergreen trees as you go Christmas tree hunting.  If you use an artificial tree, no worries.  Go to a local tree lot or Christmas tree farm.  I am almost positive no matter where you live, you can find a variety of fir, spruce, and pine trees in your area.  When you find one, create a bark rubbing of the tree trunk.  Every species of evergreens have a unique bark pattern and texture.  Observe a cluster of pine needles or evergreen branches.  Bring a cluster home and place them in a plastic bottle filled with water.  It will enhance and magnify the needles.  Draw them.  Did you know evergreen trees have needles for leaves to conserve water.  Deciduous trees have broader leaves to collect sunlight for photosynthesis but water also evaporates from the large surface area of the leaves.   Evergreen leaves are needles to conserve water.  For fun, read The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown.

pinecones.jpgGo on a pinecone hunt.  Try to collect as many different shapes and sizes as you can.  Are the pinecones closed or open?  Get up close and notice the pattern in the pinecone.  Draw it.  Research why some cones are closed and what makes them open up.  Did you know pinecones are nature’s way of preserving the seeds of future conifers?  Pinecones only open when the temperature is just right for seed-planting.  If the air is too cold, the cone will stay closed to make sure it doesn’t drop its seeds onto frozen or frosty soil.  However if the weather is warmer, the cone will open and drop its seeds for spring planting.  While forest fires are dangerous, the heat from the devasting fires will open dormant pinecones thus creating future saplings to take the place of trees that were destroyed in the fire.  For fun, read The Pinecone Walk by Barbara Springfield.

winter birdsDo a little bird watching.  Sit in your backyard or go to a local park.  Observe the different birds that visit the trees and shrubs.  Take a picture of them so you can draw them when you get home.  Are the feathered friends native to the area or are they probably visitors migrating during the winter? Depending on where you live, winter is the perfect time to learn about birds. Check out North American Birds Unit Study by Rebecca Spooner @ #homeschoolon.  It is a perfect Charlotte Mason inspired unit to use in January when you are trying to get back into the swing of school. For fun, read the heartwarming story The Christmas Bird by Elizabeth Howell.

mistletoeNext time you are under a sprig of mistletoe, take it down and observe it.  Draw its leaves (and white berries if they are still attached).  Research the tradition of mistletoe and the fact that Mistletoe is actually a parasite.  Oddly, one of the main reasons mistletoe is so prominent during the Christmas season is because it feeds on deciduous trees.  When these trees shed their leaves in the fall, the mistletoe snuggled in between the branches become visible.  For fun, read the cute little story The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens by Joe Troiano.

animal-tracks-snow-wmkyDOTorg.jpgIf you live near snow, make sure you go on a nature walk during or after a snowfall.  Bring a magnifying glass and a pair of binoculars.  After you create a few snow angels and build a snowman, check out the snow up close.  Notice the little crystals.  Pick something covered in snow to draw.   The area may seem empty but it isn’t.  Sit quietly and use your binoculars to spot animals in the tree, birds in the air, and critters poking up out of the snow.  It is also fun to look for tracks in the snow.  You will be amazed at the different prints you can find.  Check out Our Journey for some great nature study units.  The Nature Explorers:  Snow and Ice and No Sweat Nature Study:  Math in Nature are perfect for this time of the year.  For fun, read the classic picture book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

Don’t forget to go outside at night and check out that night sky.  During the winter, you can spot constellations you don’t normally see.  Draw the night sky and the moon.  Learn about the different constellations and the uniqueness of the Star of Bethlehem.  For fun, read Herald: The Story of the Christmas Star by Kathy Born.

nature centerpiecesFinally, collect items along the way:  acorns, leaves, pinecones, winter fruits and berries, branches, etc.  Use them to make beautiful centerpieces around the house and to make unique Christmas gifts for family and friends.  It is a great way to bring God’s beautiful creation indoors so even on cold, rainy days, your children have something beautiful to observe and draw.

IMG_1409Check out our post on IG @coffeewithcarrieconsultant ,  “Decorating Your Outside Trees for Christmas” .   It is full of great ideas on how to invite neighborhood critters and animals to your backyard by decorating your backyard trees with cranberry trim, birdseed ornaments, and organic treats.



Merry Christmas and Happy Hunting,


**For other Nature Study posts, check out “Textbook & Stress-free Science” article and “Nature Studies at the Beach” article.

We hope you can join us for our 3rd Annual Special Weekend for Homeschooling Moms March 27th and 28th, 2020.  In our Friday session, How to Homeschool High School, several of our panel participants will share how they used nature studies as a way to meet their science high school requirements.  At our last session, The Ten Essentials of Homeschooling, Carrie will share how to use God’s creation as one of your ten essentials. CLICK HERE for info on the event.

CLICK HERE to register. 

Homeschool Adventures image


img_1221.jpegA FREE GIVE AWAY!  In the spirit of the holidays, we will be giving away Carol Joy Seid’s Homeschool Made Simple DVD and a $25 gift card to Amazon!  For my CA friends, we are also giving away one COMPLIMENTARY registration to our special weekend for homeschooling moms in Pasadena on March 27th & 28th!

To put your name in the drawing, visit our Instagram account (IG):

  1. “Like” today’s “Black Friday Freebie” post and leave a comment.
  2. Tag a friend (or two) in your comment.
  3. Follow us on IG.
  4. Repost in your IG or FB story
  5. Subscribe to our website and “Join our Community” @  

instagram logo

We will draw the lucky winner tomorrow on Small Business Saturday at our IG account, Coffeewithcarrieconsultant, so don’t put it off!  I will contact the lucky winners by IG DM to get your email and preference for give away delivery.

Getting Social!

instagram logo

Coffee with Carrie is now on INSTAGRAM!

You can find us @coffeewithcarrieconsultant. On IG, we post daily words of encouragement, mini devotionals, book recommendations, curriculum ideas, and humorous points to ponder.  We will also continue to post on our website bi-monthly blog articles filled with encouragement, teaching tips, and updates on our special weekend for homeschooling moms.

Join us at IG @coffeewithcarrieconsultant!  Follow us and join the fun every day!