Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Homeschool Specialist's Life with Amy M. O'Quinn - NWFCC March Specialist Showase

Welcome to day two of Amy O’Quinn’s 6-day NWFCC March Specialist Showcase tour.

Because I balance homeschooling, homemaking, being a pastor’s wife, and my writing duties, no two days are ever the same at our home. Of course, we have our daily schedule of schoolwork that we must complete, and that usually lasts at least until lunchtime for the younger children and later in the afternoon for the older ones. But after that, it really depends on what day of the week it is as to what comes next.

My son is currently getting ready for a district poultry judging competition, so he has to attend practice/training sessions at our county extension office two afternoons a week. He also has twenty hens and a rooster to take care of each day; plus he must gather and wash the eggs to sell to local customers. He is also helping my husband get our garden ready for planting, so his afternoons are rather full right now. This is ‘real life’ learning at its best.

My youngest daughter takes a violin lesson one day a week and a sewing lesson another day. So between my older twin daughters (when they are not in class at the local junior college) and myself, we take chauffeur duty as needed. Our two youngest boys are content to play together and use their imaginations to entertain themselves quite well after school, and at this point they are not involved in extracurricular activities other than things we do with our local homeschool group every other week.

I try to fit in whatever writing assignments I need to do either early in the morning before the children get up, in the afternoon when they are finished with their lessons, or sometimes at night after they go to bed. It really depends on what deadlines I have pressing that dictate my writing schedule. And my husband is agreeable to me slipping off to the library on an occasional weeknight evening when I really need to get an assignment or project finished. But as I’ve said before, my family comes first—so I always keep that in mind when accepting writing jobs.

At my website,, I try to post articles, book reviews, and other things of interest to both writers and those who homeschool. I also repost my articles that are first published at the National Writing for Children Center and the product/curriculum/book reviews that I do for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

I am striving to be more consistent with posting at my site, so that is another writing goal I have set for myself. I also plan to do more articles about how to use literature and ‘living’ books in the educational arena, because I have found that my children respond well to using ‘real’ books as opposed to textbooks for much of their content reading—especially in the areas of history and science. Literature based learning is wonderful, and I enjoy sharing ideas and resources with other writers, educators, and homeschool moms!

Follow Day 3 of Ms. O'Quinn's tour tomorrow at Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix - at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.


  1. Donna,
    Thank you so much for hosting Day 2 of the National Writing for Children Center VBT for March. This is such a great experience for me, and I appreciate all you do!
    Thanks again,

  2. Amy, it sounds like you have a very hectic schedule. I was trying to figure out how many children you have, but gave up. :)

  3. Hi Karen! LOL We do stay very busy, but my older girls are a lot of help too. We have six children: twin daughters who are almost 20, 14yo son, 11yo daughter, 7yo son, and an (almost) 5yo son.
    Thanks for coming by and sharing!
    Have a great day! :)

  4. It was so interesting reading about your life and writing. I so admire writers like you who successfully juggle family and writing. You are my heroes!!

    Margot's Magic Carpet - all 11 books on one page.

  5. Thank you, Margot! I don't always juggle successfully, but I do love to write, so I try to make time for that in my schedule!
    Again, thank you for your kind words!

  6. Amy:

    It's been an honor hosting you today. Sorry I didn't check in sooner, I've been at basketball games all day.

    Balance is key and I'm finding it changes each day.

    Best wishes for your continued success,



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