Interview with a Homeschooling OG Part 2

The State of Education Podcast Mic Logo

Join me today as we continue our conversation with Debbi about what it was like to homeschool in the 1990s, her approach to education, and she even shares some stories about me as a child/homeschool kid.

Below you will find the full show notes and reference list for Episode 12 of The State of Education Podcast, presented by One-Room Education.

I can’t wait to start a conversation with you!

Join the conversation by answering the question of the week in the comments below.

Question of the Week:

What was your favorite tip Debbi gave in this episode?

If you have any questions or comments about this episode or any of the information presented, please make sure to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Interview with a Homeschooling OG: Part 2: Tales from “Two Creek School”
vine-divider-green for episode 2 of the State of Education podcast: How and Why the Public Education System Was Created

Show Notes

Welcome back to The State of Education, presented by One-Room Education.  This is a very special 3 episode series for me as I had the chance to sit down and interview one of my heroes, my mom, Debbi.

Join me today as we continue our conversation with Debbi about what it was like to homeschool in the 1990s, her approach to education, and she even shares some stories about me as a child/homeschool kid.

Some of the topics covered in today’s episode are:

  • The different types of people who choose to homeschool
  • How we worked within the law while doing what worked for us
  • Unit studies and incorporating everyday tasks
  • Choosing curriculums and how it was done in the 90s

Working within the law while doing it our way

School does not have to occur Monday through Friday, September to May.

Debbi, The State of Education podcast 6/14/2022

Debbi gives several examples of weekend trips we took or events we attended that counted towards our required “days of school” according to Pennsylvania homeschool law and her reasoning behind the statement above.

If we went to a Native American Gathering (Pow-Wow) on the weekend, Friday through Sunday, and participated in the culture, history, foods, arts, languages and dance that went on during those weekends, those days would be counted towards our 180 school days.

It didn’t matter if it took place on a weekend, it was schooling and education, so it should have been counted.

Debbi said that to relieve some of the stress of keeping track of the days or hours, she had a paper that listed the numbers 1-180 and would check or cross of the days, numbers, as we completed days of learning. This allowed us to do things that were a bit out of the box during weekends and the summer in order to complete the legally required 180 days of schooling for the year, July 1st-June 30th.

Debbi explained what the “portfolio” and portfolio review processes were when she was homeschooling, which pretty much applies the same way today.

Unit Studies

Debbi and I talked about some of the unit studies we did during homeschooling. One of the most memorable ones was in relations to the Little House on the Prairie series.

You could make every subject deal with that unit.

Debbi, The State of Education podcast 6/14/2022

Experiential Learning

Debbi gives several examples of ways that she incorporated experiential learning into our homeschooling experience. Some of the examples include visiting museums, state parks, historical sites and events, and even hands on instruction during the completion of a home remodeling project.

…It certainly is learning! You don’t have to be in a specific place…

Debbi, The State of Education podcast 6/14/2022

… I say that you guys kinda gifted that to me; I think my brother has it a little bit too, that we are able to see stuff in our own way … we’re not standardized people.

Katie J., The State of Education podcast 6/14/2022

How did people homeschool before the internet?

After the first year of homeschooling using the district provided curriculum, Debbi was able to see what she did and didn’t like about it, she found a few places to order catalogs from. Yes, actual physical catalogs of textbooks and curriculums that could be ordered.

The problem was, they would only send these catalogs of educational materials to schools. This prompted Debbi to name our homeschool Two Creek School to gain access to the available educational materials at the time (the early 1990s).

We happen to have two creeks on our property, so we became Two Creek School simply so I could get education materials.

Debbi, The State of Education podcast 6/14/2022

The problem of needing to be enrolled in an “official school” extended beyond getting educational materials. In order to participate in incentive programs for kids, such as Pizza Hut’s “Book It!” rewards program, you had to be registered at a school. Debbi, my mom, used the Two Creek School that she had “established” to enroll my brother and I in these programs.

*As an aside, the “Book It!” program now offers homeschoolers access the the current program they are running. I have it linked *here* and down in the resources for you.

I’m not going to lie, this was so inventive on her part. I know a lot of homeschooled kids who weren’t able to participate in these programs, and my mom was able to find a way that we could participate and be a part of things that other kids just got to do for going to school. I realized during this conversation with Mom how much effort her and my dad really put into ensuring that my brother and I had as “normal” of a childhood as possible, even though we were homeschooled.

Thanks Mom!

Thinking outside the box: choosing curriculum that works for you

After trying out a few different curriculums and talking with other homeschooling families in the area, my mom settled on a few different types, depending on the subject.

We used readers designed for use in the Amish community, older (1800s) materials, unit studies with books and series and so much more.

Debbi and her husband always made sure that we used curriculum that helped to reenforce our moral values and the character they wanted to instill in us. That’s one of the great things about homeschooling. You get to pick books, projects and activities that can be referenced for years to come to help reenforce values in your children, and by extension, your community.

Below is a list of things that Debbi used to fill our curriculum with, in addition, of course, to much more.


We pretty much incorporated the readers and other chapter books for English. We also practiced writing and research papers.


Debbi chose a math curriculum by Saxon Math, linked below. She still speaks very highly of them.


We attended a lot of living history events.


Karate lessons twice a week.


Yes, we had etiquette lessons once a week.

Socialization differences with age-grouped peers

Mom and I spent some time recounting stories from my homeschooling years.

One unintended consequence of being homeschooled, even though I was socialized well, is that I don’t have several of the sentimental markers that my age-grouped peers have such as books or certain movies or TV shows. This even comes up sometimes when communicating with my husband. Just a side note for parents to keep in mind.

I would offer the advice to make sure to sprinkle in some of the more popular modern books and shows so your kids have a reference point when they are around their peers.

If you enjoy this topic and the information presented, please consider supporting The State of Education podcast by either becoming a supporter of the podcast directly *HERE*, or visiting the Support Our Content page to become a *Member* of or snag something from the Merch Shop @ One-Room

Let me know what topic you want to hear me cover next in the comments at the bottom of the page.
light inside library


white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile

Related Reads

  • Should We Be Teaching or Facilitating Learning? *Read More*

  • The Factory Model: Does It Work? Did It Ever? *Read More*

All One-Room Education content is sponsored by YOU.

If you enjoyed today’s episode of The State of Education, please consider supporting our content.

Remember, sharing is caring 🙂

Share this content on social media or via email with the people you know who would love it to help us spread the word and encourage them to work towards a more free and prosperous future for everyone.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive notifications straight to your inbox whenever new content is posted

Get new One-Room Education content straight to your inbox.

4 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply