Pace Academy.

About 5 yrs ago we met Jess and Brett and were forever inspired by their lifestyle. Jess was the initial nudge to get me obsessed with

natural birthing which took very little work on her part. The passion she and Brett had when talking about her births was so mesmerizing,

I just needed to feel it myself. Besides being the most granola and all around awesome family I know, they make some of the best choices

for their family. Choices that I can’t ever see myself being brave enough to do, like getting rid of our microwave. :0 Anywho, back then she

started educating me on homeschooling which was just fascinating. All I’ve ever known was private parochial schools. The homeschoolers

I knew growing up were few and far with lots of awkward between. But then I met the Zwo family. This group of 6 is beyond outgoing,

driven, smart, clever, dedicated and the list goes on. They were far from the HS mold I knew. I wanted to know more. My goal in life is to

be as open minded as possible. I try to have zero fear in the unknown which is hard in today’s society. People are just scared of what they

don’t know. Part of which is the reason I hadn’t talked about this much because the responses I get are black or white. “Wow! That’s SO

awesome of you! I wish I could do that with my kids! They’ll really thrive with that one on one attention!” or “Seriously? Your kids are going

to be so awkward and they’re going to miss out on so many cool things. There is no way you can teach them past kindergarten.” So

frustrating. If people knew the possibilities and how much HS has changed, then I know more would be doing it.

Just like with birth, Jess told me that I could absolutely successfully do it. Then I had kids. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to

balance working 70-80hr weeks on top of mothering and life and general. I found my groove a couple years ago when I started shooting

solo and made some promises to myself to enjoy my life because each day is no guarantee. This is all a learning curve as much for me as it

is for Nori.  My threenager has been strong willed and independent since she decided to make her traumatic entry into the world. I knew I

would have trouble without ever having a break from her and I butting heads throughout the day. I actually thought homeschooling would

stay a fantasy up until a handful of months ago. Then my friends Kelly, Karianne, Sarah and I got to talking. We decided we would slowly

introduce our 3-4yr olds to preschool via a coop. We each are taking turns at each other’s house, each taking a subject to teach. Then one

other day a week, whoever wants to join, we learn in the field as a group. Days between we have a curriculum that we can seriously or

casually follow. We are into our second official month as a group and it’s going fantastic. Teaching together is perfect for holding each other

accountable and truly working hard to educate the kids. Nori has been waking up so excited to learn. She can wait to run into Pace

Academy, aka our dining room, and get her hands on learning materials.

I have a fairly large support group of current and veteran HS moms. Without all the empowerment and encouragement, this would be a

scary undertaking. Adam is fully on board as well and is stoked about all the things our kids will get to do. Almost every veteran has told me

to take it “one year at a time.” It’s a perfect analogy to birthing as well. One contraction at a time. Don’t look to what comes next because

you can easily be overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel. So that’s what we are doing. Who knows what the future holds. I’m certainly

not anti school. There are so many pro’s with one major being, I’m home and I can! So why not try it out? If we love it and want to continue,

awesome! There’s SOOO many opportunities and the little things they’ll be missing here and there they’ll be gaining elsewhere! I have

so much to say but have already written too much so I’ll get on to the pics. 🙂

If we were going to do this, we were going to be legit. Duh. (Thankful to have married a graphic designer.)


The curriculum which is basically a full year of lesson plans.pa001olivia026As some may know, I taught preschool/preK/kindergarten for 4ish years at a Montessori based school. I am carrying over a lot of what I

learned through teaching there into PA. The rugs on the right are used as mats where the children have to work independently on the floor.

It creates their own space and they can only have one “work” out at a time on it.


The chalkboard wall is a huge hit. Nori has been creating like crazy on it. olivia028 We start our days with the Calendar then into a motor skills activity. Next is writing, letter and number recognition and then at

least one Bible story. Part of homeschooling is also carrying over teaching into practical living. So the kids help me cook, they each have

had jobs pretty much since they started walking. Things like feeding Lilo, emptying the dishwasher, sorting laundry, cleaning,

(Nico is obsessed with vacuuming!) and any other thing that can teach them independence. My family has always been believers in

letting kids “figure it out” themselves. Kids feel super cool when they have responsibility. It’s a win/win for me as it keeps them out of

trouble and they’re learning so much.


For now I have different sorting, patterning and fine motor skills work for them.olivia030


You know, only 2 other times she’s mixed up her letters like this. HA. Oh, Noir. 🙂 So cute. From a distance Nico heard me telling Nori to

smile, so he sprinted in and jumped in the picture. My heart!! This is my current struggle each morning, keeping little bro busy. Today he

snapped one of Nori’s crayons and it was the end of the world. :-/


Nico!! Gang signs or thumbs up, buddy? Bahaha.olivia033

Since some of Nori’s cousins are in school and always talk about it, I wanted her to have the same experiences when it comes to a lot of

stuff.  We actually pack bags and go to school every Monday. (Our sister schools are Brown Preparatory, Armentrout Bible College and

The Smith Schoolhouse. 🙂 ) Even here, she puts on her bag and when friends arrive, they line up at the door and walk into school

together for circle time.

olivia034Olivia has a new nanny who will be participating with us! It kills me because I know how much Ali would have rocked at all of this stuff.

She lived for opportunities like this as a mom. Sigh.



Our first class picture. 🙂olivia036olivia037

I dramatically asked if they were “soooo excited?!?” 🙂olivia038

Love that Nori and Corbin always know when a camera is out. HA! (you’ll notice that the walls were still  blue when I took these:) )olivia039

My first art lesson was intro to the color wheel. We danced in some primary colors to see what happened. olivia042olivia043olivia044

Some had a better time in the paint then others. :0 Lol.olivia045olivia046

Here’s some random iPhone shots I’ve taken when the kids are doing something I want to share with Adam or my IG friends. 🙂 pa002 pa003

Kelly taught here because the Smith Schoolhouse is currently under construction. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what she does with her new house

and school room. It’s guaranteed to be awesome.pa005 pa007


pa001 pa002

I’m super excited for what is to come. I’ve been missing teaching because of all the fun things I did with my students. Now I can start doing

all those things again! This Monday is RED day!Sweet!! That’s all for now. 🙂 Heart, Pace Academy Principal.

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