My middle schooler’s writing assignment this week was to interview someone about their career. What did he choose? An interview with me !
THIS kid is my tech support, video editor and all around helper guy. He’s pretty awesome.
This was a great writing project for him. He not only got to practice his typing, but learned more about me, and what it takes to be a writer.

Here’s his interview with me (grammar and punctuation mostly corrected!).

Q: What is the name of your book?

Q: Tell me about your book.

A: Out of the Box Learning is the journey of our family and how we came to homeschooling. It is both deep personal story, and step-by-step guide to alternative learning. I hope that it is both motivational and inspirational. It is heart wrenching at times too. We have to be able to share our vulnerability with others in order to connect.
Many of my child’s experiences in public school were disheartening and discouraging. I tell those stories because they are our family’s truths. But what is even more remarkable, is the story of my child’s successess once we started homeschooling. It’s empowering for readers, and it was empowering for me to write it. It was a very cathartic process to get the story on paper, and in a sense leave it behind. I didn’t realize until writing the book, how much the struggle and difficult days still weighed on me, even from fifteen years ago. Writing this book gave me the chance to focus on all we accomplished as a family, and to share what I learned through that process, with others.
The book covers everything from our personal memoirs and overcoming public school expectations, to my child’s success in college. There are chapters on marriage and homeschooling, self-care, homeschooling and highschool, homeschooling multiples, homeschooling through illness, dealing with naysayers, and choosing curriculum.

Q: What do you hope people learn from your book?

A: Several things really. I hope they can take what works for them from the book, and find ways to adapt what I did, to their own homeschool. I hope they know that what worked for me, may or may not work for them. I want them to develop their own philosophy of what learning looks like, and to feel empowered to homeschool when they walk away from my book, or one of my workshops. I want them to know that my story is their story too. It’s all of us—connected by thin threads in the universe to lift up and support one another.

Q: What led you to choose your current career?

A: I didn’t really consider writing, or coaching as a career until the last few years. It was sort of an organic process and evolution. I felt like I had a story that could help others, and the only way to do that was by writing a book. After 11 years of homeschooling three kids, and 7 years of running a nonprofit homeschool group; coaching other homeschoolers and sharing what I learned through the book seemed like a natural extention of that experience. I’ve always been in helping fields, like my nursing career.

Q: Do you have any regrets about choosing that career?

A: I don’t have any regrets, but what I do wish is that I had called upon other people who had been through the book writing & publication process to help me, rather than trying to figure it out by myself. There is so much to learn about writing a book— it’s a whole new language and process to figure out. While there is a lot of information on the internet, it’s really difficult to know who to trust as an editor, and where to turn for help when you need it. Connections are everything in getting the help that you need.

Q: What other things have you written that have helped you on this project?

A: I’ve always been a writer and I’ve helped people as far back as I can remember. For years, I just never put a name to it or claimed the title as writer, or author, or even coach. I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl and have written thousands of newsletter articles through my homeschooling group, short stories, blog posts, and lots of speeches and presentations. It seemed only natural that I move into writing a book. I’m not sure it was something I chose to do, but rather, it chose me. It’s really been a few years about finding my passions, and letting go of things that no longer served me.

Q: Have you ever considered a different career?

A: I’ve had several different careers, but this is where I’ve landed. I’ve taught in a preschool. I worked in a Chinese fast food restaurant for 1 day. I worked as a nursing assistant while putting myself through nursing school, and spent almost 20 years as a Registered ICU neurosurgical nurse. I served for seven years as the Executive Director of a non-profit homeschooling organization.  I much prefer writing and coaching than my other careers. It’s a place where all of my creative energy and knowledge can be funneled into one place.

Q: What else do you do, and what are you working on?

A: I coach both new and seasoned homeschoolers. It may be anything from setting up their day, to learning styles, to choosing curriculum. Sometimes, just a one time consult is needed, and sometimes parents need more ongoing support over several months. Recently, I’ve been helping parents who are burned out from homeschooling. Breathing new life into homeschooling when you are ready to quit has been very much appreciated by my clients. Technology makes it so easy to connect now —I can reach clients virtually anywhere, and easily follow up with them. And if they choose an in-person consultation-I can travel. What better way to homeschool!
My first love is really public speaking and doing workshops, so I’d love to do more of those.  I have so much in the works for coaching too— some freebies to give away, more workshops both in person and virtually, some homeschool planning packets, and a really comprehensive packet/workshop on homeschooling through highschool.

Q: Would ever consider writing another book?

A: Definitely. It’s already underway.

Q: What has changed since you started your career?

A: Oh gosh, a lot! I think the knowledge I gained about publishing a book, and the connections I’ve gained to make that happen, has been invaluable. I’ve really acknowledged my own skill and talent in writing, where before; I might have just looked at it as a hobby, or brushed it off.  Friday is my writing day. I devote time each week to writing now, whether it’s a blog post or working on ideas for a new book.

Q: When might we expect your book, and how can people contact you?

Happy Homeschooling!
The Burgess Kid
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