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Around the Campfire: Words of Wisdom from Mrs. Unruh

I’m so pleased to introduce the newest member of the Blackbird & Company team. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Mrs. Unruh for the past dozen years and am delighted that she will bring her enormous heart, her wisdom, and her many talents to serve you all—our wonderful customers—on this journey of educating! Welcome Cathi!


We find ourselves one week into the new year, shifting and slowly moving out of the holiday hustle and hush into… fill in the blank. 

Over the years, I’ve had many different reactions to this season.  The chill of winter is present, but the promise of new life with spring growth is just around the corner.  We are supposed to feel a sense of newness as we embrace fresh resolutions and the new hope of change ahead.  As a homeschooler, it can be a time where you feel bogged down in quagmire—in the middle of the school year, looking at a stretch of 5 or 6 months before you get to cross the finish line and call the year done!  You may be looking at how dreadfully behind and unaccomplished you feel as you move into this second half of the school year. 

A serious change of perspective is needed.  Guess what?  What you are doing is not about THIS school year, it is about a life-long process of learning, growing, layering, stretching, strengthening, gleaning, inquiring, absorbing…caring.

The wisdom literature reminds us, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed”  (Proverbs 15:22).  Victor Hugo, of course, echos this truth:

Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign.

So here is the advice from one who crossed the Finish Line, homeschooling four children some 14 years ago:  

Now is the time to start looking into curriculum choices and learning pathways for the upcoming 2024-25 school year. 

Now is the time to look at what you are doing and consider changes as you move forward to best inspire and encourage your student. 

Now is the time to shore up what is weak and strengthen what is thriving. 

Making choices now will gift you the time you need to be prepared and inspired as you appoint the path that will enact the most growth in the next leg of your homeschooling journey.  Be encouraged.  You are not stuck in the middle, you are walking on a pathway that is way longer than this year.

I have homeschooled my own children, worked in various capacities for a homeschooling academy, taught classes for a homeschool network where I counseled, advised and coordinated, and eventually worked alongside Mrs. Bredberg as a co-director utilizing  Blackbird & Company curriculum with students at our beloved hybrid school, Waterhouse Guild.  Did I do it all right?  No way!  But the years of experience have taught me much about this process of mentoring children, especially those sitting at our own kitchen table. I am privileged to be able to offer you advice and hopefully help you along your way as you homeschool your own children.

So, Happy New Year! 

The journey does not stay the same, but the pathway continues. 

I look forward to walking alongside you here with Blackbird & Company. 

Let’s walk this path together.