November 22, 2017

About Joanne

If you read my introduction to this site, you already see that I have spent the majority of my life as a homeschooling mom.  This was not my original intention!  I wanted to be a pension planner.  (I know…. yawn.)  Fortunately for me, God had a more exciting life in mind for me!

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I started my career with a large insurance company and earned my bachelor’s degree in Business Management, even minored in Computer Science since that was the next big thing.  Then….. we had children and I couldn’t imagine going off and leaving them.  I had originally planned to work, make lots of money and send them all to really nice private schools – but that idea went out the window soon after my children were born.

God began placing people and information in my path about homeschooling.  When we first introduced the idea to the grandparents, my mother nearly cried.  You see, the only homeschooling family she had ever known had many children and they all lived together in an old school bus.  She pictured her grandchildren sleeping on those bus seats and it broke her heart.  Once she saw the fruits of homeschooling, however, she became our biggest fan.  (This is a good thing since ALL of her grandchildren were eventually homeschooled.)

At any rate, we jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back since. As a homeschooling mom, I joined support groups, co-ops, mom’s groups and anything else I could get into – not only to serve but to be able to glean from others.  Over the years I taught many homeschool classes – especially in the sciences; my favorite!  I also worked with book sales, curriculum fairs, science fairs – you name it.

Homeschooling in High School

The Mastronicola Family

We joined a non-traditional private school where I began by serving on the board, eventually becoming their high school administrator.  After several years of providing high school counseling to our school families, I was encouraged to put all the information I had gathered into a book and so finally published the early version of Piecing Together the High School Puzzle in 2004.    I also contacted two of my counterparts in schools here in Jacksonville and we began to offer guidance counseling to homeschooling families who were not under schools.   This is something I still enjoy doing because I get to meet so many awesome homeschooled students – hopefully, you’ll get to see many of their stories as I continue this blog.

All three of my children have since graduated, but I continue to work with homeschoolers in several capacities.  Besides guidance counseling,  I teach science in a tutoring program aimed at preparing homeschoolers for college.  I work with the publications team of the Florida Parent Educators Association which means that I also get to work behind the scenes at the huge statewide convention each year.  I travel around the state with my book, speaking at conferences and for local homeschool groups.   And, oh yes, on the weekends, I teach 11th and 12th-grade girls in Sunday School.

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The High School Puzzle

This has been a much more exciting life than sitting in an office cubicle crunching pension plan numbers.  I probably would have been replaced by a computer by now anyway.   I love what I do as a home education consultant – I meet really great people and I learn something new every day.  Now — I can’t wait to see what this new online adventure has to bring!

~to your success!

Joanne