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The School at Home Podcast

Whether it’s virtual learning, distance learning, or traditional homeschool, many families are taking a different approach to school in 2020, either by choice or by default. The School at Home podcast is an up-close and personal look at how different families are managing their children's education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you're a busy mom, juggling work, childcare and school at home, then this is the podcast for you! Join me, Katie Olthoff, a working mom-of-three, as I chat with women across the country who are trying to do it all in the midst of a global pandemic. Grab a cup of coffee and listen as these moms share their plans, tips and tricks to make the best of “School at Home."

Homeschool, Virtual School, Hybrid Learning, Distance Learning...

Hear from moms who have first-hand experience with all kinds of 2020 Pandemic Schooling. You can find the School at Home Podcast on the following platforms:

Is there another place you'd like to listen? Contact me here and let me know!

Most Recent Episode:

I recently launched season 2 after a short hiatus. Here is the most recent episode. Scroll down for past episodes!

201: Michelle Marine - 4 kids, 3 methods of schooling

There are a lot of options out there for families this year, but few are taking the same approach as Michelle Marine’s. Her four children are taking part in four different types of school this year. She has a junio attending school face-to-face full time, a 7th grader that is homeschooled, and a 9th grader and 5th grader in “virtual school.”

As a former homeschooler, she knew what that entails, and said, “When faced with the prospect of homeschooling again, I thought, ‘No, no, no, no. That ship has sailed.’” However, she found out quickly that using the school’s online curriculum was not a good fit for all of her children, and quickly pivoted to other approaches, including homeschool for one of her kids.

In this episode, we talk about what led to the Marine family’s hybrid approach to school, and the things she’s had to “let go of” (like PE) in order to focus on what’s most important to her and her family.

Find Michelle online at:

Past Episodes:

101: Katie Olthoff - working mom of 3 and host of this podcast!

Welcome to the brand new "School at Home" podcast!

Are you a busy mom juggling work, childcare and school at home? Then this is the podcast for you! Join Katie Olthoff, working mom-of-three, as she chats with women across the country who are trying to do it all in the midst of a global pandemic. Grab a cup of coffee and listen as these moms share their plans, tips and tricks to make the best of “School at Home."

102: Victoria Willard - homeschooling single mom of 5

A single mom of 5, working two jobs, and homeschooling her kids… how in the world does Victoria Willard manage it all?

Well, it doesn’t hurt that she is super organized (she has her own home organizing business, after all). And although the kids have been in public school for the last two years, she has homeschooled in the past.

Victoria is a fan of deschooling and unschooling, and builds a curriculum around her children’s interests. Each of them chooses a “major” and Victoria uses Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers to find activities and lessons that bring together the kids’ interests and the things they need to learn.

Oh, and on the side, her two oldest girls have created their own social media empire. Zaria and Haley read bedtime books on their instagram account several times a week. And together with their followers, they’ve collected 6,000 books to create two school libraries in Accra, Ghana. How cool is that?

We also chat about how to discover your child’s unique needs and talk about a couple of great parenting books, The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle and The 5 Love Languages of Children.

Without a formal curriculum or help from the school, how does Victoria know what her kids need to learn each year? What is her schedule like with two jobs and homeschool? How does she have her school room set up? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this episode.

Find Victoria online at:

Instagram: Zaria x Hailey
Facebook - Organize, Design, Create
Facebook Group

103: Rebecca Potts - artist, teacher, mom of kindergartener in Los Angeles

As an urban mom in California, Rebecca and I have vastly different lives, but still found plenty in common to talk about!

In this episode, Rebecca describes how she is making room for “school” while she and her husband work from home in their 2-bedroom apartment. We also talk about the challenges she’s expecting for her daughter, who will be using an ipad and chromebook for school, and isn’t familiar with either of them. But my favorite part of the conversation was discussing ways to foster creativity in children.

Mindset by Carol Dweck
Rebecca’s Podcast
Podcast Instagram
Rebecca’s Art
Art Instagram
Art Resources for At-Home Learning
Cardboard sculpture project

104: Annette Whipple - Writer, Virtual Schooling Mom of 3

Annette Whipple used to spend her days researching and writing non-fiction children’s books, alone in her quiet house. But since March, she’s been in the same situation many moms are facing: she’s working from home and her husband is working from home, while sharing the space with their three children.

In this episode, Annette and I chat about how her family made the decision to do school at home this year. The Whipples chose the “family option” to do virtual school through their local charter school. Now, they’re figuring out how to handle their careers with 3 kids on 3 different virtual schedules.

Annette is also a former teacher and has some great tips to make things go more smoothly. From note-taking, to planners, to modeling a positive attitude, she gives advice that will make the year easier, no matter what form of school at home you’re using.


Planner for middle grade students
I Know How She Does It by Laura VanderKam
The New Corner Office by Laura VanderKam
The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

Find Annette here:
Annette's website
Annette's books
Annette on Facebook @AnnetteWhippleBooks
Annette on Twitter @AnnetteWhipple
Annette on Instagram @AnnetteWhippleBooks
Annette's blog: Wilder Companion
Annette's brochure

105: Cris Goode - Roadschooling, Homeschooling, mom of an 8th grader

Hybrid schooling, homeschooling, roadschooling, Outschooling - Cris Goode has done it all!
Her 8th grader has been doing some form of non-traditional school since kindergarten, and Cris has some great advice for moms.

In this episode, we talk a lot about attitudes that make learning successful. We chat about helping kids who struggle with math, focusing on the learning process, making school fun, and getting out of a “funk.”

Cris and her husband run the popular website, Recipes that Crock, and share their RV and cooking adventures on their youtube channel, As Goode as it Gets, where they promise to laugh often, eat goode food, and speak life. We didn’t eat anything on this podcast, but we certainly laughed a lot!

Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook
Find Cris here:
Recipes that Crock
As Goode as it Gets (Youtube)

106: Caci Nance - South Carolina dairy farmer, homeschooling mom of 4

How is homeschooling different from traditional school?

For several years, Caci Nance and her husband discussed homeschooling their four children. They also discussed expanding their dairy farm. “We decided the middle of a pandemic is the time to open an on-farm creamery,” she says with a laugh.

With an incredibly busy schedule and a Charlotte Mason philosophy, Caci began homeschooling in July and recently finished the first 12 week quarter of the school year. Even as a former teacher, Caci recognizes that homeschooling doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of traditional schooling, and she discusses how she’s had to adjust her mindset to make it work.

“It is very, very doable for parents to work full time and homeschool,” Caci says, “but you have to be willing to think outside the box. It’s not going to look like a classroom setting. You’re not bringing school home. You’re homeschooling, which is a completely different concept, and it’s one that’s been very hard for me to wrap my mind around.”

In this episode, Caci and I talk about the flexibility provided by homeschooling, and some of the challenges teachers and parents who are doing “school at home” through a traditional school district are facing. Plus, we get to hear a little about dairy farm life!


Caci’s book recommendation: For the Children’s Sake



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