Destinations Magazine

Indiana Blogs: Brain in Trainin’

By Jessicanunemaker @JessNunemaker

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Indiana Blogs: Brain in Trainin
Indiana Blogs: Brain in Trainin

Brain in Trainin’ is an Indiana blog that chronicles the adventures of a homeschooling mom with educational supplements that can benefit any parent.

You’ll like this blog for the local points of interest  brought to your attention as well as the educational aspects. She’s one of those creative mom types for sure!

Really, you need to check out fun activities like the Barnyard Animals. Don’t let the term “homeschool” scare you away–it’s definitely not what you think!

Indiana Blogs: Brain in Trainin’

Why did you start Brain in Trainin’?
We actually just celebrated our one year blogoversary in July.

I started blogging for very selfish reasons. I wanted to be held accountable for the planning and execution of our first year of homeschool. I knew that if I connected with other moms, they would be checking in on me to see how I was doing.

I must say that I always feel like I get way more than I give from the blogging community. There are just so many people with amazing ideas and creativity that inspire me everyday! But I’m also happy to be contributing in some small way to others’ journeys as my following increases.

What about that name? Why
Brain in Trainin’? Ahhh…a little complicated! My son LOVES trains (think Thomas the Train sets continually occupying floor space in my living room). So, I thought that might be a kid-friendly place to start. We had been practicing rhyming as an emerging reading skill and so rhyming was on my mind.

Eventually through a restless night or two…what, your best ideas don’t come to you at 2 o’clock in the morning?…we arrived at the name because I felt it best described what we are hoping to accomplish in raising our children with a fun flair. (and a little known secret: shout out to Indiana with the ‘INs)

What are three of your most favorite posts?
We are all about learning and thriftiness around here, so most of my favorite posts are those that maximize a learning experience for a small budget.

Here’s a few of the favorites:Our all time most viewed post is actually one of my favorites as well. It is our Paint Sample Letter Project. I collected some paint samples from the home improvement store to create a sensory learning experience for my son who is learning to write. He has LOVED it and so have my readers! It seems to be useful to moms and teachers everywhere, not just homeschool families.

A second favorite captures our love of nature. We enjoy camping and spend time at DNR properties at nature centers and camp-outs. Somewhere (and I wish I could still remember where…that’s like breaking the Bloggy code of Ethics isn’t it?) I saw duct tape used to collect items on a nature walk. This Duct Tape Nature Bracelet was a hit with my daughter.

And finally, I’d love to share our collection of posts called Local Fun. This is where we highlight all the great activities, events, and locales that Indiana has to offer families…home educating or not. I don’t always share exact locations (I also don’t share the names of my children) because we have readers from all over the world…but if you are very curious, I’m happy to answer a question on the location!

What keeps you ready and raring to post? Why do you blog?
I really treat blogging like a virtual scrapbook. I post projects and milestones we complete for our school work. I enjoy sharing family activities in hopes of inspiring others to make time for their families. I’m not afraid to share my own limitations and failures which makes blogging sometimes therapeutic.

Homeschool, eh? What’s a common misconception about homeschool that you would like to set straight?
Hair buns and ankle length skirts? Uh um, but really.

There are still many people that hold the stereotype of homeschoolers as un-socialized and sheltered children, or religious fanatics. Our faith is very important to us, but not the only reason we homeschool and we respect all faiths. I hope my blog helps to shatter the unsocialized stereotype.

If anything, my kids (and most homeschoolers I know) are probably just as socialized and hopefully civilized as public-schooled children. But it may look different.

Rather than my daughter focusing all her social energy on 6-8 other girls her age in a classroom, she invests in pen-pals across the country. Rather than interacting with a classroom teacher, she practices ordering at the local coffee-shop when we have “coffee-shop” school on cold winter mornings. Rather than being in love with a boy-crush, she has regular Daddy dates with HER dad (at least monthly) where she is valued and respected so that becomes a template for future relationships.

Of course we don’t want our children to be un-socialized or outcasts, so we purposely participate in co-ops, reading clubs, ballet, sports, church activities, and family activities where socialization is praised and expected.

And before you write me off, you also need to know that we are not anti-public schools. You will see on our blog that we actually believe in very strong public schools (as many of our family and friends have served in public schools and we ourselves also attended public schools).

We are just choosing a different option for ourselves because of the personality of our children and our desire to really nurture their gifts individually. We realize that not every family has this luxury or desire and kids everywhere deserve the best they can have in school systems all across the state and country.

I also teach for Ivy Tech as an online adjunct instructor in the Human Services program (I have a master’s degree in counseling). I do this because I want my kids to see me as a working mom too since women have fought so hard to have these types of opportunities. And while my kids’ education has to be a main priority, I still have professional goals and interests I want them to see in me.

Do you have a favorite quote or life motto you’d like to share?
I have always lived by, “Whatever you do, do it with ALL your heart.”

Anything else that little Indiana readers should know about you and/or Brain in Trainin’?
I  am a life-long Hoosier. I was born in Goshen, spent my preschool days in Middlebury, school years in Rochester, college years in Huntington, live now in the Marion/Wabash area. At this rate, by the time I’m 80, I should be living in Southern Indiana don’t ya think?

And there is reason you don’t see any recipe or foodie type posts on my blog…trust me, you wouldn’t want to read about what you wouldn’t want to eat. I am a kitchen failure! But like any good Hoosier, my love language is food…you’ll have me at “pork tenderloin and corn on the cob!”

Educational Crafting With Purpose

What is is about us Hoosiers and pork tenderloin? Of course, nothing says “Indiana Summer” more than corn on the cob! Thanks Stacie for visiting here on little Indiana today.

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