Why I choose PACES PAideia

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Why I choose PACES PAideia to educate my kids.

I’ve been home educating since 1997, coming up on 20 years. We have 8 kids, and have graduated three from homeschooling with PACES, each of which have gone on to higher education. We started our PACES journey in January of 2004. Right in the middle of Year 3…the Pilgrims.

Every summer, usually right about this time, I look at my husband and say, “Why can’t we just do this at home and stop doing PACES? I’m exhausted and the thought of gearing up for another school year just leaves me wanting to hide in bed”

To which he wisely replies, “Erin, you say this every July. Whether you realize it or not, PACES is for you too.” He has taught me to see the joy is in the struggle, and that the learning is not the only end game, it’s about so much more than books and papers. It’s about community, accountability, fellowship, growth, working collectively to solve problems and answer questions. Helping others and encouraging others in their journey. We are made for community. PACES provides that for both our kids AND the parents.

Due to a bad car accident, I missed the last day of school in May and haven’t been able to get my head around what the fall will look like. Today, my mentor, founder and director of PACES PAideia, Dr. Johnnie K. Seago, answered my request when I asked her to send me a calendar for the school year. She followed up by sending me all the reading lists and project requirements for our Year FOUR term. More than 50 pages to print off. When I first saw all the attachments, I wanted to hide, to quit. Then, as the printer in my husband’s office started printing them out….something happened.

Not only did I see thousands of words on those pages, I saw thousands of collective hours that the mommas I LOVE have poured into this program. This program is not a franchise (at least not yet), it’s a GOLD MINE and the Best Kept Secret in Houston because of the countless hours so many brilliant and hard working moms, who LOVE their kids and BELIEVE in the Classical Education Model, have devoted to these charts and our events.

Teachers like me are blessed because of champion warrior moms like Rachelle Davis, who is walking through one the biggest trials of her large family’s life after having lost everything in a massive flood in Simonton. Rachelle WON’T QUIT. Her hard work behind the scenes has set so many of us up for success this year. If Rachelle doesn’t quit, neither can I.

I don’t quit because of another champion warrior momma, Melana Monroe, who also has walked through the biggest trial of her family’s life this year when four of her six adult kids were diagnosed with cancer and all had to had their stomachs removed. Melana didn’t quit. I can’t quit either.

I don’t quit because of Warrior Momma, JoAnn Harmon, whose husband mysteriously just lost all feeling in his legs from the waist down and is now hospitalized while the doctors try to figure out what’s going on. JoAnn doesn’t quit. I can’t quit either.

I NEED to be around THESE type of women. They are ROCKS.

You see, I am around lots of homeschooling moms, I have been in these circles now for 2 decades. I see a lot of people come and go from group to group, co-op to co-op, over differences of opinions, or tastes, or how their kids were or were not getting along with others. I am here to tell you, that there is a VALUE in planting your flag and STAYING. Building a root system that will sustain you when the storms of life hit you. Struggling WITH others to figure out how to teach your 11 year old how to read, or your 5 year old how to sit still, or your 16 year old how to convert fractions to decimals. We stay together, not judging one another, but helping and serving alongside each other.

Finally, we stay with PACES because our adult children are the fruit. They each grew up in PACES and were home educated from pre-K on. Each went off to college and are pursuing more higher learning. They are solid, strong, and wise young adults who are each charting their own future course while also teaching or tutoring others in some capacity.

We have five more at home, with grandchildren now coming up through the ranks. We are excited about another year in PACES with NEW faces to Love on, and NEW books to explore together. If you are thinking about PACES PAideia, are currently on the fence, or have ANY questions at all about the program specifics, please message me. I would love to help CHEER you ON this year!!!

We are stronger together!!!

Visit http://www.pacesinfo.org  for more information on this program if you live in the Greater Houston area.

The Unexpected Journey

I was at this wedding 26 years ago. Stacey was my role model. My neighbor growing up, my “big sister”. She is a model of grace and dignity and I am so blessed to call her friend. Take a moment to read this beautifully transparent post and be blessed TODAY. Thank you Lord that you hold tomorrow in the palm of your hands.

The Rusty Coop


Right now, exactly 26 years ago, I was sitting in the bridal room at Sagemont Church waiting to be wed to my best friend whom I had dated for over ten years. We had done everything “right”. We had followed all of “the rules” of dating in a Baptist church and upbringing. We had planned an amazing future together that would be made easier by our amazing families, friends, college degrees from Texas A&M University, and lifelong planning for our futures.
There was literally nothing I would have changed about that moment in time. We celebrated our wedding day with 450 guests, family members, and friends. We had been extremely blessed for our entire lives leading up to that moment.  I am thankful that I did not know what the future held for me on that day. I was able to bask in God’s abundant blessings on that day. There…

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Politically Active Kids

This morning in the kitchen while bagels were toasting, I asked my kids what I should talk about for my next blog article. Without missing a beat, my 21 year old son, says to me, “Mom, you should tell them why it’s so important to teach your kids to be politically active”
I certainly was NOT expecting that response at all. He went on to tell me how much he has learned about the process over the past five years as our family has volunteered in different races locally.
I grew up in a home where we were taught NOT to talk politics and religion in the home. I currently LIVE in a home where it’s abnormal if we are NOT talking about politics and religion at some point during the day
In early 2012, my close friend, and mother of ten kids at the time, contacted me and asked me for help. Her husband was running for office and they needed some volunteers. Little did I know what the next few months would look like.
Our family was “baptized by immersion”, into the political process. After meeting with a campaign consultant, all systems were a GO and we began campaigning. Our kids helped to set up a phone bank: taping phone call scripts to the walls and tag teaming between dialers and callers, recruiting more volunteers, providing cold water bottles and lunches for the campaign workers.
My friend and I set up Saturday neighborhood walks with our kids, pushing strollers up and down different blocks getting our exercise. We would partner an older teen with a younger sibling and door knocking with registered voters. They held up signs at polling booths for both early voting days as well as election day, attended fundraisers and local speeches at community events, and delivered signs to people’s yards and businesses, and most importantly, they learned to ask questions from candidates. They learned about the political process and how hard it is for a citizen to run for office.
A couple of years later, our pastor ran for office. He was running for a representative seat in our district. We were ALL IN when it came time to help him. My kids learned how important door knocking is in campaigns and why meeting voters makes a huge difference in voter turnout. They learned what it means to stand alone at a voting location holding voter guides for hours on end, sometimes asking themselves, “why am I here again?”
They learned a valuable lesson, even when it looked like they were surrounded by apathy. They learned that freedom isn’t free. They learned the importance of staying informed, the value of community activism, and giving selflessly of their time for a greater good, and how volunteerism promotes stronger families and communities.
Helping out politically teaches kids to ask the right questions while looking into candidates.
They also learned to treat others with respect even if they disagreed. I’ll never forget standing at the local high school for 12 hours right next to volunteers who were supporting our opponent. My kids witnessed what it looks like to show kindness even if you disagree.
Political activism also teaches them the power of one – One person can make a difference.
Additionally, they learn important job skills.
Helping out with campaigns is a terrific way to fill idle time with productivity. My son in law’s father has a saying, “A tired boy is a good boy”!
Nothing wears out sons faster than block walking in the hot Texas sun all day long.
Finally, Volunteer hours help meet college requirements and also introduce young people to scholarship opportunities.

Sowing Seeds


You-See-Seeds-but-I-See-the-Trees“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

What seeds have you been given?

In late December of 2015 I was blessed to cross paths with the Patriot Journalist Network, where I met the founder, Mark Prasek.  As a former coach, I quickly learned that his passion is to add value to others, and whether he realizes it or not,

he is influencing the influencers.

By providing a 24/7 forum online, like-minded people who are burdened for our nation, can come together and make a difference collectively online.  During several chat room discussions with the other members, Mark set an important example.  He encouraged others to use what you have already been given.


As I was praying for my family, church, community, and nation, the Lord pricked my…

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There is nothing like a good coach to teach you to live a life with no excuses! Excellent post!


People who are good at making excuses are seldom good at anything else.

If a coach is to build a winning team, excuses must be eliminated – PERIOD. It’s the first and foundational step to building personal accountability. Excuses are born of FAILURE. Failure is the opposite of success. If we’re going to move toward success, there can be no excuse for excuses.

Let’s look at the anatomy of excuses.

We’ve established that failure is the incubator of excuses. Failure is undesirable, so we must rationalize – that is, tell ourselves rational lies – it away. Otherwise the failure is attributed to us and our self esteem is diminished. Excuses are more than a method of avoiding the consequences of our choices, they are a defense mechanism to preserve our self esteem.

Excuses form a bridge between the practical and the hypothetical. They obfuscate the observed factual evidence and introduce…

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Sowing for LIFE

mom and dad 1962

On April 17th, my parents celebrate 54 years of marriage.  Full of spunk and life, my mom is the ever-ready bunny and never stops MOVING, while my dad is her anchor and enjoys a good book snuggled up with his four-legged best friend, Molly.  Together my parents have weathered decades of joys and heartache; trials and triumphs, leaving a legacy behind for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

That legacy is FAITHFULNESS.

Even when the waters were choppy and the road seemed impassable, my folks weathered every storm and stayed together.  While loving and serving one another unconditionally, these two will make anyone laugh till your side hurts.  Our kids will randomly just start laughing as we recall comedic stories my parents have lived!  (Ask them to tell you about one early morning broken car horn and a convertible!) It will leave you in stitches.

Most importantly, my parents have modeled for me and my kids what it means to stay.

And for that I am forever grateful.

Happy Anniversary Ken and Nancy Bowen.

You are LOVED!!!