California History

Supporting Urban Native Animals (and Plants!)

I sometimes wonder, living in Los Angeles, why there are so many humans here, but all of the big saber toothed cats and awesome La Brea Tar Pits Pleistocene animals are not here (imagine dire wolves, Columbian mammoths, the American horse, and the ground sloth).  They occupied this land up to 10,000 years ago; they […]

Progressive Resources

David Rumsey Map Collection: Free, Unique, and Great for Visual Learners

One of the most exciting discoveries while writing California Out of the Box was when I found the David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford.  This site provides a searchable, downloadable, and even printable platform where visitors can browse copious amounts of amazing maps.  The image above featuring The Unique Map of California is the back […]

California Places

Mineral King, CA: The Road Less Traveled in the Sequoias

      Mineral King, a scarcely known destination within California, is a gem to behold; it’s a destination in league with the Swiss Alps.  Arrival at such a location is not accidental though; it took our family about 3.5 hours to get from Los Angeles to Visalia.  Continuing on to the town of Three […]


Introducing California Out of the Box Curriculum!

Join us at the California Homeschool Network Family Expo, Sept. Friday, 7- and Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.  Carrier Shell Curriculum is excited to be a vendor at this fabulous conference!  Click on the link below for more info.   GREAT WOLF LODGE 12681 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840 September 6th-9th  2018   EXPO

California History

I love cats! (from the Gold Rush)

As I have been putting the finishing touches on my curriculum – California Out of the Box – one of the wonderful resources that I stumbled across are selections from Mark Twain’s epic journey out west written between 1870-71, chronicled in his book Roughing It.  This book recounts his stagecoach journey from St. Joseph, Missouri […]

For Parents

Mothers: You are Irreplaceable!

It was 5 years ago today that my mother passed away from an aggressive brain tumor at age 69.  I had less than two months to spend with her from the time of diagnosis, to the day of her passing.  In fact, I only had one week between her diagnosis and her first brain tumor […]


Bored in the USA?

Recently I went to show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and I saw Father John Misty.  Though I had heard many good things about him, I was unfamiliar with many of his songs He sang one song in particular though that hit me hard when I heard it, and stuck with me — […]


How do I homeschool my child?

As I have talked with friends and acquaintances over the years about homeschooling, I have gotten questions such as:

For Parents

On Reading Stories Aloud

One of my vivid memories from childhood is that of my Dad reading to the family. For parents to read books to their kids is nothing unusual in itself, but my Dad’s approach was perhaps a bit different for modern times. He didn’t read “kids’ books” and he didn’t do much to simplify the wording. […]


An End of the Year Thank You!

Dear Homeschooling Parent, A special thank you to you — and all that you do and think about in homeschooling your child!  In a traditional school setting there would be a thank you card and some sort of year-end gift presented to a teacher.  This ritual is not necessarily there for homeschooling.  If you are […]