Stuff about Joanne


  Short Version: 

Joanne has been married to her husband, Tim, for 23 years. They have 8 children:

Nick ~ 19    Lauren ~ 18    Taylor ~ 16     Franklin ~ 15     Olivia ~ 12     Adrienne ~ 10     Lydia ~ 8     and Lilienne ~ 6.

The Calderwood Ten live in lovely Normandy, Tennessee.


Longer Version:

Joanne graduated from Geneva College in 1985 with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching in the classroom environment for a while, she and Tim decided to embark upon The Parenting Journey. Nicholas down through Lilie were born in just 12 years. (“No, I did not, not, not enjoy being pregnant for 72 months! Are you kidding?”)

Life at the Calderwood house was usually rather peaceful thanks to a loose schedule that was developed after YEARS of trying to have a spotless house as though no children at all ever came to visit let alone live there.

Once Joanne realized that it was okay to have a messy house sometimes, everybody’s life became just a little bit happier. (“Do not underestimate the power of a mama’s attitude”)

Tim and Joanne decided early on that they simply could not put their children on a school bus and allow other people they did not even know to spend huge amounts of time with their flesh and blood. Thus, home schooling became a wonderful option.

Joanne instituted a self-teaching method of education in her home once the oldest child was about 9 years old. She did this out of necessity, as there were babies to feed, laundry mountains to contain, meals to cook, floors to sweep and mop, groceries needing to be bought, and little ones to be read to, held, loved on, and schooled. The other children followed the self-teaching model, freeing Joanne up to be mom instead of school marm.

The children thrived and learned masterfully on their own, so Joanne tossed out everything she ever learned about educating children via her college education and decided to allow her children to set their own goals with light supervision.  

While the course of study was designed still by mom, the Calderwood children were surprsingly motivated by working at their own speed with minimal “interference” from a teacher. In fact, they each claimed at the beginning of a new school year that they preferred to work independently, with just a touch of oversight from mom.


Time marched on, and Nick graduated from high school and was the valedictorian of his umbrella school, ranked #1 out of 1,054 seniors. His perfect SAT score his senior year clinched him a spot at the university of his choice. He just completed his freshman year at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Lauren graduated from high school ranked 9th in her class of 1,059 in May 2008, a National Merit Scholarship Finalist (as was Nick), and also able to attend the university of her choice. She will be a freshman at Lee University this fall and will actually be *making money* by going to college.

The story of the other six children is continually developing. All are normal kids who on some days really don’t feel like doing their schoolwork. They know better than to complain, however.

They know what is expected in the course of a day, and they do their work and have a whole lot of free time in which to pursue other interests which range from team sports of any variety to community theater productions, karaoke until 2 am, wild games of dad’s mad libs, apples to apples, quiet reading time, writing songs, and yes, they even watch DVDs and play Game Cube. All of this before supper! Isn’t home schooling freakishly awesome?

It may be of interest to some of our dear readers to know that over the past five years, Joanne has been employed full time outside of the home for three of those years. (The eight children insisted on eating and wearing out their clothes! Sigh.)  Because of the foundation of self-teaching, homeschooling continued seamlessly in her absence.

While Tim and Joanne feel strongly that the best place for mom to be is at home, they have learned not to make any laws on subjects as sometimes things happen that we don’t understand. Nevertheless, it is possible to homeschool *and* have both parents working, or to be a single parent and homeschool.

Professional Milestones:

Tim and Joanne have written a ten volume SAT Vocab Prep Course that is an addendum to the Robinson Curriculum. Joanne is also the author of I’m the Mom; I Don’t Have to Know Calculus, A Self-Teaching Manual.

She has written articles for several homeschool magazines, most notably for Home School Enrichment Magazine where she is currently a columnist both in print and online. She has done numerous teleseminars and has spoken at many a Homeschool Conference over the past 5 years.

The Calderwood Family offers Self-Learning Adventure Bootcamps. To see what all of that is about you can visit

Joanne is also available to do workshops and seminars. She is currently designing Skills Inventory workshops for high school students as well as Personality Inventoriy workshops for mom and/or dad. You can not read about this anywhere at the moment. Coming Soon.

Joanne is perhaps most well known for creating The Homeschool STUDENT Planners and The Essential High School STUDENT Planners. Guess where you can find out more about these two award-winning items? is correct!

If you are interested in joining a Yahoo Group, you can sign up to become a member of just by logging in and creating a Yahoo account if you are lacking one currently.

More than anything, Joanne is passionate about mastery in education, self-teaching which produces mastery, and coaching others in how to get the most out of homeschooling while remaining “Underwhelmed” by it all.





7 Responses to Stuff about Joanne

  1. YessD says:

    I’m new to your blog and quiet honestly to blogging….however,I just spend over an hrs and half reading your blog and could not pass at the opportunity to say thank you for sharing your wisdom. I have been very stress over my oldest son beginning HS this fall that I have spend days and nights reading up on the subject….I’m grateful to have found your blog and planner 🙂 So count me in as one more of your blog followers…

    One NOT so sane BUT relentless mom!!

  2. Deirdre says:

    Wow! Your “about” section makes me feel wholly inadequate! Congrats on your homeschooling success. I will be using your site for inspiration!

  3. […] not everyone. Joanne has a very thought-provoking post on her blog about “Why I am not happy with the CA Court’s […]

  4. Katie says:

    I’m creating a blogroll of blogs that blog (at least occasionally) about homeschooling high school. ( I came across yours today and would LOVE to add it. If you would consider this, could you email me? Thanks in advance! Blessings…


    • urthemom says:

      Thanks for your note, Katie! It’s great to meet you….and i sent you a personal email. i’m headed over to your blog right now! joanne

  5. Louise says:


  6. kartwheels says:

    I just found your blog and am looking forward to following along and reading more. If you have the time and interest, I would love for you to check out my blog of kids projects. Have a wonderful week! Karen

Hiya! Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: