Meet a former public school teacher who fell in love with learning at home and developed her own music appreciation curriculum. This seasoned mama has many nuggets of wisdom to share for families considering the homeschool lifestyle.

Mary Prather, founder of HomeGrownLearners.com and the S.Q.U.I.L.T program talks about her homeschool misconceptions and how their family made intentional decisions to find freedom in educating at home.

Click below to listen!

Misconceptions About Learning at Home

I had noticed Mary’s curriculum on Facebook and through other homeschool families who were using her S.Q.U.I.L.T curriculum. When I decided to dig deeper, I noticed that part of her story was coming home after being a public school educator.

This is also my story, and after joining the ranks of home educators, I began to receive mixed responses from public school teachers about learning at home. Some asked with a crooked look and a raised eyebrow why I would choose to do that. But most smiled and said they wish they could have stayed home with their kids. (Listen to more about our own homeschool story here.)

I remember feeling torn inside because I was still looking for approval among my fellow academics – the one who were in the trenches every day with at risk kids, students with learning disabilities – good people who fought so hard to elevate the level of education in our community.

Would I be letting them down if I left? Would it be like a slap in the face if I told them I was homeschooling?

Connect with Mary


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Mary is a homeschooling mom of two teens and former public school educator. Her family’s journey out of public school and into homeschool taught her and her husband infinite amounts about their children, education, and what the true purpose of “school” really is. Mary is also a degreed music educator and educational administrator and writes the music appreciation curriculum SQUILT.  She loves teaching all ages of children online in SQUILT LIVE!.

Mentioned in this Episode

Sonlight Curriculum

Classical Conversations Curriculum

Living Books (Charlotte Mason List)

The President’s Song – CC

Homegrown Learners, Homegrown Hearts

What Mary hits on so sweetly in this interview is that our choices don’t need to be dictated by others opinions. Every family needs to choose what is right for themselves.

Mary shares about pulling her kids from school: “It’s hard enough to fight for their hearts without adding another layer of influence on top of it.”

This may have been the call of your heart, too – just to be there with your babies. It’s your first right as a parent. Public education is just one way to educate, it’s not the rule. Our role is to love, nurture, and guide our kids back to the heart of God and we can do that as we integrate the beautiful intricacies of math, science, language, art, and of course… music.


Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time

Mary created this open-and-go program that encourages music appreciation for the whole family. It helps to increase your kids’ attention span, and you don’t have to know music to get your child involved!

Twice a month kids can come in and get live lessons from Mary, and it’s the perfect supplement to your classical art program in homeschool or as an after-school activity!

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