Poolside Professional Development 2023 [Bonus Episode]

It’s time for our annual Poolside Professional Development episode. Each year, we encourage you to dedicate some time for yourself this summer!

The Beauty Of Poolside Professional Development

Maybe you’re in a bittersweet homeschool transition. Or maybe you’re barely making it through your most challenging homeschool season yet. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to homeschool one kiddo, or perhaps you’re juggling many ages and stages. Or, you might be homeschooling children with multiple learning challenges.

No matter where you are right now, there’s something for you below and in this episode. Remember: you’ve got this!

10 Poolside Professional Development Ideas

(Psst! If you’re here for the Poolside Episode, it’s #10!)

1. New Beginnings and Homeschool Milestones, with Cait and Kara

If you’re looking to giggle and hang with some homeschool sisters, and maybe shed a happy tear or two, don’t miss this episode.

Kara and Cait share the nitty-gritty of how life has been the last few months, including some very big changes! Hear all about the reality of these homeschool milestones from a real-life, sister’s perspective.

2. What it’s Really Like to Homeschool an Only Child, with Jessica Waldock

Are you homeschooling one kiddo right now? This episode is for you!

Whether you began with only one child or only have one left learning in your home, the reality of homeschooling an only child is quite different than you might think! In this episode, Cait and Jessica talk about homeschooling one child and they debunk many popular myths.

3. When Homeschooled Kids Go to Public School, with Cait

So many sisters community members reached out asking for an update. If you have kids thinking about trying school, or if some of your children are in school right now after homeschooling, I bet you have all the feelings. (I know I do!) This episode is for you.

In this episode, I share my very real, raw experience as two of my three homeschooled children transitioned back into the school system this year. Learn what led up to the change and how her kids are doing now that they are in a brick-and-mortar school.

4. Intuitive Homeschooling with Camille Kirksey

Gosh, this was a fun conversation! Camille is so real and authentic and she has a huge heart for helping homeschool moms- even those of us who have been homeschooling for a while now! Plus, Camille has a real appreciation for teens (who tend to get a bad rap)!

No matter how long you’ve been homeschooling, you have probably asked yourself one or more of the following questions:

  • How do I manage the day-to-day realities of homeschooling without comparing myself to the picture-perfect homeschool family on Instagram?
  • What if I’m a secular homeschooler? What resources and communities are right for me and my family?
  • How do I bring out the best in my kids (and me) knowing that I can’t do all the things I’d like to do in our homeschool?

Learning how to embrace our own circumstances and lean into what we know to be true for our unique families can be a challenge. This episode answers all of the above questions and more!

5. Real-Life Homeschooling with Rachel Baker

Are you managing multiple ages and stages? Are you thinking about, or worried about, homeschooling high school? If so, this episode is for you!

This season, we’ve been chatting with real-life homeschoolers about the joys and challenges of the homeschool journey. In this episode, I chat with longtime podcast listener Rachel Baker. Rachel shares a real-life look at homeschooling from the perspective of a mom of four (ages 15, 13, 12, and 9).

6. Bittersweet Transitions in Our Homeschools, with Christy Kafka

Oh, this episode. I connected with Christy over Instagram ages ago and it was such an honor to chat with her this season about how bittersweet it can feel to have big kids. If you have tweens and teens and you’re feeling all the feelings, this one is for you.

Our long days of homeschooling eventually turn into months, seasons, and ultimately years. This episode is all about the seasons of transition in our homeschools, what we learn about ourselves in them, and the bittersweetness of seeing our children embrace their passions and independence.

7. Homeschooling Through Hard Things, with Laurel

This was such an inspiring conversation. The reality is, hard things happen. If you’re in a difficult season of life and trying to homeschool through it, this episode is for you.

In this episode, Laurel discusses the reality of homeschooling through a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, including specific resources and support that helped in such a difficult season.

8. Homeschooling Kids with Learning Differences: A Day in the Life, with Donnesa

If you are homeschooling outside-the-box kids, this episode is for you. Donnesa is a parent of unique learners. In this episode, she shares a glimpse into her average day of parenting and learning at home.

Taking an out-of-the-box approach to homeschooling out-of-the-box kids makes so much sense, especially in the day-to-day realities of homeschooling, but sometimes you can fall into the comparison trap, or worry about what your unique learners are or are not learning. Donnesa will inspire you in this episode!

9. 5 Things I’d Tell My Younger Homeschool Self

After nine years of homeschooling, with two of my three kids now in our local schools and one still at home with me, I find myself often nostalgic for the early years of homeschooling. If you’re new to homeschooling and you need some support, this episode is for you. And if you’re in a similar season and want to feel seen, this one is for you, too.

As I reflect back, I can see all the progress we’ve made. I can also see how much my perspective has changed in regard to education and homeschooling. In this episode, I am sharing 5 things I would tell my younger self back when we were first getting started homeschooling.

And that’s a wrap!

Our 10th episode this season is a BONUS. 


WATCH A VIDEO REPLAY: 2023 Poolside Professional Development

Cait’s 2023 Poolside Professional Development Picks!

Podcast Episodes Mentioned:

Poolside Professional Development Episodes

Bittersweet Transitions in Our Homeschools with Christy Kafka

The Gift of Simplicity with Kim John Payne

A Year to Slow Down with Katrina Kenison


It Girl by Ruth Ware

Beartown by Frederik Backman

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

Fiction not mentioned in the episode, but titles that Cait read this spring and recommends:

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Gabrielle Zevin

The House Maid by Freida McFadden

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt


Freckled: A Memoir of Growing Up Wild in Hawaii by  T.W. Neil

You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon


Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

Emotionally Resilient Tweens and Teens by Kim John Payne

There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda McGurk

The Open-Air Life  by Linda McGurk

More Than Enough by Kara S. Anderson

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

Moments of Seeing: Reflections from an Ordinary Life by Katrina Kennison. 

The Wisdoms of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights From Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey

Gory Details by Erika Englehaupt

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

Good Inside: A Guide to Being the Parent You Want to Be by Dr. Becky Kennedy

Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

Smart But Scattered Teens by Richard Guare, Peg Dawson, and Colin Guare

Indistractible by Nir Eyal

Hooked How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee

The Fun Habit: How the Pursuit of Joy and Wonder Can Change Your Life by Mike Rucker

The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again by Catherine Price

How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price

Join Cait this Summer In Never Board Learning

One thing I’ve learned in our 9+ (!!!) years of homeschooling is that homeschooling shouldn’t look anything like the public school of your past. I created NBL to be a safe space for creative parents and educators to authentically connect, share ideas, and support each other as they raise their wildly and wonderfully unique children and teens.

I’d love for you to step outside of that ol’ proverbial box and join the fun! Right now, download a free copy of our monthly playbook!

Our members love our NBL Playbooks! These ebooks keep your children and teens busy and learning all month long.

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