HSP 24 Melissa Wiley: All About Tidal Homeschooling

Melissa Wiley is an author and a homeschool mom of 6 who blogs at Here in the Bonny Glen. Her novel, The Prairie Thief, is a big hit at my house, and I have a little Laura Ingalls fan who is just itching to check out her two series of books about Laura’s ancestors, The Martha Years and The Charlotte Years.

HSP 24 Melissa Wiley: All about Tidal Homeschooling

On this episode of the podcast, Melissa gives us a little peek into her school days and explains her unique philosophy, which she calls Tidal Homeschooling. This interview is full of inspiration for how we can foster an atmosphere of learning, creativity, joy, and relationship-building in our homes by recognizing and working within our own natural rhythms or “tides.” Enjoy!

Listen to the podcast

[feature_box style=”16″ title=”Sponsored%20by%20Sparkles%20Stories” alignment=”center”]

sparkle logo_newSparkle creates original audio stories for kids and families.  Their new website has almost 900 original stories — all of them delightful and funny and inspiring.

They have stories for everything – holidays, bedtime, travel, even stories to help with fear of the dark or moving to a new house. With a subscription to sparkle, you can enjoy all of them.
Plus there’s a Sparkle Stories App — for iphone or ipad!   It’s really easy to navigate – even for young listeners.  Visit their new website for a free 10-day subscription.  Use the code HOMESCHOOL16 when you sign up, to get an extra 5 free days!  (Total of 15 free days.)   


Links and resources from today’s show:

 The Prairie Thief Little House in the Highlands Little House by Boston Bay Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys (Puffin Classics) Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World My First Human Body Book (Dover Children’s Science Books) By the Great Horn Spoon! Understood Betsy Half Magic The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility – Nintendo Wii

Ways to Listen to The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast

Podcasts are radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. You don’t have to have an iPod or smart phone to listen.

    • Listen right here on the blog. Click through to the site and click the little play button in this post.
    • Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch. Subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher. I show you how to do that here.
    • Subscribe to get updates. If you would like to receive our weekly newsletter, which will notify you whenever new episodes are released, you can subscribe right here.

If you are interested in leaving a rating or review for the podcast in iTunes — thank you!

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

      1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
      2. Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
      3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for either Melissa or me. We would both love to hear from you!



  • Sandra says:

    We’ve had great experiences with the Mystery Class project, which I think I first heard about it on Melissa’s blog. Thanks Melissa.

    We’ve even been lucky enough to be one of the Mystery classes on two separate occasions.
    If anyone wants to know exactly what’s involved (this year’s starts on 29 January) this blog post of mine- http://schoolofserendipity.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/mystery-class-2015.html – has got lots of details, including links to the time my kids were a Mystery Class.

  • conscynex says:

      Visit their new website for a free 10-day subscription.  Use the code HOMESCHOOL16 when you sign up, to get an extra 5 free days!  (Total of 15 free days. Where is this information?

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      It is in the Sponsored by Sparkle Stories box in the post above. Go to sparklestories.com to start your free trial.

  • Anne says:

    I loved loved love this episode! I was so inspired by Melissa’s description of homeschooling in her house, I’ve been reading through her blog archives like a book. Thanks for bringing a new friend into my life!

  • Alex DeRose says:

    I love this podcast & have been binge listening to all of your episodes, this was especially touched me, thank you so much for putting this out there for new homeschooling moms!

  • missy says:

    Thank you! Having this type of thoughtful framework is so helpful and freeing. I can see this working with my oldest without feeling like I am just “giving in” to his passions. Ebb and flow makes perfect sense. I also love alternating older and younger. Great thoughts.

  • Sara says:

    Thank you for this podcast, it was absolutely wonderful! The one question I have for you Pam and for Melissa is how do you finish your school day by noon when you’re working with multiple children? I have a 1st and 3rd grader and I am finding that due to them both needing me to work with them on most of their studies, I can’t seem to finish the day before 2pm (with lunch included). Between math, language arts, history, science, art and poetry appreciation, I feel like we’re going far too long each day. I want to simplify, but I can’t figure out how. We’re doing classical homeschooling, but I think I have the urge to loosen up the reigns a bit.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      I do history, science, and art for that age group at my co-op and don’t do anything extra at home. That said, for those ages I would not do ALL of those everyday. It would be math, language arts, and then choose to do 30 minutes at the most of maybe two of the others each day. And we would be doing those content subjects — history, science, art and poetry – together as a family, mostly through reading aloud, and everyone doing the same thing. That is all.

    • http://www./ says:

      Heal this Earth by becoming fully aware and conscious that we are a part of it…The events of the last 2-3 years have made it so apparent, so clear – so obvious. This bottomless pit can only be filled with love, and whoever say that this is the easy way out, has no idea of the work and the stamina this requires.

  • Christina Beckett says:

    I was able to listen to this wonderful podcast last night and I must say, I am so very inspired by Melissa’s method! I have had a strong feeling inside that what we are doing is too dry for my kids and I think this is exactly what we need to bring our homeschool to life! We have tried doing unit studies on top of our core subjects but it never works out like I want it to. I think if we begin to use more of the Tidal way of learning, I will be more able to dive farther in to the things my kids love. Thank you for this episode!

  • Kim says:

    Pam! I just love Melissa Wiley and her approach! Thanks for having her on. Her energy alone makes me want to be a better parent to my kids. I’m inspired! Totally a mix of philosophies in our house and love to hear how other families embrace what works for them.

    • http://www./ says:

      Hi CeciliaI just love maps!! all of them.. I bought some in Roma Italia.. some years ago and need to get them framed!! I've had them 14 years and still not framed!! hahaWell the translator is not working for me today.. Were you asking what is the Capital city of Australia?? It is Canberra! Which is in the state of 'The Australian Capital Territory'.. which confusingly .. is smack bang in the middle of another state 'New South Wales' [a state within a state] .. we couldn't make easy could we? hahahahave a great week xx Julie

    • When Kate Winslet got up for Best Actress in “The Reader”, it was over for Meryl Streep. Hopefully this year will be different and she’ll win for “Julie & Julia”. But Sandra Bullock poses a major threat.

  • Heather says:

    Loved this one. It definitely gives my family style a name with tidal school. I say we do a lot of unschool but then we would do unit studies or a structured subject here and there. Eclectic style, classical style, unschooled, unit study, text book you name it. The ebb and flow of the seasons or babies made it happen. Her husband is right, her super power is enthusiasm ?

  • Dana Irwin says:

    I love your podcast. I LOVED the length of this one. I feel like the shorter podcasts don’t allow as much depth because of the time constraint. I was able to glean more in the longer segment. I would love it if they were all this length! I also really love how you include all of the links at the bottom to everything you talk about. Thank you for sharing this with us! It brings a lot of encouragement to many.

  • Andrea says:

    This is my favorite of all the podcasts you’ve done. I think I’ve listen to it 3 times and shared it with friends. I find you conversation with Melissa Wiley so encouraging. Thanks!

  • >