May 302013

Happy summer! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. My kids and I enjoyed exploring southern Oregon earlier this month. Now I’m preparing for my oldest to graduate at the end of summer! Bittersweet season…

My writing has taken a different direction. I’ve decided to stop publishing Steer Me Right so I can focus on my book for single moms and some other projects. I’m thrilled to say I’ve found a wonderful, competent homeschool mom to take over.

Mary Andersen has homeschooled her 9th grade son locally since he was in 1st grade, and plans to continue through high school. She’s a blogging whiz and an excellent writer. Her vision for Steer Me Right is the same as mine: a comprehensive site for regional homeschoolers to find information and resources, and connect with like-minded homeschool families. I’m very thankful to know that Steer Me Right will be continuing with such a capable administrator.

To email Mary with comments or suggestions, simply use the “Contact Me” page. Mary and I have inserted Mary’s email address there.

Don’t forget to read my encouragement blog for moms at Susanna’s Apron!

Thanks for reading and supporting Steer Me Right, and God bless you as you continue the wonderful adventure of homeschooling in Santa Cruz County!


Oct 262012

Steer Me Right is packed with information, and there’s more coming. Here are five features you can use right away.

Pick a Veteran Homeschooler’s Mind

The “Let’s Talk! Forum” tab provides a place to ask questions, share information, make announcements, ask for help, and more. The beauty of forums is that threads remain accessible after the discussion has wound down, allowing users to refer back to them as needed.

Find Help with High School

The “Quick Start Guide to Homeschooling” contains a page with links to resources for high school record keeping and college plans. I’ll
also be writing blog posts about this important topic as my kids progress through high school. Let me know if there’s a high school topic you’d like me to address!

Introduce a Friend to Homeschooling in California

Got a friend who’s considering homeschool? The “Quick Start Guide” also provides a summary overview of California’s homeschool requirements, with links to the Department of Education and several legal information websites that can answer most questions. There are also pages here about a few of the better-known methods, with links to more in-depth analyses and resources.

Keep Money Local

Click on the “Curriculum” tab to find two curriculum resources. The first page, “Buy and Sell Used Curriculum,” is a place to sell used curriculum, vehicles, art supplies, and more. You can list items by category, giving another local homeschool family a great price while recouping some of the money you spent. To reply to an ad, click on the seller’s name.

The Amazon aStore offers a selection of curriculum through Amazon; click through to Amazon to expand your search.

Check the Rush-Hour Traffic

Did you know you can access CalTran’s road cams from Steer Me Right? Click on “More Useful Information” for links to cams on strategic points on Highway 1 and Highway 17. This tab also links to the library hours, various local museum websites, even a surf cam!

I hope these features enhance your homeschooling journey in Santa Cruz county. As always, feel free to contact me with comments and suggestions.

Many blessings to your homeschool!


By Columba Lisa Smith

Oct 222012

This morning, my kids and I are relishing the fall Santa Cruz weather. I cranked up the heat for the first time since spring, and we can hear the tap of rain on our wood roof. Love that cozy fall feeling!

I’m also excited to be finally launching Steer Me Right! I realized it will never be finished, but it seems semi-presentable, and it might even prove useful. So I went for it!

I’d been considering new blogging ideas for a while, but the concept of a homeschool information site for Santa Cruz county didn’t occur to me until I began interacting with the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Media Lab. I’d always thought of blogging as a far-reaching, global activity. At the Media Lab, I found many first-rate local blogs connecting people right here, and it dawned on me that local blogging is a great tool for building community. Steer Me Right may be useful beyond our area, but its main focus is Santa Cruz county.

Naturally, I thought of homeschooling, since that’s my main occupation. During the past 12 years I’ve often wanted a round-up of classes, a place to share messages that wouldn’t be buried in my inbox, ideas for field trips, a list of used curriculum for sale, ways to find activities to build my children’s friendships, and more. When our wonderful Rebekah Crill discontinued the Coast and Valley Broadcast email, I knew this blog would fill that need and many others.

Speaking of the Coast and Valley Broadcast, I’m considering adding a password-protected directory of homeschool families who contact me with their information. If you’d like to be included and have access to this listing, please send me your contact information. Don’t worry – I will never sell your information to a third party! It will be used only for the directory.

Please feel free to send me your comments and suggestions about Steer Me Right. I’ll be blogging about many homeschool topics, from record keeping to field trips and recipes. If there’s a topic you’d like to see addressed, let me know! I want this to be a dynamic, useful blog, and I welcome your participation.

See you next time!


By Columba Lisa Smith