The power of story is HUGE. When we share our stories it connects us, encourages us, and opens us up to new possibilities. Amazing things are happening in each of our homeschools and we would love to get a glimpse into yours. So we’ve created a new segment in the Wednesday Weekly newsletter allowing you to share a story with us. Please tell us about a day in your life, an exciting lesson, a cool field trip experience, a homeschool win, or something you’ve overcome… We are a diverse community with many amazing people. We’d love to get to know you better, so tell us a story. We can’t wait to hear it! I’ll start with a story of my own.

I am so grateful that our school affords us the opportunity to go on amazing field trips. We recently traveled to San Francisco to visit Alcatraz and had the time of our lives! We went with two other Cottonwood Families. We had four parents with 13 kids! The drive into the city alone was exciting. Crossing bridges, navigating parking, busy streets, and new sights, smells, and sounds, were all exhilarating, and the best was yet to come…

Alcatraz was amazing. The ferry boat ride was really exciting for the kids. We rode on the very top level, of course. They had a Jr. Ranger Program where our kids were able to earn badges that they can collect at all of the state parks. They learned so much, and the audio tour was really cool. It happened to be Fleet Week, and we saw one of the Blue Angels fly past us! So cool! Once off the island, we decided to explore the pier. We came upon a street performer show that hundreds of people had gathered around. The kids wiggled their way to the front to see two performers doing tricks and flips. They pulled three men from the audience and then asked for a child volunteer and picked my 10-year-old son, Liam, from the crowd.

This super-shy kid threw up his hand without reservation, and I was in shock and awe as I watched him perform. No joke, he was performing! They had him copy what they were doing and rile up the audience. He was copying their simple moves, and then the performer he was copying did a backflip. Liam, again, without hesitation, on CONCRETE, launched. He was caught midair and exclaimed, “I can do it!” And then… they let him! He jumped up and did a backflip in front of all of those people. The performers shouted, “He is a superhero!” They proceeded to pay him $23 from their buckets and the audience applauded and yelled and celebrated him! His best friends and siblings were there to witness it and cheer him on. It is a moment we will never forget and are still marveling at. Talk about once in a lifetime. Liam is still on cloud nine and so proud of his moment in the spotlight! Our field trip went from great to an unforgettable, life-changing experience. My retelling hardly does the day justice.

Do you have a great story to share? Please email your story and photos to

– Kara Parkins, Parent Support Advisor and Mom to students Emmalyn, Oliver, and Liam