About Lora

Lora Lynn earned her stripes becoming mom to seven kids in seven years. She’s lived to tell about it and shares her mothering know-how with comedy, common sense, and a whole lot of chocolate at Vitafamiliae. Through infertility, high-risk pregnancies, adoption, and life as a homeschooling, twin-raising, stay-at-home mom, Lora Lynn writes with humor and honesty on what’s most important in all the crazy – a life defined by family.

Lora’s homeschool day in the life (with a 3-, 6-, 7-, 9-, 10-, & twin 11-year-olds)

Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae.

To understand why this year looks different, I need to take you back in time.

In November of 2014, I was suffering from the infamous Homeschool Burnout. School was taking longer and longer and there was no separation between the teaching hours and the mommy hours. I was either grading papers or chasing my kids around to get them to correct their work.

My kids were forced to live with their spiral-eyed teacher 24 hours a day. “Mom” was the nice lady who only came out on weekends.

Before I could get all seven kids enrolled in boarding school, we hit upon a solution: A Mother’s Helper.

A homeschool day in the life 2016

I still believed in the IDEA of homeschooling, but the implementation wasn’t sustainable or healthy for the relationships in our home.

There was simply so much volume, I couldn’t focus on the things I actually wanted to do with my kids.

In addition, my daughter was slated for major surgery later in 2015 and we knew I’d need some back-up to keep school going while we helped her through the long recovery.


I put a plea out on Facebook and found the perfect tutor to join our motley crew. It took time to get her trained and up to speed. But the effort we spent was definitely worth it.

Nowadays …

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Kissing the frog: Our Latin curriculum hunt and what I learned

Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of VitaFamiliae.

Professor Gerberding stalked into my Latin 101 class in college and slammed a brand new copy of Wheelock’s Latin onto my desk.

“Welcome to Latin! Learn it before you die!”

And I did.

Later, when I had kids, I wanted them to study Latin – and sooner than their poor Mama began to learn it.

The problem is, you can’t just throw a copy of Wheelock’s onto a 9-year-old’s desk and insist that they keep up.

I had no idea how to go about teaching Latin to younger kids. Hence, we kissed A LOT of frogs to find our Latin curriculum prince.

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Stress to the test


Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Before we left for this year’s homeschool convention, I thought it would be the “smart” thing to test my fourth-graders to make sure I wasn’t missing some major piece in their learning puzzle. If I was, I could research it at the convention.

I paid for an online test and followed all the rules. The results weren’t exactly surprising, but they weren’t encouraging, either. I had two fourth-graders who were burned out on math and we were struggling to motivate them to care about their work.

My husband and I arrived at convention with crazy eyes and worried brows.
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To test or not to test?

To test or not to test?
Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

When I was just starting out with homeschooling, I sneered at the idea of tests. “Why should I teach to a test?” I wondered. We were going to simply soak up information with good literature and activities and I would just KNOW that my kids knew everything they were supposed to.

But then my kids began reading independently. Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure what they knew any more. So I ate my helping of crow and added the evaluations (or tests) that can be purchased with my curriculum.

As I began to use tests, I discovered some of the holes in their information, mostly where their reading comprehension hadn’t completely caught up to their reading ability.
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Becoming brave writers: A review of The Writer’s Jungle

Becoming brave writers: A review of The Writer's Jungle
Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Last semester, I determined my third grade twins should do a writing project. I requested a paragraph from each about their history studies. Simple, right?

A week later, we were all in tears and only after much angst did they eke out their boring four sentence paragraphs. I was baffled. I’m a writer. I love to edit. They like to write. Why was this so painful???

I spent my Christmas vacation evaluating our writing program. Or lack thereof. Apparently, my kids weren’t going to learn to write or to love writing just by living with their blogging mama. I needed something else.

I stumbled across the Brave Writer website and the correlating book The Writer’s Jungle by Julie Bogart. By the time I finished it, my copy of the book looked like this:


In The Writer’s Jungle, I found the tools to make writing pain-free:
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