Welcome to the Tree House!

I'm Chelli (pronounced Shelly), a Christian, wife to Preacher Man, ex-school teacher, and homeschool mom of three.

I'm a Southern girl, born and bred, and except for a two year stint in Denver, I've always lived in the South. I met Preacher Man at church (he wasn't a Preacher Man then), and we've been married for twelve years. I love to write, read, travel, and cook. Thankfully Preacher Man shares my love of all of these except cooking, but he's more than happy to be on the receiving end of that one!

The Planted Trees was born out of my desire to chronicle our homeschool journey and to write about the things that I scoured the internet for when I first began homeschooling 6 years ago. My blog name comes from Psalm 1 where those who are righteous in God's eyes are described as trees planted by the water. I want my children to grow up strong in the Lord and righteous in His sight. I want them to be planted trees

I write about the nuts and bolts of our homeschool, try to lay things out step by step and with plenty of lists (Preacher Man calls me Suzy Listmaker!), and my quest for a relaxed homeschool atmosphere is an ongoing one. It's ironic that I now homeschool and blog about it considering that when Preacher Man first mentioned it I was adamantly in the "NO" column. But homeschooling has become part of the fabric of our family and my meager efforts, with a HUGE dose of God's grace, seem to be educating Grace (11), Sophia (7), and Levi (4) pretty well.

Our homeschool is highly influenced by Charlotte Mason with a dash of classical. Basically I'm educating the kids the way I would have loved to learn with lots of good literature and lots of maps, but adding in the things they enjoy such as the creative and artsy.

Please stick around and read a few blog posts, comment if you feel like it, or send an email if you want to chat: theplantedtrees@gmail.com.

Here are some posts to tell you a bit more about me, my family, and homeschooling:



  1. Just found your website. So nice to gain wisdom from our sisters. I was looking for a book list for my 4th grade daughter. She wants to read all day, which is not a bad thing. But I am finding that there is a lot of " not so great" reading material out there at our local libraries. The back of a book only tells you so much. She has read so many of the good ones already. Now I will be going through your list. Any suggestions for additional wholesome reading would be greatly appreciated. It is now summertime and she is reading even more, like 1-2 chapter books a day.
    May you have a blessed day and thank you for sharing your wisdom.
    PS We live 2 hours south of Denver in Pueblo on our 4 acre farm with our 3 children, ages 7, 10, and 18 (homeschool graduate)
    Tammy K

    1. I'm totally late on this, but just a thought: If she's reading 1-2 chapter books a day, maybe you could try to find some chapter books at a higher reading level to challenge her a bit more.

      I've always been a voracious reader and when I was younger, I managed to read probably the entire (or almost) Sweet Valley Twins series... ;) but there were definitely other books that were more difficult or just plain longer that were still engaging.

  2. While scouring Pinterest for homeschool ideas, I found your blog. I hope to glean from various experiences, to enhance my second year of homeschooling my last child, who is already eleven. I'm so new to this that I'm not sure who or what to trust to know I'm doing this right!