About us

Originally from Lawton, OK, I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in engineering from Texas A&M University in 1999.  As an engineer for BP in Houston, I met my husband Gary on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  Some months and a wedding ceremony later, we decided that we didn't want both of us working in the oilpatch, so I obtained my Masters Degree in Secondary Education Mathematics in Gary's home state from The University of Tennessee. After working in the public school system as a high school math teacher, in a private school as a middle school math teacher, and in the public school system as an outreach science instructor for grades K-5, I decided to return to engineering with ExxonMobil (again in Houston), only to find that God was using all of these experiences to prepare my heart and mind when He called me to be a stay-at-home mom and teach our own children.

After our first son was born (while I was still working on my Masters degree), Gary left the oilfield for about five years, dabbling in real estate and then becoming a stay-at-home dad during my last stint in the engineering profession.  When we first had children, we had no idea that we would be homeschooling them, and we didn't realize that Gary would ever go back into his rotational profession in the petroleum industry.  Whereas it was so difficult to have him gone half the time early in our marriage, it now has become an avenue for us to maximize our time with each other and live out our "wildest" dreams here at the Half-Hundred Acre Wood.  As a family, we experience more of the world through Gary's career and enjoy being together, learning together, laughing together, and just plain living together, despite the fact that our schedule is so different than so many other families.

After half a year in South Korea and a year in Tanzania, Gary is now on a rotation to Brazil.  (Yay!  He is closer to home now!!! His transfer to this side of the world is truly an answer to our prayers!)  And so, as we pursue all the wonderful discoveries here at Half-Hundred Acre Wood, we also look forward to the continued experience of seeing the world through his travels. 

Stephen is our oldest son at age 10.  His favorite
subjects are history, science, and geography.  He loves
reading, building things, and playing soccer. Stephen
 is the responsible big brother and makes life exciting
with his questions and quest for knowledge.
And, really... he is more mature than I am.
David is our middle child.  At age 7, his favorite
subjects are science and art.  A true thespian at heart, David
 brings enthusiasm and excitement to the dull and mundane.
(He gets incredibly excited about things like... the color of lint in the dryer...)
He adds joy to our home as the family edifier and just makes
life so sweet with his wonderful words and homemade gifts.
This boy is a walking Valentine. (He even tells everyone
his face is shaped like a heart.)
Mr. Personality, Levi (also known as Leviathan)
is our youngest at age 5.  He especially enjoys coloring,
drawing, his "schoolwork," arts & crafts, and singing.
He loves trucks, building blocks, sandboxes, our dogs,
the vacuum cleaner, and his two special blankies.
He is super-helpful and enjoys the great outdoors!


  1. Brandy,
    I'm sorry. I can't find your email address. I wanted to get the excel version of your cc cycle 3 schedule.

    1. Hi Tammy! The "contact me" button is in the right sidebar at the bottom of the page, but you may email me at brandyferrell at yahoo dot com. Also, the excel formats are now available for download online - just click below:
      One-Page Planner

      Two-Page Planner

      Blessings to you!

  2. Hi! I just wanted to thank you for all the time and resources you share with the homeschool community. I will be starting homeschool next year and was at a CC practicum where your website was recommended as a great resource. I have just looked at it briefly, as right now I should actually be doing laundry :), but I just love it and can't wait to really look into it. And I just love your farm!! Thank you, thank you!!!

  3. Hi Brandy, first time visitor! Found your site through pinterest, a great image of your stand-up board for holding CC memory work. I would love to write a feature article about your blog so others can find it. If you're interested there's a style questionnaire on my homepage.

  4. This is a great site. Well-designed, well-written, REAL, and practical. Thanks! We are starting CC Essentials this year and your Essentials year overview was awesome. That was what I needed to know. I might blog occasionally about how our year is going too, since being overwhelmed seems a common response! :)

  5. Hi, thanks for your willingness to share all the hard work you have done. I am so thankful for those ahead of me in life who are paving the way for me and others. I was wondering if you have or know of a list of the CC definitions that I could use to write in my First Language Lessons books so we can stop having to relearn our definitions for CC. Just wondering if you or someone else has already compiled this list.
    Thanks again for all you do!

  6. Just found your website and blog. My heart is melting over the picture of the big red barn!! Looking forward to reading more. Our families are similar, we also have 3 boys and our youngest is Levi, age 3!! (Small world.) We are embarking of our first year of homeschooling. Thank you for the information and encouragement! -Jenelle

  7. Hi,
    I found your site while searching for lapbook ideas for Nim's Island. Is it still possible to download the templates? It didn't work for me. Thanks!

    1. You can download the Nim's Island lapbook at: http://halfahundredacrewood.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/nimsislandlapbook.pdf

      Let me know if you have any further questions!

  8. I have been reading your blog for months, but came to the "About Us" for the very first time today. It is so nice to get to know you a little better. Your resources have been such a blessing to me! Thanks :)

  9. I've enjoyed reading about you and perusing your blog . You have such a gift for education, and also for sharing all of your knowledge and resources.

    I am also a blogger, and we will be joining CC next year for the first time - I have a Foundations student and a Challenge A student. I am sure I will be trolling your blog often!

  10. Brandy, I just wanted to encourage you in what you are doing and to keep up the good work. I just nominated you for AOP's blogger awards and couldn't get my computer to let me email you. It is being a little 'wonky' these days. I hop you see this post. We just finished our first CC year and love it. I have enjoyed your blog and am eagerly wanting to go through all of it.

  11. Hi Brandy,
    Thank for referring to our binder and sheet protectors from use with Classic Conversation material. It is some time ago by now, see link below, but better late than never. Actually I did know about it before now and by chance!

    We are having a small contest where we encourage everyone to share their photos of how they use our binders and sheet protectors. Perhaps you wish to share your ideas as inspiration as well. You can see it here:


    For sure I think it is an impressive amount of work you have put into your site. Looks great. Good luck with it.

    Kind regards,




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