Welcome to Homeschool Out of the Box, (HSoBX), a unique homeschooling co-op experience conveniently located near the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA.

Two aspects of HSoBX set us apart from other quality home school experiences in the Tidewater, VA area: our commitment to high-level secular instruction and our dedication to developing a homeschooling community.

All of our faculty hold college degrees or are experienced practitioners in their field. We are happy to include offerings from Lighting the Way, Konneckt IT, and Mosaic Steel Drums. We also have our very own Girl Scout troop.

Our parent community meets monthly at local restaurants for a Mom’s Night Out. When not in class, students enjoy a lunch/recess hour filled with running outside and card or board games inside. HSoBX hosts Spirit Days which include: Halloween Costume Day, Holiday Craft Fair Day, Curriculum Sale Day, Talent Show Day, an End-of-the-Year Potluck Picnic, and the very popular St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt. We also host two teen dances a year and an all-ages Father-Daughter dance.

We are known for our passionate instruction and strong bonds. If you’re looking for support, friendships and quality instruction for your homeschooling family, HSoBX is the home for you. We strive to maintain an inclusive, non-religious community, and would love for you to join us! To contact us for more information, please send an email. We would love to talk with you.

Instructor Bios

Ginny Harvey 
Ginny is a former pediatric physical therapist, former sailor, current Girl Scout leader, a founder of HSoBX, and a long time homeschooling mom of 2 daughters. With science-related degrees from Stanford and Columbia Universities, her subject of choice is, of course, science. 

Andrea Kinnear

Andrea Kinnear is a former health data analyst for the Children's Hospital
of the King's Daughters. She has a Master of Public Health in epidemiology
from the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, and her
bachelor's degree in Natural Sciences is from Johns Hopkins University. When
not homeschooling her four children or working on probability problems for
fun, Andrea is in the dojo doing karate forms and jiu-jitsu submissions. 

Adrienne Ashby

Adrienne Ashby attempts to balance practicing law part-time with homeschooling.  She has a law degree from The University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has practiced law for 15 years.  Adrienne is in her third year of  homeschooling and is grateful for the freedom and responsibility of teaching her children at home.  When she is not homeschooling or practicing law, she enjoys reading, dancing and hot yoga.

Deva Brockett 
Deva Brockett is a homeschooling, Suzuki violin, karate mom who lives in
Norfolk. Deva holds a BS from the University of California at Berkeley where
she majored in Business Administration and minored in Fine Arts. Her main
claim to fame is that she can knit like the wind. Deva can often be found
hoop dancing between her karate and jiu jitsu classes, that is of course

when she is not knitting.

Cynthia Dise

Cynthia Dise is a former software engineer for SAS Institute, teaches various classes at another homeschool coop, runs computer camps and workshops for kids, and is currently working on a bachelors and then masters degree in computer technology systems. She previously studied Mechanical engineering at N. C. State and likes to tinker, craft, and draw in her rare free time.  She has 3 energetic kids ages 8-12 and have been homeschooling for 7 years.

Bettina Essert

Bettina Essert is an ordained minister and Shamanic High Priestess who holds a BA degree in English with a minor in Anthropology. She has 5 children and homeschooled several of them using Rudolph Steiner’s Waldorf educational approach. Be has taught at HSOBX for many years. She is a Reiki Master and facilitates empowerment and healing circles for girls and women as well as the Shamanic Priestess Process™ at her home, Four Oaks Sanctuary, in Chesapeake.

Robin Frazier
Robin Frazier M. Ed is the managing director of Konneckt IT-Science Mobile Technologies LLC. Robin earned her Master’s in Education from Regent, a minor in Special Education and a General Science. She also received a Master’s Level Instructional Design Certificate from Wisconsin-Stout University. Over the years, Robin was a substitute teacher with Chesapeake Public schools for 7 years, taught math and science in both public and private schools, and several adult education courses. She has further served as a G.E.D. test administrator and tutors occasionally. Girl Scout STEAM badge workshop facilitator, Boy Scout merit badge counselor, Grant writer and Recipient of the 2014 National Girls Collaborative Mini STEM grant for Girls, partnering with Girls INC.  Currently, teaches STEAM classes and camps in Hampton Roads areas, developing project based learning classes to provide skills for 2st Century careers focused on interesting girls in STEAM.  

Eleanor Jones
After working in a restaurant, as a nanny, in offices, and in a bookstore, Eleanor realized she most enjoys working with power tools and building with her sons. She is currently walking a small group through the MAKE: Electronics textbook and earning Adafruit’s Skill Badges.

Tricia Mahlau-Heinert

Tricia Mahlau-Heinert has been a homeschooling mom since 2001, living overseas in Japan and Italy and Stateside in MD and CA including 6 months of road schooling in an RV with 4 kids, 2 cats and a puppy. Her family has been living in Norfolk and at HSoBX since 2010. Tricia studied child development at Sarah Lawrence College and has a Masters of Social Work from Tulane University. She did Waldorf Teacher Training in DC and helped write the Enki Developmental Immersion Mastery Curriculum when her oldest was in the early grades. But now she spends most of her time driving her daughter to soccer practice and watching tournaments. With 3 teenagers and a willful 7 year old at home she has no recollection of what she enjoys in her spare time.

Lydia Netzer 

Lydia Netzer is a homeschooling mom who lives in Norfolk. She holds a
master's degree in English Literature from the University of Illinois at
Chicago, and has taught expository writing, literature, and fiction writing
workshops to college freshmen and sophomores at the University of Illinois
and Tidewater Community College. She plays the piano, guitar, violin and the
handkerchief, and sings in a rock band.

Deborah Rice 

Deborah Rice is the director of Lighting the Way Education in Hampton. She has raised 3 boys as a single mom, home schooling them. With 8 years experience as an educator with the Virginia Air and Space Center and NASA she specializes in science. The History and Social studies educational components of Lighting the Way is the Cyphers Gang. In the gang Deborah teaches 1700 colonial cooking, blacksmithing and spinning. Deborah teaches Bio Engineering, Eco gardening and Alternative Engineering classes out of the Lighting the Way office in Hampton.

Patricia Richman
Patricia is a home schooling and teaching veteran. She was taught at home in
Pennsylvania for grades 5-12. She went on to graduate from Indiana
University of Pennsylvania's Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in
Education. Her teaching certificate is in Special Education, and she's
taught in classrooms for Kindergarten through 12th grade. Patricia now
learns with her four children in their Norfolk home. Their ages range from
10-2 and the adventures never end! Patricia plays the piano, teaches piano,
knits, relishes the garden her husband grows and hangs clothes on the line
all year long.

Irina Sander

I'm a native Russian, born and raised in Moscow. I graduated from Moscow Pedagogical State University in 1999 with a major in Russian language and literature and a minor in German language. I didn't get a chance to teach it at a school because I got a job right after graduating in an international school as an assistant manager.  I met my future husband there and started to learn English.  A few years later I got my certificate in translation and interpreting.  My family (husband and 2 children) moved to Norfolk in 2009 for my husband's doctoral degree at ODU.  The past two years I worked at ODU Child Study Center in a half-day preschool.  And now, I'm very excited to finally start doing what I always wanted to - to teach Russian!
Misty Thompson
    My name is Misty Thompson. I was born in Norfolk, Virginia and have lived here all my life. I graduated from Norview High School. I graduated from Tidewater Community College and went on to get my Bachelors degree in History from Norfolk State University. I have had a love for history since high school and have always wanted to share my love of history with others. My main interest as a historian is in the Crusades and the medieval church. I spend what little free time I have reading every history book I can get my hands on and doing research.
    I have been married for thirteen years, my husband was the brother to my best friend. We have one child, a sweet little boy name Keiran. I homeschool Keiran and take care of the homestead while the husband is the bread winner. We hope to adopt in the future when Keiran is a bit older and we are ready to have small children again. We have lots of animals; dogs, cats, mice, and fish. This means we have a busy fun house that never has a dull moment.
    I have lots of hobbies, way too many in fact. I like to sew costumes for anime conventions we attend as a family, quilt, crochet, scrapbook, cook, sew medieval costumes for a recreation group we are part of, and write stories. Since we have started homeschooling my hobbies don't get as much attention but I bounce from one to another like a bee to flowers. I enjoy playing video games with my husband and son, watching BBC programming, documentaries, and being outside when the weather is nice.
    I plan on continuing my education to get my Master's Degree in history, so I can continue my research and hopefully get published in more peer review journals. I would love to go over seas and visit the places I have only been able to learn about second hand. I love to travel, and want to do so over the coming years.

Suzanne Wheatley

Suzanne holds a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master of Social Work with a School Social Work Certification, both degrees she earned from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Before becoming a mom, she was the director of a statewide teen sexual violence prevention program and was a Master Trainer.  She is mom to Nicholas, age 13 and Grace, age 8 and this will be her 7th year of homeschooling.  She's lived in Norfolk since 1993, loves all things outdoors, gardening, hiking, camping, etc.  She enjoys doing all sort of arts, with pottery being her 'first love'.  She has fun working with children and believes they all have creative natures and may need a little help tapping into them.  

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