By Kathryn Rice

Experience has led two retired teachers, Nancy Piercy and Sue Nothstine, to write the “Homeschool Tackle Box to discover your child’s unique learning needs and unlock a world of possibilities.”

Piercy and Nothstine, along with Dr. Joyce Piveral, are also authors of “Teachers Tackle Box” which is for first year teachers. The Piercy/Nothstine duo gave workshops on creating a positive culture in the classroom and getting to know each student quickly.

“Out of those workshops, we decided homeschool educators might find the same info useful, saw the need for homeschoolers to get to know their children as students,” Nothstine said.

This led to the “Homeschool Tackle Box.” This book allows parents to assess their children and learn the best methods with which to teach their child. Nothstine and Piercy also recommend the parent educators to take the assessments to evaluate themselves.

The Homeschool Tackle Box books don’t have anything to do with curriculum or with religion. “It teaches the art and the heart of teaching,” Piercy said.

“I used several of these assessments in my classrooms to give me insight,” Nothstine said. “A multitude of things are covered, and worksheets and documents are provided, to help the educator produce a learning profile for their child.”

The Tackle Box workbooks are stand-alones, one for teens and one for elementary. They give the student a chance to learn about themselves, to see if they have grit, to understand their personality, and to find out their learning style.

Each is tied to an art project. The elementary students make a book to which they add new things they learn about themselves. The high school students make a collage to which they add new facets about themselves.

A quote the duo feels exemplifies their efforts with the Tackle Box series is “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada.

“Homeschool Tackle Box” is $20; the workbooks are $10 each; and are available at the Nodaway News Leader and on Amazon. They can also be purchased by contacting the authors.

Nothstine and Piercy are offering a workshop at 6:30 pm, Monday, August 12 at Lied Public Library, 100 East Garfield Street, Clarinda, IA.

They are willing to do free presentations for homeschool groups. They can be contacted on their website,; email,; or phone 660.541.2628.


Nothstine and Piercy have a podcast, Homeschool Tacklecast and a YouTube channel carrying their podcasts,  They are planning a podcast with teens taking an assessment and reacting to it through a round-table discussion.