About Carren W. Joye


Carren reading to her childrenCarren Willard Joye is the author of the award-winning Homeschooling More Than One Child: A Practical Guide for Families as well as A Stay-at-Home Mom’s Complete Guide to Playgroups and an Internet-linked Alabama State History Curriculum. A homeschooling mom of four children, Carren has founded four successful playgroups, a regional homeschool support group, a homeschool co-op, and a statewide homeschool covering.

Carren started her first playgroup in Montgomery in the spring of 1994. Six months later her family moved to a nearby small town, Millbrook, so in January 1995 she started a second playgroup in her new hometown. She continued leading the Millbrook Area Playgroup until her fourth child turned four years old nine years later in 2004. During those nine years, Carren also started a playgroup for preschool boys and their moms and assisted countless playgroups around the world via her web site, OnlinePlaygroup.com.

Playgroup BookHer first book, A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups (ISBN 0-595-14684-8), was published by iUniverse.com in December 2000. To promote the book, Carren completed a successful booksigning in Montgomery, Alabama, in June 2001.

Carren has written numerous articles about playgroups for several magazines, including Lutheran Woman Today and Montgomery Parents. She has also written articles for various online magazines and parenting web sites, such as WAHM.com (Work At Home Moms web site), Parents Without Partners, AllAboutMoms.com, and Y2KMoms.com. Her articles are frequently reprinted in various magazines nationwide.

In her capacity as a playgroup expert, Carren has been interviewed for several online magazines, such as MomsOnline.com (now Oxygen.com), DrKoop.com, BabyZone.com and OnlineMontgomery.com, as well as on the radio show Parents Journal with Bobbi Conner, a weekly national radio program for parents. In addition, she and her playgroups have been featured in numerous local parenting magazines and newspapers, such as Montgomery Parents and Montgomery Advertiser, as well as regional and national magazines, including Parents magazine, LA Parent, New York Family and 28 other magazines of Parenting Publications of America.

Carren currently serves as an Expert at Social Toddler™, which offers local event and activity listings, parenting advice from industry experts, and a social networking platform where parents can find playgroups, plan playdates and meet other moms and dads in their area. Visit the site at http://www.socialtoddler.com.

In the summer of 1994, Carren and her husband began homeschooling their four-year-old daughter while their one-year-old was still in diapers. What started as a one-year experiment has turned into a lifestyle of many years. Currently, they homeschool all four children from elementary through high school, and that little four-year-old and one-year-old have now graduated from homeschool and attend university.

Through the years, Carren has contributed her support and expertise in the homeschooling community. In April 2000, Carren and a fellow homeschooling mom co-founded a regional homeschool support group, Elmore County Homeschool Organization (ECHO). Shortly afterwards, she and her husband founded a statewide homeschool covering, Outlook Academy, which she still directs. In fall 2006, Carren and two homeschooling moms started a homeschool co-op for area families, called Academy Days. In her capacity as leader of ECHO and administrator of Outlook Academy and the Academy Days co-op, she has helped many homeschooling families in Alabama.

Homeschooling Book Her second book, Homeschooling More Than One Child: A Practical Guide for Families, was published in March 2005 by iUniverse.com. In addition to rave reviews from such homeschooling magazines as The Old Schoolhouse, it won first place in the reference category of the 13th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards and was featured in the March 2006 issue of Writer's Digest along with the winners in eight other categories. A few months later, her book won First Runner Up in the home category of the 2006 Writers Notes Book Awards.

Alabama State SealCarren has also written an Internet-linked Alabama State History Curriculum that is available on this site for $29. Her family first used this curriculum during the 2004-05 school year, and both a private school and the Academy Days homeschool co-op used the curriculum in 2007-08. The links are updated each year.

Carren has been interviewed on homeschool issues for several magazines, newspapers and radio programs. She was the featured guest the week of June 2-6, 2008, on Home School Heartbeat, an informative two-minute daily radio program produced by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). During the five-day program, she shared tips on homeschooling multiple children.

Born and raised in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Carren graduated valedictorian and magna cum laude with the bachelor’s degree in communication from Coker College in 1987, the same year in which she married her high school sweetheart. For several years she served as marketing assistant at Okaloosa County Gas District in Valparaiso, Florida, and then news services coordinator for university relations at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama. In 1993, she resigned her position with the university to pursue a career as a stay-at-home mom. She started her first playgroup and began homeschooling the next year.

She currently resides in Millbrook, Alabama, with her husband and four children.

Interviews and Articles
Carren is available for interviews on playgroups and homeschooling. Contact her via email at carren(at)outlookacademy(dot)com for more information or to set up interviews via telephone, email or in person.

Her articles on this site are also available for reprint. Simply include her byline, brief bio located at the end of each article, and link to CarrenJoye.com or OutlookAcademy.com. As a courtesy, please email her to let her know when and where the article will appear. For a list of articles on homeschooling and playgroups, use the menu bar at the top.