Our Instructors

Brigid Thompson
AP English Instructor


Brigid Thompson is a home educator from Willow Spring, North Carolina, who has been teaching classes full of bright, enthusiastic, and multi-talented homeschoolers for many years. Living on a horse farm just south of Raleigh, the Thompsons have been fortunate to be a part of a vibrant local homeschooling community. Brigid and her family homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. Her younger son, Connor, recently graduated from NC State with a chemical engineering degree and biotechnology and business minors. He'll be pursuing a masters degree in biomanufacturing in the fall. Her older son, Kyle, works at the NASA Langley Research Center and is on the home stretch for a doctorate in aerospace engineering.

With a background in English, Brigid enjoys sharing her love of literature and skillful communication with homeschoolers. She taught literature and writing classes in co-ops throughout her two kids' middle school years and then taught honors and AP English classes—both locally and online—during their high school years and beyond. She helped launch a local homeschool national honor society chapter in 2003 and served for 10 years as one of the adult leaders in the group, stewarding the chapter's growth from 11 students in its first year, to a membership of 73 when she "retired" from chapter leadership in 2013. She has considerable experience teaching AP English over the years and believes that the AP framework sets up students for success in college analysis and writing (and her former students write back that this is the case). Teaching to the test has never been a goal in Brigid's classes. Rather, a solid foundation--with an appropriate amount of test-prep practice--leads to success on the AP exam and beyond. Key components of her classes are that they are large enough for students to enjoy active interaction with grade-level classmates, yet small enough that she can offer regular and detailed writing feedback that pertains to what each student needs most at any given time.

Brigid loves getting to know her talented students, who are invariably involved in lots of interesting academic and extra-curricular activities. She welcomes notes that share highlights of their endeavors and successes during the school year and after they have moved on. While her AP English classes are designed to help prepare students for the exam and college-level analysis, writing, and rigor, most of all she wants students to enjoy their year of AP English with her and with their classmates!

Additional background:
  • University of Virginia
    • BA in English, 1978
    • MBA, 1982
  • College Board-Authorized Online AP Instructor
    • AP English Language and Composition, authorized syllabus
    • AP English Literature and Composition, authorized syllabus
  • College Board Training at AP Summer Institutes (1-week courses)
    • 2013 - UNC-Asheville (AP Lit); UNC-Charlotte (AP Lang)
    • 2012 - Davidson College (AP Lang)
    • 2011 - Davidson College (AP Lit); Wake Forest University (AP Lang)
    • 2010 - Wake Forest University (AP Lit)
    • 2007 - William and Mary College (AP Lit)
  • K through 12th Home Educator (two sons; one in college and one in grad school/working)
  • High School English taught to classes of homeschoolers:
    • 2011-2016 Blue Tent Online AP English Lit and Comp; Blue Tent Online AP English Lang and Comp
    • 2010-2011 Blue Tent Online AP English Lit and Comp
    • 2008-2009 AP English Language and Composition
    • 2007-2008 AP English Literature and Composition
    • 2005-2010 Honors English 9; Honors English 10
  • Capital Area National Home School Honor Society Advisor, 2003-2013
  • Parent/student testimonials: Blue Tent Results & Feedback


Christine Proctor
Honors English Instructor

Christine Proctor is a home educator from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, who is an avid reader, sometime writer, and all-time enthusiastic supporter of the English language. With one son in college, one in the working world, and one still immersed in high school studies, Christine's sixteen years of homeschooling has entered a new phase: teaching online! Besides bringing the English language to life for her three young men, Christine also continues to teach and tutor other homeschooled students in English literature and writing. Grading papers, correcting grammar exercises, reading great literature out loud, holding poetry and drama readings, working one-on-one as a writing instructor as well as "coach," and assisting high school seniors with college application essays keeps Christine busy on a daily basis. Her degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, as well as her work experience as a news reporter and as a copywriter for a national advertising agency, has helped just a little!

Raising three boys with multiple interests has broadened Christine's horizons beyond her love of reading, writing, photography, and fostering dogs for a rescue group-to the finer things in life like art, music, dance, drama, and of course, sports. Though she might not be on the field or behind the piano, she actively contributes to each community, and each of these activities has deepened her experiences-which are reflected in her teaching. Opportunities to lead classes in poetry, dramatic writing, and storybook art have come her way through both the homeschool community and her church. And one can never underestimate the benefits of an engaging book club!

From the first edits students receive on their papers, Christine's love for effective and artful communication is evident. Nothing brings her greater satisfaction than reading a piece of writing that reveals a student's understanding of the subject and the ability to clearly convey it. Well, maybe a scoop of dark chocolate raspberry ice cream could compete.

Additional background:
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • BA with Honors in Journalism, 1987
  • Professional Writer
    • Newspaper Reporter, Fuquay-Varina Independent
    • Copywriter, Rockett Burkhead Advertising Agency
  • K through 12th Home Educator (1999-2013)
  • High School English taught to classes of homeschoolers:
    • 2013-2016 Blue Tent Online Honors English 1; Blue Tent Online Honors English 2
    • 2012-2013 Blue Tent Online Honors English 2
    • 2009-2012 English 9; English 10; Individual tutoring (IEW/WriteShop)
  • Parent/student testimonials: Blue Tent Results & Feedback


Irene Paine
Honors Biology and Anatomy & Physiology Instructor


Irene Paine is a home educator from Angier, North Carolina, who loves to teach and learn, loves organization and structure, loves to lead and encourage, and loves to laugh! Originally from Southern California and the youngest girl of 12 children, Irene and her family moved to a small agricultural community in Southern Illinois when she was ten. Determined to become a pediatric nurse, Irene was the first in her family to attend college. After receiving her degree in nursing and becoming an RN, she worked in the oncology/hematology field, and that's where she discovered her love of teaching.

Since moving to North Carolina, Irene and her family have been blessed to be part of a large and active homeschooling environment, which has supported and enriched the homeschooling of her two sons from birth to present day. Her older son, Aaron, is a graduate of Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, VA, and her younger son, Jordan, will be attending Anderson University in the fall of 2016. Irene has taught a variety of science classes throughout her own kids' middle school and high school years, and in 2014 she began the the new adventure of teaching classes online. In addition to bringing the sciences to life for her students, Irene teaches piano lessons and serves as a coach for SpeakOut, a local homeschool speech and debate club. From 1998 to 2009, she served as one of the choir directors for the Capital Area Homeschool Choirs, and from 2008 to 2015, Irene served as one of the adult advisors for a large homeschool national honor society chapter

Irene's wide-ranging interests include music, sports (loves football), working out at the gym, doing crafts, sewing, painting with chalk paint, organizing a friend's home, reading, and serving at her church. Teaching classes while she has homeschooled her own sons has been one of the best rides in her life. Irene enjoys getting to know each of her students. From the first lab report edits that a student receives, her passion for guiding students to ever-more concise, accurate, and effective communication is evident. To be able to award a student a well-earned grade for demonstrated competency in science is one of her greatest joys.

Additional background:
  • Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL
    • BS in Nursing, 1986
  • Clinical Nurse III/Nursing Administrator
    • Raleigh Family Practice, Raleigh, NC
    • Ventura County Oncology/Hematology Medical Office, Ventura, CA
    • St. John's Medical Center, Oxnard, CA
  • K through 12th Home Educator (1999-current)
  • High School Science taught to classes of homeschoolers:
    • 2013-2016 Honors Biology; Anatomy & Physiology
    • 2013-2014 Honors Chemistry
    • 2012-2013 Honors Biology; Honors Chemistry
    • 2011-2012 Honors Biology
    • 2006-2011 General Science; Physical Science
  • Capital Area National Home School Honor Society Advisor, 2008-2015
  • SpeakOut Coach, 2010-present


Natalie Holm

Algebra 2 and Geometry Instructor


Natalie Holm is a professional educator from Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, who has been fortunate to spend her days doing what she loves: sharing her passion for mathematics with her favorite people—high-school students! Though her degree is in chemical engineering, for the past thirteen years Natalie has taught mathematics in a variety of settings including public schools, private schools, and online programs. She loves pairing hands-on activities with the latest technology to keep students motivated and engaged in their learning. Natalie is thankful to have worked with some of the brightest students around, as well as students for whom mathematics can be a struggle. In every situation, she strives to make connections for students and unlock the beauty of mathematics.

While not currently a homeschooling family, Natalie and her husband plan to homeschool their two boys, ages three and five, in the near future. Being a mom to her two precocious, energetic, exhausting, and endearing sons has given Natalie a depth of patience she did not know was possible! She uses many of the lessons from her classroom to help at home, and likewise, uses many of the lessons from parenting with her students.

In her limited spare time, Natalie enjoys all things creative. If she’s not teaching mathematics or reading someone a bedtime story, she’s likely to be researching a new recipe or photography technique. Natalie is happiest when she is able to combine her love of clean lines and symmetry (form) with her equally held love of organization and design (function). This is perhaps why she finds teaching mathematics in particular to be so appealing—the logic, structure, and organization inherent in mathematics is paired with a balance, beauty, and mystery that is unparalleled.

From the first day of class through to the end, Natalie endeavors to get to know her students and make connections with them. Seeing students grow in their reasoning skills and problem-solving abilities is a big motivator for her. There’s nothing quite like having a student write a formal geometry proof just a few weeks after being introduced to basic logic principles. Natalie believes it’s a privilege to work with young people and each time a student has an “Ah Ha!” moment, she is reminded again why she loves teaching so much.

Additional background:
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • M.Ed in Education, 2009
  • North Carolina State University
    • BS in Chemical Engineering, 2002
  • Professional Experience:

Blue Tent Online offers high school math, science and English classes to homeschoolers.
Our AP courses comply with the College Board's AP audit process and
have been authorized by the College Board.