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Blue Tent Instructors

Irene Paine - Blue Tent Science Instructor

Irene Paine

Managing Director


Irene Paine 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 attended university, received her nursing degree, became an RN, worked in the oncology/hematology field, and 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 high school graduation. Irene has taught a variety of science classes throughout her own kids' middle school and high school years--and beyond.


In addition to bringing science to life for her students, Irene has taught piano lessons and has served as a coach for a local speech and debate club, SpeakOut. From 1998 to 2009, she served as a choir director for the Capital Area Homeschool Choirs, and from 2008 to 2015, she served as one of the adult advisors for a large homeschool national honor society chapter. 

Irene's wide-ranging interests include music, working out, crafts (quilting/ sewing/chalk painting), photography, reading, and playing board/card games. Irene enjoys getting to know each of her students--and her passion for guiding students to ever-more-concise, accurate, and effective communication in the sciences is a priority. To be able to award a student a well-earned grade for demonstrated competency and growth in science is one of her greatest joys.

Background & Experience

  • BS in Nursing, 1986, Southern Illinois University

  • Clinical Nurse/Nursing Administrator (1986-94)
    • Raleigh Family Practice, Raleigh, NC
    • Ventura County Oncology/ Hematology Medical Office, Ventura, CA
    • St. John's Medical Center, Oxnard, CA

  • K-12th Home Educator

  • Blue Tent Managing Director (2024)

  • Blue Tent Online Science Instructor (2011-2024)

    • Honors Biology

    • Honors Chemistry

    • Human Anatomy & Physiology

  • Science Instructor | Private Classes (2006-2012)

    • General Science

    • Physical Science

    • Honors Biology

    • Honors Chemistry

    • Anatomy & Physiology


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