Category Archives: Other

October 6, 2017

Cover image of The Unhurried Homeschooler

 

The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson

(This post contains affiliate links.)

If you’re just getting started homeschooling or need a little boost, consider The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson. In just 78 pages, this veteran mom distills why we’re really homeschooling and how to do it with less stress.

As a mom of eight, Durenda has figured out what works for her. Her family takes a slow-and-steady approach that is completely unfussy… and it has worked for each of their children. She emphasizes that homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint. If you find that many of the methods out there are overwhelming, she’s here to help… before you burn out or damage your relationship with your kids.

In short, lovely chapters, she teaches how to trust your instincts, how to keep going through difficult times, and how to relax into a pace that will serve your family well. She celebrates the freedom that homeschooling gives: something different for every family, according to their family culture and interests.

The Wilsons homeschool in part for religious reasons and the book reflects that, but it is not overwhelming. For Christian readers, she encourages you to trust God to take what you can bring and turn it into an abundance. For non-Christian readers, there is more than enough encouragement to keep going, through good times and hard times.

The Kindle version of The Unhurried Homeschooler is only $2.99 and only a few dollars more for the paperback. Not a bad price for some peace of mind.

 

 

Disclosure: DFW Homeschool Resource will receive a small commission from any Amazon purchases made through the links in this post. This helps our site to run. Thanks!

Source: Purchased for my own library.

Laura Jewell is a mom to three young readers in Richardson. She was a children’s librarian at a public library before deciding to stay home with her girls.

 

 

 

 

 

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UT Tyler Homeschool Day

If you’ve got a homeschool soon to be graduating/looking at college student, be sure to check out UT Tyler’s homeschool day on February 7! Join them for lunch, 9-2pm for this informational session that will include a campus tour, scholarship information, and question and answer sessions about college. Head over to their website for more details.  

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Day in the Life – As Told By Me

If you’re new to home schooling, you may wonder what we do all day! Join us for a new series, A Day in the Life of a Home Schooler. Hopefully this will help ease your fears that you’re “not doing enough.” (Do you want to have your family featured?? Fill out the contact form at the top of the website or email dfwhomeschoolresource@gmail.com)

Here’s a look at our homeschool day today. Each of our days is arranged a bit differently because we have therapy and co-op thrown in, so I just picked today as a random example of how our days sometimes go!

8:30am – I  wake up and the girls do shortly after. My son is already awake. My kids like to sleep in and I love them all the more for it. My husband is already off to work for a meeting.

9am – We eat breakfast, cereal for the kids and yogurt for me

9:15 – My oldest announces he already did his work before I woke up. I let the girls play while I go over his work with him. He corrects some mistakes and does another grammar sheet reviewing contractions.

10am – I get him settled on the next level of Teaching Textbooks. He is happy that the cartoons have changed and he says the review was easy. Whew. He’s been giving me such a hard time about math lately. Hopefully the review lasts for a few day.

10:15am – Time for the Kinder to sit down and work on her math, handwriting, and spelling. This takes way longer than it should as Lexi the guinea pig has to join us which causes my 3 year old to have a hissy fit because SHE wants THAT guinea pig. Never mind there are three other piggies that would love to be held.

11:30am – My oldest is done with his math and I hear him on Minecraft. I remind him no playing Minecraft until he’s done with his history module…which happens to be on Minecraft, but he’s definitely not on the history server at the moment. He huffs and puffs about it before signing on.

11:45am – We are ready for lunch! Lunch today is quesadillas for everyone. Quick, warm, and everyone will eat it.

12:45pm – My husband gets home from work and I go out to run some errands. We have all taken turns being sick since Christmas and this weekend was the 3 year old’s turn which means I didn’t get ANYTHING done.

12:50pm – I get in the car and realize about 10 minutes into my drive that I’m still listening to the book on CD. Ooops! I guesstimate where we were and set it back to that place. The kids will get mad if they don’t hear the whole book.

3pm – Back from my errands I show the girls the accessories I found at the craft store for our fairy garden. They’re excited and run to put on  some warmer clothes so we can go outside to work on it. My son votes to stay inside and read.

3:15pm – It’s colder outside than I anticipated, but the glue smells awful inside, so I freeze while we glue glass gems and Popsicle sticks to pots.

4:30pm – 4 pots aka fairy homes later, we clean up and head inside. The girls go off to do their media time and I can hear Minecraft action on the computer – this time “legally.”

6pm – Apparently I fell asleep on the couch. My youngest gave me her cold and between her being sick and not sleeping and me not feeling 100%, I guess I’m way behind on my sleep.

6:30pm – My husband and I are almost done with dinner. Hamburgers for all! I realize I forgot to buy tater tots so I open the bag of Clementines as the side to our hamburgers.

7:15pm – bath time!

8pm – Yes, bath time took that long. Kids get a banana for a snack and then its off to brush teeth.

9pm – Lights are FINALLY off. I lay down with the 3 year old and my husband lays down with the other two.

9:30pm – Kids are all asleep. We sit down in the living room to watch some t.v. Tonight it’s Malcolm in the Middle – my first time watching this series. I remember I need to update the website calendar and pen this blog post!

11pm – Time for bed. My husband stays up to watch an episode of The Walking Dead before coming to bed.

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Advertise Your Home School Class!

I know how hard it is to find students for classes. Where do you advertise? Why does it cost so much? Are you totally dependent upon word of mouth? Look no more. Introducing the DFW Home School Resource directory. As an introductory offer, I would like to invite you to list your business for free for 6 months! When the six months are up, I will contact you to see if this website has been helpful and if you’d like to continue to be listed. Email me at dfwhomeschoolresource@gmail.com OR fill out the contact form at the top of the website.

If you would like to be featured on our website, Facebook page, or other social media, please let me know! I can send you an advertising schedule.

I hope this helps your business thrive!! Please visit our Facebook page and like us for up to date home school information for the DFW area.

 

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Comparison Fairy

Anyone ever met the comparison fairy? Comparison can be the thief of joy and it is abundant in the home school world. Like many home school families, I follow a variety of blogs, Facebook pages, and Instagram feeds of fellow home school families. Sometimes when I see the photos of their children sitting there reading books, or quietly walking through the galleries at the Dallas Museum of Art, I feel sad. Yes, I know that two seconds before that snap shot all hell may have been breaking loose and 2 seconds afterward Suzy turned around and ran into a sculpture which caused the gallery guard to hiss at them. But still, it can be really hard. It’s even harder when you know that it’s even more rare to get shots like that with your particular blend of little people.

Anyone else struggle to home school children with ADHD? Anyone struggle with it themselves and therefore parenting, let alone schooling, children who also struggle is even harder? I feel like the comparison fairy tries even harder sometimes with me and my family because of this. Just this morning I texted a dear friend of mine about my struggling with this. I saw pictures of calm kids with mostly neat home school rooms. Ones void of clutter everywhere, ones where because I know the families, I know that all of their children probably sat in their seats for more than 3 minutes before falling out of them.

Our home school material “organization” ^^

When we started to home school, I didn’t realize how hard the comparison fairy could hit. She’s hit hard lately, it’s always when I’m struggling with other things in life and then feel like how we do school and life is not as good as others. BUT as I texted my friend I came across a photo on Instagram of a child about my middle’s age rollerskating with a stander. I told my friend about that and said, well, we can’t sit still and stop talking to save our lives, but we are roller skating experts. Middle child picked up skating immediately and after one or two turns around the rink with an adult holding her hand, she was off! At least we have that right? My friend then replies, home school PE. You guys accelerate at home school PE. And she is right.

I’ve had to wrestle with the comparison fairy a lot this year, reminding myself that while I don’t get a lot of photos of my children learning because A. I forget or B. We aren’t sitting still so the photos are blurry, we do accelerate in our own special ways which we can’t compare to other home school families. What works for them may never work for us…and what works for us, they may label utter chaos. BUT (I like using BUT a lot) my kids are happy. We have randomly dropped everything to take a field trip. We have had days to just play games (learning games shhhhh). We do history on a Minecraft server because, well MINECRAFT. And that’s okay. Maybe some day, when they’re teenagers or in college, I can go to the DMA in peace and quiet. Maybe. I tend to get antsy in quiet places as well.

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Welcome DFW Area Home Schoolers

I noticed when we first started home schooling 3.5 years ago that there was not a comprehensive site dedicated to everything home school in DFW! While we were beginning our home schooling journey, we also were growing our family which didn’t give me a chance to work on this kind of project. Now that the kids have become a little more self sufficient, and there still wasn’t a comprehensive dfw home school resource type site, I have decided to create one.

The calendar is up and running, so please take advantage of that! If you want to be featured in our FREE directory, please contact me at dfwhomeschoolresource@gmail.com. I will also have paid advertisement spots available soon, too, if you’d like to reach even more families. Give-aways and guest bloggers are also welcome to email me.

Looking forward to sharing how fun home schooling can be in DFW!!

 

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Texas Homeschool Models

When you start diving into the Texas homeschool world, you’ll start hearing so many terms to describe how a family goes about their homeschooling. Here’s a brief overview of a few of them.

 

Traditional Homeschooling  or School At Home – boxed curriculum, schedules, basically functions similarly to as if your child was in school all day instead of at home around the kitchen table.

 

Eclectic Homeschooling – No boxed curriculum, but instead the parent picks and chooses the core curriculum from various sources. Math, grammar, and spelling probably come from workbooks, but other subjects become more hands on to an unschooling approach. Mornings may be the formal sit down school time, and afternoons are reserved for anything but sitting down with workbooks.

 

Unschooling – no curriculum is involved. The student leads the way with their learning. No workbooks or basically anything unless the child wants to do it. There are, however, varying degrees to unschooling which would take awhile to explain. A good book to introduce this idea is Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling.  There is also a great TED Talk Hour by a 13 year old who speaks on “Hackschooling.

 

Classical Homeschooling – follows the 3 levels of the Trivium. Students should learn for themselves and over the 13 years of school develop these skills. Check out A Well Trained Mind for way more detail.

 

Charlotte Mason – Charlotte spoke a lot on children being in nature and on reading living books. Her methods would lean themselves towards unschooling in the early years. If you want to read more about Charlotte and her methods check out A Charlotte Mason Education.

 

Waldorf – Best words to describe this one is outside, hands on, tech free, natural. For more check out Understanding Waldorf Method and  Oak Meadow’s website.

 

This is not an extensive list and there are many more methods and mixes of methods. The important thing is that you find a way that works best for your family. Click here for help deciding which way to go. 

(There are affiliate links for books here. This is at no cost to you and helps keep the lights on around here. These are books I have personally read and feel like they best summarize each of these methods of homschooling)

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Am I Cut Out for Homeschooling?

Maybe. Although I really hate it when people say, “I could never homeschool!” at the same time, I don’t think everyone CAN hack it. It’s not easy. There are days I’ve threatened to my husband and sometimes to the kids to enroll them in a school that was anywhere but my dining room table. It’s HARD. But, it’s also totally worth it.

If you are starting off in Kinder and your child isn’t used to being away at pre-school, it won’t be too hard to adjust to adding in some school work (and yes, there’s unschooling which wouldn’t be any change). However, going from the child being gone all day to home all day can be a major adjustment! They’re going from someone dictating 7 hours of their day to a lot more freedom. And that part is going to be hard until they adjust.

So adjustments aside, what qualifies someone to homeschool? Thankfully in Texas a parent doesn’t not have to hold a teaching certificate to homeschool their own child! Any parent who can dedicate the time and willingness to give their child an education can homeschool. You don’t have to be a college graduate or have a degree in something to do with children or education. A determined attitude mixed with flexibility and the desire to give your child a tailor made education is all you pretty much need.

There will be days that you think you can’t do it. There will be days that you’ll think your child will not get into college and it’ll be all your fault. There will be days that you’ll want to hide in your bedroom all day because it can be that hard. I haven’t seen a child through high school graduation yet, but I’ve seen others do it. I’ve talked to moms who have raised and taught all their children successfully to adulthood. If you want to do it YOU CAN.

If you still want some help getting started, visit this page next.

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What is a University Model?

I’ve heard people argue that if you use a university model, you’re not really homeschooling. There’s possibly some truth in that, but you won’t hear that sort of argument from me. A university model is a cross between private school and homeschool. Students go to class 2-3 days a week for formal instruction and are sent home with required work to complete on the days they are at home. We did a one day a week university model for a year, and it did help us get our bearings. The school model was smaller than most university models so we were able to work with our son’s teacher to change the curriculum that we needed to for his learning issues.

I don’t know if the bigger university models are open to parental suggestions, so if you want to pick and choose, this may not be the best method. If you’re okay with someone picking out all of the curriculum and helping with pacing and taking some of the teaching load, then university models may be a great fit for you!

I’d encourage you to visit some if you’re the least bit interested in them. You’ll get a better feel for the idea and see if it would be a good fit for your family. I have some listed here among the co-ops.

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