Category Archives: Other

The Four Tendencies

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Are you a New Year’s resolution-maker? If so (or if not), Gretchen Rubin has ideas for helping you succeed in your resolution – and what might cause you to fail.

If you read many blogs, you’ve probably already heard of The Four Tendencies; it has been everywhere recently. But, I found it so helpful that I wanted to talk about it here, just in case it hasn’t reached everyone. In it, Rubin suggests that there are four kinds of people when it comes to meeting expectations (and keeping resolutions):

  • Rebels, who resist inner and outer expectations – the “I’ll do it when I’m good and ready” group
  • Questioners, who resist outer expectations, but readily meet inner expectations if they make sense – also the group that is skeptical of this idea of four styles.
  • Obligers, who resist inner expectations, but readily meet outer expectations – the people for whom an accountability partner is most helpful
  • Upholders, who can meet both inner and outer expectations


So many New Year’s resolution articles offer the same suggestions – get an accountability partner, mark the days you met your goal on a calendar, etc. But, those suggestions don’t work for everyone. A Questioner won’t be motivated to go to an exercise class out of a sense of responsibility to the instructor, but an Obliger might. An Obliger won’t be motivated by a list taped to the fridge, they need the accountability partner.


A few years ago, I read Rubin’s book Better Than Before, which is all about establishing habits. It offers frameworks to hang new habits on, ways to trick yourself into following through on habits, and so on. In that book, she introduces the four Tendencies (Rebels, Questioners, Obligers, Upholders), but I spent the whole book unable to figure out which Tendency I was, and wondering if the whole thing was a load of bunk. (I should have taken that as a clue.)


Last year, some friends were going to do a Whole30. I thought joining them would be a good way to kickstart some of my health goals. I had built-in accountability partners! Surely I could make it work! Nope. Two days in, my brain wouldn’t shut up about how I was ruling out a lot of perfectly healthy foods. I failed at the Whole30, but I finally knew my Tendency. I’m a Questioner through and through.


In The Four Tendencies, Rubin describes each of the Tendencies, how they relate to others, how they can best stick to habits, and how to relate to loved ones in each of the groups. I thought that one of the most helpful parts was considering the Tendencies of my children. My oldest is also a strong Questioner, too. I try to use this to our mutual advantage. She won’t do something because her sisters are doing it. Trying to build excitement by saying, “Come on, we’re all going to _________,” doesn’t work. But, she will do something when it makes sense to her. “I know it seems like we’re leaving really early, but we need to stop for gas.”


The Four Tendencies is not a total personality framework. It won’t tell you what kind of gifts to give or Hogwarts house you’re in. But if you’re trying to get up earlier, be a better manager, or start cooking more, there is inspiration here.


If you’d like to get a head start on figuring out your Tendency, take the quiz on Rubin’s site here.


Happy New Year, everyone!

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 home 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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Sarah Morton’s Day and other books about pilgrim life

Cover of Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters

Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters, photographs by Russ Kendall

(This review contains affiliate links.)

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my husband and I took a “last vacation before baby” trip to Boston. While we were browsing things to do there, I came across a listing for Plimoth Plantation. I told my husband that we HAD to go there, because of a book I had when I was a kid.

The book was Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters. In it, photographs show a day in the life of a girl living in Plimoth Colony in 1627. She tends chickens, helps her mother cook over an open fire, and mucks the garden. I was fascinated by all the layers of clothes she wore — three petticoats! — and her pilgrim vernacular. It gave me a glimpse into how hard life was without modern conveniences, far from any other villages. It also helped me think of the pilgrims as real people with real faces, not just a vague concept. Sarah Morton was just like me … except that I’ve never polished a brass kettle or drawn water from the spring. It brought Plimoth Colony to life so clearly that I still wanted to visit twenty years later!


A nine-year old girl and her mother cooking over an open fire

While Sarah Morton was a real girl, the photographs of her, obviously, are not. The pictures are of an actor at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. There are three other books about real kids living in (or near) Plimoth Plantation that are also still in print and well worth a study.

Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times

(part of the Plimoth Plantation museum is the Wampanoag village near the pilgrim settlement, a wonderful glimpse into the two different cultures in the same setting.)

Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy

On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Ship’s Apprentice and a Passenger Girl

All recommended for ages 5-10.


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 by my mom many years ago. 🙂

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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Review – Sequence Letters Game for Kids

Sequence Letters Game Reivew

Sequence Game DFW Homeschool Resource On a rainy day, I brought out our Sequence Letters game. If you’re familiar with the adult version, it’s got a similar goal. Instead of stretching the board, you’re just trying to connect four. The game can be played with up to 6 people, but that makes 3 teams of 2. In our case, we played 1 team of 2 and 2 teams of 1 each. The game box says ages 4-7. My 6 and 10 year old played on their own teams. I played along with the four year old. (This post contains affiliate links)

How to play:

Each player earns a square by matching a letter card in their hand to a picture. The pictures are also color coded with the squares to help the very young to narrow down the choices. My big two know their letters and sounds and it was pretty easy to match up. However, it did cause them to have to think, “What starts with the letter L?” Players are able to block each other which amused my big two and made the youngest mad. The letter X allows a player to remove a chip already placed on the board. Letter Z card allows them to place a chip on any square they want.

For my 4 year old non- reader and non-phonics child, I would show her the card and tell her the letter. The big two then would tell her what picture to look for. The game is definitely for children in between my 4 and 6 year old in letter and phonics abilities.Sequence Game DFW Homeschool Resource

The game took longer than I thought it would. Mostly because there was a lot of discussion on where they were going to put a chip to block someone. The youngest got mad if someone “took” her favorite pictures. I would not recommend playing the game with a bunch of 4 year olds! It probably is easiest with a mixed age group. If the ages and abilities are varied then there are different ways to learn from the game. If you want to buy your own, head over to buy it HERE!

(I was not asked to review this game. I did so because we enjoy playing it! Affiliate links are present but they’re at no cost to you! They help keep the lights on around here from the small commission we get)

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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

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 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 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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