What is Happening This Weekend? Jan 13-15, 2017

It’s Friday!!!! Although sometimes for home school parents, that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Maybe it means sports and birthday parties, or maybe it just means a few days to do nothing, or maybe it’s your time to go out and explore as a family.

Here’s a few things going on in DFW this weekend that you may want to check out. Know if anything else? Comment here so I can add it to the calendar!!

 

  1. The Heard Wildlife Sanctuary second Saturday bird walk is on Saturday morning.
  2. Head out to the Bob Jones Nature Preserve in Keller to volunteer with their Nature Guard
  3. The DMA has a few workshops going on.
  4. Head over to North Park if it rains for a marionette play.

 

Have a great weekend! Look for next week’s update on Sunday night! And as always, let me know if you know of something going on that’s not on the calendar! Click on the envelope on the screen to subscribe so you always know what is going on!

Snowflake Exploration – What do YOUR Flakes Look Like?

Snow? What do we do when it snows in NTX? We all panic and cause the GPS to blurt out “accident ahead” every 5 miles and turn all the roads red even before rush hour begins.


We had the unfortunate luck to need to visit the pediatrician on the first snow day of the year. A usual 25 min trip took an hour there and almost 1.5 hrs back. Fun times.
But before we went, we enjoyed the snow!!! Yay it snowed!!! — what my kids would say if they were writing this. Snowflakes caused an impromptu science lesson today. My middle child found black construction paper and let snowflakes fall on it so we could examine them through our magnifying glasses.


I made her bring the paper to the porch because it was 22 Fahrenheit outside and I’m not crazy. I kept as much of me as possible in the house while examining the flakes.


Most at the beginning were clumped together and were probably more itsy bitsy hail than snow, but after about 5 minutes more, we started getting actual flakes that could be seen even with the naked eye.


Next time it snows, which my kids hope is soon and more so we can sled, grab a piece of black paper, a magnifying glass, and some warm clothes to do a little awe inspiring snowflake investigation. And then while you have hot cocoa inside afterwards, you can discuss symmetry and the formation of snowflakes and call it your science lesson of the day or the week.

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.

 

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.

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!!

 

Help for the Overwhelmed

Contact DFW HS Resource

Hopefully you have gotten a chance to look through all of the posts on how to begin to homeschool before landing here. One thing I’ve discovered I really enjoy doing is helping people figure out what best for their lives. I have a small business company that advises other small businesses in how to start doing what they love. Now I also have a small consulting business for homeschool parents who are completely lost on what to do first. My goal is to help you set up your life so that you can best serve your children as their teacher. From homeschool methods, to curriculum decisions, to setting up an ideal classroom space in your home, I can help you start your homeschool journey. If you’re not new to homeschooling and you want someone to help revamp your methods before everyone burns out, I can help you with that as well. Sound good? Let’s talk. Please fill out this form and I will get back to you ASAP to get your started!

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)

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.

Texas Homeschool Basics Where to Begin

So, you’re thinking about pulling the plug on your child’s public education and teaching them yourself? Kinda scary. Or maybe you haven’t yet sent your child to school and are facing the Kindergarten Round Up season. Either way, this can be overwhelming to think about. When our oldest was little, I read an article about boys and schools. Basically the article said that boys don’t do as well in a traditional school environment as girls do. Homeschooling was always in my mind as an option for us, especially after reading that article. As my little guy grew,  I realized that a typical 7 hour day of being in one room wasn’t going to work. Neither was being confined more or less to a chair and desk. We were definitely going to have to do something  besides a traditional school method.

 

I went the local elementary school on Kindergarten Round Up night as well as a small church school that had a Transitional Kindergarten program. The teaching him to read part of homeschooling really made me nervous. I struggled with phonics when I was little and could see he was going to have the same issues as I did. Ultimately decided to put him in the Transitional Kinder program to solve this problem. It was a great in-between and I think a viable option for anyone who is nervous about this HUGE task of reading and writing. He went 3 days a week from 9-2pm in a class of 12 students with 2 teachers. He loved it.

What if this isn’t an option for you because you just plain don’t want to, can’t, or your child is older than Kinder? Don’t worry! It’s still not bad! We didn’t utilize the Transitional Kinder with our middle child and it’s  been just fine!

Here is a break down to get started:

  1. Different kinds of homeschooling
  2. Choosing curriculum
  3. Are co-ops right for us?
  4. I’m still overwhelmed…help!!