Friday, November 20, 2009

Red River Rattlers Boy's Basketball

Hey my name is Alec Hilliard I play point guard for the Red River Rattlers. September 29th of this year (Andrew and my birthday) shined a little light upon season number three for the guys with some scrimmage games in Bellevue, TX, a long way from the team that started in ’07 with about six players. We are officially a varsity team now and have played public, private, and other home-schooled teams around North Texas. This is going to be a very fun year since it is our first year in the TCAL conference and we will get to go to district and state! We have had ups and downs in our numbers, but now have a full team of 15 guys.

#1 Nick Dhooghe
#3 Andrew Flowers
#11 Kaleb Moses
#13 Sam Leach
#14 Josh Honea
#21 Timmy Teater
#22 Peter Dhooghe
#23 Trent Harvey
#24 Daniel Huffman
#32 Aaron Leach
#41 Alec Hilliard
#51 Phillip Dhooghe
#52 Dominic Dhooghe
#55 David Dhooghe
#??? Sam Fink

We are so blessed with our coach, Steve Ayers who drives us around the world to take us to our games and gives up his weekdays and Sundays to come out and shoot with us. Dale Harvey has been a big help in coaching some of the newer guys and helps us out. They both have high expectations for our team and Mr. Steve always says we work for “excellence” and out on the court our motto is “attack!” We hope to place well this year in the conference and make it to state, that is, if we can get everyone better from sickness and injuries. We love the game of basketball more than any other sport and enjoy trying to be the best we can be for the team. We have put in tons of hours over the summer with working out and improving our game. (Some players with over 375hrs.) Liberty posted a schedule so hopefully y’all can catch one of our games sometime! Our guys sure play hard!

Be blessed,
Alec H.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Red River Lady Rattlers

Hi, my name is Liberty Davidson, and I’ve been on the basketball team since we were the Bulldogs (six years ago!) Fortunately we changed our name to the Rattlers, which title we have proudly held since our second year.

We’ve had our struggles and our triumphs as a team. We’ve known what it’s like to go on a seemingly never-ending losing streak, but we’ve also known the great feeling of countless victories in a row.

Three years ago, the team welcomed a new coach, Dwayne Holman, and we joined a sports league that exists exclusively for home schooled and private schooled teams. In March, we made it all the way to the State Championship and finished as runners-up!

The Lady Rattlers have consistently improved over the last several years, and the beginning of the 2009-10 season has been no different. We have been victorious in each of our first three official games!

This year our team consists of twelve talented players:

#3Tess Hough
#5 Morgan Ayers
#14 Hayli Hough
#21Victoria Blessing
#23Liberty Davidson
#33Mallory Clayton
#2 Katy Palmer
#13 Virginia Land
#15 Teresa Dhooghe
#24 Nikki Morgan
#41 Kalie Lovejoy
#45 Allison Land

We value determination, team work, good sportsmanship, and most of all, playing our best. As Coach Holman says, “If you leave it on the court, you will be victorious.”

The home schooled boys in our group have also had a team for the last three years, and they have been doing excellent!

We are really excited about the promising season ahead for both teams. What makes it even more exciting is when YOU, our fans, show up and cheer!

All our home games are held at Radware Elementary School in Woodbine. Here’s the address:
668 FM 3164GAINESVILLE, TX 76240-9082

Please feel free to call Coach Dwayne Holman for directions, 940-447-4710

To read more about the Lady Rattlers, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Enrichment Classes Celebrates 10 Years!

"The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY!" Psalm 126:3

The Red River Enrichment Class Program is celebrating 10 years! And we are celebrating in a BIG way!

* past yearbooks for sale - only $5
* Commemorative T-shirts and book-bags for sale at Registration December 4
* watch a slide-show at registration and see how the kids have grown!
*Memory forms to fill out at Orientation in January
* hear the story of our humble beginnings
* great prize giveaways every Friday next semester
* special visits by past members of EC
* new COLOR yearbook format
* goody bags for everyone!

And. . .

This year we are adding a FIFTH hour!

If you have never tried EC, this is a great time to join. If you've been off for a semester or two, we'd love to have you back! Join us for a GRAND celebration!

Click here for more info about Enrichment Classes.

Registration is December 4th - one day only! Space is limited. To get on the waiting list and get a copy of our awesome class schedule, email Kari Davidson at

There is no late registration.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not So Typical . . .

I have truly been enjoying the "Typical Homeschool Day" thread you all have been keeping alive - WOW! It is nice to see our group open up a little. FYI: I've e-mailed with Renee before & she really doesn't bite - there is no need in being afraid to post :) Anyway, I am lovin' all the posts & have added them to our blog.

I was dying to chime in this week, but in all honesty, we started school this week & it has NOT been a "typical" week. In fact, we have yet to have a typical day . . .

Cows have jumped the fence & gotten out on the road way causing me to have to stop everything & go cowgirl (yeehaw), the boys have woken up fighting each & every day with one another, 2 mischievous little boys (ahem, Tucker & Trevor, not to mention any names or anything) decided to pull every single Kleenex out of the new box (brought home especially for their little runny noses) & fill our trashcan with them, -- Oh yes, they all woke up with a small cold on the first day of school -- don't you know they were in good moods all day -- NOT!! Daddy brought home a new 4 wheeler & how could any 3rd grade boy focus on school when there is a new 4 wheeler to be ridden?
WAIT. Insert: What is homeschooling all about -- Those moments right there! Thankfully my husband reminded me of that when he all but took me hostage & took me on a 4 wheeler ride around our land with our boys. The fresh air, the cool breeze, the deer we saw, the boys' smiles as we raced around, their laughter -- "That is what it is all about!" The longer I homeschool the more I realize it is those real life moments that make all my sweat & tears worth every bit of it - not a completed math page.

So, after reading many of your typical days, I'm going to change the thread a bit & ask - what this week was "Not So Typical?"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Typical Day By: Kari

We get up about 6:30, then work out. Sometimes Liberty does not work out when I do so she is starting her chores while I go out. My work out is a mile or two walk/run and some days I add a work out video to that also. Liberty usually runs a mile and during basketball season she has additional things her coach adds to that.
Liberty gets all her basic chores done and she then starts school with Gary(Dad) about 8:00 or 8:30. If he is not quite ready then she and I will start our devotional time together. Right now we are reading Beautiful Girlhood by Mable Hale. I have a list of books we will read together for the rest of the year. The next one is The Christian Charm Course by Emily Hunter, then I have two video series by Josh McDowell on Apologetics and so on. Bible is mixed in with these.
When Gary comes in we pray and say our pledges, American flag, Texas flag and the Bible. Gary then does Algebra and History with Liberty.
While he is doing that I check my email and FB, clean up breakfast dishes and take a shower. He is usually finished with her by then and she hops in the shower while Gary and I discuss anything coming up that day or next that we need to be aware of. He leaves and I usually get a phone call or two during all this time.
By now it is about 9:30. So Liberty walks her dog one more time and we jump in to the rest of the day.
Let me say that Liberty thrives on order and structure. She likes for me to have a schedule made up and laid our for her. She likes knowing what to expect. We change the schedule up a bit every year for different reasons. We also will change it up a bit during the school year if she is having difficulty with something or we see that something is consistently not getting done. But for now this is our schedule for this year and so far we really like it. She also likes me nearby. For the most part I am usually in the school room with her while she is working, even though I may be doing my own reading, filing, grading, organizing, etc. (currently working on her transcript)
It is now close to 10:00 and she finishes up any algebra problems she has and history assignments. We then go to geography, government, then science, Spanish, literature, which we sometimes read together. Right now we are reading our book together for literature. Next is spelling, vocabulary, poetry and English.
Those things take up to around 3:00 or so. During this time whe we have had a break she likes to go outside on the porch or in her big chair in her room and she has her alone time with God and her Bible. She tries to read through the Bibe every year. The following are the rest of things on her schedule that she does on her own like writing, blogging(on her blog site, SAT practice, basketball practice, shoot hoops, etc., for now studying her Driver's Ed. (This has been like pulling teeth. She has no desire to drive so we have finally had to insist that she get her permit so she can start gaining experience.) Practice her piano daily and her guitar weekly, EC homework and art, which we are trying to do once a week. Liberty and I are also trying to start up an online business which we try and work on together in the evening.
She also enjoys acting and tries to audition for a Butterfield play at least once a year. This year she got to act in one and work back stage in one, which was good experience for her. She also got to work behind the scenes in a movie that is being made in McKinney right now doing little odds and ends for a few days. Her favorite part was the slamming down the Clacker. She has joined Venture Scouts this year and 4-H and so those both involve extra activities. She is active in her youth group and our church and on our church's tambourine and dance team. All of those things require extra time and energy so those are added in on top of the rest.
On normal days when we are home for most of the day, she goes to bed around 9:15 and gets up between 6 and 6:30. On nights when we are out late due to a basketball game or other late activity, which we limit as much as possible, then we sleep in till 7:00 or 7:30 and follow the same routine.
During the weeks we have Enrichment Classes, Liberty still has spelling and science on Friday afternoons and another lesson over the weekend.
On Wednesdays we cut something out so the day is a little shorter since we go to piano lesson that day and church. After piano I go to Wal-Mart to do my weekly shopping and she studies one of her lessons in the store, if she wants. She doesn't care much for shopping.
I try not to answer the phone most of the time during school unless we are on a break when it rings. School is school and the kids need to know this is just as important to you as you want it to be to them.
I love our home school and I love to home school. I love spending the hours with Liberty and imparting what I can to her. The honest truth is that I really learn a lot from her. God has blessed me with a wonderful family and I am very thankful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Typical Day By: Susan

After returning from a week spent with my dad for his 80th birthday, we will
be starting another year of "school" at the Gleaton household tomorrow.
Three of my kids have graduated from home school, and I have three to go.
My oldest graduated from UNT three weeks ago and just left this afternoon to
live in Rowlett. He starts his first full-time job with the company he did
an internship with in Richardson tomorrow. My second oldest is already
retired from the Army, and he and his wife are expecting baby #2 in just
four weeks! My third oldest is living at home and beginning her second year
at NCTC. We have homeschooled all of our kids all of the time. Although I
tearfully considered other schooling options (more than once!), I realized
that those other options came with their own set of problems and that I
would just be trading one set of problems for another. I figured out I was
better off with the set of problems I had and that, for me anyway, the grass
was not really greener on the other side. I came to the conclusion,
however, that I had to make school something that is enjoyable, doable and
attainable both for me and the kids. That took a lot of prayer and
soul-searching on my part, and thus our "school" will look quite different
from others. That's okay, and I think every family should figure out what
works best for them.

My main goals for school are for the kids to learn and to want to keep on
learning. I also want to provide a well-rounded education. I try to end a
subject just before it gets to be too much. That way, they are ready for
more the next day. We do some subjects together (history, Latin/Greek roots
and literature) and some subjects individually (math, science, government,
spelling, writing, typing, drilling, etc.) Presently the younger two are
doing science and government together also. We do the basic subjects
everyday (history, math, science) and switch off days on the other subjects.
Some are Tues/Thurs and some are Mon/Wed/Fri. The kids each have their own
checklist of which subjects to do each day so it doesn't get confusing and
all gets covered. I watch for signs of frustration or not understanding in
any area. That is where we back off, figure out what went wrong, and start
again. If a math lesson doesn't get finished because it is not understood,
that's okay. There is no point in continuing on until it is understood.
The same goes for other subjects.

What does a typical day look like? It's probably a lot different from

10:00-Everybody up, breakfast, chores, bible. (I've actually been up quite
a while, and accomplished a LOT of my day!)

11:00-Start school together. I read whatever history we are studying aloud,
then we do Latin/Greek roots or Spanish.

About 12:00-I read the science lesson aloud to the younger two, then we do
government or any other subject we might be doing together. The oldest
starts school on his own. If there is a science experiment that day, they
do that on their own.

About 1:00-Lunch. I read whatever our literature is at the time aloud.
Often the literature ties in with the history we are studying.

About 2:00-Everyone completes the rest of their subjects on their own. They
finish at variable times, but are usually done by 4-5:00.

Outside activities and dinner for the rest of the day. At dinner, I often
read missionary-related stuff while the whole family eats. We often have
dinner guests, in which case I don't read. The boys have to be in bed by
midnight. (They are 14, 15 and 17.)

This schedule is crazy late, but it works well with college kids at home.
We also have a boarder that works nights. He is often a part of the family
on his three nights a week off.


A Typical Day By: Linda

We have tried it all and are now homeschooling one on a year-round plan.
This lets us do fewer subjects at a time and leaves room for enrichment
activities. It also promotes life-long learning skills. It is important to
learn to enjoy learning.

We tried public school and it was a disaster! They didn't teach the kids
squat. If you think you can't homeschool because you're not a teacher, well
that's a false illusion. If you have a pulse, care about your child's
education, their character, and can read, write and (bonus) have basic
computer skills you are highly qualified to teach your child. You will NOT
have to put up with the anti-parent poison that has infected our schools.
Nor will you have to wonder what is being taught to your child - without
your knowledge or approval - by "counselors" who have their own agendas.
Don't even get me started...

We tried private Christian school. Great teachers and staff who did their
best to promote Godly principles and high academic standards. Costs a
fortune. What we didn't expect was the secular snotty social scene with the
other kids. Nice parents - wretched kids! No thanks, I can get that for
free at public school. Narcissism isn't cute even if it is dressed up in
little plaid uniforms, but I digress...

We are back to homeschool and happy as larks. The co-ops are great sources
of information and support. The kids and families are tremendous. LOTS of
great extra-curricular opportunities and enrichment that would not be
possible in a private / public school setting. I've found that a key to
success in school (any school) is for the child to take responsibility and
accountability for their education. Do not expect a child to come to this
epiphany on their own. Expect to get static. Be a big person (who already
HAS their education) and hold the line. Bobbing, weaving and changing to
make them "happy" is a sure way to get defeated. (Been there - done that,
you've met my boys) Structure helps a lot. Discipline is a life skill
best learned young. That is where self-esteem comes from, by the way. (No,
it isn't fairy dust) I must say, Katy is doing great!

6 am out of bed
make bed, get dressed, start morning chores, get organized for the
7 am jog a mile (gets those brain cells snapping and keeps the hiny tiny)
7:30 breakfast, clean up after yourself (a critical life skill worth
finish any morning chores, chat with Dad
8 am Personal Bible study
8:30 School Starts
schedule of classes varies by day but is regularly scheduled so
there is no question of what needs to be accomplished
12 n LUNCH!
ask questions, get help as needed, chill out a bit
3:30 done with classes, put on swimsuit, get a cool drink, and take reading
book to floatie chair to read in pool. Life is good.
5pm Set table for dinner
6pm Dinner
Clear table and kitchen (Home Economics 101)
7pm Enjoy evening with the family
homework if necessary
Extra curricular activities some nights

If it doesn't get done during the school day then mom needs to know why. If
there is a problem - tell me. Got a question - ask it. Otherwise, it
becomes homework. Welcome to the real world. Fits and baditudes are not
problem solving skills. If you wouldn't dream of pulling it in private
school on the teacher, don't consider trying it on me. Dad is the
principal and you don't want to get sent to his office. Personal
accountability is a big deal. Success rocks!

Katy has set a goal for herself to go to the Naval Academy - her idea, not
mine. So, if my approach to homeschool sounds a bit militaristic, well
then... OK.

Semper Fi, little sister! Your mama is your biggest fan.


A Typical Day By: Alison

Ahhh? What is a typical day? Hopefully not coming home from a wonderful family reunion and mini vacation to still no internet (although it was to be fixed before we left), a washing machine that smells of an electrical fire when used and cat poop in various undesirable places throughout the house. And my plan was to start our school year the next day at 9am! Needless to say, to make sure we all started out the year with everyone having a good attitude (including Mommy) I opted to postpone starting school for a day or two (again!) This goes to show that there is no typical or ideal day at the Lewis household.

I had high ideals in my 20's before marriage and children of what my homeschool day would be. I was one of those homeschool nerds that went to seminars when I was single and no children. In retrospect, that was a blessing from the Lord since I haven't been able to attend since my oldest was born.

God is faithful and knows our strengths and weaknesses as do our children (and all too well) and I know if we lean on Him that all things will work together for good.

I have a basic plan, but with a husband who loves life and is not sure when to go to bed, a precocious toddler and a precious first grader with extra challenges our typical day varies month to month as their development changes (my two younger ones, not my husband). Fortunately, my older two are very flexible and understand. Life is too short to be too rigid (that is a real gem coming from an accountant of 20+ years!)

In a nutshell, this is what we strive for:

School work (with two recesses in the am- necessity with three boys with lots of energy)
older two trade off playing with younger two
Individual school time with first grader
reading and nap time
Scouts and other projects
computer time
time with Daddy
Bible time


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meet Maggie, A Single Parent Homeschooling Momma

Hello, my name is Maggie VanDolah, I have 3 fantastic children that have been a blessing beyond what I ever imagined before having children. I have been a single mom for the past 11 years, which was not a choice I would have ever wanted or chosen but God has been so good to us in so many ways that it is hard to even consider this as anything other than an extremely blessed life. It has been a great joy for me to be able to homeschool when I thought it would be impossible. I also have worked at Sears Medical Associates for the past 9 years and have been able to have a flexible schedule which is great with homeschooling. Currently, my only hobby is doing home improvements as I have time, I have 3 storm doors and a ceiling fan that are waiting to be installed when I find a free day or two or three to get to them! My favorite meal is any meal I don’t have to cook, except fish! My dream vacation is spending time in the Colorado Rocky Mountains but I would also love to go to Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Washington D.C., the list could go on and on.

Here is a little about my favorite subject, my children! William is 24, he lives in Ft Worth with his wife, Elizabeth, and their dog, Bella. William is a very considerate and caring son and husband. For the most part he was my most compliant child but also the most adventurous. He would get mad at himself if he was ever too afraid to try something; I learned to almost force him to do the things he seemed afraid of. One time after we were getting off a roller coaster at Six Flags, he hugged me and said, “Thanks for making me go on that ride, Mom!” Ben is 20, he currently lives at home and is attending NCTC in Gainesville. He has played the drums for over 7 years and he has always loved video games. Ben loves to tease his mom and siblings; he has always had a very quick wit, mind, and mouth! He is the one that could (and still can) outlast and outwit me, most of the time! I wouldn’t change a thing about him because he has been an exceptionally fun son to raise and has challenged me to look at many things in a different light. Molly is 14, my little girl that’s not so little anymore. She plays piano and loves to hang out with her friends. Molly is a very sweet and loving daughter, I’ve noticed as she is maturing she is developing a very level head and has quite a bit of common sense. She was only 3 when her Dad and I divorced. She recently told me she wouldn’t change her parents or life because she feels she wouldn't be the same person, she believes God will use what she has been through to help others. That was so awesome for me to hear. I have always encouraged my children to focus on all the wonderful things they have and not the few things they don't have, I have never wanted them to think of themselves as victims of divorce.

Our homeschooling adventure began twelve years ago with Ben when he was going into 3rd grade. He seemed to have trouble staying out of trouble in class because he would get bored waiting for the teacher to teach the next subject. He begged me to homeschool so I called my brother and his wife, Ray and Joyce Hall, who had homeschooled both their girls before anyone thought homeschooling was an option! They assured me that I could do it and even continued to encourage and assure me that I could still homeschool even as a single mom. We had tried public school and private school with William and he just never enjoyed school and had quite a bit of trouble learning to read but when he started school at home in 8th grade he realized he could learn so much more and he gained a confidence in himself that he hadn’t had before. He even got the opportunity to teach guitar to several other kids. Molly has been homeschooled since the beginning and she will be in 9th grade this year. I have tried several curriculum and my favorite was Sonlight, it comes with so many books and covers so much and if I had more time to spend we would still be using that. I have used Abeka with Molly for several years and she started doing the Abeka videos last year. Even though the videos are not my first choice they give a very well rounded education that my children can do without waiting for me to find the time before or after work to do school with them. I can help with anything they are having trouble grasping and they can tell me what interesting things they learned each day. The benefits to homeschool far outweigh any disadvantages. The flexibility is a huge benefit, it is so nice to be able to take vacations when everyone else is in school, to be able to see things and spend time together. For us when a hard issue would come up it was so nice to be able to talk it though and work it out as we needed to instead of waiting till they got home from school. My children have a bond with each other that they would never have had without being homeschooled. They have always had so much fun together and did so many more things together than they ever would have done had they not been homeschooled. William and Ben played in a band together and even recently have started playing golf together. All three of them loved to go on adventures together exploring anything they could find to explore.
What is it like homeschooling a teenager? Just like anything with a teenager, hard but totally awesome! When they start enjoying learning and decide they want to learn it is so very rewarding, you feel like you have given them a gift they will use and cherish for their whole life.

Are there ever bad days? No, never!! Of course there are but it’s usually the bad ones that teach you the most afterwards. You definitely figure out what not to do! When things got too bad for us, many times I would decide to take the rest of the day off of school and regroup. We might go to a movie, or just watch one of our favorite movies at home, sometimes we would just go do a little shopping, the idea was to just take a break to be able to objectively look at the situation without the emotional unrest.

One of the biggest challenges for me with homeschooling is knowing if I taught them enough and worrying that I failed them by not teaching them something they might really need. In the end though I realize that if I can teach them a thirst for knowledge they will be able to learn the things they really need to know.

I have experienced “burn out” and my advice for anyone going through it is to just step back and know that you are doing something great for your children. You may not feel like it at times and they may tell you differently at times, but be assured that your children will be given something from you that they will be able to use the rest of their lives!

My advice to any single parents thinking about or homeschooling their child is to pray often, to be patient and to talk about things with your children. Sometimes the emotional trauma of being a child of a single parent can be internalized by your children and I have found that when I can get mine to talk about what they are thinking we can work out so much and their whole outlook on life and school completely changes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Typical Day From Corrine

I am here and not sure if I want to admit how my typical day goes....

It is sooooo far from what I wanted in my perfect world. I knew that I would homeschool our kids before they were born. So, I had some really strong ideas of how my days would look.

I imagined that it would be like those old victorian prints with a mom sitting by a tree reading to her children while someone plays classical music.

Instead it is more like- someone puts in a cd of Christian ROCK or screamo and that wakes me up in the am followed by spilled milk and too much food dripping off the table onto the floor.

Then we start morning chores. Play outside, water flowers & start the next feeding session. As the little ones nap we try to start school. Sometimes we get through a whole day, sometimes we do not. That is why we schooled all year long before the older ones went to Public School. It was my mission to make sure that they finished their work before the next year began.

I liked to live each day. If that meant we played legos and rode bikes for hours, then many days we played all day. I like the freedom of schooling our children at home- our way. Mine did not play computer games all day. That time was very limited, but good clean fun was never stopped so we could school. (ALL of these freedoms were for my kids under the third grade age.) I wanted the little ones to really enjoy their childhood on our ranch. The older ones schedule was harder.

Now, my older three are in PS and my younger three are at home. If I had a full time nanny or assistant, I would still have all of them at home. But, since I have five boys in a row and my health has not been as good at times- I needed to reconsider what was more important. Their education was more important than my need to homeschool. I want them to be able to provide for their wives, so that they can homeschool as stay at home wives. In the long run, that is more important than keeping my high schooler at home. I know this option is not for everyone, but it has helped me be more sane and happy as a stay at home wife and mom. (BTW, our older three have straight A's for the most part. They have done wonderful in PS and have no major gaps in their education.)

So, the long and short of it goes like this.

I am only one woman- doing at least three full time jobs. My days are crazy, funny and most importantly at home. I love being at home. I love my house and l love having my home as a base for the many other ministries that God calls me to.

Whatever your day brings, in the long run we must bring Glory to our Lord. In the end we all will be blessed and be a blessing when we live with that in mind.

I am so thankful for this wonderful group of women that I can call friends on this loop. AND Welcome to the new families to our cyber loop of homeschool moms. Don't ever hesitate to ask for help. This group has a ton of wise ladies who are ready to offer advice & prayers!

Typical Day From Nicki

When I started homeschooling, I had one daughter, and then two. Two little girls are easy. And quiet. And fairly orderly. So it was easy to keep to a schedule.

Now I've added two little boys. Schedule? What schedule?

I always have a schedule printed an on the fridge. But these days it becomes more of a checklist, since it's virtually impossible to stay right on target!

On a good day, it goes a little something like this:

6:30-7:00 Mom tries to wake up, and maybe even goes for a walk
7:15 Wake kids
7:30 Breakfast for all
8:00 Chores for big kids, clean up little kids, Mom picks up toys from the floor
8:30 Bathe little kids
9:00 School begins - in which we try to rotate kids around. You know, one big sister plays with one little brother while Mom helps other big sister with Math, then other big sister plays with little brother while Mom helps her with Math or Grammar; then one little brother takes his morning nap, other little brother watches a video or cartoon, and both big sisters do their most demanding schoolwork. After this time, Mom will have preschool with one or both little brothers while big sisters read their Bibles, literature, and do their easier subjects, and Mom picks up toys from the floor.
12:00 Lunch and clean-up
1:00 Little boys take nap, girls have free time or catch up on leftover schoolwork
3:00 Boys are up by now and ready to play some more, girls practice piano, play on computer, Mom picks up toys from the floor
5:00-ish Sometime between now and 7, Daddy comes home and we have dinner together
7:00-ish Between now and 9 is an unorganized mix of playtime, outdoor time, errands, or other activities, depending on the day
8:30-ish Family prayer time and bedtime for all kids
9:00-ish Mom and Dad talk, pray, do computer stuff, watch news, or fall asleep
Notice I said "on a good day," lest you think we are that well-run! A more regular day will look something like this:

3 year old wakes up before Mom, ready for food and fun
Mom rushes out of bed to make sure he isn't eating cookies or cutting paper
Baby wakes up before Mom was ready
Mom determines to take that walk, even if all the kids go with her
Need to start breakfast and get girls up, but they aren't as bright-eyed as their little brothers, so they need a couple reminders
Breakfast is on the table, and at least one person didn't want that
Halfway through breakfast, Mom reminds girls they have dishes and chores, just in case they forgot
An hour later, chores are mostly done, boys are mostly dressed, and Mom still wants to get that walk
Mom says, "Time for school!" The boys cheer!
Baby takes his nap, Mom reads to other boy, and girls start their lessons
Baby wakes up after only 30 minutes, other brother is bored and hungry, girls are ready for a "break" (from what?)
Kids ask to play outside "for just a few minutes" and Mom is okay with that
Mom does laundry, picks up toys, checks email, makes phone calls, and changes boys' clothes
An hour later, kids come in ready for early lunch (!)
Mom passes around apples or crackers and says "Back to school"
Mom reads to boys, supervises girls, changes Baby, and picks up toys
Mom finally makes lunch
Nap time for boys is here!
Girls catch up on schoolwork, Mom picks up toys, does more laundry, and whatever else hasn't been done yet
Mom considers a walk, but it's August in Texas, so she changes her mind
Boys wake up and everyone has free time
Around dinnertime, Daddy comes home, we eat, girls clean the kitchen, and we have family time
The family prays together and all the kids go to bed
Some of the kids try to get up and then we put them back to bed
Every day is different, but I try to keep the mood light so that little interruptions don't ruin our day. The little kids will grow up and then we will ask, "Where did the time go?" So we take each day as it comes. School is part of our day, but living life is our main goal.

Nevertheless, I keep making very nice-looking schedules that hang on the fridge to remind us of where I'd like us to be. Someday...

Typical Day From Tiffany

What in tarnasions does a bunch of rootin' tootin' Outlaws do all day?

I'll tell ya, they drive their sweet, beautiful, happy all the time, never raising her voice, loving, smart, fun, momma CrAzY! Here's how . . .

On the days Big Daddy works, his alarm goes off at 5:30 am. I wish I could say I get up then, but I don't. I hit the alarm give him a shake & go right back to bed until a mischievous little blond headed outlaw or a sneaky little curly bald headed outlaw crawls into bed with me & my little buckaroo. With 4 in the bed, the mommy says, "LET ME OUT!!" I'm up, I hit the computer to check e-mails, turn some christian music on & start draggin' the bigger outlaws out of bed by their feet! Rise & Shine Sunshine!!

8:30 is our goal time for breakfast. We eat, talk about the day & go over memory work.
9ish the boys start their chores & I prepare to start our day of school.
9:30 we should be starting school: Momma's boy does his independent work (Explode the Code, Spelling & Grammar). The Mustangs get a lesson in Phonics & do their HWOT activities)
10:15 I'll probably be breaking up a fight over one of the HWOT manipulatives & sending the Mustangs to a center for a break. At which point I will give Momma's Boy a quick lesson from First Language Lessons.
10:30 I feed them a snack from their "saddle bags" & we do an art appreciation activity "Come Look With Me" series.
11:00 Momma's boy works on his math & the Mustangs & I do Little Hands to Heaven
12:00 They are already hungry again so we take a break & eat lunch & appreciate some good ol' country classical music.
12:30 We will all do science together
1:30 I'll have story time with the Mustangs while Momma's Boy does his handwriting
1:45 The Mustangs are having a much needed quiet time & watching a very educational movie. This is Momma's Boys "Mommy Time" we do reading & then at
2:30 We do our Tapestry of Grace work
3:30 They are racing outside like a bunch of WiLD MuStAnGs!!!

I let my boys play A LOT. The above is an ideal day - which is feasibly, but not always attained. I try not to stress over time (*unless we have some where to be). If they just aren't feeling it that day & need to release some boy energy I turn them loose. If I'm just not feeling it - they escape! :) My goal is not to raise the smartest Outlaws on this country hillside. I just want happy, well-rounded, God lovin', outlaws kids. Their biggest job is to be a kid - there is plenty of time to work & really, playing is their work too. I am total Type A, & I do tend to allow distractions (I might be an ADD mom too!), but we get the job done; however, All work & No Play makes mommy have a CrAzY day!! I try to meet the balance between the two & pray diligently!!

We school 4 days a week & spend the 5th day at Enrichment Class. When we are on break from EC I try to make Fridays fun. Sometimes that means field trips, outside time with me or Big Daddy just hanging out, or just a free play day. Somehow our days get filled rather quickly & we have to use Fridays as our catch up day & actually do schoolwork, but for the most part it is Friday Fun Day. We also do Spirit Days on Fridays.

Sat., Sept. 19: Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth

The Gardens are open from am to dusk. I plan on arriving there b/t 11-12ish, having a picnic with the kids & exploring some of the gardens. *We will not be doing the conservatory this trip, but may return later (you are welcome to explore wherever you want - meeting us there, doesn't mean there is a planned itinerary. To learn more about the Botanical Gardens click HERE to visit their website.

Please contact Tiffany Scott if you would like to attend this field trip.

Mon., Oct. 26: Pumpkin Patch in Flower Mound

The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch is our favorite pumpkin patch! You will find many activities designed specifically for children, such as face painting, hayrides, and mazes built from hay bales.

All activities are free of charge.

You may bring lunches or purchase drinks and snacks from the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch.

Click HERE to visit their website for more information.

Henrietta Creek Orchard

Henrietta Creek Orchard
September 23 at 11:30
Located near Texas Motor Speedway

The cost is $6.00 per child and parent.

The field trip will last 1.5 hours. 3 and under are free.
If you have more than one child, it is $6.00 a person that includes their own trip into the apple orchard to pick apples.
Tours have to be pre-payed this year due to some homeschool groups not showing up last year. I will need the money by Friday the 11th at Enrichment Classes. This is a wonderful opportunity to jump-start your science class or 4-H project.
*Below is information from their web site.
For more than 15 years Henrietta Creek Orchard has been and continues to be, an educational experience for preschool and school age children. The children come to the orchard and learn about, bees, pollination, honey extraction, apples, composting, earthworms, colored cotton, butterflies, insects, spiders, and herbs. The principles of agriculture, biology, history and botany are intertwined in the program. Master gardening and Junior Master gardening are also discussed. We have an observation bee hive for children to view the bees working. WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTS OR INJURIES.Our goal is to reach out to the community and teach them about gardening , bee keeping, composting and growing apples in Texas.
Please contact Pennye Taylor

Sat., Sept. 26: Cameron Park Zoo in Waco

The Waco Zoo is open from 11 am - 5am. MapQuest shows it is a little over 2 hours from Denton. I would like to get there around 9:30-loam & stay for the day. Admission prices are as follows:
Adults(13+) - $7
Children 4-12 yrs - $5
Sr. Citizens (60+) - $6
Children 3 years old and under - free
Please visit the Cameron Park Zoo Website for more info.

Please contact Tiffany Scott if you would like to attend this field trip.

Eisenhower Birthplace

Eisenhower Birthplace
Denison, TX
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Time: TBA

We will have an 1 - 1 1/2 hour tour of the grounds, including the museum, the house Eisenhower was born in, a video, and outdoor games, weather permitting.

If you are interested in this field trip please contact Nicki Truesdell.

Frontier Village at Loy Lake Park

Frontier Village at Loy Lake Park
Sherman/Denison, TX
Monday, October 5, 200910:00

We will have a private group tour of Frontier Village and see many of the oldest homes in Grayson County from the pioneer era. We will also have a picnic lunch on the grounds of Loy Lake Park, weather permitting. There is a $10 fee for our entire group! Surely we can all pitch in to pay this!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Empty Nest Homeschoolers: Wanda Bernal

Welcome to a new feature of the RRCH blog: Empty Nest Homeschoolers, where we will interview moms whose homeschooling journey has come to an end. They will share their advice, regrets, curriculum choices, and other thoughts to those of us still on the journey.

Wanda Bernal has 2 grown children, Dustin and Nicole, who are both attending college. We hope you will enjoy her insight!

Would I home school if I had it to do all over again?

Probably, though I often wished that we had had a charter school in the area where the kids and I could have been involved.There are no perfect parents except God and even He grieved over imperfect children in a perfect garden.

The best advice I ever received was from Joyce Hall around the second year I home schooled. She advised that we write down our reasons for home schooling and that we review those reasons often throughout our teaching years.

I had many reasons for home schooling and I did write them down, but I didn’t keep them nearby. I wish I had narrowed it down to one reason and I wish I had kept it in my Bible and prayed over it daily. In hindsight I would pick this reason or goal: To prepare my children to be missionaries. You see, that is the purpose of each of our lives. We are here to bring glory to God - - wherever we serve/work. We are to be missional at home, at work, with friends, at play, on vacation and at church. (Church is a filling station as well as a mission station.)

Our greatest problem as believers is that we are so easily distracted. Public school is a huge distraction for kids. At home we are often distracted too. Home schooling parents must avoid making their kids, their gods. Kids make crummy gods!

So, write down your reason/goal for home schooling and keep it close. You will probably fine tune it, revise it or change it. That’s okay. Just keep it in a place where you see it often.

I used one curriculum throughout my home schooling years. I have no regrets for that choice. I didn’t need to “reinvent the wheel”! I did supplement with 2-3 other curricula in the elementary years. By junior high and especially high school, I think it’s important to know what works for your children and then stick with it. Learning is cumulative and bouncing around too much can be counterproductive, in my opinion.

Initially, I was so concerned about socialization that our family involvement in extra curricular activities was over the top. I burned out. Super mom became a worn out old lady!! I finally realized that 1 or 2 activities plus church was plenty for each child. I encouraged them in the areas in which they were interested. My kids didn’t get into 4-H. I gave them and myself permission to drop 4-H. My kids loved sports/dance and enrichment. Church wasn’t negotiable. It was mandatory.

Moms need adult time. My last two years of home schooling were practically round the clock school. Nic and I chose fun classes at enrichment because we had so much academic pressure at home. We did get into BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) which was my sanity! I’m not sure how we could have done high school differently. I do know that I became more reclusive those years and I regret that. Women need other women. I am reacquainting myself with dear friends now that I am done home schooling, and it is such a blessing.

There were a lot of sacrifices in home schooling. I had to have boundaries. School wasn’t optional for my kids or for me. I lost some friendships when I stopped answering the phone during school hours. That was okay. True friends respect each other’s boundaries.

School is boring sometimes. Memorizing is exercise and exercise isn’t always fun. Coming from a very academic family myself, it didn’t hurt my heart to tell my kids that they had to do this. It didn’t turn them off to learning. They both love college. They love to learn new things. Those early years of memorizing have paid off!!

Our kids will question our values sooner or later. It breaks our hearts when that happens. There are many things my kids can do to hurt me, but I have always emphasized that lying is the worst thing of all. As long as we can talk openly with each other, we can work through our conflicts. We have had some huge disappointments and betrayals of trust, but we keep on talking (yelling at times!). Afterward, we reaffirm our love, even when we are angry, hurt or dumb-founded. Ultimately, our kids will answer to God. They are His first. We are their “house parents” for a season.

Kids will sometimes seek out other adults to complain to. As parents we need to avoid becoming defensive. In our home we have always admitted our faults to our kids. We apologize often. Pride has no place in a Christian home.

I worked with youth for many years and sometimes they would talk badly to me about their parents. I knew that I was only getting one side of the conflict. It’s important to remember that, when another person’s child is critical of his or her parents. I try to encourage kids to be loyal to their families and to talk to their parents when there is a problem. I personally have known very few parents/guardians who were not doing the best that they knew how, with the knowledge that they had at the time. We need to offer one another grace in a world which is so quick to find fault.People have a lot of opinions, especially about the way other people do things. Don’t let opinions of others rule your family life and your parenting/home schooling style. Be the best you can be. Strive for excellence and consistency. That is what your children will see and hopefully emulate.

1 Peter 4:8: Above everything else, love. Love covers a ton of mistakes - - including parenting and home schooling mistakes.

Finally, I realize that it really does take a village to raise a child. Not a government village! People need people. Children need friends. Parents need friends. In community (village) we find belonging. This makes us healthy. Healthy people use their time more wisely. We have a short time here. May we use it wisely as missionaries bringing glory to Christ.

It’s an incredible journey and soon it will be over. Enjoy the process!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Resources By Subject & Grade


Math (K-12)

Language Arts



Favorite Homeschool Websites

Homeschool Communities:
The Homeschool Lounge
Blogs, Sites & Resources:
Tot School  Tools for Tots  totally tots

No Time For Flash Cards    Photobucket

Homeschooling Blogs:
400 Things  Prairie Sense  The Homeschool Classrom
coahbutton    Delightful Learning
Homeschooling Sites/Resources:

      Free homeschool teaching resources

Montessori Blogs & Sites:

 Chasing Cheerios
Montessori For Everyone

How to Choose Literature/Reading Books and Booklists

All-In-One Homeschool Resources

  • About All-In-One Homeschooling
All-In-One programs look like unit studies, but often have a homeschooling style (Classical, Charlotte Mason, etc.) intigrated throughout.  Like unit studies, most all-in-one programs allow you to teach all of your children together.  Unlike unit studies, all-in-one programs have projects, assignments, readings, etc., for each study area outlined according to a schedule. The benefit of this approach is in the time it saves us in creating lesson plans—it is all done for us. All-In-One programs often are literature based & follow a historical timeline & combine many subjects into the theme.

Eclectic Homeschooling Resources

DVD or Computer/Internet Based Homeschooling Resources

About DVD Homeschooling
About Computer/Internet Based Homeschooling

Standard Textbook Homeschooling Resources

Friday, August 7, 2009

Unit Study Homeschooling Resources:

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Resources

Classical Homeschooling Resources

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hi. I'm Tiffany.

Hi. I’m Tiffany. I am one of the bloggers & the official interviewer here at RRCH blogspot. I thought I might should introduce myself (& my family) since I’m nosing into everyone else’s business.

My husband, Tim, & I have been married for almost 7 years. Together we have a very blended family: His, Mine & Ours. Altogether there are 8 of us: Tim, Tiffany, Tiya, Taylor, Tyler, Tucker, Trevor, & Truman. I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom & have been homeschooling our children for about 4 years now. Tim is a police officer in Denton a few days a week & farming around our home in Forestburg the rest of the time. Tiya is our only child that does not live with us. She will be a freshman this year at a public school in OK, where she lives with her mom. Taylor is almost 11 & will be starting the 5th grade. Tyler is 8, starting 3rd grade. Tucker is 4, Trevor is 3 & they are PK/K4. Truman is the baby, just 2 months old.

Our family lives on about 800 acres so most of our hobbies include the outdoors (excluding the winter activities for me). We like to spend our time fishing, riding 4-wheelers, gardening, & working on projects together. Tim is the ultimate handy man, but seldom completely finishes any project. I have a very long “honey do” list for him  Taylor loves being a little momma to her brothers & fits right in with all these boys; however, she enjoys her girl time with her friends & loves to scrapbook. Tyler is our ball player – he loves baseball. Tucker is following in his big brother’s footsteps & played T-ball for the first time this year. Trevor can’t wait to “be big enough” to play next year. On my personal time (late at night) I enjoy scrapbooking, blogging, and working on school activities for our homeschool.

Something about me that most people in this group may not know is that I was a single, teenage mom until Tim & I married.

My dream vacation with kids would be Disneyland & the beach in California. WithOUT the kids I would love to go somewhere tropical, sit on a beach with my hubby & enjoy the sun.

Our homeschool . . .

Our homeschool changes from year to year. I found myself homeschooling & not even knowing I was homeschooling, to homeschooling b/c I wasn’t impressed with the PS system, to homeschooling a child that needed the extra help. All these reasons I feel have been at the hands of the Lord. I truly believe a childs classroom is their mothers heart.

We have a small schoolroom (& are getting a BIG schoolroom soon!), but for the most part we school all over the place: My room, their room, the living room, the kitchen, outside, at the park, in their tree house . . . you name it, we’ve probably done school there. My desire is not to school at home, but to homeschool. The schoolroom is more of a central location for having everything in one spot & not strung out all over the house.
Pinpointing our method to one style is difficult. All in all, it is very electic. I love Charlotte Mason ideas & look to her teachings for inspiration, but I tend to use more Classical curriculum. However, I’ve found that curriculum I love isn’t always curriculum my children love. Seasons change in homeschooling, just as they do in nature. When I see it is time for a change – we do just that – find something that will work. This year will be my first year to use a computer based program for one of my children.

Tapestry of Grace
Winter Promise
Math U See
Easy Grammar/First Language Lessons
Writing with Ease
Heart of Dakota
Handwriting Without Tears
Switched on Schoolhouse

My favorite subject to teach? I love PK/K!! Just love it! History & Geography are my favorite subjects with my big kids. Which is funny b/c I did not like these subjects when I was in school.

A schedule: Oh yes! I am totally Type-A, planner, overly organized. That’s me 100%. We have a schedule(s); however, life is life & we rarely have a typical homeschool day that the schedule is actually followed. It is a great plan though. A normal school day for us is:
School (start by 9)
- PK/K with mom while big kids do their independent work
- PK/K with a big kid while I spend one on one with the other
- Snack time: Picture study
- Free time or “center” time for PK/K guided/independent reading for big kids
- LUNCH: memory work, classical music
- PK/K quiet time, Group study & activities with big kids

School is usually done around 3-3:30

It looks so simple all typed out. This does not explain that we are a REAL family. I do clean up at least 10 spills or messes a school day. I do have to stop a lesson to deal with a character issue. We do play hookie. If grandpa shows up with a watermelon we will stop & eat it – even if it’s not “Snack time.” I do have unscheduled teacher appreciation days for days they drive me crazy! The schedule exists, is constantly changing, occassionaly is completely followed, but something I would still say is necessary.

Benefits of homeschooling? There have been many. I love being the one to share the experience of learning with my kids. It is a wonderful feeling to see them excited about a topic or finally accomplish a goal. The little things are such a blessing; however last year God showed me another side of the benefits. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer & only given 3 months to live (she did just that). Once we realized how short our time was with her everything was put on hold & the kids were able to spend as much time with her during the last 3 months as they/she possibly could. The time with her homeschooling gave them was a huge benefit. After she passed away they also had plenty of time to grieve. They didn’t have to go back to the normal hustle & bustle of school life. They were able to truly mourn as much as they needed.

Keeping it Real . . .

Bad days? Yes, we have them. We even have bad weeks & bad months. We’ve had a bad year too!

How do I handle bad days?
It depends if it is me, the kids, a kid, or just life’s circumstances. If it is me – I just have the kids do their independent work & then have free time OUTSIDE. If it is the kids – I scream & pull my hair out. If it is a kid – I send them to daddy! If it is life – we stop what we are doing, accept it for what it is & return when we are refreshed & ready.

Challenges in homeschooling?
It is difficult homeschooling in a blended family. Not all the parents always see eye to eye. Being a Step mom & a teacher has its own challenges, but the good far out ways the bad.

Separating from being the mom & the teacher. I can’t; however, there are times I wish I could. How nice it would be to just send a note home. Lol It is impossible. We homeschool – mom is the teacher. There is no role playing. It is what it is.

Subjects I haven’t enjoyed teaching
I hear a lot of homeschooling mothers say they love to teach their kids to read – Not me. It tends to be a lot of pressure & I just worry so much that I’m not doing it right. Science is fun, but not really my thing, so my husband usually does life lessons in science & I throw a little curriculum in here & there.

Many. I have chores, they have chores, we all have chores & none of us get paid. We are a family, we live on a farm & we all have to pitch in to make it work. We reap what we sow.

I don’t’ know if I’ve hit the “Burned Out” time of schooling, but I have experienced the “Worn Out” times!

When times get difficult I whine. I pour out my heart & soul to the Almighty. Okay, honestly, I’m human . . . First, I try to handle it. I can fix it – I’m a mom after all – that is my job – to fix things, make them better. Then I usually make a bigger mess, realize I can’t fix it, in fact, it isn’t my battle to fight – it is God’s. He is not surprised at the situation, He makes no mistakes, & chances are He is trying to teach me something through the difficult times.

Advice for newbies. I don’t quite feel qualified in this area yet; however, I will say – don’t compare yourself, your children, or your homeschool to others. Homeschooling doesn’t mean perfect. We all have our own struggles & battles to give the Lord. Lean on God for understand & guidance – He will direct your path. While your waiting for direction – read Educating the Wholehearted Child & if you are still waiting when you are done with it then read Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks.

That’s all folks. If you enjoyed my interview & would like to hear more about our homeschool visit my blog Rockin' C: Teaching 2 Many Diligently