Leaving the Flock

Riding the Trail, Squeezing the Juice and Painting the Stars

I wanted to share a random, happy shot from one of our mornings. As a family, we place much value on decreasing the busyness and increasing the calm. Homeschooling affords us the time to support these values. On this day my little juicer and I made one of my favorite juices (recipe below) while discussing green vegetables and health, organic vs conventional produce, the mechanics of a masticating juicer and whether or not our worms would like our juicing remnants.


Mexican Green Juice

6 Green Applies, 6 Stalks Celery, 4 or 5 Green Romaine Leaves, 1/4-1/3 of a bunch of Cilantro, 1 Lime and 1/4 of a Jalapeno Pepper (seeds removed).

We are both SO excited about finding River Ranch at Texas Horse Park. We learned about this ranch because it generously offers free services to the public on the third Thursday of the month. On that day, we did short little rides in their event arena. We loved it so much we booked a time to return for a one-hour trail ride. We learned a few basics about riding and got the feel for relaxed, western riding. If you want to experience a trail ride yourself, there is currently a Groupon. We plan to return for riding lessons over the next few months and take advantage of the pleasant spring weather to come.

We attended The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at the Dallas Children’s Theater. I anticipated it being a little young for us, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a thoughtful, entertaining puppet show. It had almost a dream-like quality to it. The puppeteers did a lovely job of becoming their puppets and making their presence unfelt. This theater keeps the shows to 55 minutes with no intermission and has great organization with arrival seating and post-show departure.  Kudos to a job well done!

Last month at the Dallas Museum of Art, Jennifer did another wonderful job with the kids, teaching about The Silk Road, trade route. She told ‘stories from the route’, talked about the countries ‘along the road’ and discussed how China became known for its silk. In the art lab, the kids learned to hand embroider. Sebastian enjoyed it very much and asked if we could go to the store to get more embroidery supplies so he could continue to work on his design.

Level 2 robotics floor or basement level’s dino race are where you will find us at the Perot Museum. This trip included a tour of the NASA space exhibit currently on display.

Here Sebastian and friends took a ride in a space vehicle. The simulation makes you feel as if you are weightless and spinning around in space.

Sebastian and I coordinated a ‘famous painters’ series at Painting with a Twist in Richardson. For our first month, we started with studying the life of Vincent Van Gogh and did an ‘inspired by Starry Nights’ painting. This month we are studying Pablo Picasso and will paint a cubism ‘Selfie’. If you are a fellow homeschooler and wish to join us, please register here:  Thursday, March 29th from 12:30 to 2p. Use the passcode:  HIP HAPPY to register by March 21st.


Sebastian is ready to try out the local skate parks this spring/summer, so I thought it was a good idea to get a few lessons in during the tail end of winter. We are taking lessons at Soar United on Thursdays at 3pm. There is a 4:30pm class. Both are open to the public, feel free to join us and chat about homeschooling! I have learned about my son, that his sport is anything with wheels or blades on his feet. His favorite sports are rollerblading, skateboarding and skiing.

Microsoft taught this month’s class about the Paint 3D software on Windows 10. The kids created or downloaded images which would then appear on the screen and through the computer’s camera. Sebastian finally got to get his picture with his Minecraft nemesis, Herobrine! Here are more details about using Paint 3D.

I want to offer a reminder to those pondering their child’s education; lessons and learning are found every day in everything, use that to drive your ‘curriculum’. Creativity grows from a mind allowed to think and question. Strategic thinking is spurred from reasoning through challenge. Happiness blossoms from a loving, supportive environment that respects and nurtures interests. Raising a happy boy that thinks creatively and strategically would be a good way for me to sum up my goal for this our first homeschool year. Whatever is driving that little whisper inside you to question the status quo, give it room to be a louder voice and research your options.

Leaving the Flock

The singing has returned.

Wow has November flown by! I can’t believe we have almost completed our first semester of homeschooling. This has been such a rewarding and amazing few months.

I adore the classes at the Microsoft store in Northpark. They host these for our homeschool group and the kids just love them! This time we learned how to build a flex sensor that lets you control a robotic finger with your finger. VERY cool!


On this day we enjoyed learning about a bug’s life cycle and stages at the Perot Museum during one of their homeschool science days.

Taking time to re-investigate the robotics and gem floors of the Perot…we stumbled into the (oil) drilling section and took the ‘tour’ of a rig. Being my husband’s industry made it that much more interesting to learn about.

We were riding scooters near where we live in the city when we stumbled upon this fine shop called Jackson Armory. They were incredibly kind to take time to show us a few of their oldest weapons. Since I would never remember the name of this impressive piece photoed, I noted the tag info:  AR Code MG42, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Mauser-Werke. The clerk told us that it had already sold and was going to its new home in Mass. They also have a tiny room of antique, rare books. We had the good fortune to see a Fore-Edge Book. If you are in Snider Plaza, I highly recommend taking in well-behaved children to see their treasures…..and it doesn’t hurt that Yummylicious is across the street!

AR Code MG42, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Mauser-Werke.
AR Code MG42, Berlin-Borsigwalde, Mauser-Werke at Jackson Armory, Snider Plaza, Dallas TX

This month at the DMA we learned about the secret language of flowers through the big, beautiful murals of Edward Steichen: In Exultation of Flowers.

In the studio, Jennifer taught us how to make art using paint, flowers… and gold!

It was that time again…..time to start from scratch with Zhen! This time Sebastian and I decided to use google to find a landscape image that he really liked and wanted to be inspired by. We discovered this painting, The Loneliness of Autumn by Leonid Afremov. It will be an 18″ by 36″ and I can’t wait to frame and hang it with the other two he has completed.

Sebastian is still loving his coding time with friends once a week at Techie Factory and Thanksgiving week he even got to attend a Techie Factory day camp with several more friends that were out of public school. They are having all kinds of winter camps too….should you be interested!

The Thanksgiving holiday was good to us. We spent time with extended family and friends. What a treat to have so many loved ones around us.


My nieces, Sebastian’s cousins spent the Thanksgiving weekend with us. We took them to Spark, Farmer’s Market, the big AMC ‘with the good chairs’ and Yummylicious too many times!


This month the beatboxing and music making from my son’s mind & soul came home. I don’t know where it has been over the last 24 months. This month it returned. 🙂 I am so thankful to get to work with and teach this joyous and loving creature.

Happy to Learn Math
The joy has returned to learning.
Leaving the Flock

DFW, Homeschooler’s Life

I continue to be amazed at the plethora of educational outings available to us in the DFW area! If you are in North Texas and not in any of the homeschool groups, you really are missing out on finding out about all the activities to take part in. The key places to look are on facebook under ‘groups’ or on meet-up. On either platform, just search ‘homeschool’ along with your city name…..and if all else fails, join us in the central Dallas group, Hip Happy Homeschoolers or DFW Unschooling Families.  If you are a homeschooling family that is hoping to get on the road, then the Worldschoolers group is a must too!

This week we continued with our worksheets from Education.com. I am enjoying the ease of accessing these sheets. Select ‘Workbook‘, then grade level and print what you want out. I did pay the $60 for a year’s access, but I think the free version does let you print a few out per month too. Since many of our activities and downtime involve a screen, I enjoy using a pencil and worksheets. Our Mini has become our mobile classroom. Since we frequently driving between Lake Texoma and Dallas, we are able to get worksheets, reading, practice spelling and Spanish all done on the go!

When we got back to Dallas this week, we hit the ground running at the Perot. It was a BIG day. We spent 5 hours at the Perot! They had a homeschool day and set-up lots of stations for the kids to visit. They had mini ‘lectures’ and activities and gave a little certificate if they completed all of them. Be sure to check out the next homeschool event at the Perot on November 6th.



This was Sebastian’s favorite exhibit. If you wish to re-create it on your own, here is more info on creating your own ‘Bouncing Smoke Bubbles‘ and just in time for “spooky Halloween hands-on science”

After the Perot we attending our weekly Fine Arts’ class, where our Meet the ‘Blue Dog’ is coming along nicely!

Another day started at Spark! I would describe this place as an urban, indoor playground with a steampunk feel. The offered a homeschool day that incorporated free play and a short class & activity about how Pablo Picasso used geometric shapes to create works of art.

Of course, Sebastian re-created a ‘mob’ from one of his favorite video games, Terraria.

The play area is not for the faint of heart. It took Sebastian a little time to mentally prep for what we later referred to as the ‘Fastest Slide in Texas’!


Before we left we had to visit one of my childhood favorite toy’s, the ‘Light Bright’. At Spark, they have the ‘GIANT’ version.


He said he made this heart for ME. #ILoveYouToo #MiVidaMiCorazon #SebastianMyLove

Another time, we were at the Dallas Central Libray learning about marine mammals presented by the Alaska SeaLife Center via a Skype session on the ‘Discovery Wall‘. What a cool tool! This was done on a giant screen, and the presenter could see us in real time, so they and the kids could ask questions and interact with each other. Additionally, they were given supplies and constructed a seal from clay.


In coding class this week at Techie Factory, Sebastian learned to program a robot called ‘DASH’.  He was just thrilled with himself and tickled to show me what he had accomplished.

Finally, a new friend and fellow homeschool mom that I had the pleasure of meeting this week, introduced me to an app called PEARachute. After you click the link, I recommend selecting the $0/month plan just so you can log in and see what interests you. “Pearachute is a monthly membership that lets parents discover, book and drop into the best kids’ classes in DFW.” From what I understand, it has only been active for about a year, so the options are continuing to grow. I like the feature where you can select a future date and see what may be available to you. It gives you the chance to learn and try a place that you may not have heard about. I have yet to try a class through it, but will update when I do!