Darcel is the awesome mom behind The Mahogany Way. It was through her site that I was able to get my first look at unschooling. Her candid photos and voice showed a side of unschooling that was much different than what I gathered from parents who didn't take this approach. If you ever want to see beautiful photos of a family enjoying life, you have to visit Darcel's place on the web, her Instagram feed, or follow her on Pinterest. Darcel is a single mother to three, and coffee enthusiast. She writes about her motherhood journey, Autism, food allergies, and her families Unschooling adventures in Ohio. All while loving and capturing the ordinary moments that make up daily life.
Meet Homeschool Mom, Darcel
How long have you home educated?
I've unschooled for 7yrs.
How did your family decide to become a homeschooling family?
I only had two children at the time and I realized my oldest, who was 3yrs at the time, didn't learn the traditional way children are expected. My neighbor gave me the book, Learning All The Time by John Holt, and it confirmed what I had been thinking. When the early childhood center wanted to move her from a class of 4-6 kids with two teachers to a class of 25 kids with one teacher, I said "no thank you" and researched all I could on unschooling and began our journey.
What is your favorite part about home schooling? What helps you to keep going?
I love a lot about this adventure. Seeing how excited and curious my children are about life. Remembering why I started and seeing how much they are learning and thriving in this environment. I love how their learning isn't separated into subjects. I was told my daughter with severe dyslexia would never learn to read on her own, and I absolutely love that she has proven those people all kinds of wrong! A good support network of fellow homeschoolers, family, and friends. Those things help keep me going.
What are your struggles with being a home schooling parent?
I'm a single parent and probably do not take adequate care of myself. People who do not homeschool or have an understanding of it trying to give me advice. Meeting the needs of each individual child, making sure I'm not playing the comparison game.
Darcel's encouragement for you:
Stop focusing on what is considered "educational" instead focus on meeting your child where he/she is. Take an interest in the things that interest your child. Homeschooling is a journey you walk together. Go new places, bring unexpected things into your home. Tour your city, play music, cook and bake together, watch movies together.
If you are interested in unschooling, please make sure to visit Darcel at The Mahogany Way. Thank you, Darcel, for being a source of encouragement and being candid about your homeschooling journey.