Think of some of the ladies that inspire you in your life. Some are probably not in health and wellness, but they are CEOs in their own right—right?
This includes lovely ladies like my own sister, Darcy Smith! I had the pleasure of bringing her on to Female emPOWERED to share her own unique experience. I didn’t choose her just out of nepotism, either: she is legitimately one of the most inspiring women I know.
While she may not fit the “typical” criteria for previous guests I have had with a health or wellness business, Darcy has one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs on the planet. Darcy is the CEO of her home as a stay-at-home mother of 11 (yes, 11!) beautiful children.
She never imagined she would be married with a housefull! This is her story and how she manages to “get it all done.”
Darcy and I are four years apart, so we shared a bedroom growing up. I can attest that having a large family wasn’t necessarily her childhood dream. Even in college, she was the last one in a relationship, and she joked that she would always be the single one after graduation!
Then, in life’s funny way, she became the first one to get married out of college. She met her wonderful husband Morgan while traveling abroad, and the two immediately hit it off. They decided early on to homeschool their children, although even that decision would come as a surprise.
Darcy remembers the exact day when homeschooling was put on the tablet. Her oldest was 3 and was attending a local preschool for a few hours a couple of days a week. It was working, but it didn’t feel ideal.
One day while sitting and watching TV, her husband turned to her out of the blue and asked the fateful question: “Do you ever think of homeschooling?” She nearly choked on her ice cream!
Needless to say, Darcy wasn’t initially thrilled. She put it on the back burner for a while, but something about the idea just stuck. Her little preschooler grew into a kindergartener, and she and Morgan mutually decided to give homeschooling a try.
From the outside looking in, Darcy’s situation already looked like mayhem with her burgeoning large family. And yet, it made sense: in addition to hearing positive experiences from a couple of homeschooling friends, homeschooling gave Darcy more flexibility with her kids, a closer connection with her Catholic faith, and room to grow with her family.
When Darcy first began her homeschooling journey, it was still a relatively new thing, with limited resources for parents. These days, families have exponentially more options to choose from. Here are a few of the key considerations for families considering homeschooling:
Google your state’s homeschooling laws. Some are intensely strict, some are lax, and some (like Ohio, where Darcy lives) are more in the middle.
Draft your letter of intent. Families submit letters of intent before every school year, including the names, ages, and plan of action for your curriculum for the next year.
Explore your options for your curriculum. Your exact curriculum may vary depending on your state. Some families create their own curriculum by assembling several different resources, while others use pre-made accredited online programs. You can find many of these at homeschool fairs and curriculum fairs; while they’re a great resource, they also quickly overwhelm you with all of the options, so take it one step at a time!
Consider your end-of-year goals. Homeschooled kids have the option to take standardized tests at the end of the year (similar to public school children). However, they can also submit a portfolio of their schoolwork to be reviewed by a certified teacher who then approves it in their report.
Want to hear more about Darcy’s story? Check out the podcast to hear everything that we talked about, including common misconceptions about homeschooling stereotypes, what a day in the life of Darcy looks like, and the best (and worst) questions to ask parents of a large family!
We’re revisiting some of my favorite Featured Female Fridays, so keep an eye out for some more conversations with some of my favorite women on the planet!