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Meet the Edwards Family of Dallas, Texas!

Personal Chef and Internet Entrepreneur,  Dapne Osunlade Edwards homeschools sons Ifayemi  "the wisdom of God blesses me" 10 years old and Muntu "God-Man" 2 years old.

Daphne shares homeschooling tips for Single parents with FUNgasa editor, S. Courtney Walton

What Brought You to Homeschooling? Before having children, Daphne had always imagined that she would homeschool thinking that, “culturally, academically and spiritually [homeschooling] would be the way to go.” But life has a way of challenging and surprising us and when first son Ifayemi was born, as a single parent Daphne felt that homeschooling would have to wait. When Ifayemi reached school age Daphne enrolled him in the local Montessori school. Later Daphne married and she and her husband agreed that homeschooling would be best for their family. It was an easy decision to bring Ifayemi home since even in the Montessori program Ifayemi was facing the usual challenges black boys often face in the school environment. The family relocated to New York and Ifayemi became an official homeschooler during the second semester of first grade.
Like many homeschoolers, Daphne read every book she could get her hands on about homeschooling. Ifayemi was thriving and the family was off to a great start. Then life threw them another curve and Daphne again found herself a single parent. But this time she was determined to keep homeschooling and make it work.

Daphne and her sons have lived in Texas for about 3 years now and have found their place in the homeschooling community by building what they needed. While Texas is a homeschool friendly state with many established homeschooling co-ops and networks, Daphne felt there was clearly a void in resources for African Americans and a need for secular homeschool support. So, she built was needed and the Dallas-Fort Worth Blackboard yahoo group was born. “Created to have a sense of community for my boys while growing up and to be able to feel welcomed somewhere,” DFW Blackboard is primarily an email community meeting four times a year for group activities.

How do you Homeschool as a Single Parent?  Daphne is honest about the challenges of single parent homeschooling, but her determination proves that where there is a will, there is a way. Living with her mother, who encouraged Daphne to homeschool, allows Daphne to not worry too much about irregular finances. As a personal chef, Daphne attends business fairs to network and expand her customer base and receives the bulk of her business via her web site and membership in a personal chef network. In most cases, Daphne prepares the food at home and delivers it to her clients, but when it is necessary to prepare the food on site, she makes childcare arrangements with family. In addition to working 7:00 - 8:30am and 9:00 -11:00pm on the computer, Daphne takes bits and pieces of time throughout the day to complete her work. “It is very stressful and I do feel like I should be doing more in most areas.”

Daphne's Top 5 Tips for Single Parent Homeschoolers: 
1. “Know that you can do it. There are an infinite number of ways to homeschool or to do anything for that matter. What you do doesn’t have to look like what other people are doing.”

2. “Of course you don’t want to fail, but realize you don’t have to do everything. Be an administrator and pull from other people’s wisdom” Concerned about the development of her pre-teen son, Daphne made the decision to call male friends for ideas on rites of passage.

3. “Be creative. Really, really, use the library and the internet to find out what is going on in the homeschooling community. See what people are talking about and ask questions.”

4. “Listen to your inner-voice. Know that you are able and worthy and wisdom speaks through you like it will through everyone else. We all have inner wisdom and insight and we should use it.”

5. “Don’t beat yourself up. If you are at home with little people, you may have a plan but then someone gets sick, or they didn’t sleep well, or just act like a 2 year old and your plans have to adjust. Have a structure and system but relax and know that things can get done without strict adherence to time and dates.” Daphne often consults the Fly Lady for home management tips and Dave Ramsey for financial advice. “If you really pay attention your money will go further than you think it will. Strive for balance and connect with as many people as you can that can help you.”