Julia Voyles

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

New to the Friday Adventures Teaching Staff in 2022!

Email Mrs. Voyles at juliavoyles1@gmail.com

Former THEO (WV and Debate) mom of two – now both teachers – in private/Christian and public/charter respectively. Mrs. Voyles, graduated from Liberty University – BS, Paralegal Studies. Founded Collin County Generation Joshua club. Love to see students excited about learning, thinking, and growing in Christ!

 

 

Terri Threadgill

Posted onCategoriesTeachers
terri@theo.solutions

I can’t imagine what heaven will feel like when we have truly finished the race, but I feel like I tasted a nibble of it when I  finished the homeschooling journey with both of our boys.  Now my role has changed to providing as much support as possible for those Christian parents who choose home education now.  For whatever reason, God has given me a deep love for parents who home educate and their children.

My husband, Phil, and I  started homeschooling back in the summer of 1994 after a yearlong debate over whether to hold our oldest son back in starting school or whether to put him in public school kindergarten a month after he turned five.  Our solution was to homeschool.  I figured if I “ruined him,” I could enroll him the next year as an older kindergartener and they could “fix him.”  We had such fun that first year that we never looked back.  In the beginning we homeschooled on a year by year basis, but eventually we knew we were committed to seeing this venture through to the end–graduation!

Along the way, for fun, we joined ECC aka Enrichment Classes of Carrollton, an all-volunteer homeschooling co-op. Shortly after joining their board, I realized God was asking me to start a similar co-op in Plano.  N-Tech, a Plano all-volunteer homeschooling co-op, opened in September 1999, and continues successfully today.  I stepped down in the spring of 2007 as director when my youngest son was a sophomore in high school although my N-Tech friends continue to be a blessing beyond words.

In the spring of 2006, I suddenly woke up in my home one day to find the Threadgill Homeschool was no longer flourishing.   Somewhere along the way, my two boys had grown into men who weren’t responding to mom’s direction and teaching as enthusiastically.   In August 2006, THEO opened with 80 students taking classes three days each week from a local Church’s classrooms.  THEO was founded as a ministry owned 100% by the Lord although my husband and I were listed as earthly owners.  In May 2017, THEO converted from a privately-owned business to a 501c3.   Big legal status changes,  but I continue to serve as THEO Director, an employee of THEO Christian Solution, Inc..

THEO didn’t have as gentle a start as N-Tech, but I believe it is because THEO has grown faster than anything we ever saw at N-Tech. Our vision for N-Tech was never more than 100 families.  Only God limits our vision for THEO.    After the first year of renting space from a Church, THEO moved into our own rented space–4,477 square feet–at Custer and 15th Street, just one mile north of the George Bush Tollway in August 2007. In August 2013, we moved into an 11,000 square foot building in the same shopping center to expand.  Now we provide educational services for almost 600 students.

My heart will always lie with my family and my two sons; but since those two sons are now pursuing their own adventures, my husband and I have more time on our hands.  We feel the Lord is leading us into work with homeschooling families.  We know the journey of home education isn’t all about baking bread and reading to kids in our family bed–although we have done plenty of both.  Homeschooling is hard work for both parents.  We want to rise up a new organization that will encourage homeschooling families in tangible ways, so they persevere to the end and so that more and more families have the confidence to jump into homeschooling because they see resources are available to help them along the way.

We are not homeschool evangelists.  I am not out to convert anyone to home education although I am more than willing to talk to them about how our family educated our boys. I have always believed that homeschooling is a calling from the Lord.  I have honestly recommended people not homeschool if they didn’t feel that call. It would sort of be like going to a foreign country as a missionary without God’s blessing, only because you thought it sounded like fun.

We are not homeschool purists.  I don’t believe each family must homeschool independently at home with just the kids, parents and books–although I believe there are families who are called to that method of homeschooling.  Our God is infinite.  He has created each of us to be unique, and thus, each homeschool will be different. For that reason, I am not in competition with any other support group or school or co-op. They are all necessary, just like it is important for us to have different Churches where we find a place to worship in a way that fits our beliefs and our genetic code, so to speak.

If THEO is for you, then great, jump in and join.  Welcome to the family….but if not, no worries. There are many great resources in Dallas– from RHSA which has been around for longer than I have….to N-Tech, PATH, MArCH, CERC in Rowlett, HEAR….and many more.

One bit of news, I developed and presented “Homeschool, Who Me?” to prospective homeschool families since 2001. Soon we will have that loaded to theo.solutions under events and seminars for you to watch from the comfort of your own home.  The 90 minute presentation provides the nuts and bolts, available resources, and practical advice that makes homeschooling a viable option for almost any family.  The material and presentation help ease the transition from the current educational environment to home education. Check the “THEO Seminars” page on our web site.

In addition to Homeschool Who Me?, watch our Fear Not! Homeschool Through High School Seminar at the Events and Seminars tab at theo.solutions.  There are eight youTube vidoes there with voice over powerpoint to address transcript questions, scope and sequence, testing and more.

Finally, I want to thank you for visiting our THEO web site to learn more about THEO.  Homeschooling is a journey, but never fear, the path is now well marked by those who came before us to clear the way.  Anything that connects parents closer with their kids is a wonderful thing. God speed to you each….and one last piece of advice….if you too have a summer birthday child, hold them back…why would we ever rob ourselves of one more year with our children at home?

Donna Szumila

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

donna.szumila@gmail.com

“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.” Socrates said these now immortal words over 2000 years ago, and I couldn’t agree more. I am a permanent student having earned certificates at the Alliance Francaise in Paris, France and the University of Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. I was a Pre-Law student studying Political Science with minors in Western European Studies and English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh when I met my husband of now 27 years and started our family. I continued my studies at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the University of Houston and currently at Dallas Baptist University. I believe in being a student of life. God has graced me with a passion for communication and a love for teaching it. Having been a state and national champion in speech and a college debater, I coached my son as well as my daughter and several of their friends privately through their high school years in both speech and debate. I reside in Plano, TX with my husband and four adorable cats. My son attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, studying Physics and Geology. My daughter, who has earned two bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is working on her PhD in Nuclear Physics at Old Dominion when not serving her country as a Medivac Pilot in Afghanistan. My son-in-law, a graduate of ERAU as well, is a Black Hawk pilot with the 82nd Airborne Unit out of Fort Bragg and is currently working on a Masters Degree from Penn State University. When I am not working my favorite hobby is running, hiking and playing Sudoku.

Beverly Stewart

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

beverlystewart@gmail.com

Public school, private school or homeschool?  What will it be?  Having teaching experience in all three has been a blessing that I love to share with others.  Sometimes it feels like I have been teaching all my life–and maybe I have.  Playing school was my favorite game when I was a kid.  Teaching experiences filled my teen years with meaningful activity.  I taught in Bible clubs, worked in day care, and started substituting while I was still in college.  (Dad was principal of a big Christian school, so I had an inside track on that one.)  My Bachelor of Science in Education (cum laude) comes from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.  As a Texas certified teacher I taught for 7 years in San Antonio public schools.  Those public school teaching experiences include 4 years in remedial reading programs (though I don’t call myself a reading specialist) and 3 years with gifted/talented language arts.  I was Teacher of the Year for my school for 2 years and runner-up for Teacher of the Year in my district one of those years.  Those awards recognized my habit of trying to make the subject meaningful to my students.

The next twenty years since were the richest and most rewarding of my teaching career–I raised and homeschooled my two children–giving me a variety of wonderful “aha” moments as well as my most challenging teaching experiences.  My son is a graduate of Bryan College and happily married with one child. My daughter graduated from Biola University. Both are doing well in the careers they chose to pursue. Both are active in their churches.

During those homeschool years I developed a passion for teaching history and government. When there was a need, I started a homeschool group in Alabama which called me leader for 6 years before my husband’s work moved us to Florida where we joined another homeschool group and I got familiar with yet another way of doing things.

I began teaching Starting Points at a co-op in the north Dallas area when we moved here in 2004.  Starting Points combined my love of history, literature, and Bible knowledge, so it was a good fit.  My daughter and I went through David Quine’s World Views of the Western World three year curriculum at home. That eventually transitioned into teaching World Views when THEO began.  Putting my favorite subjects together in a new format has been a challenge I have enjoyed (emphasis on the CHALLENGE.)  This is the most difficult subject I have ever taught—and the most rewarding.  Since 2004, I’ve been taking notes on world views and apologetics topics and putting them to use in the classroom. I would love to teach your child, as I taught mine to “Live with your brain turned on.”

Please click on the links below to view Mrs. Stewart’s videos.

Meet Beverly Stewart
Tour the classroom
About World Views

Paula Smith

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

mrssmith@theo.solutions

Back in the early days–before homeschooling was completely legal in Texas–I homeschooled my three children and graduated my youngest child in 2000.  While working as a nurse, I began teaching science classes in 2001 one day a week and now consider it a blessing to teach full-time at THEO.

Meet Mrs. Smith to learn more about her classes!

Mrs. Smith’s Classes

In addition to earning a BSN from Texas Tech, I have graduate hours from West Texas A&M.  My husband and I have owned a homeschool bookstore and a mail-order science business (Science Labs in-a-Box) which allowed our family to spend many summers traveling to homeschool book fairs across the country as exhibitors. Teaching is my spiritual gift as well as my passion – my desire for my students is that they see God in the universe around us and see and follow His plan for their lives.

One of my greatest joys is to bring science to life for the students with weekly hands-on experiments, thus our name Science Lab Tutorials.  Students most often learn best when they can see and do, not just read!

Yidan Rogers

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

yidanrog@hotmail.com

I was born and grew up in Beijing, China. I have a BSc. degree from Peking University. Then I went to Canada for graduate study. I earned a MSc.degree in Physics from the University of British Columbia and a MSc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. My husband and I moved to Plano due to his work.

I have been a teaching assistant and tutor during the time in the graduate schools, and I also taught ESL and high school math in Toronto.

I like to draw, watercolor paint, and Chinese paper cutting.

Mindy Piehler

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

mpiehler@att.net

Mindy Piehler

Mrs. Piehler earned a B.S. in Education with a specialization in English from Baylor University. Following graduation she taught in Richardson I.S.D. She began teaching at a homeschooling co-op in 1996 and feels blessed to continue to do so. She has been happily married for over 30 years and adored homeschooling her own four children. They now have a psychiatric nurse practitioner, an MSU grad working in Plano as a consultant, a golf and ice hockey player at Bethel University, and a student at the University of Arkansas. In the summer of 2020 she is excited to add two daughters-in law to the Piehler Pack. Mrs. Piehler loves teaching, cherishes her students, and makes learning a delightful adventure. She would be honored to have your student join her!

Grammar

Literature for 5th – 6th Grades

Junior High Literature

Jessica Oren

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

New to the THEO Friday Adventures teaching staff in 2022!

Email Mrs. Oren at jorenarboracademy@gmail.com

Before going off to college and starting a family, Jessica was a Pacific Northwest native. She was a student at Texas State University studying Elementary Education at first, but  later switched to Print Journalism (Communications) with a minor in Photography.  From 2002-2004 she taught at Lockhart ISD and finished her Internship at Sequin, TX at the local newspaper.  In the fall of 2005, she came to the DFW area to be closer to family and to work for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).  In December 2007, she married and moved to Plano, Texas.  Their first child arrived in 2008. As her family grew, she began to do more and more research on education and restful learning. In 2013, she decided to homeschool, and in a wooded park in Allen, she and her bestie decided to start a homeschool co-op that was open, friendly, classical, and Charlotte Mason friendly. Over these past years, Jessica has taught every level and class. In recent years she has taught exclusively science and Bible but is always excited to be a homeroom mentor or guide and has taught a variety of subjects over the last 12 years. From 2016-2018 she taught forest school as a Forest School For All Leader in Plano, Oak Point Nature Preserve. Jessica is currently working on her Childbirth Educator Certification and her Classical Director’s Course with Classical Academic Press, ClassicalU. She has worked as a Certified Doula and Herbalist in the DFW area serving families since 2010. Her passions are: child-led learning, outdoors, gardening, sewing, photography, writing, painting and sketching, natural remedies, and much more! She really loves those aha moments where something clicks.  She is passionate to teach the inherent love of learning to children. She is currently working as a Prayer Team Lead and Women’s Ministry Director at Oak Stone Christian Church in Allen. Spring 2022 was her last year directing a hybrid Christian classical school in Mckinney, where she taught and led for ten years. She is so excited to be on this new journey and pour the love of Jesus into the wonderful kids at THEO.

Classes Taught

Christian Studies & Liturgy, Bible Studies, Elementary Mathematics, Art and Media, Lower Grade Science and AP Biology, Literature, Classical Koine Greek, Elementary Language Arts, Forest School, Homeopathy and Herbalism, Birth Educator, Apothecary.

 

Degrees and Certifications:

 

B.A.A.S. Bachelor’s Degree with Concentration in Media Innovation, University of North Texas

Certified Family Herbalist, CFH, School of Natural Healing

Certified Birth Doula, CLD, CBI, Childbirth International

Certified Hypno-Doula, CHD, Hynobabies

Summer Civics Institute Certificate, University of Dallas

Ministry Safe Certified

 

Debbie Oberste

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

oberstedebbie@yahoo.com

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6…. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps”

Teaching is one of my passions, yet I did not realize the extent of this passion until the Lord directed me to home school our six children over 20 years ago.   Three have graduated and I still have five more years until the youngest graduates.

Along with teaching my own children, the Lord has provided opportunities for me to teach others.

  • I served at N-TECH in the startup years both on the board, in the Nursery, and as a teacher.
  • I have been teaching Sunday School so long that the children who were just starting school are now adults and graduating college.
  • I have been a mentor to the youth and have served as a leader in our churches youth group over the last 14 years.
  • I headed up our church’s VBS program a couple of years.
  • This year as an “older” woman, I started mentoring a small group of women from my church.

In 2010, I was blessed with the ongoing opportunity to travel to different Home School Book Fairs representing a curriculum I have used with my children.  It gives me great pleasure to encourage and help parents in their homeschooling journey.  I also give presentations at the conferences and during the off-season, I give weekly webinars.

Before having children, I did get in two years of college and earned an Associated in Applied Arts. Once I started teaching my children, I started learning how to learn.  My desire is to instill a love of learning in others.

Leslie Nychka

Posted onCategoriesTeachers

 

lnychka@hotmail.com

Personal

God has blessed me with a genuinely adventurous and fulfilling life. I was born and raised in Texas and currently live on a farm, raising animals and all kinds of food in my garden. I love to travel, but mostly, I love to learn about God and His world.

Growing up, I had a wonderful mom and dad who taught me that I could achieve anything I wanted if I was willing to work for it. They also placed no restrictions on what that anything was. Those encouragements combined with a strong faith that God had a purpose for me led me to realize that I should never be afraid to attempt new endeavors as long as those endeavors didn’t conflict with His desires.

My first career choice was music, but God had different plans for me. Though I didn’t pursue a degree in the field, my time spent studying it left lifelong impressions on me. It gave me confidence in public speaking, an appreciation for artistic pursuits, and an ability to correlate life lessons with educational lessons.

From music, I moved to a second career choice of math and science, which culminated in a computer science degree from UTD. Programming was fun, somewhat like fitting puzzle pieces together, and led to meeting my husband. He has since been one of my lifelong encouragers. Together, he and I have successfully raised and homeschooled three beautiful kids. Our third is currently finishing her high school experience at THEO. Our primary focus of homeschooling has always been STEM, as we felt it gave our kids, given their inclinations, the most options when it came to higher-level learning.

My perspective on teaching is that all kids can learn anything: they need only prayer, patience, and encouragement. Prayer because God can handle anything. Patience because all kids have their own timeline. Encouragement because students need to know that it may take work, but they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Education

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science from University of Texas at Dallas

Experience

Picasso Software Solutions – 4 years

TwinStar Semiconductor – 1 year (FUN, but too many hours!)

Homeschooler – 20+ years

Children’s Ministry teacher/volunteer/coordinator – 15+ years

Robotics club leader/coordinator – 4+ years