Interview with Sheila Walsh-Dunton of Purple Beet Family
I had the honor of interviewing Sheila Walsh-Dunton, and yes, we have the same married last name, but we are not related. Sheila, owner of Purple Beet Family, has a very unique perspective on nutrition and education, and I think it is something that can be valuable to our community at large right now. Sheila is currently a home school teacher for an online charter school and also a nutritionist, focusing on Food as Medicine. And her company really emphasizes “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds.”
As aforementioned, the name of her business is Purple Beet Family, which used to be Purple Beet Nutrition, but now with this home schooling piece, it’s becoming more apparent that there is a marriage between education and nutrition. So that’s why the name change came into existence. Purple Beet Family focuses on laying healthy foundations for families, so that you can spend quality time as a family; and living and learning together. The term that she has for this is, Family School. And the concept of family school is that the family is constantly learning together and from one another. Learning happens every day through every aspect of our lives and Sheila Walsh-Dunton believes that it’s the responsibility as parents to nurture and cultivate our children’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge, to help them form positive relationships with learning and allow them to investigate their personal areas of interest to find and follow what excites them.
During this time of Shelter in Place, Sheila recommends we give ourselves “Space and Grace.” Meaning, give yourself the space right now to feel. We are on a little bit of a stay-cation of sorts, but we are also feeling the pressure of the everyday; of what needs to get done, the schooling and stuff like that. So give yourself the space to take care of yourself and give yourself grace when things don’t go as planned. What she is doing right now is putting structure around what is important and finding the flow, because the natural rhythm will take over. To her, meal time, learning time, outside time, family time, are all important, so when she has these touch stones she is able to weave together those important things during the day.
Sheila Walsh-Dunton has been a homeschooling parent for 10 years, her kids are all currently in public schools, but she has seen how resilient children are and how learning looks different and not necessarily needs to happen in the classroom. She says if your child is having a hard time without the classroom environment, to give them that space and grace, and try doing some project based learning and follow their passions. But everyday, children should be learning and that is the focus of Family School. For example, something that happened yesterday with her daughter, was that she rescued a blue belly lizard from their cat. And after the rescue they spent some time researching online about the diet and habitat of the lizard, and then Sheila had her daughter write a little bit about the experience. And that was her science lesson for the day, even though it wasn’t in a traditional school environment. And it was very naturally a learning moment, simply by observing and asking questions. And she recommends trying something along those lines with your kids too!
I hope that you enjoyed all these education and nutritional tips from Sheila Walsh-Dunton of Purple Beet Family! I know that I personally learned a lot and will now be sneaking more veggies into my child’s food and give myself more grace. Now Sheila doesn’t just own and run her company Purple Beet Family, she wears many different hats, all surrounding the health and nutrition of families. So, she has created a guide to homeschooling, manages the FaceBook group The Mom Map, and is the co-host for a podcast. I mean, this amazing woman does it all!
And if you are considering transitioning into home schooling and would like to know more about the process, you can find Sheila’s Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Handbook, HERE. Shelia says on her website,”I know that beginning this process can feel like an enormous undertaking, so I want you to know that you don’t have to do it alone. I want to support you! For this project, I partnered with Maria Fahrner, my co-host on The Moms I Know Podcast, and together we put built an amazing resource just for you to help support you and your family on your homeschooling journey. We’ve put all of our knowledge and experience together to create this excellent resource to help you get started on your homeschooling journey….The Ultimate Homeschool Guide.”
And if you visit her FaceBook Group, The Mom Map, you can find a lot of amazing nutrition and home education tips. The Mom Map is an inspiring and doable monthly membership program designed to empower the motherhood journey for ALL moms. I will give you specific strategies, tools and information found in easily accessible “toolkits” so that you can navigate motherhood holistically with confidence and ease. The program starts with a step-by-step process in the kitchen to establish strong nutritional foundations, expands to family culture and values, and continues to education and community.
Sheila Walsh-Dunton also hosts a podcast called, The Moms I Know, with Maria Anderson- Fahrner and they are on their third season. It is a podcast focusing on healthy families. Whether you are a mom, have a mom, or just care deeply about the next generation’s impact on the world, I invite you to subscribe and listen to The Moms I Know Podcast. This project is a collaboration with Maria Fahrner of Soquel Essentials, who has been one of the moms I know for years. Maria and Sheila spent many years side-by-side, navigating motherhood, and helping one another make conscious choices for the wellness of ourselves and our families, and it has been a long-time dream of theirs to bring that knowledge and experience to the extended Santa Cruz community.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning more about Sheila Walsh-Dunton and her company, Purple Beet Family, along with The Mom Map and The Moms I Know Podcast. Have fun checking her out on all these platforms!
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