Mindset Strategies for Working While Homeschooling with Carrie Husse

Baby: Welcome to my mom’s podcast.

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the “Valence Mama Podcast.” I’m from KatieWellensmama.com and Wellensy.com. That’s fine with e. This is my new line of personal care products that is non-toxic, completely safe, and beneficial to the body from the outside.

This episode is about home schooling and mindfulness strategies for surviving and thriving as working parents, whether it’s as a full-time home schooling parent, or if you’re in virtual school this year. I’m going or a hybrid of either. And I’m here, happy to be with someone I really appreciate and love so much. Carrie Hus is the editorial mastermind behind Wallace Mama’s content. So, she gives it a polished and beautiful voice and has been a valuable part of the team for years. She is a wonderful mother to me, and a home school mother of three. He jumped from a career in book publishing here to Managing Editor at Valence Mama, and we are forever grateful to him.

Like my family, Carrie and her husband both work full time from home in addition to home schooling. And it hasn’t always been an easy road for them or for us. But he is accustomed to building a life outside of a flexible life where family and careers work together and together they move towards home schooling, employment and family life. Like me, she enjoys reading and traveling, and she loves learning as a family. And it also has a suburban home set and we talk about a lot of topics at really large events, but everything from the basics of home schooling, to being a mother and home school parent to your time and energy. And the way to protect the mindset is to set the time and environment and the structure of the home schooling and our favorite principles and much more. If you are visiting any of these, I know this event will be very helpful for you. Carrie has a wealth of knowledge. So, without further ado, let’s jump. Carrie, welcome. I’m excited to chat with you.

Kerry: Hi, Katie, me too, it’s a privilege.

Katie: It’s amazing to hear you come here and listen to this conversation because you’re a special part of “Valence Mama” and I think it’s just right that we put you here and people Learn from as well as. Especially since you are, I know you in real life, an incredible mother, and a home school mom. And I know it’s a big title right now. And we’ve heard a lot of listeners and readers who understand everything. But especially for those who are doing home schooling for the first time or whose home school world is looking a little different this year. And I know that’s what you’re doing, as a home school mom, very deliberately and you’ve really helped other moms. And I knew I really wanted to share that with you.

So to get started, I think we need to start broadly and then narrow down. And it seems that the common thread that we hear from so many people is too much. So I’d like to start with some of these mind-boggling points, especially for home school moms or any working mothers who are doing so much magic right now that I know you’ve talked about it before.

Kerry: Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me. And I’m getting phone calls from friends I haven’t talked to in a long time, you know, just asking for my opinion. So I have some time to practice with some of these ideas. And just to share a little bit about yourself. My eldest daughter has been studying at home since she was 12 years old. And, you know, I went into it for a variety of reasons. I had only one kind of instinct that she was not quite ready for school for various reasons and left with the same instinct. And I live in an area where we have really great support for home school.

So I think the title of Homes School is a bit of a misnomer, at least in my case, because we do a ton of our school out of the house, or at least we pre-coded. And we can get into the hybrid system with the kind of public schools here where my kids take classes and have teachers. Anyway, there was a good jump off point and a lot of support, so that’s how I got into it.

And then over the years, I had two more children. My children are some distance apart in terms of age. So, you know, this has really changed over the years, and when people call me and ask questions which I really like. Had to happen, I was surprised by the answers. You know, it made me reflect back and think, why should I do that? And what works? And what are the most important things to go through? And all my advice is around relationships and really helping parents in the downturn, as you were saying.

So I definitely just want to start this conversation by saying, I know the reasons I chose to go to school or, you know, the excitement in my voice over the life that we Building, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. A lot of parents are still in the state. Where they have to jump with all the kids at once, and just disrupt all their routines. My heart goes out to teachers, and parents, and children. So I just, you know, this kind of sharing has helped me deal with stress and uncertainty in such a flexible lifestyle and hopefully it will help reduce some parents’ dependent learning style. Available.

Katie: Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me. And you and I both started home schooling for a child at the same time and started learning with a kindergartener, or, you know, even the youngest, and there’s a lot that needs to be done. And of course we want to talk about the fact that it’s a lot; it’s a big thing that a lot of families are moving around.

I think one of the two main points I like that you have already made is that home schooling does not mean that you are always at home. And I think that’s one thing for us too, it makes it so much easier when you can stay outside or work with your hands or just break the routine of living inside. Helps the whole family and I also like that you have a personal aspect to it and how you are able to plug things in locally wherever you are. And this is another important factor, home schooling looks different for every family, it looks different in every field.

And just like health, in recent years, we’ve got a lot of things, it becomes so personal and so individual that it’s the same with home education. And I think that’s another important thing to keep in mind when we go through it that way, even when we talk about it, it’s not even close to the whole point of view of the same size. ۔ Homeschooling is very experimental and you will find things that work best for your family. And when you’re trying to figure out what routine works best for you, you shouldn’t feel pressured to mimic the traditional school environment or any other home school environment.

Kerry: Absolutely, you know, it’s usually the same as parents, right? With our kids, we think we’ve discovered something and we’re excited because we’ve finally got the baby to sleep through the night, or you know, there’s a granddaughter trained, or, not me. Know, terrifying a baby stage and then you feel like you; with routines and this prescription for success; and then three months later, the baby is in a different developmental stage and you say “Oh, no, once I Then we have to find a new way. ” I mean, all the parents I know for sure who I’m talking about.

So home schooling can be so similar that even the things that work for you may not be the same at the beginning of the year as it is at the end of the year or with one child compared to another. Is. So I agree, it’s very personal, it’s a wonderful opportunity. And so it is, for me, sometimes as a center, as a mother, and as a leader, and as a teacher, when you know, it’s always hard to resettle. But really, when I think about the skills that our children need, or even the ones we need in the workplace today, a great skill is being able to adapt quickly.

I think the world has changed so fast, as we’ve all seen, with technology and everything, the ability to learn and be statistical and meticulous is just really becoming, I think, the currency of the future. ۔ So, in a way, I’m grateful that our lifestyle is now teaching us this lesson and we can work on it together.

Katie: That’s the big point. I think you are right about that. I also think about how you prepare children for the future when you don’t really know what it looks like. And of course, what I do now, as the career didn’t exist when I was the age when I had kids, so we’re preparing them for an unknown future. But you are right, these kinds of commonalities make them the choice of every future choice. Prepare because there will be an element that needs to be adapted and can learn new things quickly.

And I think the freedom that we as parents and teachers need to realize that this is changing with the formation of the specific facts and knowledge that we need to have access to. And these are more skills and those whose basics are able to learn fast and maintain their curiosity and desire to learn. Because, through technology, the basic limit of human knowledge is always at their fingertips. You know you don’t have to memorize key dates, or even how to solve every kind of math problem in the world. They need to know how to think through the process of detecting these things, and how to be able to integrate and implement information. And I think you’re right, we’re being put to the test by the fire that we’re giving them the best opportunity to learn these lessons and model them for their children right now.

Kerry: Yes, I’m surprised to look back. I mean, I just want to start by saying I’ve never been the most successful homemaker in the world. I think, like many areas of life, there is always a great potential to compare yourself with others. I think that’s what we, as women and mothers, struggle with, especially with the whole board. And I’ll watch the walk from other houses that are so organized, or I’ll listen to a podcast where, you know, the way they’re narrating hurts my brain because I think I Never reach this level of organization and planning. .

You know, to some extent, during my home school trip, the other school families at home also felt a bit like a fish in the water. But I think a lot has changed in the last 10 years. I know the same thing, Katie, who I have seen spending time with your family and, you know, how you go to school and, you know, I’m very impressed. ۔ It is, you know, thinking far ahead and really thinking of the child as a whole, providing opportunities for them, you know, as you said, just to keep the surprise alive, of interest. Following, walking, being physically active and healthy, you know, is far beyond education.

And I haven’t always shaken up the perfect house plan but I think we’ve done a great job because a family in our home is learning to work together as a team and constantly learning. You know, why go back to our goals. We are doing what we are doing and what is necessary is to be ready next and then. So, you know, no one has the skills to become the perfect superhero, the homeschool, who doesn’t exist yet. But you can adjust your environment to work for yourself and the individual members of the household and hopefully thrive on, indeed, those happy moments that will be worth it.

And at this point, you know, I’m kind of accustomed to that lifestyle. But at the same time, I want to be really honest with people who, you know, aren’t magical or easy every day. And, yes, sometimes you have to dig deep, as in all areas of life, we have our own things that we struggle with.

Katie: Absolutely. And you’re right, I think it’s very deliberate to protect things like time, and mindfulness, and mental bandwidth. Just like anyone who works from home, which I know a lot of people are already doing, and a lot of listeners are probably working from home, and home schooling, and spouse’s home. For the first time or any combination of these dynamics. And I know that when I have to make that adjustment, it comes with some big changes in mindset.

And I had to learn more consciously about things like time and limits and making time for other priorities. Because the only idea is that when there is work in your home or school now, it is always present in your home. And so how do you create structures, bases, and lines for family time, and school time, and work time, and access to all the people in the same place? So I’d like to hear some of the things you do in practice and mind-blowing to protect this dynamic in your home?

Kerry: I think one thing is definitely thinking about making your actions more visible, and the way you think is more visible. So, when you’re at home with your spouse and your kids, and they see you all the time, and we say, you know, you have the phone, maybe I’m doing it. آپ جانتے ہیں ، ویلینس ماما کام کرتے ہیں یا میرے فون پر ان کی کلاس میں سے کسی ایک کے بارے میں کوئی اہم پیغام بھیج رہا ہے ، لیکن وہ ضروری طور پر نہیں جانتے ہیں کہ ، وہ دیکھ نہیں سکتے ہیں کہ میں کیا کر رہا ہوں۔ اور یہ آپ کے لئے مشاہدہ کرنے اور آپ کی توجہ کی ضرورت کے لئے ، تین سال یا ایک آٹھ سالہ عمر کی حیثیت سے ان کے لئے مایوس کن ہوسکتا ہے۔

تو ایک کام جو میں نے سالوں سے کرنا سیکھا ہے ، وہ ہے میرے خیالات کو زور سے زبانی بنانا۔ اور اونچی آواز میں کہنا ، چاہے پہلے یہ کہنا کسی قسم کی عجیب سی کیفیت محسوس ہو ، “میں آپ کے پیانو استاد کو آپ کا سبق آگے بڑھانے کے بارے میں ایک فوری پیغام بھیج رہا ہوں۔” یا میں ایسی چیزوں کو زبانی بھی دوں گا جن کے ساتھ میں اندر سے جدوجہد کر رہا ہوں۔ جیسے ، “آج میں جدوجہد کر رہا ہوں کیونکہ مجھے زیادہ نیند نہیں آتی تھی ، تم جانتے ہو ، چھوٹے نے مجھے برقرار رکھا۔ مجھے بس ضرورت ہے کہ آپ لوگوں کو آج اضافی اعانت کی ضرورت ہے ، یا مجھے آپ کی ضرورت ہے کہ آپ لوگوں کو بھی یہ کام کریں۔ ” اور صرف ان چیزوں کو بیرونی بنا کر اور ان کی پیروی کے ل strong مضبوط اشارے دیتے ہوئے اپنی ٹیم کو ساتھ لانے کی کوشش کریں۔

میں یہ اپنے شوہر کے ساتھ بھی کرتا ہوں ، ہمیں دونوں ایک دوسرے کے ساتھ بات چیت کرنے کا ایک نیا طریقہ سیکھنا پڑا ہے کیونکہ ہم دونوں گھر میں ہیں۔ میرے شوہر ، وہ آپ کی اور سیٹھ کی طرح کاروباری چیزوں سے زیادہ کارپوریٹ قسم کی ملازمت میں کام کرتا ہے۔ لیکن وہ سارا دن گھر میں ہے۔ اور ہم واقعتا the اس وبائی امراض کا آغاز ہونے سے ایک سال قبل اسی طرح زندگی گزار رہے تھے۔ لہذا ، آپ جانتے ہیں ، ہم نے وہ ایڈجسٹمنٹ کی ہے اور یہ مواصلات کا ایک نیا نمونہ ہے۔ تو ان چیزوں کے بارے میں سوچیں جو میں سمجھتا ہوں کہ واقعی مددگار ثابت ہوگا۔

دوسری چیز جو میں کرنا چاہتا ہوں وہ ہے تحریری طور پر چیزیں ڈالنا اور ان کو دیواروں پر لگا دینا۔ تو میرے پاس چاک بورڈ کی طرح ہے۔ میں چاک بورڈز کو ترجیح دیتا ہوں لیکن آپ وائٹ بورڈ کرسکتے ہیں۔ اصلی بڑے نہیں ، بلکہ ان میں سے بہت ساری دیوار پر۔ اور میں ان کا استعمال لکھنا ، جیسے ہمارے معمولات ، جن اہداف پر ہم کام کر رہے ہیں ، بچوں کو یاد دلانے کے لئے استعمال کرتا ہوں۔ آپ جانتے ہو ، اس کے بارے میں سوچیں کہ آپ مستقل طریقے سے ، یا تحریری شکل کے ذریعے عارضی طور پر مستقل طریقے سے کیا دکھائی دے سکتے ہیں کیونکہ یہ ایک اور چیز کی طرح ہے جس کے بارے میں آپ کو کہنا نہیں پڑتا لیکن بچے دیکھیں گے۔ لہذا ، ہاں ، اس مواصلات کے ٹکڑے پر کام کرتے ہوئے ، ایک بار جب ہر ایک لوپ میں آجاتا ہے ، اور وہ جانتے ہیں کہ کیا توقعات ہیں اور یہ آپ کے ماحول میں واقعی واضح ہوجاتا ہے ، تو یہ بہت بہتر ہوجاتا ہے۔

کیٹی: بالکل۔ اور میں یقینی طور پر سمجھتا ہوں کہ جب آپ یہ تبدیلی کرتے ہیں تو آپ مواصلات کا ایک نیا انداز سیکھنے کے بارے میں کیا کہہ رہے ہیں۔ اور مجھے لگتا ہے کہ واقعی گھر میں سیٹھ کا ہونا بھی مشکل تھا کیونکہ مجھے اس کی طرح عادت تھی ، ٹھیک ہے ، یہ بچہ کا وقت ہے ، اسکول کا وقت ہے ، اور پھر وہ گھر آتا تھا اور یہ خاندانی وقت تھا۔ اس سے بھی زیادہ واضح تقسیم تھی۔ اور اس طرح ہمیں تخلیق کرنا پڑا جب شروع سے ہی یہ قدرتی لکیریں چلی گئیں۔

مجھے پیار ہے کہ آپ نے تعلقات کے پہلو کو بھی فروغ دیا ، کیوں کہ جب آپ ایک سے زیادہ ٹوپیاں لگاتے ہیں تو ، کم از کم میرے لئے جب میں ماں اور اساتذہ بن جاتا ہوں ، اور مجھے دوسری چیزوں کی ترجیح ہمیشہ یاد رکھنا ہوگی۔ تعلقات پہلے آتے ہیں۔ اور ایک ماں کی حیثیت سے ، ماں کا رشتہ ہمیشہ اپنے بچوں کے ساتھ رہتا ہے یہ ہمیشہ ہی بنیادی ہوتا ہے۔ اور اسی طرح ہوم اسکولنگ کے ساتھ ، مجھے پیار ہے کہ اگر ان کو سخت دن گزر رہا ہو تو آزادی ہے ، کہ میں پہلے ماں بن سکتی ہوں اور ہم اس کے ذریعہ کام کر سکتے ہیں۔ اگر ہمیں زندگی کا سبق حاصل کرنے والی کوئی چیز ہے تو انہیں سیدھے ریاضی میں جانے کی ضرورت نہیں ہے جس کے بارے میں انہیں پہلے بات کرنے کی ضرورت ہے۔ یا ، اس کے پلٹائیں طرف ، کچھ ایسی چیز ہے جس کے بارے میں وہ واقعی بہت پرجوش ہیں اور اس کے بارے میں جاننا چاہتے ہیں کہ اس میں غوطہ لگانے اور اس سے سیکھنے کا ایک بہترین موقع ہے۔

لہذا ، اس لحاظ سے ، مجھے پسند ہے کہ ان تعلقات کو ذہن میں رکھنے کے ل. انحراف کرنا چاہ times اور مددگار ثابت ہونے پر بھی منصوبہ بندی سے انحراف کرنا چاہ.۔ اور مجھے آپ کا اشارہ بہت پسند ہے ، مجھے کام کرنے کے بارے میں بہتر بنانے کی ضرورت ہے ، چیزوں کو بصری اور تحریری شکل میں رکھتے ہوئے۔ لیکن یقینی طور پر بچوں کے ساتھ حقیقی بننے اور توقعات دونوں طرح سے گفتگو کرنے اور انہیں ٹیم کے حصے کی طرح محسوس کرنے پر متفق ہوں۔ میرے خیال میں جب آپ گھر کی تعلیم اور عام طور پر خاندانی زندگی کے ساتھ ایک بہت بڑی تبدیلی ہے ، جب آپ ٹیم کی ذہنیت کے اس خیال کی طرف رجوع کرتے ہیں ، اور ہم سب مل کر مشترکہ مقصد کی سمت کام کر رہے ہیں۔ اس کی اصلاح کرنے میں یہ محض ایک چیز بننے میں مدد ملتی ہے کہ آپ ان کو تعلیم دے رہے ہیں ، انہیں آنا پڑے گا اور اس کے کچھ حصوں کی بھی ملکیت ہوگی۔

کیری: یقینی طور پر متفق ہوں۔ یہاں تک کہ چیزیں جیسے ہمارے کچھ سخت دن گزرے ، اور میں ایماندار رہوں گا ، میرا مطلب ہے ، بعض اوقات آپ اٹھ جاتے ہیں اور چیزیں بس ریلوں سے دور ہوتی ہیں اور آپ کی طرح ، “ٹھیک ہے ، ہم اپنے مرکز میں کیسے واپس آسکتے ہیں؟ ” اور ، آپ جانتے ہو ، میں نے میرے آس پاس چاک بورڈز اور وائٹ بورڈ رکھنے کے بارے میں کیا ذکر کیا ہے اس کا مطلب ہے ، ایسا نہ ہو کہ آپ یہ نہ سوچیں کہ میں سارا دن متاثر کن حوالوں کو تحریر کرتا ہوں۔ میں ہر روز ایسا نہیں کرتا ، ٹھیک ہے؟ لیکن میرے بچوں نے وقت کے ساتھ اس طرح اندرونی طور پر داخلہ لیا ہے۔ اور اب ایک خالی چاک بورڈ جس میں چاک کا ایک ٹکڑا ہے ان کا موقع ہے کہ وہ کچھ لکھیں جس کو وہ متاثر کن معلوم کریں۔

تو شاید انھوں نے محسوس کیا کہ میں کچل اٹھے ہوئے موڈ میں ہوں اور وہ کچھ لکھیں گے جو انھیں معلوم ہے وہ میرے پسندیدہ حوالوں میں سے ایک ہے۔ یا ، ایسا ہی ہوگا ، “دیکھو ماں ، تم جانتے ہو ، میں نے آج ہمارے لئے ایک نیا منصوبہ بنایا ہے۔” اور مجھے ان کی ملکیت لینا شروع ہوتا دیکھ کر اچھا لگتا ہے۔ لہذا ، آپ جانتے ہیں ، میں صرف آپ کی حوصلہ افزائی کروں گا ، اگر آپ گھریلو اسکول جاتے ہیں اور آپ کسی مشکل جگہ پر ہوتے ہیں ، اگر آپ کو معلوم ہوتا ہے ، آپ اس میں کود پڑے گے تو ، یہاں ایک نقطہ ہے جہاں بچے اس طرح کی طرز عمل کریں گے معمول کی مزید عادت ڈالیں اور آپ کو ماضی کی تکلیف ہوگی ، جیسے ، “اوہ ، ہم یہ سب نئی عادات اور معمولات ترتیب دے رہے ہیں ،” اور وہ خود اس کو اپنانا شروع کردیں گے اور یہ آسان ہوجائے گا کیونکہ وہ ‘ میں جاننا شروع کروں گا کہ وہ اس نئے طریقے سے مل کر کیسے کام کرسکتے ہیں۔

کیٹی: بالکل ، اور مجھے لگتا ہے کہ آواز اٹھانا بھی ضروری ہے ، خاص طور پر ان لوگوں کے لئے جو پہلی بار ایسا کررہے ہیں ، یا یہاں تک کہ ان تجربہ کار گھریلو اسکول کے تجربہ کار بھی ہیں لیکن تجاویز ڈھونڈ رہے ہیں۔ میرے خیال میں یہ بتانا بھی ضروری ہے کہ ہوم اسکولنگ میں بہت ساری طاقتیں بلٹ میں موجود ہیں اور اکثر اس کے بارے میں ہماری ذہنیت میں ٹھیک ٹھیک تبدیلیاں ہی دباؤ کو دور کرسکتی ہیں۔ اور اس سے میرا کیا مطلب ہے ، آپ جانتے ہو ، جیسے ، خاص طور پر اگر لوگ اس منتقلی کی کوشش کر رہے ہیں ، تو یہ صرف ایک اسکول کے ماحول کو دوبارہ بنانے کی کوشش کرنے کا لالچ ہے۔ میں نے ماں کی طرف سے سنا ہے جو ایسی باتیں کہتے ہیں ، “میں اپنے بچوں کو دن میں آٹھ گھنٹے کلاس اور کلاس میں کس طرح مصروف رکھوں گا؟” اور میں اس طرح تھا ، “اوہ ، نہیں ، نہیں ، نہیں ، آپ نہیں ہیں ، آپ کو ایسا کرنے کی ضرورت نہیں ہے۔”

آپ جانتے ہو ، اسکول موجود ہے… ٹھیک ہے ، بہت سارے نظریات ہیں۔ لیکن ، یہ ایک ایسے ماڈل پر بنایا گیا تھا جب والدین کو ایک خاص تعداد میں گھنٹوں کام کرنے کی ضرورت ہوتی تھی اور یہ کام کے دن کی عام لمبائی تھی۔ اور اس طرح ان ٹائم سلاٹوں کی طرح اوور لیپ ہو گئی اور اس نے یہ احساس پیدا کیا کہ بچے اس وقت میں اسکول میں پڑیں گے۔ اور اسی طرح اس وقت کو روکنے کے لئے اسکول بنایا گیا تھا۔ ہومسکولنگ سے فائدہ ، خاص طور پر اگر آپ مہارت کو بڑھانے پر توجہ مرکوز کرنے جارہے ہیں اور بچوں کو بڑوں کی حیثیت سے اصل میں ترقی کی ضرورت ہے تو یہ ہے کہ آپ بہت زیادہ آسانی سے اور زیادہ آسان کام کرسکتے ہیں اور آپ کو ایسی چیزوں میں اضافے کی ضرورت نہیں ہے۔ کلاس تبدیل کرنا ، اور اسکول جانا ، اور تعطیل۔ آپ بہت کم وقت میں اسکول کرا سکتے ہیں۔

اور پھر آپ ان چیزوں کو بناسکتے ہیں جو ماں کی ’ذہنیت اور بچوں کی ذہنیت کی مدد کرتے ہیں۔ ایسی چیزیں جیسے بچوں کے پاس زیادہ سے زیادہ کھیلنے کا وقت ہوتا ہے ، یا تخلیقی منصوبوں پر کام کرنا ، یا ، آپ جانتے ہیں ، درختوں پر چڑھنے ، قلعے بنانے ، جو کچھ بھی ہو سکتا ہے۔ اس میں ابھی بہت زیادہ لچک پیدا ہوئی ہے ، اور آپ بہت زیادہ کام کرسکتے ہیں۔ اور اسی طرح میں یہ سوچتا ہوں کہ میں ہمیشہ کسی کو بھی ہومسکولنگ میں بتاتا ہوں کہ اس حرکت کے خلاف مزاحمت کرنا چاہ is کہ اسکول کے ماحول کو آپ کے لئے کیسا لگتا ہے یا اسکول کے ماحول کو آپ کے علاقے کے دوسرے اسکولوں کی طرح کیسا لگتا ہے کیونکہ آپ کو اتنی آزادی ہے اور جب آپ ہوم اسکولنگ شروع کرتے ہیں تو لچک

اور اگر آپ کتاب کے کام کے نقطہ نظر سے کام کرنے کی ضرورت کے لئے ضروری لوازمات پر توجہ دیتے ہیں تو ، آپ ہاتھ سے چلنے والی چیزوں اور بچوں کو باہر اور منگنی کروانے کے آس پاس بہت کچھ بنا سکتے ہیں۔ اور مجھے لگتا ہے جیسے وہ حقیقت میں اسی طرح بہتر سیکھتے ہیں۔

کیری: وہ یقینی طور پر کرتے ہیں۔ میں نے جلد ہی ایک کتاب پڑھی ، آپ جانتے ہو ، جب میں نے سب سے پہلے ہوم اسکولنگ شروع کی ، تو اس کو “اسمارٹ موویز: سیکھنا کیوں سب کچھ آپ کے سر نہیں ہے۔” اور یہ واقعی تبدیل کرنے میں مددگار تھا ، میرا مطلب ہے ، بالکل اپنی ذہنیت کو تبدیل نہیں کرنا کیونکہ میں اسکول کی ترتیب سے شروع نہیں ہوا تھا۔ لیکن مجھے یہ احساس دلانا کہ بہت سی ایسی چیزیں ہیں جو سیکھ رہی ہیں کہ ہم واقعی سیکھنے کے طور پر نہیں پہچانتے ہیں۔ جیسے اپنے اسکول کے تجربے کو دیکھنا ، میں ضروری طور پر نہیں سوچ رہا تھا ، آپ جانتے ہو ، باہر بھاگتے ہو ، یا موٹرسائیکل چلا رہے ہو ، یا باغ لگاتے ہو ، یا ، آپ جانتے ہو کہ اس قسم کی چیزیں سیکھنا ہی ہیں۔

لیکن بہر حال ، یہ کتاب ہے ، آپ جانتے ہو ، واقعی اس پر ایک طرح کے دماغی جسمانی رابطے سے آتا ہے اور ہمیں کیا سیکھنے اور کس طرح کی نظر آتی ہے۔ لہذا میں یقینی طور پر یہ تجویز کرتا ہوں کہ بطور… میرا مطلب ہے ، یہ بھی پڑھنا واقعی خوشگوار ہے۔ اور مجھے نہیں لگتا کہ کسی کے ل overwhel مغلوب کے احساس میں مزید اضافہ ہوگا۔ مجھے لگتا ہے کہ اس سے کچھ تازہ دم نظر آئے گی ، آپ جانتے ہو ، کیا سیکھنے کی طرح نظر آسکتی ہے۔

کیٹی: ہاں ، یہ یقینی طور پر ایک بہت بڑی تجویز ہے۔ میں ایک چیز کی طرح جانتا ہوں… میں واقعتا this اس کو ایک نصاب بنانے پر کام کر رہا ہوں جسے میں دوسرے لوگوں کے ساتھ بھی بانٹ سکتا ہوں۔ لیکن ایک چیز جو واقعی میرے لئے مددگار تھی ، اور اس طرح کی میری ذہنیت میں تبدیلی آگئی اور جب میری گھریلو تعلیم کی بات آئی تو میرے ذہنی تناؤ کی سطح میں یہ خیال آیا کہ ہم نے ابتدا میں ہی اس کو چھو لیا تھا ، لیکن مہارت کے مقابلے میں علم کو نیچے کرنا ہی تھا۔

تو مجھے ایسا لگتا ہے جیسے بہت سارے اسکولوں کے ماحول میں ، بچوں کو یہ ساری معلومات دی جاتی ہے جس کی توقع کی جاتی ہے کہ وہ کم از کم جانچ کے لئے یاد کر سکتے ہیں۔ اور پھر ہم امید کرتے ہیں کہ وہ مہارت کو اس علم سے نکالیں اور اس کے ذریعہ ، ایسی چیزیں سیکھیں جس طرح سیکھیں اور یہ ساری مہارتیں ہم چاہتے ہیں کہ ان میں بڑوں کی حیثیت سے ان کو حاصل ہو۔ جبکہ مجھے ایسا لگتا ہے جیسے ہم اس کے سر پر پلٹ گئے۔ اور میں نے اس کے بارے میں تھوڑی دیر پہلے بات کی ہے۔ لیکن ان بنیادی ہنروں پر فوکس کریں جن کی انہیں ضرورت ہے جس کی مدد سے وہ مستقبل میں کسی بھی قسم کے کامیابی میں کامیاب ہوسکے ، جو کچھ بھی ان کی طرح لگتا ہے۔ تنقیدی سوچ ، اور تخلیقی صلاحیتوں ، اور جلدی سے کچھ سیکھنے کا طریقہ معلوم کرنے کی صلاحیت جیسے مواقع اور جیسے آپ نے کہا ہے ، موافقت۔

اگر ہم ان پر توجہ مرکوز کرتے ہیں اور اس کی تعمیر کرتے ہیں تو ، یہ حقیقت میں ہمیں کتابوں سے کام لینے اور علم کی کمی کے ل teach پڑھائ کرنے کے لئے ایک بہت آسان فریم ورک فراہم کرتا ہے۔ اور مجھے لگتا ہے کہ یہ بچوں کے لئے بھی بہت زیادہ تفریحی ہے۔ اور میں سوچتا ہوں کہ میرے لئے اس تبدیلی کے بارے میں یہ سوچنا کہ میں جن چیزوں کو سیکھنے کے لئے درکار تھا اس کے بارے میں بات کروں گا ، جس نے واقعی میرے ذہنیت کو بھی مدد فراہم کی۔ چونکہ مجھے ان ہنروں کو حاصل کرنے ، ان چیزوں کو حاصل کرنے کا احساس ہوا جو میں ان کے پاس بالغ ہونے کی حیثیت سے کرنا چاہتا ہوں ، اور انہیں ان اوزار اور بنیادیں دینا ، جو حقیقت میں اس سے کہیں زیادہ آسان معلوم ہوتا ہے جب آپ علم سے شروع کررہے ہیں۔ نقطہ نظر اور میں جانتا ہوں کہ آپ لوگ باغبانی سے لے کر ہر طرح کی سرگرمیوں تک اپنے بچوں کے ساتھ بہت ساری چیزیں بھی کام کرتے ہیں۔ کیا آپ ان میں سے کچھ چیزوں سے بات کرسکتے ہیں جن کو آپ لوگ مربوط کرتے ہیں؟

کیری: ضرور ، ہم اسے ترجیح دیتے ہیں ، یا کم از کم پری CoVID نے بطور خاندان سفر کرنے کو ترجیح دی ہے۔ یہ شاید سب سے زیادہ فائدہ مند ہے ، آپ جانتے ہو ، بالٹی لسٹ ٹائپ چیزوں کو جو ہم نے اب تک کیا ہے۔ پچھلے سال ، ہم فلوریڈا میں بطور ایک مہینہ فلوریڈا میں رہے تھے اور صرف ایک مختلف جگہ پر رہنے سے لطف اندوز ہوئے تھے۔ ہم لائبریری میں چلے گئے ، سمندر اور ساحل پر موجود ہر کتاب اور ان تمام قسم کی چیزوں کو چیک کیا۔ اور ، میرا مطلب ہے ، یہ ایک خواب تھا جو واقعتا، میرے لئے واقع ہوا تھا۔ لیکن ظاہر ہے کہ یہ سال کچھ مختلف نظر آنے والا ہے اور ، آپ جانتے ہو کہ ہم اس کو پورا کرنے کے لئے ہر طرح کی ایڈجسٹمنٹ کر رہے ہیں۔

لیکن میں ایک کے ساتھ بھی کام کرتا ہوں ، یہ بنیادی طور پر ایک ایسا تعلیمی گروپ ہے جو باغبانی اور لکڑی کے کام کی تعلیم دیتا ہے اور ان روایتی مہارتوں کی بہتات ہے جو بچوں کو لازمی طور پر اب تک رسائی حاصل نہیں کرتی ہے۔ لہذا میں اس گروپ کے ساتھ کام کرتا ہوں ، اسے لونلنگ لرننگ کہا جاتا ہے اور ان کا گارڈن گارڈن نامی ایک باغ ہے اور میں وہاں ایک باغ معاون ہوں۔ اور میں صرف 1 ایکڑ پر ، مکمل طور پر مضافاتی رہائشی مکان پر اپنی رہائشی آبادی بڑھانے میں گہرائی سے غوطہ کھا رہا ہوں۔ میرے خیال میں قرنطین کے دوران ، میں نے اپنے جتنے بھی سال ہمارے یہاں رہتے ہیں اس سے کہیں زیادہ میرا لان کھودا ہے۔ اور ہم نے واقعی میں کل ہی ہمارے صحن میں اپنا پہلا فارم اسٹینڈ کھولا ہے۔

اور ، آپ جانتے ہیں ، میں صرف اس طرح کی چیزوں کو کرنے کی کوشش کرتا ہوں ، اس طرح کی چیزوں کو ترجیح دینا میرے لئے واقعتا آسان ہے اور میں انھیں اپنے اسکول کے دن کا حصہ سمجھتا ہوں۔ میرے خیال میں وہ بہت قیمتی ہیں۔ میرے بچے جانتے ہیں کہ کالی اور کوہلرابی اور بروکولی کیسی دکھتی ہے۔ اور ہم غذائیت کے بارے میں بات کرتے ہیں۔ اور ، آپ جانتے ہو ، اب میری بیٹی سپلائی اور طلب اور قیمتوں کے بارے میں سیکھ رہی ہے جب وہ اس فارم اسٹینڈ کو جانے کی کوشش کر رہی ہے۔ لہذا ، اگرچہ ہم ابھی گھر میں ایک طرح سے پھنس چکے ہیں ، ان سیکھنے کی سرگرمیوں کو بنانے کے لئے ہم مختلف چیزیں تیار کرسکتے ہیں جو ضروری نہیں کہ براہ راست کتابوں سے دور ہوں یا زوم کال پر۔

کیٹی: جی ہاں ، بالکل میرے خیال میں ، ہاں ، بس اتنی اہم بات ہے کہ ذہنیت کی تبدیلی بہت ضروری ہے۔ اور میں یہ کہتا رہتا ہوں ، لیکن میرے لئے یہ مشکل تھا۔ اور میں نے بہت سارے دوستوں سے بات کی ہے ، شاید آپ کے پاس بھی ، جو سوئچ بنانے کی کوشش کر رہے ہیں اور اس کے ساتھ جدوجہد کر رہے ہیں۔ اور اس ل I میں صرف اتنا اہم محسوس کرتا ہوں کہ بس اس کی یاد دلاتے رہیں۔ یہ اس سے آسان ہے ، اور یہ بہت زیادہ ہونا ضروری نہیں ہے ، یہ آپ کی توقع سے کہیں زیادہ آسان ہوسکتا ہے۔ اور جب آپ گھریلو تعلیم حاصل کرتے ہو تو آپ کو اتنی زیادہ آزادی اور بہت زیادہ آزادی حاصل ہوتی ہے۔ اور میں صرف اتنا سوچتا ہوں کہ اس طرح ذہنی تبدیلی سے اتنا بڑا فرق پڑتا ہے۔

اور مجھے یہ بھی پسند ہے کہ آپ نے سفر طے کیا۔ میں جانتا ہوں کہ فی الحال ہم میں سے بیشتر کے لئے واقعی ممکن نہیں ہے ، مقامی علاقوں میں ، یا کیمپنگ یا ایسی جگہوں پر جہاں ہم گاڑی چلاسکتے ہیں وہاں کچھ بھی نہیں کرسکتے ہیں۔ لیکن اس پر میں آپ کے ساتھ بہت ہوں۔ اور ہوم اسکولنگ کا دوسرا فائدہ وقت کی آزادی کی آزادی ہے۔ یہ وہ چیز ہے جو ہمارے کنبے کے لئے بھی ایک بڑی بنیادی قدر ہے۔ اور میں نے پہلے بھی مختلف پوڈکاسٹوں پر تھوڑا سا تذکرہ کیا تھا ، لیکن ، یہ خیال جس کو میں اپنی زندگی سے جانتا ہوں ، پیچھے مڑ کر دیکھتا ہوں ، مجھے زندگی میں کچھ چیلنجز درپیش ہیں جن کا مقابلہ کرنے کے لئے میں نے انتخاب نہیں کیا تھا ، لیکن اب میں پہچان سکتا ہوں ان لوگوں کے سبق نے مجھے بننے میں مدد کی کہ میں اب کون ہوں۔

والدین کی حیثیت سے یہ مشکل ہے کیوں کہ آپ کبھی بھی اپنے بچوں کی زندگی کو مقصد کے مطابق دکھانا نہیں چاہتے ہیں ، آپ یہ نہیں چاہتے کہ انہیں غیرضروری طور پر تکلیف برداشت کرنا پڑے۔ لیکن آپ کو مشکل کام کرنے اور چیلنجوں کی اہمیت کا بھی احساس ہے۔ And, for us, travel is a perfect way to build that in because there are challenges that come naturally with travel and discomfort that sometimes comes with travel. And it’s a great team-building experience and a way to overcome challenges together. So, I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get back to a world where travel is possible sooner than later.

But that also is a good segue into the idea that there are all kinds of alternative types of homeschooling. There’s amazing resources for all these different types, I don’t claim to be an expert in any of them, except for, in most days I don’t even claim to be an expert in the homeschooling I’m doing. But we can put some links for people who are interested in this. But I love that you brought up the travel aspect, because there are people who do things like world schooling, they call it, where they are homeschooling full time and also traveling full time. Or people who live in RVs and road school and all kinds of hybrid combinations within that.

We’re also now seeing and I’m hearing from listeners about things like micro-schools where families are forming together to create small group schools and bring in either tutors or teachers to help with that transition to homeschooling, and also to give kids community even if it’s smaller. So I just wanted to bring up there are so many alternative types of schooling and you don’t have to be confined to just, you know, book work in a room, there are so many alternative ways. And I know you guys integrate some of these types of things as well as part of your plan and your curriculum.

Carrie: We do. So, one thing I’d really recommend, and I think that you’ve mentioned it on the podcast before, Katie, but it’s called Mighty Networks. And you can set up, it’s almost like building a website and a social group at the same time and they make it really easy and it’s not too expensive. And then you can also add classes onto there. You don’t have to know coding or anything special to set it up. And something about the design is just very engaging, like, it feels like a pleasure to use.

So this is a tool that I’ve started using to build things like, you know, kind of a local gardening Co-Op group in our neighborhood where we help each other with watering our plants or, you know, keeping up on chores. Because this is one of the things, I love to travel and we have chickens and a garden and it gets bigger every year. And those two things don’t always go well together. So, definitely looking to your community and trying to create that and saying “How can we help each other?” You know, I’ve made relationships with a couple of families who live close by and are able to give us that freedom when we travel, and then we do the same for them.

So, it is possible even in this strange year, you know, you can set up a virtual group, either through, you know, Facebook or try a Mighty Network. You know, it could be as small as a text thread, but kind of finding who your support community is. I mean, I’m glad you brought up too that idea of support because I don’t want anyone to walk away from this thinking that a homeschool mom or a homeschool dad just does it all on their own.

You know, I look at my role as sort of a facilitator of my children’s education and I’m basically setting up the environment to support them educationally. But I am not teaching and doing it all myself. So I am definitely, you know, signing them up for things where there’s another teacher, or I’m, you know, finding that person who’s just super talented and passionate about science, and they’re the ones teaching my kids science because that’s not my thing. I hire childcare. I mean, I work, you know, close to a full-time job when you put together all my various freelance writing and editing jobs. And I run the local Co-Op here as well. And, you know, it’s a lot, I have to have help in some way, I can’t do it all.

But what I’m doing is setting the environment, putting those resources in place. Like, for me personally, I’ve tried a couple of different childcare arrangements and I’ve discovered for myself that what really moves the needle for me is hiring out my house cleaning, and that like rewards me and fills my cup even more than having help with my younger kids. So, you’ve gotta kind of experiment and find out what it is that you need to really keep you motivated and supported and sustained as a teaching, homeschooling, working parent.

And I wish I had done a better job of that early on. I really didn’t start out with a plan for myself and my husband, and like supporting the educators first. I feel like the kids will be fine if we are fine. And I would really encourage everyone who’s sitting down to pick out their curriculum, and they have stacks of books everywhere, and they’re all related to their kids and their kids’ academic needs, I mean, that’s wonderful that we care. But, start with a plan for you, there should be things in your plan that will maximize the joys and the things you naturally are talented at, or would like to do, or would like to learn. Make a plan for those first and then make a plan for your kids.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I love that you brought up the idea of like hiring help and finding help, and whether that’s trading off with other moms or having someone help clean. I realized that same thing a while back when I was in the busiest phase of work stuff and also still trying to homeschool and manage a household. For a while, I kept trying to have, like hire teenagers as nannies or have people come help with my kids and it always created more stress than less stress.

And it took me a while to figure out that it was because I didn’t wanna pay someone else to play with my kids while I clean my house. I actually was yearning for more time with my kids and was just overwhelmed with all the stuff I had to get done. So it made much more sense for me to hire someone for less time to help with those tasks and me have more time with my kids. And that helped our whole family dynamic.

And also to go back and touch on the idea of community, I think people might be even tired of hearing me talk about community so much on this podcast. But, you cannot overestimate how important that is. And especially right now, I think so many of us are feeling the brunt of having lost aspects of community that went away for a while this year and it’s a good reminder to be very intentional about that. And even if still like large group activities and school activities are not happening right now we can still, in most places, build small communities and get together in small groups.

And in many ways, I hope that’s a silver lining that will last of this, I hope we can return a focus to those small, intentional communities built with people in our local area, kind of like tribes of people of support. And we’ve kind of done that here, I think you’ve seen some of this when you’ve visited is building communities in different ways that support both the parents and also the kids. So we have communities built around activities like pole vaulting, and we have people who come to our house that we hang out with related to that. We go and pole vault near our house and it’s all in our local area and small groups of less than 10 or 20 people.

But having that shared interest and having that real-life face time with real life people in person, not just on Zoom, makes such a difference, especially when that was gone for a while. And we also kind of have the same thing built around other activities like music and art for the kids. And so many of those things can be done even outside we can find creative ways to do that. And it can be as simple as kids having time to just play creatively outside while the moms sit on the patio and drink coffee.

I think those little things go so far to helping mindset, especially when we didn’t have those things for a little while. And that’s my other encouragement to moms, homeschooling or not, truly it doesn’t matter if you’re homeschooling, is, be very intentional about building those communities and putting time in them and nurturing them. Because certainly, I think in this year that we’re all navigating right now they become increasingly important.

Carrie: Yes, I definitely…This year feels different obviously, that’s, you know, painfully obvious. But I think that it’s made me almost dig deeper into my true goals for my family and there are some benefits to that. So, one of the best resources I have from all my homeschooling years is a super simple composition book. It’s like one of those ones that has the black and white cover that you buy for 50 cents that we used in grade school growing up. And I was actually kind of made to do it at a training, we used a program, we’re Catholic, so we used a program called Catholic Schoolhouse.

And they had a retreat and they made us like basically put pictures of our family on this composition book and then cover it in contact paper. And I remember at the time thinking like, “This is really cheesy, I don’t know why we’re doing this.” Because I’m not a crafty person. It is possible to homeschool and not be crafty. But anyway, we made this book and it’s got all the smiling faces of my family on it and my husband and our house. And it’s amazing, I mean, I made this book probably eight years ago, and I use it every single year. And I only write in it our very high-level plan.

There’s no curriculum in it at all, it just says, basically, it has, you know, 2020/21 family plan. And then the name of each of my family members, including me and including my husband. And then just three or four priorities for each of us. And I solicit my kids’ input on this, you know, what is it you wanna learn this year? What is it you wanna work on, you know, it’s also part of identifying weaknesses.

Like, for example, on my list for this year, I wanna get better at time blocking, and really putting a time budget in place. Because sometimes I can definitely be guilty of mixing up the different areas of my life too much. And I wanna get better at that, so, as I think about it, that emerges for me as a priority. So it really ends up being just one page. And then I have those little goals for each family or each family member. And some of them are academic. You know, my one daughter needs to catch up a little in math. So math is gonna be a priority for her this year.

But another daughter, the priority is finding her social connection and community in this strange time, because she’s a very social person. So, it’s individualized to each person. And what I love about this plan is when we’re halfway through the year, and I’ve only done half of what I thought we would do, and I’m looking at all the books I haven’t touched yet or the things that haven’t gone the way I thought. I can go back and look at this one-page plan and get re-centered. And, you know, we put a lot of things on there that just kind of naturally light us up because of who we are.

So it’s a great place like a touchpoint to go back to when, you know, you sort of feel like, oh, this is not going as well as I thought it would, or, I feel off track and then, you know, you get centered again. And it’s a great record of year after year of what you’ve worked on as a family.

Katie: I love that tip, I’m making notes as you talk today. A few random tips I’ll share, I feel like this is kind of jumping all over, but also that’s a great representation sometimes of homeschool days, at least at my house. Some random tips that we found helpful. Two things, and I’ve mentioned this before in passing, but we start most school days with “TED Talks,” and we actually do them at breakfast as a family. And this was a tip from past podcast guest, Naveen Jain, who, when I asked him, how would you encourage critical thinking and entrepreneurship in kids? He said, “I would have them watch ‘TED Talks’ every day.”

And the reasoning was that kids are natural pattern makers, we’re all born that way. But they look for patterns and they try to connect dots and that’s how kids are geared towards learning, especially when they’re young. So if you give them “TED Talks,” which are essentially 14 to 18-minute distillations of someone who’s the best in their field, talking about the best of the knowledge they have. So if you do them three of those in a day on completely unrelated topics, kids can’t help but try to connect the dots. So they’re gonna try to find patterns or find ways that those ideas work together, which is essentially what innovation and entrepreneurship and problem-solving are.

And so his thought was, if you just constantly give them exposure to new ideas and new ways of looking at ideas, they’re gonna try to connect the dots and that’s how we create problem-solvers for the future. And it’s also just a fun thing, we’ve learned so much as a family. I’ve learned so much from watching these “TED Talks” videos. And it’s led to composting projects in our house, or super worms in our closets, or all kinds of different projects that have been fun experiments for all of us. And so that’s been just a fun tip, it doesn’t take really any effort and it’s been fun for me too.

Another thing we do, they have, in school, an amount of time that’s just called topics, and that’s the subject of that. The goal is every day they research any topic just for a few minutes and try to get like a broad level understanding of it and jot down some notes that I’ve built-in, there’s a writing aspect, there’s an analytical aspect, there’s an aspect of pulling out the most important pieces of the topic. And I kind of dovetail this with something called the Feynman learning technique, which I mentioned actually recently in a newsletter.

But the idea being, when you are learning a new concept, you can get a pretty good idea if you understand it if you’re able to explain it to a child, the age that I think he gave was a six-year-old, which is also ironically very much what homeschooling is, is explaining ideas to a child. For those who aren’t familiar, Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, who is often discussed and largely considered a genius and contributed a ton to that field. And this was how he learned new things. And I use this concept and teach my kids this concept with reading a book. Same idea of, when you take a new knowledge, read it with the idea of trying to be able to explain it to someone else, especially a child, in a short amount of time, and get across the key concepts in a way that they could then explain it back to you.

And so when the kids do topics, they might research, you know, something to do with worms, or they might research how planes are actually able to fly, or whatever it is, whatever is interesting to them that day. And then they explain it, write it down and kind of create a Feynman one-pager, or they explain it to me, or they explain it to a younger sibling. And so that’s building in that learning by teaching idea. And getting everybody involved in the team mentality. And that doesn’t really take any extra direct work from me. And it’s been one of the more fun things we do as a family. And they’ve learned so much in all these different random topics because of that, and it’s led to, again, like new research and new experiments and things that they’re interested in.

Another tip, again, jumping around but that I love to bring up is, you don’t have to mimic a traditional school environment in the way that you teach school physically either. So you don’t have to create a room with desks that looks just like a schoolroom. If you want to, cool. What I find works better for my kids, because they all like to be active, is a combination of like the chairs that wobble, like the balance stools, I think they’re called button chairs. We’ve had the founder on the podcast before. And things like balance boards, and rings, and yoga swings hanging from the ceiling. And any combination of things that keep them moving.

And I know that there are limitations in many schools that prevent that. But there’s some really cool research on how kids integrate information better if they’re moving. And especially if they’re moving in ways that kind of stimulate the right-brain left-brain activity. And so, rather than tell kids they need to sit down and be still for extended periods of time during the day, we might be able to teach them more effectively in a more movement-based approach. So whether it’s having a little trampoline in the schoolroom, or stools that move, or whatever, or sitting on the floor.

Past podcast guest, Aaron Alexander, said we’d all be a lot better off if we just sat on the floor versus a chair. And with homeschooling, you have the freedom to do that. So, just like with “TED Talks” in the morning, teaching us to think outside the box, that’s my encouragement to other moms is, make it fun and make it what works for you even down to your environment. Think outside the box, you don’t have to make it look like a traditional school.

Carrie: For sure, and you do that so well, Katie, I mean, I’ve seen, you know, you have like a rope hanging from the, what do you call that? Pergola in your backyard and it’s like right where you walk. So your kids like see it a million times a day and, you know, it’s like gym class but so much better because they’re doing it because they want to. And they can repeat it as many times as they feel, you know, ready for that challenge at that time. And then, you know, ring the bell, I think you posted on your Instagram about it recently, you know, ring the bell at the top and come back down.

You know, so that’s a huge goal of mine this year, especially since I think we’ll be home a lot more than we have in the past, is implementing some of those things around our house to, you know, promote healthy movement and keep the kids physically challenged. And, yeah, I think that is such a cool idea.

You know, I love the Montessori method. And I think your blog post that you have currently on “Wellness Mama” about homeschooling, they give them a snapshot of kind of how you started out. And I know you did a lot of the Montessori stations and more of a prepared classroom environment when your kids were younger. But I think the neat thing is you still have a prepared classroom environment, but it’s like your whole house. And it’s all the things that you just described, are, you know, when you give kids access to cookbooks, and healthy food, and a stocked kitchen.

And, you know, like we’ve done the kids cook course that you always recommend. You know, when you give them access to things like that you are preparing the environment, it’s just in a different way now that your kids are older and you’ve evolved as a family. So I think it’s really neat.

Katie: Yeah, I think it’s funny too because I’ll call myself out on that. Like, the more we’ve geared the environment to just constant movement and put like ropes in walkways and rings in walkways, headstand stools in the hallway, and all those things. It’s had a crossover effect of being really good for me because I’d never thought I could do those things or I’d have to schedule them or like make, you know, half an hour for me to go do that. And now I’m like, “Oh, I’m walking down the hall I’ll do a handstand.” And so it’s been…I’ve noticed a difference in myself as well. And I figured one day, at this rate, I might at least get close to their level of all the stuff that they can already do because kids are amazing when it comes to movement.

Carrie: They are, yes.

Katie: I hope that, especially for anyone new at this, that hopefully we’re not adding anything to anyone’s plate or making it overwhelming. My hope definitely and I hope what’s coming across in what we’re talking about is, this really can be fun and you’re not bound by a lot of rules when you start doing this. And you can make it work for your family. And I think and I’ve seen in our life and it sounds like you as well that it can make you closer as a family and build that team mentality and have so many beautiful moments. Not to say it will not be an adjustment, especially if it’s new, it absolutely will be. But there can be so many beautiful moments within that.

And I think we should also touch on that to the idea of the minimum effective dose of this. And we’ve mentioned it in passing of focusing on the essentials. But you and I have both had to homeschool through times that were less than optimal. For me like the worst parts of Hashimoto’s or being pregnant while having Hashimoto’s and being so tired. I had days where I would put my little ones in a room with toys or where they couldn’t choke on anything, and I would sleep in front of the door so they couldn’t get out and I was just so tired. And I know that you’ve also had to maintain homeschooling and family life during circumstances that were less than ideal. So any tips that you would share for maintaining just the minimum effective dose when times make it more difficult?

Carrie: Yes, definitely. This has been a really helpful concept for me. So I did homeschool during some difficult pregnancies. And I’m pretty much bedridden through a lot of my pregnancies for various reasons, it’s just, you know, the way it is for me. And homeschooling through those times was tough. And I think that is one of the reasons why we’ve become good at stress management around here.

But basically, I would suggest, deciding in advance, what is the minimum I need to do to have a successful day? And come up with that formula and let your team, your kids, your spouse know before you get there. So what I mean is, when you get to the day where like two kids are throwing up and you have a work meeting, and you have a deadline, and all of a sudden it’s not a normal day. You sort of know and your kids already know. Okay, on days like this, we go outside first thing in the morning…I mean, I’m just going through my family’s checklist, this could look different for you or someone else.

We go outside in the morning, because I know that just makes us all feel better. So they have to go outside before they have any screen time. Their chores have to be done before they have free time, they have to do math and piano, which they can do pretty independently. And then there has to be like a quiet time in the afternoon. It’s absolutely mandatory in a homeschooling family, I think, to build something in to the routine where everyone finds a room individually and has some space to themselves. We always do that in the afternoon.

So that’s kind of what our minimum day looks like. And I think it really helps to think that through in advance, so you can just say like, “Okay, guys, it’s one of those days, here’s our plan, and here’s what we’re going to do.” And Pam Barnhill has a great article on this that I can link to in the show notes. So I would definitely recommend thinking that through first.

The other thing I would suggest is to decide on your priority on those days. So I feel like there’s different buckets, right? In this type of lifestyle. There’s your home, like your home management, your meals, picking up all the things that have to be done to just pay the bills and run a house. There’s your professional life, if you, you know, work in or outside the home. There’s the academic life, right? You know, kids’ schooling. And I don’t necessarily usually do well in all three categories in one day. And for me, it’s almost a recipe for disaster to try and do well at all of them in one day. And something that’s really helped me is deciding, today is a professional day, today I am like doubling down on this, my kids know this we’ve made a plan. Let’s go.

And then the next day is going to be like mom’s here, let’s learn together, let’s go outside. Like they’re gonna kind of know that’s coming the next day. And then maybe I have a day where, you know, we do a lot of bulk meal planning. One book that’s really helped me, I mean, number one, my kids know how to make every recipe from the Wellness Mama Cookbook by heart. And then I love the book “Cook Once, Eat All Week” because it lays everything out step by step, the kids can help with it, my husband can help with it. There’s no questions for mom, they just prep all the food. You know, we kind of have like one big day where we get the house kind of up and running.

So, that has really helped me. I mean, obviously my approach has changed a little bit here and there, but generally, my brain feels more quiet when I decide on one priority first on a given day, especially like kind of one of those unusual days.

Katie: For sure, and I love that you said there’s no questions for mom when you mentioned that “Cook Once, Eat All Week ” Because this is another tip I tell people, that it’s almost always, it’s not the getting everything done that’s the hard part. It’s often all of the planning and mental stress related to that. And for moms the decision fatigue of all of the questions that come. And when you homeschool, then you end up with more questions because they have questions about school, and then, of course, they’re still gonna have all the normal questions that come at you all day from being a mom.

So if you can solve for anything that reduces questions, that really helps with the overwhelm, especially as you get toward the end of any given day. Like we know that decision making capability is a fixed resource and so it’s a very real thing that we hit that kind of point, for me it’s usually like at 4 p.m. where I’m just like, “No more questions.” So how can you solve for reduced questions and it can be simple things like put the cups the kids use low down in cabinets so they don’t have to ask you for water. So anything you can enable them to do for themselves without having to ask you

But also things like that, like if they’re able to cook things, or how can you set up the school rooms that they have the minimum needed questions and the questions they need to ask you are the important ones. And then you can really like lean in and focus and have your full bandwidth to answer them. That was a game-changer for me was just realizing how can I reduce the number of questions that I’m getting? Because, between work, and school, and just life, I was getting so many questions that I would find myself overwhelmed by the end of the day, and that made a big difference for me.

Carrie: Yes, it is so hard, like they can ask you a really inquisitive awesome question about something and you’re in the middle of, you know, you have a work call in the next 10 minutes or, you know, the three-year-old is screaming. I mean, you’re absolutely right, that is a huge part of the mental overwhelm. And I’ve tried different things over the years, some things have worked, some haven’t, you know. I sometimes seriously thought about just wearing like big bright orange earphones so they know, like, oh, clearly mom is working and I shouldn’t interrupt her right now.

But, you know, some things work and some don’t. And, you know, I think an important thing is just to kind of take on a reasonable amount of change and look at your expectations and go, “Okay, like, where does the reality need to change and where are my expectations more the issue?” And one thing that’s helped me too is, you know, certain days we, this is a little habit that we’ve picked up, is, we will, I mentioned like the chalkboards and the whiteboards and we usually put our plan for the day up on there. And this is one reason I like having a plan that can be quickly changed is we’ll erase the board on those really tough days and we’ll go, “Okay, guys, what’s going well today?” And that will replace our plan.

We’ll write down everything that we accomplished, like do it as a group exercise. You know, “Okay, mom got a post up and, you know, we made scones for our neighbor because she was having a hard day. And we were patient with the three-year-old even when we didn’t wanna be.” Like anything, we’ll list it out, you know. And by the end, we’re looking at this list of 25 amazing things we’ve already done before noon. And previously we felt like the day was a disaster and now we feel like a success.

And, you know, I’ve heard you say before, I’m not sure if it’s someone else’s quote or yours, but that, “Action breeds motivation.” And, you know, when you get to those toxic points or those really discouraging points, just putting some fuel in your tank through an exercise like that. I mean, whether you’re e-learning or free-range homeschooling, or working from home, whatever it is, if you’re trying to do it as a team, which many people are in that boat this year, that’s just a really helpful exercise.

And now my kids know to do it for me, like when I’m kind of getting grumpy, they’ll go, “Okay, Mom, what went well today?” And of course, sometimes I’m not very receptive to their reminder of being positive. But I’m grateful that they encourage and help me in that way. So, I would definitely recommend trying that if you run into a tough spot.

Katie: I love that, it’s such a great tip.

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Carrie, this has been such a fun chat and hopefully also helpful to everyone listening who is either considering homeschooling or already homeschooling and wanting to just continually improve. I feel like we’ve talked about a lot of things that you and I both enjoy and we’ve both been doing this for a while but I also want to circle back and make sure we end really practical for anybody who is jumping into this for the first time especially this year with everything else going on and maybe feeling a little bit overwhelmed. So can you give us a few of your kind of core takeaways and advice for getting started in a practical way?

Carrie: Definitely. It surprised me, the first advice that’s come out of my mouth when I talk to friends has been double down on your marriage, your relationships, you know, whoever that support person is in your life, if you’ve been thrown into working and homeschooling, you know, possibly altogether as a family unit, that’s a huge change. So, you know, get that date night on the calendar, you know, make sure you’re making time to talk. And I can’t recommend enough a book that I actually learned about on your podcast, Katie, I think it’s “201 Relationship Questions” by Barrie Davenport, I hope I’m saying that right. But my husband and I do this for like five minutes a night, you ask each other a question and it’s on different categories of your life and it’s just a great way to proactively open the channels of communication because you’re gonna be kind of navigating this whole new world as a family.

And then the second thing, just to go back to that idea of making your family vision for the year before you pick your curriculum, I would definitely recommend just thinking about what each person in your family needs as human beings and then kind of picking like one joy you’re gonna work into your life and one area you’re gonna work on and then kind of make your academic schedule after you assess that.

The third thing that usually comes to mind is, you know, start leaning into your morning routine and just start with that. That’s something that around August, I usually start working on with my kids, maybe we’re in some lazy habits or we’ve been staying up late summer nights and we just kind of start tweaking our morning routine, getting in a little bit more of a schedule, setting the expectations and doing that bit by bit.

And I think the last thing that would be important for families facing this is just to manage change with baby steps and, you know, manage your expectations, I mean, you can go little by little. So as a homeschooler, you have flexibility, you don’t have to start in September if you’re not ready. One thing that I always do is I start our school year in stealth mode, so my idea is like if they don’t know it’s happening they can’t resist it, right? So we kind of start with optimizing our morning routine around August and then I will add in just math because I view that as their most important subject. We’ll just start with math, we’ll put that into the routine, we’ll get that down for a few weeks and then we’ll add another subject. And that way you have time for habits and routines to build up and support your schedule that you’re trying to keep at home. So that’s been a great method for me, you can do that kind of soft start to the school year, you don’t have to have it all figured out with the perfect plan, you know, the first day of school. You have 365 days to fit in 180 days of school, you know, use that flexibility.

So I mean those four steps, you know, your relationships, your family vision, your morning routine and just taking those baby steps and managing change has been really helpful to me and I hope helpful to a lot of the parents out there.
You know, ultimately I don’t know if you agree but I feel like homeschooling and progress in homeschooling is just like parenting and life in that it’s not linear, you’re not always gonna move forward and, you know, hit one checkpoint after another, often you’re kind of constantly circling the wagons and readjusting. So if there’s just one thing that’s really helped me as a homeschool mom, as a family, it is investing in our mindset. You know, I’d even recommend like picking out a piece of curriculum just on that, you know, maybe you take a class throughout school on like mind mapping emotions or there’s the Big Life Journal or some other different books that have really helped us that I can put in the show notes. But, you know, learning those skills are gonna help you no matter what your walk of life is or what stage of life you’re in, they’re gonna help you personally and professionally. So, you know, just because a day feels like a disaster, it doesn’t mean it actually is, you know, pay attention to your thoughts, recognize the good moments in that day and then, you know, gather your team together, your family and, you know, decide how you’re gonna move forward and how you’re gonna support each other bit by bit through all the ups and downs, I mean, that’s really where it’s at to me.

Katie: I wholeheartedly agree with that, I think such an important point about none of this is linear and I’ve definitely had experiences where I thought the day was a complete failure or that I was just at my wit’s end so we adapted and modified and skipped parts and, you know, ate like a picnic lunch that was kind of just like snack foods outside and the kids thought it was the best day ever. And so I think like often it’s managing our own internal expectations because often the kids have such a different perception and if we don’t let our stress and overwhelm drag us down, often I feel like if we ask our kids, we’re doing better than we think we are.

I also think the morning routine piece is so important no matter what form of school you’re doing, just I think when you…like we’ve had podcast guests, when you master your morning, you end up in such a better place for your day. And from the homeschool side, I mentioned in passing but the things that really seem to help dial it in for us are starting with TED Talks and letting the kids…just that seems to get the learning creativity juices flowing. So we’ll watch kind of three unrelated TED Talks and then talk about them. We’ll also try to spend time outside in the morning, often it’ll be my husband and I drinking coffee and the kids out there and we’ll have conversation whether allowing or just like some gentle movement and those kind of things seem to help everybody get focused and kind of aligned for the day.

And then I mentioned that we have a topic in school called topics where they can research anything they want and kind of synthesize it and try to understand the broad strokes of it. And that’s another fun one to start I feel like the school day with because it’s something that just naturally gets the brain ready to learn, those are kind of the practical pieces of a morning routine that have helped us the most.

Another piece of advice I’m giving this year to friends who are new to homeschooling, especially since we are still trying to figure out what this fall is going to look like for every school scenario, is to form a micro-community if possible or a micro-school. I’ve actually seen quite a few friends in various parts of the country doing this where you’re getting several families together and actually hiring a teacher to come teach the kids. And if…you can do the same thing without hiring a teacher, if you have multiple parents getting involved, if that something you’re willing to take on, but whether it’s for school or just for human interaction, I think that’s another important thing we can all be doing is forming these micro-communities of people that we can regularly spend time with that have some kind of common interest.

And then to your point, I would say a few tips that I would just go back to for anyone especially new to this like you said is like I mentioned before like to elaborate on your point is don’t feel like you have to do it all in the very beginning or even at all, like use the 80/20 principle and keep the focus on the basics. You can use any curriculum for that, you can use Khan Academy for that. The goal is not to fill time, you definitely don’t have to keep kids occupied for a certain number of hours per day, it’s more about hitting those targets over time. So having that freedom build in time for creative play, indoors and outdoors, and build a system, like, I love your point, you know, ease into it, build a system that works for you. So a lot of states dictate if you’re new to homeschooling that you need a certain number of school days, but there’s usually a lot of flexibility in what those days can look like. So track your days for the sake of meeting state requirements but realize that some days, maybe a school day, that’s a field trip day or a play day or a field day, or, you know, all these things that other schools also have. And sometimes those are really important mental breaks for regular school days.

I also really encourage families to keep the focus on nurturing creativity and play and not just trying to just focus on the bookwork side. I’ve mentioned that a little bit but I think we’ve gotten away from the idea that playtime and free time outside are not just something…I mean, they’re absolutely essential for kids. And they’re saying kids these days are spending less than half the time that even we did at their age playing outside. And there’s studies that show there are benefits to playing outside and to being bored that kids are missing out on. So it’s not just the fresh air, it’s not even just the vitamin D, it’s the psychological aspects of manipulating real-world objects and navigating their outdoor environment and developing motor skills and spatial awareness and social interaction with other kids. And there’s also evidence on the science side that playing outside in natural light helps eyesight and can help prevent some vision problems later on. And I think that’s just one I always go back to as well, you don’t have to feel like you’re a bad mom. If you’re sending your kids outside to play for a few hours, that’s probably actually one of the better things you can do for their brain development, so just give yourself… I think…and maybe that’s the point to wrap up on is so much of his pressure I think often comes from inside, we hold ourselves to such high standards that of course raising our kids is one of the most important things we will ever do in our lives. So we should, but at the same time, I think often the stress comes from our internal expectations when what our kids are experiencing and the actual outputs are a lot better than we expect.

Carrie: It does for sure. I think that’s the perfect point to wrap up on, it really rings true to me.

Katie: And to that note, I know for any of you guys new to this or veterans, please feel free to chime in the comments and share advice or ask questions as it seems like many families are navigating this I suspect this will become a regular podcast topic and also something we’re gonna be creating more content on the site for. So stay tuned for that, we would love to hear from you guys and what’s working and not working in your own lives. But very grateful. Carrie, thank you so much for spending time today and for sharing from your years of knowledge of doing this. And I hope this was helpful to many of you listening.

Carrie: Thank you so much, Katie. It was helpful to me too. So thank you for the conversation.

Katie: And thank you as always for listening, sharing one of your most valuable resources, your time, with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, we’re so grateful that you are part of this Wellness Mama community. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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