EPISODE 160| Do modern conveniences make it all too easy to barely take a step outside to enjoy the world around us? Nature provides so many benefits from vitamins to an environment that inspires the imagination. What would it look like if you dedicated yourself and your family to spending 10, 20, 30 minutes or even an hour outside everyday?  Could you do it?  Join Janna and her guest Ginny Yurich as they discuss the global movement of 1000 Hours Outside.

ABOUT OUR GUEST | Ginny Yurich is a homeschooling mother of five and founder of 1000 Hours Outside, a global movement designed to reclaim childhood. Along with her husband, Josh, Ginny is a full-time creator and curator of the 1000 Hours Outside lifestyle brand, which includes a robust online store, an app, and books. She also hosts the 1000 Hours Outside weekly podcast. A thought leader in the world of nature-based play and its benefits for children, Ginny lives with her family in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan.


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Podcast Transcript

Janna  00:00 Welcome to Homeschool Your Way. I'm your host Janna Koch and BookSharks Community Manager. Today I'm honored to introduce my guest Ginny Yurich, founder of 1000 Hours Outside. She is a homeschooling mom of five and her passion is to bring back the balance between the virtual and the outside world. It comes alive in her new book until the streetlights come on. Ginny is here to encourage us with her homeschool journey. Ginny, welcome to the podcast.

Ginny  00:25 Yay. Thank you so much for having me. I'm honored to be here.

Janna  00:30 I can't believe that you said yes. First of all, because you are a very busy woman, you are a homeschool mom of five, and you're an author. You're a speaker, you're getting outdoors 1000 hours in a year. So you read abundantly? How do you find the time?  

Ginny  00:49 No idea. You know people are always asking that question, right? I think that I just come each day. And I've always done this with what's the most important, and then a lot of the other things drop. And so that's what we do like. So for example, here's an example. I don't know when this goes live. But today is November 29. And we have this free outdoor advent calendar with these fun little ideas that you can put in a little calendar for December. And it comes out, you know, December 1 is the first day. And actually that's probably wrong, because I think Advent is actually like four weeks. I don't know, I think I'm wrong with it starting on a Friday. But anyway, we just do it like starting on December 20, on December 1 to December 24. And I just posted about it today, because, you know, cuz it's like in two days. And so that's kind of how we operate. It's like, what needs to happen today. We do that. And then lots of other things drop?  

Janna  01:41 Yeah, well, I think it's being intentional with what you're passionate about. So just so you know, I did download your book.

Ginny  01:49 Yours was a better answer than mine, you're like, give me the way an answer should be.

Janna  01:55 No, I'm not the author here. I'm not the speaker, I am the one that just gets to talk to you about all the these things that you have done to encourage not only just homeschool families, but families in general. And it's something that really has resonated with all communities, it shows by your Instagram following of over 550,000 people, I mean, that's huge. Obviously, your message is something that people are hungry for. So let's start with what 1000 hours outside is.

Ginny  02:29 Okay, here's what it is, it is a goal to get outside for 1000 hours in a year. That's it. That's all that is. But as simple as it sounds, it's not very easy, partially just because of how busy we are as a society, and partially because of how much pressure we feel as parents. And partially just because no kids are playing outside anymore. So it's not as easy to shoo your kids out the front door to go play with the neighborhood kids. But even though it's a simple premise, the impact is really profound. Because it is helping your kids develop in every facet, in every way that they could possibly develop their cognition, their social skills, their emotional well being their physical health, for those who are interested, the spirituality. And it also if you're going together as a family, it's helping to bring you closer and to form all sorts of bonds. So that's what it is. And it is one of those things that has really caught on across the globe. There are families from all walks of life who are joining in so families that homeschool families that don't homeschool families that both parents work or their single mom or any of the different situations that people aim for it, maybe they aim for something that's even a little bit smaller, but they're just being intentional and celebrating those hands-on moments in a technological world.

Janna  03:53 I will say that as a young mother of a set of twin girls, and then another one came into our family. I mean, I'm one to be very honest, I wasn't happy in motherhood. I mean, and you kind of talked about that a little bit in your book, like, and I thought what's wrong with me? I'm supposed to be so happy I wanted these children. And I'm sitting in my house. And I'm I felt like I was dying inside. I remember getting in the shower and just crying and be like this, maybe I just wasn't cut out for this. Like this is what I wanted to be a mom, I was excited to have kids be married, and have kids. And when I started leaving my house and doing activities with my kids, like just things as I'm reading through your book, I was like, Oh, we did that. Yes, check the box. You know, I'm like, we're maybe reverse engineering it. I'm like saying I'm patting myself on the back as I look back because I was like yes, okay. I had a community of new moms. We moved into a new neighborhood and we all had kids around the same time so we would get together. Those are the best days. Because our kids were playing, we were being able to, you know, talk and whether it was laugh or cry or whatever it was. There were times though, where I was like, Why are my kids the ones that won't leave me alone? Everyone else's kids are playing. But it was those times. And I think the honesty of that sometimes parenthood, a lot of times parenthood is not what we thought it was, or we read about or we see in the movies. And instead of thinking something's wrong with us, you really gave me and others permission to say, what's wrong with how we're doing it.

Ginny  05:36 Yeah, because I think that is the thing I in other cultures, and I really read a transfer, transformational, I guess, book this past year, called Hunter, Gather, Parent, by Michaeleen Doucleff. And there was a sentence in there that really stuck with me. And she said that in certain cultures, they say, a mother is never alone with a crying baby. I was like, whoa, what would your motherhood experience be like, if that were true? You're never alone with a crying baby. There's always someone there, an aunt, a friend, a cousin, someone's there to support you. And I think part of it is that we're just alone. And we're disconnected from nature. And nature naturally engages children. And so it takes the pressure off of us as mothers. And that community aspect is so important. And so it isn't I think that we are bad moms. It's just that I do think I mean, I think I did it wrong. You know, when I started being when I became a mom and started having these kids, and I was, I was miserable, so miserable. I love my kids. And I was like this is awful. And I just think it was a change in how I was doing it. And at that time, I think its talked about more. But at that time, no one was really talking about like, hey, one of the keys is your kid should be outside.

Janna  06:55 Yeah. And I think what compounded my situation was, that I kind of felt like we were being a little countercultural by staying home, especially in the community that we were in. It was like, Oh, you're not gonna put your you know, you're staying home with your kids. But you have you have degrees, you have skills. Why are you? Why are you staying home with your kids? And so it was this added pressure of I've got to be, I've got to do this right. But I'm miserable. So what am I doing wrong? This was my choice. It's my bed, I gotta lay in it, you know. And it was when I started to get outside the house to take my kids outside doing those fun things, that it really made a difference. And I think that translated into our homeschool so well, because we didn't homeschool from the very beginning. And when we started to homeschool, we have moved out to some property and it was just like, yeah, y'all need to go, y'all need to get y'all need to, you know, come to me if there's blood, but honestly, this is if this is not the safest place that you could be, there is no safer place in my mind. And so we were able to then, you know, start homeschooling and find groups that were having that same kind of experience where we would get together and we the kids would play for hours, I didn't even know. You know, I mean, they're old enough now, nobody can call social services on me, but at that time, it was like, you know. 

Ginny  08:14 Yeah, life used to be like that. And there's, if you want to, if you want to read a book and have your eyes open, there's a book called Free to Learn by Dr. Peter Gray. And he is someone who studied basically like the biology of children and how childhood is supposed to be. And so he talks about how forever, like children have always just played. And they've played primarily on their own, there hasn't been adult oversight. And so the age he talks about the tipping point to where they're pretty capable of making decisions is four, four is the age. And so he talks about how, when he was four, his grandma taught him how to walk to the store. It was a couple blocks away. And I don't know how old Dr. Peter Gray is, but you know, he's maybe in his 60s or 70s. When he was four, he would walk to the store by himself to buy grandma's cigarettes. So what do you do? But I mean, He's four years old. And I think today, it's like, we wouldn't even probably let our 14-year-old do that. And so times have really changed. But what it does when we let our kids play and you have to go in stages, right? I mean, our kids don't necessarily they know they walk in the neighborhood across the street. You know, they're in their teens now. So I think things have shifted a little older, but even if you're just there and kind of on the periphery, and so you're, you're around and you know, you can feel comfortable about that. But when they play away from adult eyes, there's so much going on in their lives that they're controlling and that they're learning and then it's good for you too because you get a break.

So that is one of I think the biggest things that people are concerned about with homeschooling. is how When will I get a break? Like, how am I going to be able to do this. And that's what happens. You know, if you want a little time to read your novel, if you want to sew something, if you want to talk with a friend, that's where it happens, it happens in an environment where everyone is engaged on their own. You didn't have to pack a bunch of stuff in order to help them be engaged. And you just get to hang out in the sunshine or the wind or the rain or whatever it is, and have a fulfilling life while they're occupied. It's like a win win.

Janna  10:34 So you and I seem like we probably had similar ages growing up. And like you said, we had very little supervision. I mean, like, there were some bad instances that I couldn't point out in my life when that has occurred. But I tell people, my brother and I did a paper route when we were probably eight and 10. We got up at 430 in the morning, rolled the papers went out on our bikes in the dark before the sun came up in our neighborhood. I mean, and that is like you tell that somebody now just like walk a four-year-old walking to buy cigarettes, and it's like, horrifying. Do you in all of your research? Do you see when that shift started when we started to be more as parents controlling or fearful or unwilling to let our children be independent?

Ginny  11:20 Yeah, I think it happened in the 90s. It started in the 90s. And so there's a couple of things that are talked about in terms of the tipping point, schooling changed. So the No Child Left Behind this verbiage that we're going to be bad parents, because our kid is behind someone else's. So even programs like Head Start, they have this connotation that this is a race. And you better start now so that you can get your child ahead. So that happened, and there's a lot more focus on school. And then in the media, I think there was a lot more focus on abductions and fearful stories, though, everything you read said kids are safer now than they ever have been. But that type of thing started to happen. So it's a combination of this extracurricular activity and schoolwork and tutoring. So no one's outside to play with their safety and numbers. So if you're going to go on a paper route with your brother, there safety numbers, if your kid's gonna go outside, and there's, my father-in-law grew up on a street where within the first six houses on either side, there was 72, kids 72, their safety and numbers. So you know, your kid's gonna go outside, there's a bunch of other kids playing there. And so we lost that as well. So it was a lot of influences, I think. And then you know, you've got the video games that started to become more immersive in the 90s, as well. And so kids are more enticed to stay inside and less enticed to be outside. And so all of that I think, contributed toward a more indoor childhood.

Janna  12:56 What's interesting is that this generation, us as parents, we allowed it to happen, right? Because we grew up outside we, I mean, my husband tells my girls stories about how the summer he'd get on his bike, and he'd be gone all day. I mean, and the same thing, like make sure you're back before dark, right? When the streetlights come on. Like, it's important, but it's, you know, we allowed it I don't know, like, I tried to, I try to live intentionally, and I don't ever want to be afraid. I think there's definitely things to be mindful of and whatnot. But I'm saddened when I look around, I said, don't you remember, we didn't, we didn't have our parents around all the time, we, we stayed at my parents let us I was talking with my husband. And I said, you know, my parents let us swim in our swimming pool in the summer, with no supervision at night. Like I wouldn't, I don't even I'm just now trying to be more comfortable letting my kids swim without supervision, right, because I just think, not on my watch. But now my 18-year-old girls this summer, got up and got grabbed their paddleboards and went to the lake without me with their friends, which, when you get to that point, that's sad, too, because you want to be at the lake with your girls and their friends. And you have to let that go. Because they want some independence from their adventurous mom. But you know, we did, we kind of bought into the lie that this is how it had to be, and it was for the best for everybody. And your movement is helping kind of open people's eyes, the fact that like, we're kind of duped, like, we don't have to you don't have to live this way anymore. And we're seeing, you know, the detriment to our children because of these things, these generations. So now that we can kind of reverse that I think, you know, the being outside the idea of homeschooling outside, education outside the box, all of these things. We're kind of getting our rebellious spirit back and we're like, No, we're, you don't you can't tell me how to do it. I want to do it my way. 

Ginny  14:55 Right. Well, because I think it was well-intentioned. I do think that they were well-intentioned. It was just the wrong path. And so people are seeing the ramifications of that. And they're seeing the fact that kids are really struggling. And I know you're going to be talking to a young man named Sean Killingsworth. There's going to be just so amazing for your podcast. But what he talks about is basically how he lost his childhood. And he was so excited about having a childhood. He's in his 20s, early 20s. And he is in that guinea pig generation where there weren't that many boundaries placed on these things, and kids are on screens all the time. And he didn't get that unhampered play that all of us got. And his story is actually really grieving. And so if you're homeschooling, it's an important one to listen to, because it will increase your resolve to stick with it, you know, because you can be the one that says, hey, when everyone comes over, we put our phones in a basket, you can delay a lot of those things, it's a lot easier because there's less pressure. And, it matters, it matters for your kids, they really get a different type of childhood than one where they're in a classroom. And as soon as the bell rings, everyone's on their phone. Even within the classroom setting. I think, in a lot of schools, kids are on the computer all day, it's open on their desks all day long. And so from a homeschooling perspective, this freedom and this opportunity to get outside to use your time differently, to have social interactions that are electronic free. These things are huge benefits. And I know it's so hard, it is a huge sacrifice. Often we're losing an income, or we're having to work side jobs and all these types of things. It is a huge sacrifice. But especially when you listen to Sean’s story, it will remind you that it's so worth it for you and for your kids, for everyone. Because they're getting experiences and a different type of childhood that's more aligned with how it used to be and how their bodies are driven to learn through social experiences and to learn a little bit away from adults sometimes to learn risk and all of those types of things. 

Janna  17:11 Yeah, yeah, I think one of the pitfalls that I have seen in our homeschooling communities is that kind of like what we talked about in the beginning, when people make a choice to be countercultural, they succumb to this added pressure that they have to prove they made a good choice. So I know when I first started homeschooling my kids, I was not having the fun and enjoying it. And then at one point, my daughter's crying. And I'm like, like you're crying literally over Handwriting Without Tears, like drips of tears like this, there's, I mean. There's got to be something wrong with this. But it's getting comfortable and getting, you know, getting a community around you that says, you know, it's not about how they perform. It's not if they can keep up with your peers, just because you're doing it in a different way. It really is a lifestyle switch. I like to tell people that you're coming to a different island, we have a different climate, different vernacular, and it's going to take you a while to assimilate, but because our natural tendency is just to want to do what we've always done in a different setting. And that is not using homeschooling to its fullest.

Ginny  18:26 Yeah, it can be scary. A lot of people that homeschool they went to public school for 13 years. So you're stepping into something that is brand new. I like a quote by John Taylor Gatto where he says, and it fits so well with your podcast, because you talk about there's not a one size fits all approach. So John Taylor Gatto says ‘there's as many ways to become educated as there are fingerprints’. So there's complete individuality. So let me tell you a story. We have five kids. And I was really influenced a lot by John Holt, by John Taylor Gatto, John Holt has a book. It's one of my favorites called Learning All The Time. And it's one of those short ones so good for homeschoolers, but the subtitle is how young children learn to read, write, do math, and investigate the world without being taught. So like, wait, what, you know what that just does not compute. We started teaching kids and I did I started teaching our oldest his letters when he was 18 minds how ridiculous. You know what I was doing? We were doing letter crafts. I mean, it was out of control. I can't even believe I did it looking back. But over the years I read books like John Holt's and how kids and Peter Gray they they're biologically designed to self-educate, to self-educate. So that means I'm not doing quite as much as I thought I was so important. You know, I'm gonna direct it all but no, they self-educate quite a bit. So for our oldest four kids, we waited to teach reading until they were a little bit older. So that's counterculture. We waited till seven. And actually, they say that that age then normal age of reading is like three to 12. It can be all the way into middle school. So we don't have to be super concerned about the timeline. But I thought well, we're gonna wait a little bit. The Waldorf school, they wait in Finland, they wait. And we did this book, How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. And I know there are a lot of great reading materials out there. Anyway, worked fine with our kids. With our fifth child. I was like, I'm so intrigued by this John Holt book.  Could she really learn how to read and write, without me explicitly teaching? And I tell you what Janna she reads! She sure did. I mean, she reads, we didn't do the book. So what happened is, you know, she hit the age where she wanted to, and I know, this doesn't work for every kid, right. So if you got a child that has dyslexia, different learning styles, you're gonna have to approach it differently. And that's the whole, it's not one size fits all thing. But it worked. And I think when you step into doing something differently in time, you become really confident. Because you see that little by little, it worked. It worked last time, it's working now. And you can step back and trust that your child is going to grow at their own pace. And they're going to grow into this whole healthy person. By the time they become an adult, and then they're going to continue to grow, right? Because here we sit. I was a math teacher. Here. I sit on a podcast. I mean, as an author, this is not anything that I was trained to do. I was not good at English. I can't spell. I tried to spell the word yesterday penitentiary. No idea. I don't know. I mean, like the spellcheck didn't even pick it up. I was so far off. Because this guy who wrote a book called PLAYBORHOOD, Mike Lanza, he was talking about how our yards now seem like penitentiaries, because there's so many fences everywhere you can see the kids. So I was like taking notes. And I was like, I don't even know, I still don't know. I don't know how to spell it. So I mean, we continue to grow throughout our lives. So if we can love life, if we can know what we're passionate about, if we can be able to talk to other people, that type of thing, like those skills go a long way. 

Janna  22:14  Yeah, I'm glad I'm in good company. I'm a horrible speller as well, is that

Ginny  22:19 you also can't spell penitentiary? No, I'd have a hard one. I tried to sound it out. And I was I don't even know. 

Janna  22:27  Yeah, well, our language is so bizarre anyways, but that is a good indication of the there's not how intelligent you are. I tell the kids all the time. Like, we're not gonna get caught up on the nuances of how to spell. I've made it through my life. I mean, there are some people that that is their thing. Like they want you know, they're in some people are naturally good spellers. It's like, you just let them like, that's great. I want to have my daughter is just naturally a speller. someone's like, hey, how do you spell this? Like, right now? We can ask? Yes. Where is she? Where is she?

Ginny  22:57 And my mom is good at that, too. She'd be a great editor. I mean, this is the thing about life is that we come how we come. And I love you know, there's Steven Pressfield talks about how like, Look, your kid comes into this work, you're not changing. I mean, they are, who they are. They're good at what they're good at. So focus on those things. I mean, homeschooling allows you and I know, there's a lot of people that talk about this, but homeschooling allows you to focus on their strengths. I will never be a book editor. Are you kidding me? There's no way. I put out typos on almost everything I do. Every day, my mom is texting me. And she's like, Hey, you gotta typo. I try. I don't even see them. I can't even I'm like, I know I have this problem. And I still put them out. I'm trying to fix it, and I can't. So homeschooling I think allows you to be the one that really focuses on what is it that that kid loves and is passionate about, and you have the time to dive into those things.

Janna  23:50 I think the fear of failure is what really starts to bog down homeschoolers, we are this sounds great, Ginny, I want to just be outside and play with my kids all the time. And, and I think I'll be happier, my kids will be happier. But how does that equate to the real world when, you know, things need to happen? And they've got to get into college? You know, these are the pushbacks that we hear right when we are talking to people that this is a foreign concept to and my first rebuttal is how is this generation doing with those who are publicly schooled? Like this is not the right school versus public school. This is a society that has lost its love for learning. And bringing that back in these types of movements is what is going to change and kind of change our whole trajectory. I think as a country, if we can, if we can let go that we control. You know, you said that our child children come into the world as they are I think a lot of the times in parenting when I butted heads with my kids is because I wanted them to be different than who they were. And now granted I'm a disciplinarian. I believe in order. I have to have, you know, things are, there are there is order in this world, but having the freedom to let your kids be who they are within that order is a beautiful thing that in a lot of times when I hear parent people say, Oh, well, I don't have the patience to homeschool, I don't know how you're around your kids that much, you know, you hear all of these comments. And I mean, in some days, I'm like, I don't know how I'm around my kids as much either like, they're horrible.


Ginny  25:27  And so are we sometimes! And I think that's the point. It's like, what to the patient's piece, it's like, well, guess what, parenting is a place where we grow. And it's a wonderful opportunity to have growth within your own self, and to change to be a different person. I remember, in my pre-parenting life, I taught math, while I was always good at math, and I taught piano and I taught guitar lessons. I mean, you see this pattern I taught swimming, you know, you stick with these things that you're good at. And I would say that you know, until I had kids, I didn't really grow. I just did what I was already mildly good at. And then you become a parent. And if you look at it, that way, you grow as a person. And that's sort of the point of life. And I think, to the fear question, which is a really big one. But it is interesting, if you take a step back and look at it logically, we are setting our kids up for a world that is changing very fast. And the world did not use to change this fast. The world used to be a place where you would graduate from high school, or you have graduated from college, and you would get a job, and you probably keep that job for 30 years, and then you would have a pension and you would retire. And a large portion of the population followed that same path. Well, that does not exist anymore. What exists for our kids, and for us, here we are sitting on this podcast, this wasn't a career option. When I graduated from high school, it didn't even exist. So our kids are going to enter a world where they're going to change jobs, a lot of times, the average currently is four job changes within the first decade of adulthood for this four different sets of coworkers, that's four bosses, maybe more four sets of skills. And so when we're looking to set our kids up for a world that's rapidly changing, they need the skills that come from downtime, they need the skills of creativity and flexibility, they need to be able to talk to a bunch of different people, they need to be able to come up with innovative solutions, they have to be risky, a lot of our kids are going to be entrepreneurs, so they have to be okay with writing their own path. And so that's the problem right now, and 2023/2024, with an adult-directed childhood, because what you have then is a child who graduates at age 18. And someone else has told them what to do for 18 years, for 15 years, for 13 years, however long. And then all of a sudden, they don't know what to do in this world that is changing so fast. And you even see it like you see it with AI. It's disrupting the job market. And there are certain jobs that are becoming obsolete and they're becoming obsolete quicker than they used to. So we're gonna have to have kids that can be on their toes and can shift. And the way that they learn to do that is by directing some of their own childhood.

Janna  28:28 I think that another big opportunity for parents, especially homeschool parents, as we're talking about them is modeling this ability to be flexible, to shift to do things differently than even your neighbors or you are taught or how the extended family does it. It's like when you know nobody else homeschools Well, that's okay. It's okay that we're doing something different. I think, you know, my girls, we're not lovers of reading, but over the years with the amount of reading that we have done with our homeschool, and I read for fun, and my husband didn't grow up reading so it's a little he's not quite that modeling. He does read a lot on his phone. So that's one of those things, but it is like now my girl, they there. They buy each other books for Christmas and birthdays. I mean, they're avid readers, but that was they saw that when people homeschool, I think they're in that still in that idea that if I just tell my kids what to do, they'll believe that it's a good choice and they'll do it. But I feel like when I have seen success in my homeschooling is when I've modeled for my children what to do and then they are doing it just like being outside we can't we fish we hike we we do all these things have if we had just said you know we'll go out and do that. Okay, fine. But when they see us doing it and see the fun that we're having, that's a whole other aspect to it.

Ginny  29:56 Well, John Holt talks about that too, in that same book Learning All The Time. He says, young children, children in general need to get a sense of how work is done, how adult work is done. So they need to see a book written from start to finish, they need to see someone who's made a table. They are so siphoned off a lot of times from the adult world, and then we kick them out into it. So how do you write an email? How do you have a phone call? How do you craft a life? How do you craft a family? I think that this part of homeschooling is so valuable, too. Even if things are going poorly, and you have to adjust. This is life, we are constantly having to adjust to change to like, Oh, that's not really working. So we're going to try something different tomorrow. And what a gift for a child to get a front-row seat to that, you know, I used to teach in the classroom. And before I had my own classroom, I substitute taught. And so one time, but only one time, because I was so tired at the end, I substitute taught for a kindergarten class. Okay, that's so exhausting, so tired. But it was broken down by the minute, like it was, I mean, to the three minutes, four minutes you do this, the next four minutes you do that, and the child never sees the backstory of that, they never see the why they're just shuffled down this path. And I think for kids to be able to see even the dysfunction, even how will we handle disagreements? Even how we handle when there's a really bad day, when we're grieving? How do we still get up and live life, all of that. And when kids are home, you have a new baby that enters the family. I mean, I think that there are a lot of homeschool moms who feel guilty, right? They feel guilty because they've got a seven year old and now they have a new baby. And maybe the seven-year-old is not getting as much attention for the schoolwork as they used to. But guess what, that seven-year-old gets to learn how to add a baby to the family. Right. And so all of that front-row seat stuff is so valuable for your kids, even when it's rocky.

Janna  32:05 Yeah. You had mentioned in your book, community, and how you have built community how community is really an important aspect of this idea that we're talking about. Right and, and homeschooling, I have one advisor that works for us that she is on the East Coast, and they have literally zero homeschool community like she is just in a wasteland. Her words, not mine. But, um, you I loved when you talked about like, and this one, I'm just going to pull it from the book because you said it beautiful, you said better to gather imperfectly than not to gather at all, because our homes weren't tidy enough. And I think part of that breakdown that I've seen over the years was that that's the thing people like, Well, my house isn't big enough my house, I don't have the right decorations,  It's a mess, I have three dogs, you come to my house, there, you're gonna have dog hair in your scone, I mean, you just areyou're gonna have, it's gonna be homemade, but its gonna be there.

Ginny  33:03 It’s good for your microbiome.  

Janna  33:07 So it's back to that idea of this fear. Like, if it's not perfect, I don't want to do it, I see it so many times with my kids, they want to go try something, well, if it's not gonna be perfect, I don't want to do it. And I caught myself in that kind of philosophy for a long time too. And it's just let it happen. You know, like you said, if it if it's not if can't open your home, if that's too big of step for you then meet at a park me that you know, a playground like there are baby steps, it's this all or nothing mentality that is I think driving our society and I just want to shout from the mountaintops like it's not worth it, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can be and not either, or it can be and.

Ginny  33:47 And when you meet at a park, those are actually such great places to meet up. Because there's no fighting about toys, you really get that breath, you get that exhale, when you're out in nature, because kids find things to do, that nature provides. And so there's a lot of materials, there's a lot of sticks, there's a lot of sand and all that type of stuff. So it gives you that reprieve that you're looking for and a chance to have a conversation. Because we all know when you have little kids, you can hardly finish a sentence. But if you're in a space that maybe a large grassy field or place it's bounded in so you're not running after a toddler, you think they might go on the road or something like that if you can find a space that's tucked back in a little ways or something like that. They'll go they'll occupy themselves. You can sit and nurser your baby and and talk to a friend and have a full conversation. You could call your mom, whatever the situation is. And so that's great, I mean, I think that's a great first option is Hey, like let's meet up at the park.

Janna  34:46 Yeah. And you get your time outside, which is yes, so many benefits. We've we've touched on a few of those. So I want you to stay on for hours. I feel like we could Just spend, we could do a whole retreat together, and we would just talk the entire time, but out of respect, I will stop. But before we go, I would love to hear a homeschool hack that you could share with our listeners.

Ginny  35:13 This is gonna be lame. Well, my home school hack would be to go outside, that'll be mine. But but the reason I would say that is because it's gonna give you everything that you want. But I probably should come up with something better. But I don't really think I have anything. I'm like a one-trick pony at the homeschool hack, wait, like you can wait for academics. And so that will be another hack that I would have to do especially if you have a bunch of young children at home. So if you're in a season of life, where you have two or three kids, and they're six and under, you don't have to start now, you don't have to start all this formal things, you don't have to sit for hours a day. In fact, John Taylor Gatto says that it only takes 50 hours to reach well, 50 to 100. He says 50 to 100 hours to reach functional literacy. You probably have talked about this, I should have listened back, I'm like maybe I'm being really repetitive, you know, 100 hours to reach functional literacy. So that's so that a child could read, write, and do math, to the point where they could learn anything else that they ever wanted to learn 50 to 100 hours. So that's two, or three weeks of school. That's it. So people are nervous, you know, you got a six-year-old, a seven-year-old, you got a baby, you're up at night, you feeling like you're falling behind. But I think you can get 50 to 100 hours within the whole year, within a couple of years. And you're gonna get your child to the point where they love learning, and they're going to go off and learn all sorts of things. They're going to leave you behind. I mean, my kids know things that I don't know, isn't it wild? Like being crossed that threshold at some point where they know all sorts of things that you don't, so you can wait. There's no rush. There's no rush to be sitting at a desk for hours a day with your young kids, while you're trying to juggle other little kids and that type of thing. So Steve Demi, who is the founder of Math-U-See, he says, The hardest part about homeschooling is toddlers. So if you have a bunch of those, you know, you can just wait. And you can play and bake and sing songs and go outside and take naps and rest and know that what you're doing is enough.

Janna  37:20 And it really it's more than enough. Because you're being intentional. You're spending time with your children. And you're modeling for them, how to be a lover of learning. And so I think that that is beautiful. All right. Well, for those who are watching, make sure you get a copy of Ginny's new book. It's phenomenal I'm not saying that because she's on my podcast. I'm saying it because I read it cover to cover. I even cried when I told her my review when we started this podcast. So that is legit from my heart. Ginny, thank you so much for coming on. It was a pleasure, like I said, fanning geeking out a little bit on my end for hosting you on our podcast. I appreciate your time and all the work that you're doing to support the homeschool community.  

Ginny  38:02 Thank you so much. It was an honor to be here. You could have had anybody else but you reached out and had me and I'm so thankful.

Janna  38:11 I want to thank you guys, until next time, goodbye.