Balancing Homeschool Life

EPISODE 176| Why is hearing about other peoples’ homeschool stories important?  Because it can energize us and give us wonderful ideas on how to make our lives easier. It also gives us perspective on our lives on just how well we are doing and tips to make it easier. Join Janna and her guest, Trisha on making homeschooling work with four energetic boys and the magic of using stories to teach, especially with BookSharks. We'll also dive into how we balance homeschooling and sports, share handy organizational tips like binder calendars and color coding, and discuss teaching life skills alongside academics. Learn mental math tricks to smooth out those busy homeschooling and sports schedules. Tune in for a dose of homeschooling inspiration!

ABOUT OUR GUEST | Trisha Kondratek is in her seventh year of homeschooling her four boys, ages 7 to 12. As a family they chose to begin their homeschool journey as their oldest was going into first grade; which opened the door to more family time, traveling, and learning at each child's pace. Prior to homeschooling, Trisha was heavily involved in photography and the arts community, and now enjoys introducing her boys to the arts and humanities. Reading, exploring, and learning along side her boys has become the biggest bonus of being a homeschool mom. The family is more often than not spotted at the hockey rink or lacrosse field for practices or games in the evenings and weekends. Trisha, and the Kondratek family as a whole, are thankful for the quality time homeschooling has afforded them, even during the busy sports seasons. 

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Podcast Transcript

Janna  00:04 Welcome to Homeschool Your Way. I'm your host Janna Koch and BookSharks Community Manager. Today's episode is all about balancing a busy homeschool life. And my guest Trisha Kondratek is going to be talking about her homeschool life for the past seven years with her four boys. Now that may seem kind of chaotic to mothers like me who only have girls, but I am excited to hear how Trisha and her family is doing life not only with homeschool, but adding in all types of sports and other activities that they do as a homeschool family. So let me introduce you guys to Tricia. Good morning.

Trisha 01:04 Good morning. How are you?

Janna  01:10 I am good. I'm excited to get talking about your homeschool life. And I know that when we kind of prepped for this podcast, I was overwhelmed at your schedule. So but yet here you are joyfully sharing your experience with our listeners. So why don't you just introduce yourself and kind of tell us how you got involved in homeschooling to begin with?

Trisha  01:37 Um, let's see. I am like you said a mom of four boys. Let's see my oldest Logan is 12. Kellen is 10. Hayden is nine and Grayson is seven. I have to think about it as I go through it. Because I'm like even though there's four of them, it's we call it organized chaos in our house. So it's just this constant ruckus of fun and learning and mud. And it's it's a lot of fun, but it is chaos. Yeah, so we started homeschooling, actually, shortly after we had our fourth so literally, we were knee-deep in diapers and toddlers and our oldest had just he was in the middle of kindergarten. And, yeah, we had previously the year before that we lived in England, lots of long stories. But he has started reception, which is their version of kindergarten over there. And they do that at the age of four. And it was it kind of reminded me of the way that we had kindergarten as a kid, it was very learning through play hands-on, you know, cutting pictures out of magazines and pasting them on stuff and the outdoor mud kitchens. And it was just he loved it. It was such an amazing experience. And he learned so much. And when we came back to the United States, he did kindergarten. So he kind of did it again, because he was five. And it was just very different. And it was not just different from the UK. But it was also very different from the way that I remember public school when I was a kid. And he struggled and like he does. Our son has been diagnosed with dyslexia. But just in general, the public school system just didn't quite fit him or even our family, the more we looked into it. And so at the end of his kindergarten year, we thought, you know, we'll try homeschooling I had some friends and my sister also homeschools. So it was something we had always thought about. I didn't know if I would be a good homeschool mom, because I'm not naturally a teacher at all but, you know,  we gave it a try. Honestly, finding a curriculum was really hard because there are so many out there, it's very overwhelming. And as every mom I have ever talked to, who has homeschooled, they will all attest the very first year is always the hardest year, it's the year learning what works for you and your family, what works for your kids how to kind of unschool and change things from the public school system and our perceptions and kind of creating your own. I don't know your own classroom, and like whether it's indoors like I'm sitting in our classroom right now. But you know, we also go outdoors or you know, on the go and field trips and you kind of make it what it is, and the first year is always a little hard but even amidst the heart of learning how to homeschool and having four boys and a baby and a toddler and all the things we just absolutely fell in love with it. And we're now homeschooling all four of them. So Kelen are sorry Logan is in seventh grade and Grayson is in first grade. So we have kind of this full gamut of elementary through middle school and it's so much fun. We just love it.

Janna  05:00 Now, when you were looking at all of those options for me, it's very interesting because when I homeschooled in the 90s, I think there were like three options. And that really, and that was it, like, unless your parents were very creative and wanted to give you like an unschooling situation, you had about three choices, and they're still around, and they're kind of dry, I'm not gonna lie, like they're workbook based, and, and it worked. And I was educated. But now, all of these years later, I mean, I go to conventions, and that's how you and I met, there are so many things, and it can be so it can be overwhelming. So as you were taking in all that information, and kind of deciding what was going to work for your family, what drew you to BookSharks literature-based learning, like, what made you go, this is the one for me.

Trisha  05:54 Um, we did see a lot of the ones with the workbooks. And they looked easy, as far as everything's ready to go. It just didn't quite sync with us. And it was, it was kind of a serendipitous moment when we found BookShark, it was at the homeschool convention, the FPEA homeschool convention in Orlando, Florida. And I had been looking online for months before this, and I was like, I need to be physically there. I need to look at things and touch them with my hands. And I had been there for days. And like you say, it's really big, it's very, the whole process is overwhelming. But that convention is very overwhelming. And on the last day, it was like the last aisle that I had not been down and BookShark was there. And for us, I'm a big book junkie. I'm like, my husband says that it's my one flaw that I just have too many books every like we've moved quite a bit. And every single time I get home, we have too many books because the book boxes are so heavy. I got my love for learning from my Grandma and Grandpa Hits, like my paternal grandparents, they just got me stuck on the classics. And then from there, I just fell in love with, you know, the world of books, it's just unending. And I don't know, there was something when we saw BookShark, I love the Usborne Books, we have so many of them naturally. It just, it’s fun to dive in through the books and kind of enter these worlds. And to be able to do it through like history. And science is just such a fascinating way to learn. And my boys just can't get enough of it. I can't get enough of it. It's just it's something that we can also do together as well, if that makes sense to him, like we can sit down together and I will have a pile of books behind me on the couch next to me on the couch and maybe one on my lap. And they all want to read together or I'll find them in the classroom and school's over and they've taken the BookShark books down and they're sitting in a pile around them and rereading them. And I'm like, we just we love books in general. And so BookShark just kind of naturally filled. Yeah, that filled the gap, but kind of built into our life perfectly. It just it, it made so much sense to me. And the fact that everything kind of connects also makes sense. What you're reading with like your read-aloud goes with the history. And it just kind of creates this really nice arc, which I appreciate that aspect of it. I like to kind of keep organized and so it's it kind of seems organized in that manner if that makes any sense.

Janna  08:32 It does. It does. I will say personally, when I wasn't homeschooling, I kind of did everything as a kid. I remember specifically some very key moments when I read historical novels, and how it changed how I viewed learning. And so finding a curriculum that had that as the core was like a no-brainer for me. I'm like, wait, I can teach my kids through the literature instead of it just being oh, here's something that you might enjoy. It kind of goes with the lesson. It's like no, it is the lesson I'm like if you don't want to learn through story, I don't know how you want to learn because all of life is one big story right? And then we have all of I mean obviously, the way Netflix and all of the streaming services are so popular. It resonates with humans to hear stories to be immersed in the story so I Yeah, I'm with you. I fell in love. I was like oh my gosh, give me another book. What's the next book like? I was so excited. And you know realistically like there are days when kids are reluctant to be read to right? Everyone has their moods. Everyone has their preferences. Yeah. But now on the other side of it having now graduated two of my girls and seeing them read for fun seeing them really want to delve deeper when when the topic is brought up there they want talk about it. They want to be there not just like, oh, okay, that happened. In fact, my youngest was just telling me. As we're recording this, the bridge in Baltimore had gone down this week.

Trisha  10:12 Yeah.

Janna  10:12 And so she had said, you know, I'm so much more sensitive to these topics than I was as a kid. And I thought that's interesting because I kind of thought it would be the reverse, right? As a kid, you'd be a little bit more sensitive. But now as she is maturing, she's like, I'm even more sensitive because I understand the implications of what that means and the people who are affected. And then the, and she didn't use this word, I'm gonna use this word, the commerce, right that, that now we understand, like, it's just this ripple effect. And it's not just an event that happened. It's like an event happened. And now how does it affect those in the immediate area, and then expanding outward? And I love that my kids have been exposed to that, and they can verbalize that and go, Okay, we're not just in a vacuum, incidences are not just in a laboratory, right? They are human experiences, and how does that make us better humans? And so obviously, I love BookShark. I love that you love BookShark! But yeah, it's just, it's a really neat way to educate your children. And like you said, to be re-educated.

Trisha  11:20  Yes. Yeah, I'm kind of a geek for learning. I. It's funny, it's like when I was in school, I did what I needed to do to get by, you know, and then once I went to college, it's, it's just, it's one of those things where you just realize, Oh, I get to learn on my own instead of being forced to be learned or forced to learn. And then I started falling in love with I had fallen in love with reading prior to that, but I didn't really fall in love with learning until I went to college, and it was on my own. And I think that's why one of the reasons why I love BookShark because even though, you know, I am teaching my kids, and it is kind of okay, mandatory, you gotta get in the classroom and get your work done. They want to, like they want to learn they have that love for learning. And I don't think it's necessarily just because we homeschool, I think it's because we have the right curriculum for our family. And I think that makes all the difference is, you know, finding the curriculum, and I'm so lucky that we found it. I've met many parents who have kind of switched and they switch again, because they can't find what fits for their family. And really, like I said, it was a serendipitous moment when we found BookShark because I just knew right when I saw it, I said, this is perfect. You know, we've always read, we love this kind of stuff. And then of course, I'm like, I love all the curriculum, but the hands-on history, the history by itself, I'm just like, I'm the biggest geek for it, I have turned so many people on to book shark, just by their their history alone. I absolutely love it. The books are incredible. And it brings history to life. And for somebody who, you know, in the public school system, you have to learn the dates and the names and the events, but you don't like you said you don't know, the understanding of like, what is actually going on, because you're so busy memorizing things, when you're learning it through stories, you get a feel for it, it kind of puts you into that moment in history, and it helps you appreciate it at a completely different level and understand it more. And I just love it i i have our two oldest ones doing their history together, kind of do the year between their ages. And I love it because they get these discussions going in these debates talking about, you know, theories of, you know, what were the Founding Fathers thinking and you know, how much pressure that was, and you know, what was it like for their families to be able to support them, like, they literally get into these conversations, because they're not just reading just to memorize, they're reading to kind of see themselves in history, and they understand it more. And the appreciation for history is just there. I love it. Like I said, I'm a big geek I could go on

Janna  13:53 Well, I'm right there with you. It would be unfortunate if anyone listening to this podcast stopped now because we could kind of make it seem like all you guys do is sit in the classroom and read the books and that is not what happens at your house. The academics is a very small portion of your learning environment in your home. So what are some of the other things that you guys are involved in that that further your learning outside of books?

Trisha  14:26 Well, besides you know, the usual homeschool co-ops and things like that, and field trips we have, we are very active in sports. So, our oldest and then our two younger ones all play hockey. And let's see Logan and Hayden are both in travel hockey, and that starts from the month of August about end of July beginning of August. And that goes until about the beginning of March. It can kind of extend and when I say travel hockey, I'm talking about practices multiple days a week and then traveling most weekends. And like our leagues are usually you know, we're in. We're in Northern Alabama. So we will go to like Nashville or we'll go to Atlanta. So it's about two or three hours away, that's manageable. But you're gone all weekend. Then we'll do some tournaments up in like St. Louis, Indianapolis, kind of a little bit further away. They did one up in Notre Dame, both of them happen to be at the same time, which worked out really well. So our whole family could go together. And that was really fun. Hayden's team made second place, which was really cool. But yeah, so we've got that going on. And then all four of the boys play lacrosse, so they do fall ball. So while we also have hockey going on, we might be taking a couple to the lacrosse field and a couple to the hockey rink. And then they're in spring. So Spring lacrosse usually starts at the end of January, the beginning of February. So there's a lot of crossover there. February is a very busy month in our house. And it goes until about May. And it just kind of seems to just keep chugging along. But you know, what my husband and I call it we call the the divide and conquer we're very good at, you know, planning out our time being organized with our time, and figuring out who needs to go where and who do we need to drop off and then go pick somebody else up and there's a lot to go along with it. But it's just been such a fun experience for us. We have, you know, hockey families that we call them, you know, you meet the people on the field and you kind of create this camaraderie, you know, with everybody there. And there are actually quite a few homeschool families, both in hockey and lacrosse. Actually one of Logan's really good friends who's the goalie on his team. He's also a homeschooled kid. So I'm like, there's quite a lot of them that are in sports and homeschool as well. And honestly, I appreciate the fact that we do homeschool because we are so busy. I actually get some time with my kids too. So as much as we're busy. I still get family time, which I love and appreciate.

Janna  17:17 Yeah, could you imagine trying to fit in homework, and studying for tests and being gone and then having to make up that that work when you're when your children get back? I mean, there's so many benefits to this way of life, which homeschooling really is a way of life. It's not just a way of educating your children. It is a an entire, like worldview, I think, for most of us, and so yeah, just I couldn't imagine like being in your shoes and then trying to be the stress of did you turn in that assignment? And you're missing this? Where did that? You know, did the dog eat that homework? I mean, so many of the things that are eliminated because of the way you're choosing to educate? You mentioned two key factors staying organized and I think every homeschool family really would benefit from being organized and even organized chaos right like I get it. Not all of us are type A and color coordinated and all those things but to be organized so what are some of the things that you have found that have helped you stay organized in the midst of this chaos?

Trisha  19:58 Okay, so my favorite thing, I'm very old school in this manner, but I have like the good old-fashioned binder calendar, I love this thing. I, okay, it is filled to the gills. And I have literally next year's already. So I do the one that is for school. So this is the 23/24. So this will end in June and I already have the one for 24/25. And I'm already filling it in. This is kind of my way of keeping track of everything. So from hockey and lacrosse schedules, doctor's appointments, Co-Op anything on here. But the thing that actually makes it a little easier for me is a trick that I learned from my mom. When we were kids, she gave us all our own, like plastic bowls, plates, cups, so she basically knew who wasn't putting their stuff away. And she knew how to get on there, you know, so if it was a turquoise when it was mine, I was in trouble. You know. And so we did that, but not necessarily for the kids to get in trouble just so that they had their own things. So they have their own backpacks and specific colors and they tend to gravitate to specific colors. Logan is red. Kellen is blue, Hayden is orange, and Grayson is green, they've all picked their colors. And they've all stuck with them. And so when I have my binder, my calendar, I literally everything is color-coded. So not only can I see the day, but it's easy for me to see that. You know, like today, Grayson, he's green, he has lacrosse at 515. Hayden is orange, and he has lacrosse that also 515 and it tells me where it is. But it's easy because it's color organized. So if they need to look for something, they just have to look for the orange for that day. I also have a color, I'm purple, and my husband is black. He's usually not in here too much. I'm like we will, I'll add him occasionally. But most of the time his stuff is, you know, during work, so not necessarily something we need to see. But this is a way that I kind of keep my life organized. And I can see it a month at a time and see it month to month because sometimes like you said you're looking, you have to plan ahead a little bit not that I can have control of it. But it helps me to be able to have that, you know, organized chaos. So it is chaos, things are movable, but at least we can kind of have an idea of how to plan things. And in our classroom actually have other calendars. So in our classroom, we have our classroom calendar that has just our coops, just our things going on with school. So if they wanted to do something that is school-related, it's there. And in our house and our hallway, we have one that's just like the kids, so they can see where they're going at specific times. So they can see, okay, I have lacrosse at this time. And that can kind of help them also gauge when things are going on. So this is like the master calendar. And the best trick of all, the erasable pens you can get them in all colors, but they erase because we know that in life, things are going to change the amount of times that they've scheduled the practice and then they add, oh, they can get them they can get on the ice and after a half hour early or, you know this certain team needs to practice this day because they have games on their other day. Can we switch with them and I have to erase instead of just crossing things out because otherwise this thing would just be scribbled all over the place. Erasable pens I learned it from another homeschool mom. They are the best thing in the world. Yeah, Lifesaver right there.


Janna  23:33 Trisha. I'm a little disappointed that your color is not turquoise. And I think maybe your mom might be too

Trisha  23:41 I do like turquoise but since Kelen's is blue, his usually tends to be kind of a turquoise-y blue. I figured I'd give it to him.

Janna  23:47 Okay, yeah, fair enough. Now, I know as an adult, that a crazy schedule, you know, a mom who homeschools one, I have two now adult children if you want to call them that they're 18 I don't know how that really flies, but you know, working full time having my own activities. I feel like having things organized is a coping skill for me to keep anxiety at bay. So there are times when I am like, starting to feel anxious just because life is closing in on me and I am not old school. I am a digital calendar but it brings me such comfort to pull it up and go look at the next day and go okay, I know who's going to be here. I know that I built time here and it really starts to bring my anxiety back down. It's like okay, this is manageable and like you I can I can look out the week I can look out the month. And I was thinking about the other day and I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is kind of like a binky. Like this is like a pacifier that like when I start to get worked up I just don't know how it's gonna all get done. I pull it out. I'm like, Okay, wait, this is this is my comfort, this is my weighted blanket. And I have to imagine that the same applies to our children, whether they know it or not, they know where they're going to next, you know, it'd be different if we were just grabbing them and saying, Get in the car, you know, we're supposed to be like, we didn't know we were supposed to be there, I'm with you, the more information they have, the more they can own it and take, you know, control over when what they pack and how they do it in their colors like I think, even colors. So it's like, here are these great tips for parents that maybe you're not doing any of these things, and your kids are kind of running, running around feeling like so out of control, that maybe implementing a few of these things in the busy life of homeschool can really help bring some calm into the storm.

Trisha  25:47 No, yeah, absolutely. Like it is, like you said, it's a storm. And like, a lot is going on, we've had days where especially like I said, February, when you have that overlap of all of the sports, it is our way of kind of being able to not control it, but have that calm in the storm to have kind of an idea of where we're headed and how to get there and how to time manage. And it's not just for us, it is for the kids. And I think like you said, it is comforting for them to know, you know, this is what we have going on tonight, you have your schoolwork you have this amount of time, and they know that we have to leave a certain amount beforehand. And if they're one of the kids that are going to a sporting event, they have to pack their own bags, they have to get themselves ready. We become a very like self-sufficient family, it's another thing that we've done to be able to handle all of this is to teach them to keep themselves organized and to manage their own things. For one, I can't do it all for them. I'm like, our life is crazy enough. I can't do all the thinking for everybody. But also, it's homeschooling. It's teaching them life skills. And I think it's been really helpful for them to be able to see that and it creates less panic for them and less uncertainty. I'm like our life, like you said, it's so busy. It's chaotic all the time. But I think it makes it so that there's less of that anxiety and that stress. And so we can have fun in those moments and actually be able to enjoy the moments. And then, you know, have the crazy and be okay with it. Don't get me wrong. I'm like we've had days where, you know, things aren't, you know, you have those days where just the alarm doesn't go off on time and you don't get all the schoolwork done, or, you know, you hit too many red lights and you're running late. And you know, it's not a perfect system, nothing will ever be. But it's trying to be able to handle the storm as it's going on. And so far seems to be working pretty good. 

Janna  27:46 Well, talk about the teaching of the life skills, you kind of mentioned helping them stay organized. But what are some of the other things that you're teaching your boys as part of your learning environment, your learning culture, for life skills, what are the things that they are responsible for, in the day-to-day?

Janna  28:03 Yeah, so we've kind of brought them up in, we are a team mentality like we are a pack family. And it's not that Mom and Dad do everything, we do everything together. And so since they were really little, they've started picking up their own stuff and helping put their clothes away. And now, you know, from the ages from seven to 12, we have now like a chore chart that goes monthly, so it switches monthly, and we do it on a monthly basis instead of a weekly, that way, they kind of have a chance to get their skills more set. And this is more for like the younger kids Grayson, who's seven, you know, at this point, trying to teach him how to vacuum an edge. It's because they need that repetition. But yeah, we do it on a monthly schedule. And every single day is kind of broken down, they have just one chore to do. But their life skills like you know, cleaning the bathrooms, or you know who's going to do the laundry, and the person who's doing the laundry is the one who's washing all of the clothes do we do all the boy's clothes together, they're putting them in the dryer, and then they take it to the bed and then everybody folds their own clothes and puts them away. But they're kind of the one that's managing putting it from one, one station to the other. Somebody's got to pick up the dog, you know, droppings outside, and D-shed the dogs and make sure that you know, they're fed and things like that. So it's chores that are like everyday things. But these are things that they're going to need to do when they're on their own. And we want to make sure that hey, we're a team we all help out. We all have our part in this. We don't have a maid we don't have a cleaning service. You probably know not everybody can. And these are good life skills for them to be able to have I want them when they go off on their own when they move out of the house to be able to know how to do the dishes or how to, you know clean their own house or do their own laundry and not have to think about it, it kind of is a normal thing. But once again, you know, we're a team, we all kind of handle things in this house in different ways I do the teaching, I do, the prepping the meal, or well, more of the meal planning, we kind of all prep together. Another thing we do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. My husband does all of the when it comes to the sports, he's the one that organizes all that he does the sign up for that when it comes to sports, that's kind of his thing. I'm more of the taxi driver and getting them there. And like the cheerleader and the support mom, when it comes to homeschooling, I'm the one who does more of the teaching and the ordering and the organizing of it all. And he usually assists mostly in math. So we're kind of, once again, we are also a team as well. And I think it's good for them to know that we all have our part in it, we all help each other out. And I love the fact that they're learning these life skills to so that when, when they're on their own, they're not going to founder, you know, they're going to get a great education, but also they're going to have all these life skills. So that hopefully, you know whether they go to college or trade school or whatever they do, that they're going to be successful and confident. And, you know, yeah, they're going to have some questions, but they're not going to be without the skills that they need to kind of thrive in life.

Janna  31:24 Which I think back to like the Renaissance man, right? So you can be able to discuss very complex scientific theories. And yet, do your laundry and know that you have to eat and plan ahead, and, you know, get to the next thing on time you don't get lost in, you know, you get so focused on one thing that you can't do something else. I mean, I love that. That's definitely the that's my wheelhouse. Like, that's where I want to be, I want to be able to do a little bit of everything. I'm certain I don't have one specialty, right? And I'm a little envious of those who do have that specialty. And that mindset that like they're so passionate, they're so focused and like my passion is just like really spread out towards a lot of things. But then I get to kind of experience all the things and I love that I've been able to show that to my kids as well through this whole experience. Before we go, do you have a homeschool hack you can share with our listeners?

Trisha  32:23  I think in general, like whether you're a homeschool mom, or whether you are like any kind of mom, or even if you're not a mom, I think it's to manage the anxiety of being you know, late, or if you have a lot going on. It is literally it's kind of new health. Lately, people have been saying, Oh, it's mom math, it's doing math, it's things like that. But it's kind of like, you know, homeschool mom math, I guess. It's okay, so we have we're doing, we're in the classroom, we have x y&z going on, but we have to be at the lacrosse field at five o'clock, but the coach wants them to be there 15 minutes beforehand because practice is going to start at five exactly. So we have to be there at you know, 445, it's going to take us about 25 minutes to get there 20 to 25 minutes, but it's during traffic, so we're going to probably want to leave 30 minutes early, he's going to have to get himself dressed beforehand, get his bag packed. That means we're gonna have to start getting ready at four o'clock, which means that if he is going to want to have like a small dinner before that, I've got to have him eating by like 330 So it's not like a big meal in his stomach, which means that we need to start prepping at about three ish or 230 and it's literally kind of thinking, thinking backward and okay, if we have to do that then that means that I need to make sure that we're starting our afternoon history and science right after lunch, we can get that done. We can all get in the kitchen and everybody kind of helps prep the meal. He can have something and usually we'll make something that he can eat a little bit beforehand. He's not having a heavy meal, he'll eat at you know 330 be done by four he can get his bag packed. And you know, all of his gear ready to go he's getting dressed. Okay, dogs are let out and now they're in their crates. lights are turned off in the house because I'm telling you boys turn on every single light in the house. You know everything is turned off right everybody piled into the car and a lot of times the other kids will either bring activities or if they haven't finished their schoolwork, I love it and they can take their schoolwork with them and we can continue you know teaching in the car. And we know we are leaving by 415 we get to the rink or get to the field apologize always the rink or the field, usually about 445 and that way he can get his cleats on get 100% geared up with all of his pads and everything and be out on the field and maybe throwing the ball around before practice starts at five. You know it's it's not just our time and teaching our kids about being responsible for their time but also when they are on a team with any sport. It's not just about them. It's about their team. It's about respecting their coach and their time and so we want to instill those life skills right now. So I'm like, yeah, it's a lot of like backward math. But once again, it makes it so we're not rushing, it makes sure that you know, they eat something before they do that they make sure that I can get our schoolwork done in time, if we can, giving myself a little grace. If it doesn't happen, we can always take it with us. But yeah, and like it seems to kind of doing the reverse engineering of with time, it helps us to be able to manage everything a little bit better, and kind of thinking about the entire process of everything. Yeah, it helps us with our homeschooling. And it helps us with our crazy busy schedule with all of our sports, and sometimes dropping one kid off at one location and then going to another one, you just kind of have to think about when do I have to leave x place to go to the next place? And yeah, it's, it's probably been one of our biggest tricks to managing both homeschool and a busy travel sports life is to be able to check our time, kind of look at the day and it's not written down or anything. It's just kind of that mental math that we do back. And it's become a habit to the point where the boys are like, Hey, Mom is 230 Should we start making dinner? Like they've kind of gotten into the habit. So it's, it's worked out really well. Like I said, we're a team. This organized chaos is definitely a team effort. And, you know, we we do the divide and conquer very well we assist each other. Yeah. And I don't know, I wouldn't trade our life for anything. It's a little crazy. Yes, I know, I overwhelm people when I talk about our life. But it's fun. And I know that, you know, in 12 years when Grayson is 18, and graduating, that I will miss the constant chaos. And I am so appreciative to be a homeschooling mom so that I can have the time with my kids in the midst of the chaos. And we can have our relationships and you know, the moments where we're sitting on the couch and reading our history books together. And you know, our conversations in the car while we're driving to another sporting event. And it's just been a very amazing, fulfilling life.

Janna  37:17 Well, I am so grateful that you took the time to share your journey and your life with us and our listeners. I am also grateful that you are a longtime BookShark user. So I want to say thank you for that. That is a great hack. I think anybody can apply that to their life and most people should apply that including myself, so I'm not scrambling out the door with five or less minutes to spare for sure. Thank you so much for being on today. I really appreciate you taking the time. Thank you guys for being here. Until next time. Bye bye.