homeschooling on the road


Ever dreamed of just packing up and leaving it all behind?  That’s exactly what the Tilby’s did in 2018. From traveling along the concrete lines of pavement to flipping RV’s with the children, they took their lives and their five children on the road and have documented their journey along the way. Join Janna as she and Renee discuss life on the road and life’s expectations.


Renee Tilby is a mom of 5, a second-generation homeschooler, full-time RVer, and passionate learner of anything and everything. In 2018 Renee and her family decided to pack up their lives on a 5 acre hobby farm, move into an RV, and have a roadschooling adventure for a year or two. That year or two turned into 6 when learning on the road created the perfect environment to foster a love of learning, a broad world view, and unparalleled hands-on educational experiences.

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Podcast Transcript

Janna  00:04 Welcome to Homeschool your way I'm your host Janna Koch and BookSharks Community Manager. In today's episode, I am joined by Renee Tilby. She is from the Flippin Tilby's. They are a road schooling family who are on a years-long adventure to educate their children on the road in different areas of the country doing different projects. So I am so excited today to talk about what this experience has been like for Renee and her family. And to encourage you guys that no matter how you choose to homeschool, it's what is best for you and what works for you. So let me introduce you to Renee. Hi, Renee.

Renee  01:12 Hi, Janna, thank you so much for having me on. This is a lot of fun. We chatted a few weeks ago. And I'm really excited to be able to have some time to chat with you some more about homeschooling and why we chose to do what we do.

Janna  01:23 Well, and what a difference a few weeks can make for a family who is road schooling because when we chatted on the west side of the United States, and now you're almost as far east as you can be, where are you guys currently at and what is your current living situation.

Renee  01:38 We are currently outside of Augusta, Maine. And last time we talked a few weeks ago, we were outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. So we actually did a very long haul. We went from Utah to Maine in like four days. It was crazy. I do not recommend it. But we are we've been RVing for five years, we sold our house, I guess it's probably coming up on six this March sold our house in March of 2018. We kind of were sick of the rat race a little bit and we just want to do something different. And so we had already homeschooled and I really wanted to deepen the kids. Just really homeschooling experience. I feel like when you can be there, the more senses are involved in any learning experience, the better you're going to pick it up. So I kind of a nomad heart. And so I pestered my husband for a year before he finally decided that he would give it a go. I said, we can always go back to the normal. Let's do it for a little while. So we've been living in the RV for five years as we travel United States. And then we in May right now we actually did this is the first time we have been in a house since 2018. So we are currently we are renting a house for the next few months. Because my husband got a work contract up here. And we decided to kind of sometimes it's nice to put down roots for a little bit, especially when we're so used to moving all of the time. So So yeah, we are in house right now our RVs right out the outside though, it's ready to hitch back up and hit the road again, as soon as it warms up. So yep, that's where we're at. And that is our living situation.

Janna  03:15 So give our audience a brief rundown of what the Flippin Tilby's is all about.

Renee  03:21 Okay, well, we are not very niched. So we're a bit of all over the place. We, I guess, kind of explained the whole thing. Maybe I'll start I'm also a product of a homeschool education or mostly homeschool education. I did attend public school as a senior and that's where I met my husband. So it's a good thing. I did go the one year. And but other than that, completely homeschooled, and then I never wanted to homeschool my children, but my daughter when she was, you know, kindergarten, she went and it was fine. And then first grade we've kind of ran up against this things where she wasn't she was way ahead and language arts and way behind in math and, and they wouldn't let her bring water to classes. She get headaches and like just a lot of weird things. And I could work the teacher and after months of doing this, and it not really working well for us. I was like, gosh, I know how to homeschool. Like, we'll pull her out. It's first grade. I'm not going to detrimentally affect her too bad if I you know, if we mess up first grade, she'll probably be able to be fine, you know, moving forward and pulled her out homeschooled or loved it. And then as the boys came up, so we have five children. Our oldest is a girl and then we have four boys. As the boys started becoming a school school age. I was like, No, I actually really enjoy this. My mom homeschooled all nine of her children, me and my siblings, and work and went to school. And so our homeschool education was very much like do your Saxon Math book. Do your language arts like bare bones? Here it is you need to do show me when you get when I get home from work. And I realized that I had this opportunity to homeschool the way that I had wanted to be homeschooled. And not that there's anything wrong. My mom did what she could do, right and so Are we kind of leaned into IT field trips, I'm not a good structured person anyway. So I love being able to have slow mornings, I love to be able to change their math curriculum when it works well for how they learned I love being able to do subjects all together instead of segmenting them into grade levels. So yeah, eventually just fell in love with it and became a totally onboard homeschool mom. And then we fast forward quite a few years, my husband has a good job, we went through the recession, which was really rough for us. And because we got married in 2007, and having kids so we really like we were when we were teenagers, too. We I got pregnant in high school. So teenagers trying to have kids or like, have, like, I don't know, trying to do life during a recession. And so then in 2000, and like, 17, we're done having kids, he has a good job, we have a good house, all these things. And I just was like, we made it. We got the American dream, right, here we are. We worked so hard this last decade to get to this point. And we're here. And I was like, and it's not what I've expected it to be. So we were flipping RV's that time, which is where the flip until this come we were buying them from insurance auctions we are both very handy. Both have backgrounds in construction, and randomly enough, yes, I do electrical, I've done sheet rock, I've done frame planning all those things. And so my husband is as well. And so we would buy them from insurance auctions, we'd fix them. With Salomon, I was like, hey, you know, we're making enough money off of this flipping the RVs that we could just take the job out of it, and just do that and house, the mortgage out of it and do it. And so for a year, I just loved him. And eventually he was like, Alright, let's do it. So we hit the road flipping RVs in between our travels. And so we would do like a season of traveling in a season of stationary life and renovations. And I mean, there's a lot more to the story. But basically, that's kind of the the path. And eventually we started sharing, people are curious, like, what are you doing with these renovations? Well, first, we're just flipping but ended up going to renovations. We started sharing them on social media didn't really have any platform or any direction. We got traction, got a few like magazine features like online magazine features for our renovations. And I was like, you know, I really enjoy this a lot of fun. So, yeah, for the next four or five years, that's what we continue to do was renovate for season and travel for season. And it really afforded us this beautiful opportunity to, you know, if we're outside the Grand Canyon, and we're learning about the geology of that area, and the Native American tribes in the area. And then we're going to the four corners, and we're buying jewelry from Native Americans that their ancestors been there for, you know, 1000s of years. And so and we're in that area for two, three months, because with RV Life, we can slow travel. And so it's not just like hitting the highlights and learning like a few tidbits. It's like really being able to immerse yourself in not only the ancient culture when you're going to like ruins and things like that, but like kind of how those people have evolved in what they're living in a modern day life. And so yeah, it's been beautiful. And we've really enjoyed that. So on our social media, we share our renovations, we share our travels, I share. I mean, it's not a homeschool account, I wouldn't say. But I do share what we're traveling to and what we're learning. And it's kind of just what what we are doing not niched and whatever random stuff, I feel like sharing at that time.

Janna  08:21 I really enjoyed I was talking to one of our marketers over here at BookShark, and we were like, Yeah, she does the power tools. Like it's, she's not just the support, or the numbers or the or the designer, but she's actually in there doing the work right beside her partner. And we thought that was that was very encouraging, you know, not that we need girl power, but sometimes we need girl power.

Renee  08:44 So yeah, well, I think a lot of women are intimidated by that, because you're not seeing a lot of examples of girls just picking up, you know, a drill, and they're building things. And so I was lucky enough that my grandparents were they helped raise me so it was my mom and my grandparents that I lived with most of my early childhood. And my grandpa just took me under his wing and he taught me how to tile floors and wallpaper and use chainsaws and and plumb things and change out brake pads. And so all these things are things that I was around on a regular basis and I didn't know that it was weird, right? And I just love being hands on and so it's been really fun. Having you know, Sean has more of like small engine repair and things like that. So kind of combined a lot of our, and he welds and so kind of combined a lot of our skill sets in doing the RV flips renovations and so I have a few, kind of what I lose sight of what my social media is for because sometimes it can feel like insipid and soulless and why am I doing this? And so whenever I lose sight of that I kind of like what is the point and one of my things is I want to show women that they can build things and they don't have to wait for their husband to come home. Other things I want to show and I think the overall point of it is to show people that can live outside of normal like the normal box right you can live in an RV you can homeschool you can pick up power tools. So I kind of have to go back to that being what I want from that platform to inspire people. And so I've thought about that actually, like wanting to lean in that more the showing women how to build things, now has been something I've like contemplated maybe doing more content around that, because I like seeing other women who do cool things. And like you said, so many of the women out there, especially our view, you know, renovations, the husband does it, and the woman has a design, which is fantastic design is not easy. In fact, I feel like I'm way more capable at building things and anything, so the pretty is actually hard for me. So um, but it's been fun to develop that. So I appreciate that. You notice that on my social media platform, because it's not something I lean into super heavily.

Janna  10:46 I can relate, I was raised by my father was in construction. And so the hours that I have spent at the lumber yards, painfully going over each board that he would pick for the next thing that he was doing. And a lot of times my husband will say, how do you know that my husband's very handy, for sure, but he'll say, how do you know that? And I'm like, I don't know, I just know it like that's the right way to do it. Like it just realize it's really interesting. It's almost like education, right? I mean, that's a form of education. It's what we as parents model for our children, whether it's reading for pleasure, or being curious, or always looking for learning opportunities, as adults, like, that type of education is so powerful, we won't even see the fruits of that as homeschool parents, until our children are adults, and then they're starting to do things and people were like, how do you do that? Or why do you want to know how to do that? And they'll be like, I don't know. It's just how we do it. Like, I just, it's how my brain works. It's been what I've been around, it's what I'm comfortable with?

Renee  11:47 Yeah, and you pick it up. And I think that actually, when I was talking about my grandpa, I wanted to kind of say that he really modeled to me kind of that I wouldn't, I mean, maybe that's unschooling, I'm not really sure what that but it's just life skills and your, your learning through doing and so his education was huge for him. And, and I think that really, he did model the types of behavior that he wanted us to do. And you don't realize how much that's imprinted in you, like you said, until you're 30 years old. And you're like, I don't, it's really easy for me, because you saw it so many times, because you, you are around it. Anytime I kids, I'm bothered, they're not reading enough. I'm like, Oh, well, I have also I'm not pulling out real, actual physical books. Soon as you model that behavior, then it's so much easier for them to do it. So I'm extremely grateful that my grandpa, you know, so many different behaviors from how he treated people to his work ethic really became who I was. And so if if we think of education as being so much broader than simply making sure that they read, write, learn math, I have seen that it becomes this beautiful experience that we get to curiously move through life with and I love it. And that's what I want. I want to instill a love of learning on my kids, and alert and like, curiosity, deep curiosity and love of learning, and being able to adapt through travel has been amazing.

Janna  13:04 I remember when my daughters were publicly schooled, and they were so stressed out about the test, you know, like being able to prove how smart they were. And I even now I actually just had a conversation with my freshman. And I was like, you know, you're smart, right? Like that, that number on that test does not explain or even demonstrate your intelligence. So it was a concept that maybe you need you're struggling with. But that's learning. Like, that's how you learn. And we get caught up in quantity. And that is not life. I mean, when's the last time you took a test in adulthood? I have not tested for anything. I mean, I've been tested live with those with those teenagers in my home, but I have not had nobody has handed me a scantron and a booklet of questions and said, Let's let's gauge where you're at in life, it just isn't real life. And so one of the things that homeschool really does afford us is to be able to get outside of this box of education and say, Okay, what do my children what are they really going to need in real life? Like, unless they are, you know, have a path for something that's very technical, and even then we're finding ways around the degree years

Renee  14:24 Computers can do a lot of that way better than we can. And so are we teaching the soft skills of interpersonal communication or teaching the soft skills of actually being able to take care of yourself and your own emotionality? Right, like, are all those things being integrated into your education? Right? Are we just so worried about making sure that they can, I mean, I think basic math skills are super important, like do not get me wrong, like, I wish I could be like an unschooler, but I can't like I want my kids to have basic education. But I would rather than if I had to pick learning how to do like, long division or being able to manage their emotions, like I'm picking emotions every time right But I think it really boils down to like you're saying the measurable are the visible and the non visible? Like, what is it? Oh, there's a term I listened to Chris Williamson. His podcast, he talks about that, like, visible non-visible metrics. So like social media, we get so stuck on like, what the number is in our social media. In school, we get so caught up on like the grade or, or making sure we pass a test. And it's a visible metric, right? And we're measuring our worth and our success in the world as this visible metric. And when in fact, pretty much anything that actually means anything is non-visible metric, like how well you're going to be able to deal with the pressure of a job interview, right? All of these things, right? Dealing with somebody, a spouse, or you know, somebody that has consulting, you know, like ideas with you. All of these things matter so much more in their non visible metrics, right, like, so I think that it's super important for our kids to realize that their worth isn't tied up in a grade. It's not tied up in a social media number. And there's so many ways of measuring your success that are outside of that, and I think homeschooling does open up that box of like perception.

Janna  16:07 I would like to go back to what you had said about achieving the American dream. And realizing it wasn't what it had been built up to us, you know, this idea that you get married and you have kids, and you have a house or you grow up or you go to college, and you have a career. And it's like, all of a sudden you had achieved what you had set out to achieve at a very young age. And there was, what would you say that feeling was when you stopped and kind of realized that

Renee  17:35 It was a weird feeling. Because I think for so many years, you know, we've gotten married. And then the next step was a house. Right? So we worked so hard to get a house as soon as he bought our first house. I mean, we're like 20 years old, barely, barely adults, right? Our daughter was like 18 months old. And we're buying our first house in 2008. And months later, the market crashes, right. And so the next handful of years, we're just trying not to get our house foreclosed on. And I'm pretty sure we counted. My husband, he went through something like 12 jobs in four years, like it was crazy. So we're just like, we had the goal of like, basic amenities, right, like basic needs still. And you work and you work and work. And that's the goal. And that's the goal. And that's the goal. And then we got you got a nice job, it got a good government job. And then it was like, Okay, now a nicer house, you know, to get a nicer house. And then, like, we got all these things. And then as soon as I was like, what's the next goal? We have the house, we have the job, we have the kids. What's next, you know, and it was almost like this feeling of emptiness where it was like, they promised that this was the path to like, happiness. This is what people do. This is what society tells us is a successful, like a marker of success. And I was like, and here I am, I think I was, I don't think I was even 30 Yet, at this time. I had all of my kids before I turned 30. What happens when you start 18 I guess. Not advisable! But so I'm 29. And I'm like, what would I do the rest of the life? Right? There's a lot of life left. And I really sat back and imagine like, if I could imagine the most perfect childhood for my kids, what would it be? And I and I only have like, I just think I realized at that time, it doesn't 18 Audrey is probably like 11. And, and I'm just like, they have this much time with these kids this much time. What can I do? And I was like, I want to do everything as much as possible. And so I felt like the house and the mortgage was what's keeping us down, because that's why we had to have the higher paying job. I got rid of both of those. And we were able to go and do whatever we wanted because our costs were just so much lower. And we thought we'd do it for like a year or two. And we really are I think we are almost six years at this point in time. In march. I'm not not good at math guys. Like I shouldn't be admitting this because I do that. 2018 To 2024 Yeah, that's six years. So. So for me it felt empty and I felt a little bit like lied to the it, they tell you this is the path to success. But it was really freeing when I realized, like, I actually get to do what I want with my life. And I don't think everyone needs to sell their house and quit their job and sell everything that they own and move into an RV. But I think that being able to be open to things outside of the box, really, except for you, if you still choose exactly what you have, you still know those are options for you. I think there's something really beautiful in that as well.


Janna  20:25 Would you attribute your home education and the non-traditional life that you had led? A partly what drove you to that American dream? But then also what helped you step outside of that box? Knowing that you would be okay, if you chose something different?

Renee  20:44 I love this question. Because yes, growing up, I felt like the weirdo. I was homeschooled in California in the 90s and early 2000s. And it was California for all whatever you want to say about it actually has a fantastic home education program as long as you go through one of their charter schools. And that's what we did. And I actually had a really incredible homeschool education. But I was the weirdo. Right? I had kids, people specifically tell me I was the weirdo. This is very difficult for me. So I did. I don't think I've ever actually really thought of it in that way. But I love that question. I think it did make me want to be more normal, right? And follow the status quo and not be the weirdo and resist that like abnormality. I think that was instilled upon me because I want it to be perceived as more normal. But every step I take, I feel like I took in my life progress. But more that's kind of outside the box thinking kind of came back to me came back to me. And I think now at this point, I've just completely embraced it. So then yes, as far as wanting to do like, leave the American, you know, the the American dream, right? I do think that my unorthodox upbringing and my very like open minded upbringing, which I guess I would say because I was raised very, very religious. But then the way then the homeschooling and my grandpa, you know, taking us like, on these wild adventures, and like was, it was I feel like it was very structured. But then we also had it very like outside the box. And so as far as having that, yes, I definitely feel like it made it easier for me to wrap my brain around, moving into an RV and traveling, whereas my husband, who was public school education, and he's, you know, very intelligent, very successful, but it was so and it has been on all of my random ideas, much harder for him to wrap his brain around that unorthodox whatever Renee is bringing to the table at that point in time. So So yeah, I think it drove both of those. And I think that was a very Yeah, that was a fun question to kind of think through.

Janna  22:39 Well, opposites definitely attract. And I think a lot of homeschool parents, families, with partners, you have one who is 100% onboard, and they're so passionate, and they're so excited. And they're kind of that personality that's able to think outside of the box and be a little bit more creative in that way. Because I think the in the box people are just as creative just but it's it comes out in different ways. And so we have a similar story. I was homeschooled similar time, my husband was public school, it was like, that's not how we do it. It worked for you. But that you know, and then when he was like, Maybe we should homeschool their kids. I was like, no, that sounds awful. I'm on my career path. I'm ready to get the kids in school full time and see what I can do. And then yeah, then all of a sudden, you're like, this is kind of not what I thought it was going to be. And so I too was like, Okay, maybe we should do things differently. And then we finally got on the same page. And even in the beginning, it's like, are they doing what they're supposed to be doing? Are you sure they're learning what they're supposed to learn? Like, listen, trust the process. You were public school, and you hated school, and you got out as quick as you could. And you took a job that you've been out for 25 years that probably for the last 15 had been very hard and you didn't feel like you could leave, because you were on a path. I was like, let's give our kids something different. Let's, let's have them love what they're doing. Regardless of the amount of money that they make, you know, help them understand that depending on what you choose, will will then dictate where you live and what you have. And if you're okay with that, that's okay with us. But it's kind of that like I was, I was raised a little bit more like by hippies and my husband was raised by bankers. So there's that clap right there. But I have to agree with you that now is I'm aging and my kids are coming into adulthood. I even just embracing the fact that like I'm really more of a hippie than I ever wanted to admit. Because I see now that there is beauty and just letting some of these societal norms go and just live with what makes you happy, and not what appears to be what everybody else is happy with and to give that to our children. This idea that you don't have to do it like everyone else is doing it, because you're different. And we're all different. And as long as we're doing the work, and we're putting in the time, and we're not slacking, because there is no slacking around around here. But it really does. It's amazing how things can come full circle. And I attribute to my lease at this point in my life to this idea that I didn't have to do it the way everybody else was doing it. And I hope that my kids are catching on to that, too. And

Renee  25:30 I think that's a gift that freedom of I don't have to do it like everybody else did, or is doing it right. And I think that being able to have that mindset allows us to look at the world and completely different perspective. And all that you said, I completely resonate with John was the same way. He was very, like, are you sure that they have to grade level? Are you sure this is gonna hurt them long term? And I will say like, Well, are you do you think I'm not educated enough? Do you think I'm not intelligent? Because I know, but you're just like, you're just unique. And our kids gonna do that. And so it was like this, this like, Give and take. And after a few years, he just stopped saying things like that, you know, when the kids are telling him, oh, we need to go to Kitty Hawk. And I want to go to the Wright brothers. And I'm talking about Lyft and all these things and flying and he's just like, I never learned any of this stuff. And and I think I have no problem with public school. I think that it's completely necessary entity. And I think at some people it works fantastically for like children and families. It's it's a great structure for some people. But I went my one year, my senior year, and I was so excited to go to go to public school and I was raising my hand and I was excited to learn. And I got called brown noser and teacher's pet and sack up, and I know it all and all these things because no one gets to their senior year in high school, still with their love of learning intact, right. And I did, and I was excited to be there. And so that was the thing. I was like, I want my kids at least for the elementary, middle school years to be homeschooled. I want to develop that level of learning more than anything else. Because once I think like when you go to high school, like you've kind of a lot of that's already been set in you. And it's like my daughter, she's going to her junior year right now. And I'm hoping that it doesn't kill her level learning too much. But really, I think those are some of the most important things of just like this, developing this love of learning and allowing them to have this really wide worldview of of any anything's that option. And I love that.

Janna  27:20 Now, when you were looking to homeschool, when you first started back when you decided to pull your oldest daughter out, what were some of your natural fears, even though you knew you were a successful product of it? I mean, did you still have those natural fears of is this going to work? What am I going to use? Am I enough? Because I think those are such common fears for people who come into it who have no reference. But I know that it was a common fear for me and I had reference exactly

Renee  27:50 I think people assume because you were a homeschool that you're just like, Oh, I got this is gonna be fine. It was not I was terrified. I really did. I didn't want to fail her. I felt like especially like math. I definitely am not as strong in that, that I was going to Yeah, I wasn't actually going to hold her education. I worried about socialization, which is ridiculous, right? Like, I had plenty of friends but I still worried that I would under you know, socialize my child. I definitely worried that that I wouldn't be enough exactly like you said, I wouldn't be enough I would have been a patient's time structure. I'm not that super like type and on the charts and all the things laid out I'm not lesson planning every night. And so I'm very a little more like, I don't know, very I am hippie, like I actually joke about that a lot very, like go the flow. And so I was worried that my lack of structure would be detrimental to our homeschool as a whole and honestly sure I've had to kind of bring that in a little bit. But being able to be fluid actually has been I feel like a bane or like a boon to our homeschooling instead of a detrimental thing. So yeah, I definitely struggled. In fact, the first year we homeschooled I didn't even homeschool I just did like some online program. That was terrible. I was so worried about my own ability to teach my child, but I knew that going to school isn't good for her. She was having a lot of like really big like emotional like breakdowns when she come home. And she's like a six year old kid. And it was too much for me all day at school. And so I just don't keep up like a year or two until she can go and so I just was like, but here's the computer, they'll teach you. And then after you're like this is bad, like, I can do so much better. And so slowly, I did more and more on my own less than less computer. And now we just do all of it. But yeah, it was years of me gaining that confidence even though I did you know K through 11th grade as a homeschool child. Absolutely. Everyone struggles with it. Everyone does. I feel like

Janna  29:43 I hope that is an encouragement to those who are listening because I do feel like sometimes when you get on social media, or you listen to a podcast and you hear the highlights and you're like they're so competent, they have it all together and I'm like, No, that's not true at all. It's just then, yeah, we're all. We're all crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. But science time and example tells us that this is a good choice, if it's working for your family, and I put my older two in a public brick and mortar for high school, and they ended up doing college classes. And now we're not doing that we're only doing part time with our youngest. And I'm not even sure we'll do that next year. So it's like, you just you kind of have to that the what what's going on, you know, in your own home, what's going on within your own child, depending on what's going happening that year, even it's so they just can't feel like it's set in stone, you've made a choice. Now, you made your bed, you gotta lie in it, right?

Renee  30:47 Yeah, I think that that's actually one of the amazing things about it, you're able to make, take the buffet of educational offerings and choose what works for your child that time. Right, whether it's homeschooling, whether it's dual enrollment, whether it's full time public school, and that's the thing like, like, my daughter's in public school, I told her, like, I have no problems pulling you out. It's like you hate after two months, like, we'll pull you out, I don't care. I want, education is for you. You're not for education. So I that's like we're making it work, then there's no shame in being like, I think my child would do better, or I do not have the emotional, like, tenacity this year to homeschool my children. And, and I know it'll be more beneficial to go to public school than me trying to muscle through it. Sometimes we hit those points where for our family, it's there's nothing There's no shame in changing it up, because you need to do best. And but I think that that's what's beautiful about it, because you get to choose what works for our child at that time. So I do think I like doing a lot younger grades homeschooled for multiple reasons, right? I think that it does work really, really well. So I think I think it might be 10 years in. Actually, once I'm not even gonna try you guys do the math on how long you've done it, since my daughter was in second grade, or first grade. And she's 11. So that sounds like 10 years, right? That sounds close enough.

Janna  31:58 That sounds good. I want to point out that I believe you're actually probably really good at a type of math, if you're able to cut and measure and estimate how much flooring you're going to need. So that is all that is all a type of math that I'm going to bet you're probably really good at Rene,

Renee  32:16 I joke with my husband that we need to switch to the metric system, because when we're using inches, I have to be like, I need you to cut it from five and three A's to seven 810 to whatever seven, eight, you know, 816, or whatever, it's 816 to have your half. But um, and then I said we really need to do like the metric because it's way easier to centimeters. And I only I don't have to have them, I can just do like 100 millimeters or 100 centimeters to this. So I joke that it'd be easier because I can't hold more than two numbers in my brain at once. So yeah, I can't figure it out. But I don't think I'm definitely more of a visual human. But I think recognizing that my brain works stronger in other ways, has been nice when I'm recognizing and my children. So when they're struggling the same things like their brain just works differently. So it's find different ways to make that work. Well, I make sense to them. So I think it's nice having me and my husband being very different is how math works really is how anything works. Because then I can get this kid works better, like their brain is similar to yours to help them teach help teach them this concept. So yeah, math still I do struggle with but you don't have to be good at math to teach math. I'm just gonna say it. You don't. There are so many of you got Khan Academy online, you've got you've got like, what is it Nicole, the math lady, you have so many programs, you just have to know how to search in order to teach your kids you do not have to be good at math. I think like my daughter, she has great. She has great math grades in high school right now. And she has I've taught her the whole time with the assistance of online resources. So you don't have to know everything to teach your kids and you do not have to be great at everything or really anything to teach your kids you just have to know where to find people who are better teaching than you are.

Janna  33:56 They think you just have to be excited about what's happening. But I mean, that's all kids. That's all humans really want. I mean, you walk into a room, and maybe this is just me. And I come up with a ridiculous idea. And I can pretty much sell it as long is like I'm excited about it like with my family and then sometimes we're in the middle of it. They're like how did we get here? And I'm like, Well, I was excited. So you guys got excited but it kind of didn't turn out how I thought it was gonna turn out but it's still working. Yeah, yeah. And that outsourcing there's no shame in outsourcing anything at all like that still, you know that that's still homeschooling because you're choosing and you're doing what's best for your child and so I totally agree with that. I will say that I always felt like I wasn't very good at math until I started teaching my kids or helping my kids with math I don't know they kind of are self taught but then I would come in and and help when needed and I was like wait, I kind of like this. I'm actually kind of good at this but it when I was learning in my In middle school, high school years, I just kind of have this concept like, Oh, I'm horrible. This I can't do this. And we were renovating one of our, we were putting flooring in and a house. And my husband, I kept the same piece over and over and over and could not get it right. And I was finally like, listen, I know I homeschool, but I took geometry. And I know that this has something to do with angles. So let me just think about it for a little bit. I don't know, I didn't have a formula, I had no numbers. I couldn't tell you how I figured it out. But I was like, I know that it's somewhere in my brain. And we finally did get the angle just right.

Renee  35:39 In angles are the hardest, like if you're trying to do crown molding or trim work and you having to those angles in the 90s in the 30s it's so difficult. And it is really funny to like very almost comedic to see the different process how Shawn goes through my husband goes through to get the number and how I go through it, you'll watch me and he'll be like, There's no way that's gonna be right. And like, it makes sense to me. Just let me do it, whatever. And I kind of I mean, it's not always right. But sometimes it'll be right. And he's like, how did you even get to that conclusion? Because my brain processes through math completely different than his does. So, yeah, it's, it is definitely it is nice to outsource that, that we are teaching your kids, I think that's probably the biggest thing for people when they are wanting to homeschool their kids like it's I feel like math is right. Like I can't teach math, I'm not good at that. And I think how my kids are learning math is so much easier than how I learned it. And so I definitely have had similar experiences where I'm doing my kids math, or I'm not doing it, but I'm helping them. And they're definitely where it's more like self taught. And they watch to the lesson. And then they do it in their books. And it's very nice. But when it comes to helping them like Oh, like this actually makes way more sense and how I learned it. And then it's nice, because then you know, here I am in my mid 30s. And I'm learning how to do it in a better way. And I feel like a little more capable. And it's actually one of the things I love about homeschooling most it's like I get to learn, I get to learn loads with them. And I obviously still retain that level of learning. And I want to continue learning for as long as possible.

Janna  37:03 Yeah. And we hope I have for me, it's like my biggest hope is that that carries into my children. And then they carry that into their adulthood, because that would make that would really make my journey in the end, like, accomplished, like we did it, like good job. And it wasn't about what they chose to do as a career, or where the how much money they ended up making. But it was like that they still wanted to learn, even as they had achieved all of those things. And so I think, I think that's one, you know, homeschooling now has changed drastically with the amount that you what you can choose from you. There's analysis, paralysis, there's so many different things. But I think we can all agree that the goal is that our children learn, right? It's just like that is that is the point. So no matter how you do it, or how you what you choose, if your kids are learning, then then we're all achieving the same goal, which is, you know, we're going to produce members of society that contribute in a meaningful way.

Renee  38:03 Exactly. Exactly. And I like you said earlier in the podcast, you were you mentioned, you're not concerned about how much money your kids can make in a career field, you're just concerned that they're choose a career field that is like fulfilling to them something they enjoy, because really like you no matter how much money you make, if you're doing something you hate day to day out, no matter money is worth that. I think money does bring a level of security and like happiness, I guess it can, but it in itself does not bring happiness, doing something fulfilling, that brings in enough money to live a happy, you know, comfortable lifestyle. That's the goal, right? And I think teaching kids to kind of be brought up, you know, ask the husband, like when you were a kid would you want to be when you grew up, and he's like a doctor. And I was like, why? Like you want to help people. Because it made a lot of money. Like that's it. That was the parameter for choosing a career field. And then he asked me what I want to be when I when I was a kid, like it was literally 100 things because I felt like I could do anything. The whole world is open to me. And my oldest son is 14. He was asking yesterday, he said, Are there businesses that would let me come and like work for them for free in order to see if like, I liked the business. And so it's like, like an apprenticeship? And he's like, I guess Yeah. And so he is making a list of different like, metal workers in the area that he's going to call up and ask them like, hey, if I like clean up your shop for an hour a week where you like, show me some of the tricks because he wants to learn how to make swords, like, and you know, I could be like, That's not a great career field Mace and you're not gonna make any money making swords but he's 14 If he wants to think he's a sort of you're like, that's great. Go ahead, do it. I'm going to support that as much as I can. So I think it was so fun to see that, you know, he's 14 he's kind of becoming his own human at this point in time. And like, Okay, hopefully I did foster that, like you open, open perspective on what you can do in the world. And it was fun to kind of see that play out yesterday.

Janna  39:51 Yeah, I would say one of the biggest hurdles that homeschool parents are finding is to get out of their own way to get out of this idea of how they did it. So then they have to replicate that in their children. And so they make that first step of getting outside the educational box and choosing to homeschool. But then they kind of feel uncomfortable because they are in a space they've never been before. And then they start questioning everything. But it's like, again, just like trust the process, like, let your kids enjoy. Let them have a space where they can say, hey, I think maybe I want to contact welders in the area. I mean, that's the you're just like, oh, no, I immediately I thought, What if he gets hurt? What are the insurance things involved, and it's like, stop, just to have like, we let us just let those kids explore don't crush the dreams, even if they are so ridiculous. Like, you know, like, you're not going to make any money. Nobody buys swords anymore. Like no! Like that could lead to underwater welding, which by the way is very lucrative.

Renee  40:59 We were actually talking about that. But some of the highest fittings, my husband's a welder, and the kids were saying that underwater welding is like the highest paid one of the highest paid jobs. And so it's just kind of fun to see, you know, within talk about those things. And then sure, like, there's probably hurdles it probably like liability weights, he probably can't do it like that. But like, I'm gonna let him find those hurdles himself, right. I'm not gonna tell him no, I mean, let him find that wall and figure out if he can climb over or if it's something he needs to navigate and, you know, kind of change course. But yeah, like what actually one of my biggest tips when people asked me about homeschooling, definitely don't like fancy myself a homeschool guru at all, but it comes up in conversation. So when I do give advice about it, I say like, don't try to duplicate the public school environment in your homeschooling, don't try to segment every grade every subject, because the most beautiful learning experiences happen when you're all learning together. And you're overlaying subjects. You know, it's like, you know, we read right now we're reading a book about Pearl Harbor. And so we're learning about, obviously, its history, right? But and it's a book so we are reading it. And so we're passing around other people reading it, and it's literature. So it's history, that's literature, then we're looking up different, like votes and torpedoes. And then the kids want to know about like, the drill, you know, how the how torpedoes actually move and how submarines work and then its science. And then, you know, and then it's politics. And it's civics and all of these things we're doing in the same half an hour, where we're all of us, all the grade levels are sitting at one table. Here's a six year old can really remember all of the details about Pearl Harbor. No, probably not. But it's going to the next time you read that, and like, oh, yeah, I remember that. And he's going to learn as we move forward. And so I think that the biggest tip I always tell people is to like, don't duplicate the public school environment and try to combine as many subjects and grades as possible, because that's actually way more representative of the world as a whole. Right? What are we ever learning one thing with the same people the same age as us from the same socio-economic background? Like basically never, so it's actually way more representative of, of life as a whole when you combine ages and you combine subjects. So yeah, like you were saying, if people get intimidated, because if they try to duplicate the public school environment in their home.

Janna  43:07 Well, I think that is a great homeschool hack. And so as we wrap up, I just want to encourage our listeners to check out Renee's Instagram, we're gonna put all of her information in the show notes so that you can connect with her and her family. Follow her travels, get inspired to maybe pick up a power tool, if it intimidates you in some way. So Renee, thank you so much for being here today.

Renee  43:29 Thank you so much, Janna. This is so fun. I know. I think we just need like get coffee together or something and hang out because we could definitely talk I think all day long about homeschooling, and all sorts of stuff.

Janna  43:39 Well, when you pull that big fifth wheels through my area, make sure that that happens.

Renee  43:45  Perfect. I'm definitely gonna take you up on that. 100%

Janna  43:49 Thank you guys for watching and listening. Until next time, though, bye.