Working Parents Who Homeschool

Working Parents Who Homeschool

EPISODE 151| Working and Homeschool?! Does it seem like an impossible proposition for you and your family? It might not be as crazy as it sounds. In today's podcast, Janna and her guest, Angela D’Antonio discuss how Angela has homeschooled her two kids for the past decade while she and her husband work full time. She shares her list of the benefits of homeschooling and how they make it all work. Find some ideas to help you as you navigate your homeschool journey.

ABOUT OUR GUEST| Angela D’Antonio has been homeschooling her two daughters for over a decade, beginning with preschool and continuing through high school.  From 2019 to 2023, she worked in sales and customer service for a homeschool curriculum company. She now brings her expertise as a sales and marketing consultant for educational supply companies and schools.  In addition, Angela serves as an academic tutor and offers personalized consulting services, both in-person and online, to support homeschooling families.  Her true passion lies in assisting families in discovering the perfect curriculum for their children and ensuring that their homeschoolers are well-prepared for college.

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Podcast Transcript

Janna  00:00: Welcome to Homeschool Your Way. I'm your host Janna Koch and BookSharks Community Manager. In today's episode, I am joined by Angela D’Antonio. She has been homeschooling her daughters for over a decade, beginning with preschool. And now continuing through high school, she has worked in sales and customer service for our homeschool curriculum company for over five years. And her true passion lies in assisting families in discovering the perfect curriculum for their children. You can find Angela offering her services as an academic tutor, offering personalized consulting services, both in person and online. Angela, thanks so much for being here.

Angela 00:36: Thank you for having me.

Janna  00:39: Now, with all that being said, Of all the things that you can do, it almost makes you sound like a superhuman with superpowers. So this conversation is really going to be about how working parents make homeschooling work for them. And I think that you are a perfect person to talk to about this because you have been so busy in your professional life, while homeschooling your children the entire time. So go ahead and introduce yourself to our audience. And just tell us a little bit about how you came into the homeschool world.

Angela 01:12: Okay, so again, my name is Angela. I became a homeschooler honestly, during a transition for my family, so my husband was a professor at a university. And when he got a job, we moved cross country with a four and six-year-old in tow. And during what was already a big transition for our family, we decided to try out homeschooling as an option for us. So part of the negotiations was about to try this new thing while we were in this new place. And that was 2013. So at that time, my oldest had only been through kindergarten and switched to homeschooling with us and my youngest had never been in the school. In fact, today was her first day at a legitimate school. She actually went to take a class at the local university today. And that was the first time she's physically gone to a class outside of our home. So we started off as an experiment. We just really liked it. It worked really well for our family for lots of reasons and more that we discovered over the course of time. And we stuck with it. But again, as you'd said, the whole time I have been working full-time while homeschooling my kids. I have been fortunate enough to kind of have the kinds of jobs that allow me to flex for such things. I worked as a nurse for a long time I worked weekend nights and homeschooled my kids during the days of the week. And then when I worked for the homeschool company, I was able to work from home and cover childcare sometimes when I travel.

Janna  02:46: So when you were even exploring the idea of homeschooling, were you in any type of community where you had seen homeschoolers, either positively or negatively in your personal experience?

Angela 02:59: So I originally lived in North Carolina and North Carolina is a huge state for homeschooling. So I think when I lived there, homes, the number of homeschooled students surpassed the number that were in private schools in the state of North Carolina. So it's really big. They're interesting, the laws are made there so that kids can't really participate in things in schools. So North Carolina kind of had like whole systems in place for homeschoolers, they had, you know, homeschool bands and homeschool swim teams and homeschool, you know, they kind of built systems for that, because there were enough of them. What really brought me to it is I had a co-worker who had four kids and still worked full-time night shift as a nurse, and was homeschooling her kids. So I kind of thought, well, if she can do it, then then I should be able to do it. I have half as many kids and 

Janna  03:51: I’m not sure the math works the same way.

Angela 03:55: She but she was also just really helpful. She knew me well enough to kind of tell me you know which curricula would be kind of a good fit for me and my family, which helped a lot because I think a lot of people who have looked no there are tons of options out there and it's really hard to kind of wade through but she saved me kind of a lot of money and time by pointing me in the right direction. And then I did go to the big North Carolina home educator conference right before we moved across the country. We live in Oregon now. And kind of had that time to kind of see all the options that were available to me. So I did have like one really good support person. I didn't really know a lot of homeschoolers other than that one nurse though

Janna  04:39: It is amazing how it can just take one person who is encouraging and like you'd said, knows your family and knows what you know some of the ins and outs and I think that's why community is so important thing that's going to come up again and again in this conversation that while we can as parents as women, we can do a lot of things, but there's no reason for us to have to do them on our own.

Angela 05:05: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And, one of the things I live kind of in a small rural community now, I had always kind of made this promise to myself that if any family came to me and needed information I was just going to provide them what was given kind of given to me at the start, and you know, especially 2020, with COVID, and all those changes. There were there have been a lot of families who have reached out to me and I've always kind of taken the time to kind of walk them through what their options are, and what might fit them the best.

Janna  05:33: Look at you getting back to your community just any way you can.

Angela 05:38: I do what I can.

Janna  05:40: And you do it. Well, you do it very well. So when you guys made this cross-country move, you decided that, okay, you were gonna give this a try. And let's be honest. Year one, did it go as expected?

Angela 05:54:I don't know if any year has ever gone as expected. I think I, one of the things I always tell people is that, you know, homeschooling kind of takes parenting and multiplies it by 10. Because you're, you're responsible for everything, right? You can't be like, Oh, well, that was the teacher or that was the kid in class who taught her that bad word. Or, you know, it's it, you know, you're just taking on so much of that responsibility. And I've always kind of felt that. But I like to make lists, I like checkboxes, and I like to plan things. And there's no such thing as a, you know, plan that that really has carried out in the way that you imagine it, especially when there's two other personalities involved. And my kids, of course, are very different from each other. And one is very different from me, one's very like me. So it's hard to know, sometimes it works well, with one or not the other depending on how things are going that day. So, yeah, certainly, you know, my vision of having some very beautiful Montessori-esque, you know, day that flowed never has never really been the reality.

Janna  07:10: Well, I'm so happy to hear because I was worried your answer was going to be it worked out perfectly. And it has for the last decade because I think it's perfect. Like that's right. Right, the birds chirp as I open the windows every morning. It's amazing. I do think that sometimes, whether you're homeschooling or not, that is the perception that social media kind of creates a platform to give us your best and give us only the good. And when you're inundated with that kind of visual stimulation, you start to look around and you're like, Wow, I'm kind of crappy. I'm a crappy Cook. I'm a crappy decorator. I'm a crappy mom. Because I didn't I didn't think to do that for my daughter's fifth birthday. Although I did and I'm holding on to this, I have pictures, I made a Barbie cake for my twins when they turned five. So like got the special bowl, put the Barbie in the middle of the cake, like had the dress. And that's it like that was that I was like I nailed that at five, you're gonna have to look at the pictures for every year after that.

Angela 08:15: I'm gonna say take lots of pictures. So you could prove it forever, that you were that mom on that one day,

Janna  08:20: on that one day on that one day. But I think that being honest about what it looks like to be able to homeschool your children really is only beneficial to the people who are doing it and the people who are coming into it. Because if I'm gonna sit here and present as having it all together, and my house being perfectly clean, and the dinner on the table, and when my spouse comes in, there's no chaos. And it just looks like you know, I was born for this and that really it does discourage people from looking at reels and looking at people who seem like they're doing a really good job. And they're like, forget it. I've lost before I've even begun because I do work full time. And then we kind of make well she probably doesn't have to do what I have to do. Or maybe she doesn't have this or maybe he doesn't have that. And it's this comparison game. That really it's defeatism before you even get started. And I think this could be applied, obviously to any area of our life. I think social media is ruining anything but specifically to homeschooling, when you are a working parent, there are things that you have to give up in order to do something else well, and in a society that says you can have it all. It just doesn't really the equation isn't balancing out.

Angela 09:42: Well, I think it's important to to role model for your children. You know, I'm very aware that I have two daughters, and it's good for them to see that I'm an imperfect person, right? It's good for them to see that. You know, I have days where I have a temper tantrum and we stop schooling for that day and we just go to the park and play on the playground, right? Like, it's, it's, I mean, the thing I hear from people all the time is that I don't have the patience to homeschool my kids and my kids now, especially though they're older, just die laughing because I, I'm not a patient person. I mean, I would definitely not put that on my list of strengths. But, I mean, again, the kids need to know that, I mean, they don't have to be perfect, I'm not perfect. You know, we all have hard times, we all have bad days, we need to learn how to like, take a breath and adjust some times and, and live with like the reality. And so I think it's good to role model that for our children as well, you know, that for them, especially because, you know, I've got to, you know, teenage girls growing up in a social media era to, to recognize that, and to learn, you know, balance, I was actually particularly proud because my youngest went to a pretty competitive math program this past summer. And you could take two classes a week, and she actually would choose to take a really hard one that she was interested in, but her second class, she would choose an easier one, because she wanted to be able to kind of devote her time and effort to the one, you know, to the harder course. So she knew to have that balance, instead of trying to take all the hard classes and impress all the professors or to try to take all the easy ones. So she didn't have to work that hard. Right. So she kind of has that sense already, even at 14 of you know, I need to balance my needs with this as well. 

Janna  11:27: So, I think that brings up a really good point that when you are homeschooling, you had mentioned how it magnifies parenting. And I've repeatedly said, like, what homeschooling has done is just really put a spotlight on all the things that my character flaws and things that I could work at and, and where I have wrong thinking. I mean, if people go through life, and don't have anyone questioning what they do, and believe me, if you choose to homeschool, they're going to be questioning everything all the time, and you encourage it. And yet, when you are the subject of the questioning, it can be demoralizing. If you don't have like a good balance of like, okay, you're 10 you can't make me cry every day. Like, I do know some things, I am an intelligent adult, I have degrees. But I think parents have this idea, because the only teacher that they saw, if you want to put a label on a teacher, right, is an educator that they went to nine months out of the year, let's say seven hours a day, five days a week, and my girls would come home before we start homeschooling. And well, my teacher would never say that to me, my teacher doesn't say it like that. And I remind them constantly Well, she's paid to have self-control. And nobody's paying me I only have intrinsic motivation to have self-control at home. And there are days when I just don't have it, and maybe if we could talk your dad into paying me a little bit more, I might be able to display that a little quicker.

Angela 12:57: When there's no time off. Right? It never, I mean, the good thing about homeschooling is that your kids kind of understand that learning is a part of everyday life. Right. And that, you know, this is, you know, they this is how, you know, this is ideally what you're instilling in them, right, that you know how to how to look up into something that you're interested in that this is something that constantly happens on every level, you know, in your everyday life. But that part of it also means that as a parent, and teacher, you never really kind of get away from it. And yeah, I mean, that can be and so I mean how I mean, nobody has that kind of patience. Like, we're all human beings here.

Janna  13:38: Yeah, we just need to, like take that out of the vocabulary, when you're talking about homeschooling, like, Listen, you ain't got it, you're never gonna have it. So let's just accept that. And let's move on from there. Instead of working from a deficit, just go listen, that's not something that you're even going to be able to capture. Like, just let that go. You have other qualities, you know, your love of learning really does come through to your children, your passions and what excites you, and the freedom to be able to bunny trail and think about things that there's no time for in that other space. Right? You're creating a different type of environment. And I sent it in I keep saying it when you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. It doesn't matter what it is, that is just part of life. So if you're saying yes to this, and you're saying yes to working because we are in a society where very few families can have just one income, and very few people want to give up, right? The sense that they've worked hard for what they were educated in. Like I've always said, I don't think I could not work even if I didn't have to work because I'm just that type of person who needs lots of bunny trails to run down all the time, and that's what keeps me excited about each of the things that I'm doing. Because I get a short burst and then I come back I get a short burst then I come back and so it's interesting, but what am I saying no to will do? Honestly, right now, in this season in my life, I'm saying no to a really clean house, like my house is like, it's not dirty you know I would never be embarrassed for someone to come in necessarily. But like, maybe just stay in the front room in the kitchen. You don't I mean, like, I can let the dog here swirl around. But like beyond that, I'm not sure what the kid's bathroom looks like, my bed is not made, and I have a huge basket of laundry sitting in front of me. But it's okay. Because if I have to put that off, I'm saying yes to something else. And right now I'm saying yes to what my kids are interested in and what they want to do.

Angela 15:35: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And my kids went to camp for three weeks. Not this past summer, but the one before and the only. I thought it would be really sad because it's the first time that we've totally had an empty house. But I was so struck by how clean it was. For three weeks, I'm like, it's so clean in here. So, you know, there were definitely some benefits even to some growing up. But you're right, I mean, you get you can't do it all. And there's actually kind of an interaction I had with my oldest preschool teacher, she was very well known for being this super amazing zen-like, Montessori instructor, you know, in Durham, North Carolina, which is kind of a very, you know, granola kind of place to live. So we got her with her, we got lucky to get this teacher and, and I had spoken to her one time, and I was like, how, you know, how do you pull this off, right? And she said, she actually said, your kids are getting the best of me, she said, I was not like this with my own children. She's like because now I'm older, I've learned things I'm I get to go home, and like meditate and eat a quiet dinner by myself if I want, you know, like, I have downtime. She's like this, you know, this is all just come as a result of, you know, time and effort. I mean, it was so gratifying to hear her kind of say like, I was not like this for my own children, right? This was because you had so many she had so many other stressors right at the time, and she was able to kind of grow and become what she wanted for us. It's cool.

Janna  17:13: I do like that idea of the reverse. I think in my I don't know, our generation our situation. I feel like there is a lot of regret for the generation ahead of us, right there was this push to produce and monetarily be able to prove that you were you mattered and then we kind of were the byproduct of that. I mean, me not so much I had hippies as parents, so they didn't really care about those things. But still there, there's this idea of you know, especially as you see aging parents, or if you've lost your grandparents, you hear this idea of regret. And there's one thing that I have told my children, and I tell myself is I don't want to live a life of regret. So if my house isn't clean, it was really clean when they were little. And I tell you what I was like, wound real tight about a lot of things for a lot of reasons. And then homeschooling happened. And I really had to make an intentional decision. What really matters right now? Does it matter that I didn't get to that, that that that isn't to my liking? You know, I think that sometimes with parents, we don't we're unwilling to let things go or let our children do some of the things because it's not to our expectation. It's not how I would like it. And I had to get to the point where I was like, You know what? They clean the bathroom. Is it the way I would clean it? Nope. But it's clean. And at least they are taking on chores, and they're taking on responsibility. And so I have to let that go. Like, did they fold the laundry? The way I would fold it? No, they did not. But why am I going to waste my time re-folding the towel so that my closet looks a certain way when my energy is well spent in another area, like packing up the car, or going out and playing.

Angela 19:00: I actually had my kids start doing laundry at six each. Like I was that mom, but I always felt like one of the nice things about homeschooling is that it did give us some a lot more leeway on time because you know, they're getting one-on-one instruction when they are one-on-two that they could learn these skills. I mean, part of it was you know, there was always this word team. You know, we were family. We're a team and we all have to pinch in. And so we've always kind of had that idea. But I definitely don't do everything for my kids. My kids have always made their own breakfasts and lunches, even back in the day when all they could do was make peanut butter and jelly. But I but they've learned kind of skills that are probably a lot more useful than knowing what year Columbus sailed the ocean blue, right? Being able to make themselves at lunch, being able to grocery shop, being able to do laundry is you know, knowing all that stuff, right? Like my youngest ones, you know, learn how to change the oil in the car, right So, and honestly when COVID happened, and of course I live in Oregon so everything really shut down hard. Um, and that was the thing I kind of encouraged people to do with their kids when they didn't know what to do. Because I was like, there's all these skills that your kids aren't learning because they're so busy at school. And then you whisk them off to their activities. And then they have homework to do. So. So you're doing all the cooking and all the serving and all the cleaning and all the laundry and, and it doesn't do them any good. It's those kids who get to college and don't know how to start a load of laundry, right? In fact, at that camp, my kids went to my two daughters and taught all the other kids how to do laundry, because nobody there had ever done laundry. It's kind of wild.

Working Parents Who HomeschoolWorking Parents Who Homeschool

Janna  20:34: Well and do you think that sometimes, again, I'm thinking about as we came up in the world, there were the women that went before us, who really paved the way for us to be able to choose what we wanted to do, right? But just a few decades ago, there weren't necessarily choices, there were limited choices in what women could do. So I feel like sometimes there's this veil put on us that now because we decided to make our own choice. Now we have to do it. All right, like and I don't think that's true. I don't I don't think at all that we should have to continue to do it all. I think that we have the right to say, You know what, I need help here. And guess what? You're 10 And you have a lot of time on your hands more time than I do. So let's get that laundry folded. Let's the you know, teamwork. Like, let's come in. We were before for a little while when I was first married and I had a set of twins right out the gate. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I gotta make sure I get it all done. And I was miserable. Because I was trying so hard to keep it all together. And for what, like, I created this weird dystopia that I was living in. I was the main character, and the supporting actress and nobody was even reading the book. And I really needed permission time and age to step out of that and say, I don't care anymore. Like, no, don't give it like I said, I like a clean house, I cannot stand chaos. I don't do well with disorders. So I'm not saying c'est la vie. Everything can be everywhere, it doesn't matter. So I think individually, you have to really understand and engage where your comfort level is with some of that stuff. But as parents decide to homeschool, they really do like I'm here, I'm giving you the permission, like you're gonna have to let some things go in order to say yes to some things.

Angela 22:29: Yeah, when I and I've been very lucky to in that, you know, of course, my family looks a little traditional, and that my husband's the one that goes away to work. And I stayed home and carried out the homeschooling, although I do work. But my husband does carry a lot of, you know, he takes a lot of pieces. And I'm very fortunate because I think some of it is also proving that you can do it all without knowing when you need to ask for help. And so sometimes didn't, you know, he cooks dinner. He's really good at editing papers, and I'm not. So that's that's always his job. When my kids were young, and they used to have to read kind of every day, he did that with them in the evenings before bedtime. Let them read to him. And so it was like one thing that was off my plate the next day. So I mean, it was also nice to kind of have that peace and to have that secondary support. And you know, people get in different ways. Sometimes it's spouses, sometimes it's parents, sometimes it's pods, neighbors, friends. But yeah, trying to do everything on your own is, is never going to be a recipe for success.

Janna  23:38: Let's talk about some practical things that you've been able to implement that maybe Okay, so maybe it works for you. It's not going to work for somebody else. But it may just spark something for somebody that goes yes, that's the piece I've been missing. That's how I need to do it. I know for me, meal planning, sounds so antiquated and ridiculous. And like a Stepford wife kind of, but I have to tell you what I am at the end of the day, and I don't have to think about what the family is going to eat. Because that is still my responsibility. If we left that up to my husband, that would just not be a good that's not a good fit for him. So he does other things for sure. But it's an amazing idea if you have a plan before the week begins, I mean, this shouldn't be groundbreaking, but I don't for the many years I didn't do this. And now it's like it's just the only way that we survive at this point because it would be seven o'clock, and my chicken would still be frozen. And there'd be you know, people would be crying and complaining there's no food and that was just yesterday.

Angela 24:41: Yeah, my husband's actually always been big on meal planning. And it does make a difference. We even have like a board in the kitchen where we have the meals listed up there. So like my kids know, like what's coming sometimes even like, if we forget to thaw something my kids now will be like, Hey, Mom, we're supposed to have this tonight and it's not so that's kind of cool now that they're older. But if that really does help, and my husband's really been big on it, my parents also kind of make a note of what nights they might want to just like wander over at five or 6 pm. You know what night my dad's like, oh, what's going on over here?

Janna  25:16: That's classic.

Angela 25:17: It's awesome. So yeah, we definitely meal plan. Again, I, you know, I've always had my kids do chores, even at a very young age. So they didn't, you know, they, they've always been responsible for their own laundry. And then as they got older, we gave more pieces. You know, bathroom, and pets have always been their responsibilities. Now, vacuuming, you know, they're older. So we always have handed out chores, I've always thought that was appropriate. I think it's good for kids, regardless of their age to know that, you know, they're part of a team and they need to do that, on the need to pitch in that will make them better roommates. I talked about the reading, one of the things we really did is, at the younger ages, we used different curricula that all kind of required that there was some element of reading and comprehension questions. And what we did is the kids would read to my husband at night before bed, and then the next day, what it allowed them to do is get started without needing to sit down with an adult, because you know, mornings can be crazy. They weren't crazy about school. But they're, I mean, but they're still crazy. Homeschooling doesn't get rid of that crazy morning thing. But especially when they were young, they didn't have to wait for each other, I had a daughter who can get ready in a half hour and then the next one took two. So they didn't have to wait, we didn't have to sit down with them, they could just keep going. Not only that, I felt like it actually helped her comprehension because they slept on it before they answered questions about something they had read. Later, we came to find that one of my daughters was dyslexic. And she actually has a difficult time reading something and answering a question immediately after like, say you would on a standardized test. But if she sleeps on it, she remembers details that nobody else would. Like, she just needs that time to process it. So that to me made a huge difference in how my day went. And it took me years to think to even do it. But it just made the day flow so much better for all of us. And then the other thing I can think of that has happened over the years is every time my kids and I start to butt heads. You know, sometimes you know it's three or six or you know, those magical ages where they start to talk back or they're just, you know, frustrated. My feeling has always been that it was a sign that they needed more autonomy. And so when we started to have those times where there was pushback from my kids, I would sit down with them and try to figure out what else they could take responsibility for. Because, you know, especially because of the kind of person I am, I'm very, you know, again, type a list maker kind of girl, it would be very easy for me to tell them what to do every minute of every day.

Janna  28:00: And it'd be it'd be right. And you'd be right. 

Angela 28:03: Yeah, of course, I've always been right. But you know, nobody wants to live like that if you think about working a job like that. Nobody likes to be micromanaged. And so as time goes, by every time we would kind of get to those points where we're starting to buttheads, there was always something more that I could hand over to them more responsibility. And a middle school in particular, once they got there, I was very big on this is the amount of work I want you to finish in a week. But however you do it, you can get that done. Because like those executive function skills, I think homeschoolers tend to not be very good at especially when they have a mom like me. So allowing them that. And what happened is I had one daughter, you know, who does all language arts on Monday and all her science social studies on Tuesday. And all her you know, like she would do things like that, like in blocks. And it worked well for her because again, she's dyslexic, so it's easier to focus on one thing at a time. And then my other daughter was kind of like I don't all over the place, like 15 minutes of this and two minutes there and she was all over. But ultimately, they got it done by the end of the week. And so for me, as a parent, I'm kind of looking ahead into like college or, you know, after high school after they're out, you know, from my school, and I want them to be able to do that, right? I want them to be able to manage what they need to get done and figure out how you know, to to work with some kind of deadlines and balance what they need. So definitely a middle school I was I was happy to kind of hand over that as well.

Janna  29:33: Again, giving parents permission to know that it's okay to hand stuff over it. So if they can do it on their own. This is a good thing. This is actually what you want. I think one of the feelings that I struggled with for a long time when I first started to homeschool was okay, this is my choice for my children. I'm responsible for it. So I have to prove that I made the right decision. Yeah, and when things aren't going well all and I am in chaos. And it looks like wait a second, why did I make it? Why did I think this was the right decision again? Like, why they're not they're not little robots, I don't know why I thought they were just gonna come out and just be compliant, and especially for my own chillin' I mean, I'm a noncompliant kind of person in a lot of ways. So it's funny that I would think that somehow I would just miraculously produce compliant children. And those are the types of attributes that you actually want in an adult, right? To think for themselves, to think outside the box, to be innovative to say, why are we doing it this way? And that's because that's how we do it. And that's the only way I know and, and I think a lot of times parents, that that feeling of anxiousness could be because it is disruption in a way, right? It is not how we were taught, it's not what we were modeled. And so to accept something different is maybe in my mind, I thought was giving up some type of control. But as the years have gone by, and I now have almost two 18-year-olds, which is just crazy to me, I see now that the more I let go of the way I think it should be, the more I let go of how I envisioned it, and really let them own their own story. It has released me from having much more anxiety than I normally carry. Because, like, you know what? That decision that you make? It's not the end of the world. It's okay, it's okay. If you if it if it turns out great, wonderful. And if it doesn't, then we go back to the beginning and try a different way. It is it got rid of a lot of fatalistic thinking for me, which was helpful, because if I am less like that, then that's helpful to my children because then they're less like that. And believe me, we all need to be less like that.

Angela 31:50: Yeah, we have a family saying that you're either winning or you're learning. So that's when that we have to keep, I have to keep reminding myself of. And it's funny because I find that I'm getting more perspective, maybe it's because I'm older and wiser. Maybe it's because my kids, you know, I am starting to feel the fact that they could potentially only be home for another year or two. And, do I want to spend the last couple of years with my kids arguing over getting more math done? Or you know, because I, I fall into that cycle of getting we're behind, we're getting behind, right? And that, you know, it's so funny because that feeling is so nefarious, and it's so common with homeschoolers. And there's this, you know, and I, and it's funny because even when I worked in customer service, I would give people a hard time because I'd be like, behind what? Like, where's the line? And who drew it? And why is that the line and, you know, like, I'm very good at challenging that idea for people. Because everybody, you know, grows up in different ways. And, you know, one of my kids is here in math, but here in language arts, and one of my kids is the opposite. You know, it's what people don't, you know, they're people, one of my friends always said standardized testing works for standardized children, right, like, people don't fit into nice, neat little boxes. So, how somebody is going to develop is, is their own story. And, you know, making these arbitrary lines or looking at somebody else's arbitrary line of where they're supposed to be, is just going to, it's not going to make anyone particularly happy. And especially, you know, as a homeschool parent, if you start to obsess over those lines, it can just, it's not going to make anyone happy. I mean, you know, it makes me anxious, and then I bring it out to my kids. And, and ultimately, it's not like we get more work done, because of that, it just makes everybody less happy. So I, you know, as, as I get older, you know, and as my kids, you know, I start to feel the fact that they're going to leave soon. And I just yeah, do we, I don't want to spend my days kind of having that discussion over and over again, we really need to work on algebra, we really need to get through algebra like that. It just doesn't. It doesn't serve its function anymore, right?

Janna  34:08: And the irony is, you and I are both talking about our homeschooled children who are taking college courses in high school, who are really a great example of what homeschooling can produce. So we're not sitting here saying, you know, oh, no, none of this matters. You don't have to do anything. We're just saying that if you let your children have more control, and you're willing to give up some of your control, don't be afraid of what it will produce.

Angela 34:42: What there's isn't a good quote about how we're supposed to be raising adults and not children, right? Like ultimately our job is to raise an adult so it's important to kind of hand the helm to them as much as you can over time. Right? But yeah, I mean, you're right, my kids. Yeah, my ninth grader is taking classes at our local university. I mean, it's not. I'm my kids are definitely excelling academically. But again, that's part of that is self-driven. But one of the nicer things about homeschooling is that my kids could differentiate in what they're learning. And so they're they both pursued what's interesting to them. And so of course, they're going to be more successful pursuing what they're interested in, right? I have a computer science engineering, and math girl, and my other daughter is taking Latin and she's taking a college-level mythology and Greek literature course. So totally different things, but they're both excelling at them, because it's what they want to do and what they're really, really interested in, right? And it's nice to be able to kind of allow them to pursue that without, you know, when I look at high schools, everybody seems to be taking the same exact classes for four years. And, you know, when I got to college, you know, nobody really knew what we wanted to study when we got there. But it makes sense because everybody did the same exact thing for four years in high school. So nobody had the time to explore their interests or take a you know, Russian history course, or you know, Latin or Greek literature, because it just, it really isn't an option at that point. And so then you go to college, where you're spending a bunch of money, and you don't even then you don't always have the time to explore either, because most of us don't have the wherewithal or the means to, to just take classes for fun in college. Right? And, so you're kind of missing that opportunity to explore your interests. 

Janna 36:36: Do you have a homeschool hack?

Angela 36:38: During the reading at night, I think that was really something that transformed kind of my days really, you know, transformed what our days look like, I think my kids’ reading comprehension is really strong because of that. And it was also something that I could hand over to my spouse. So, you know, having my kids instead of us reading to them at night, which is normally I think, how people see their bedtime routines, our girls would read to us and usually my husband, it was one less thing for me, and and they're reading for whatever they were doing for the next day school day, they would do at night with my husband, then comprehension questions came the next day. So they had to sit on it, they had to think about it, they had to, you know, internalize it, as well. You know, when you're taking a test, sometimes you just answer the question, and then it's gone. But you can't do that when you're asked the questions after you sleep over it. So to me, somewhere halfway through our homeschooling was something that I figured out to do. And it just really made a huge difference in how our days looked.

Janna  37:38: I think that's amazing. I hope that our listeners take that to heart and maybe give that a try in their own homeschool if it's something that, you know, they're trying to or struggling with or trying to figure out how to get it all done. As working parents, we definitely have to be innovative. And I think that homeschooling allows us to be if we are willing to get out of our own way because I have found most of the time I'm the problem. So I want to thank you so much for taking the time to come on today and to talk about your experience as a working mom who is homeschooling and doing a really good job at both.

Angela 38:11: Thank you. It was nice to talk to you too.

Janna  38:15: Thank you guys. Until next time, bye bye