Have you ever thought about homeschooling your kids?
Homeschool has been on our mind for a little over a year now.
When we left our “9-to-5” jobs, we found freedom we never imagined working from home.
But when our kids went to school, we found ourselves frustrated by the rigid nature of the school system.
It felt like we had jobs again. Be here on time. Call in sick. Ask permission to go on trips. Etc.
And the kids often told us school felt like prison.
Do as your told, follow the bells, eat when we say, go to the bathroom when we say, play when we say, sit where we say…
The school system itself feels broken, almost out of date.
The entrepreneurial lessons and life skills we wanted our kids to learn, are just not an integral part of the curriculum in the school system.
And the rigid nature of the school calendar and day left little room for freedom.
Freedom of expression, travel, what you do with your time…
Our kids were basically being taught to sit at a desk (cubicle?), follow orders, and be good little cogs in the machine.
We kept getting more and more frustrated by the education system.
So we start looking at homeschool for our kids.
Considering homeschool is overwhelming.
Dozens of questions/doubts/fears flood into your mind:
- What is the best homeschool curriculum?
- Are there any homeschool programs in my area?
- We are people of faith. Are there any Christian homeschool curriculum available?
- Who is going to teach the kids everyday?
- What if we don’t know about something we are teaching them?
- What about online homeschool? Is that a thing?
It’s clear there are a lot of benefits to homeschooling: 1-on-1 attention, learning at your own pace, freedom of schedule, to name a few.
But answering the question of HOW to homeschool your child is a daunting task to wrap your head around.
So we looked for help!
That’s when we found Aaron and Kaleena Amuchastegui.
Aaron and Kalena are the authors of “The 5-Hour School Week: An Inspirational Guide to Leaving the Classroom to Embrace Learning in a Way You Never Imagined.“
As we were looking for homeschool resources to learn about the process, we were specifically looking for entrepreneurs who also homeschooled. People who valued experiences, entrepreneurship, and freedom!
When we found “The 5-Hour School Week” and Aaron and Kaleena, we knew we had found our answers!
We had to have them on the podcast.
In today’s EXTENDED episode of the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast, Aaron and Kaleena guide us through the homeschooling decision.
We cover all the hard questions like:
- When should I start homeschooling?
- What’s the perfect homeschool schedule?
- Can ANYONE homeschool?
- What are the advantages of homeschool?
- What are the disadvantages of homeschool?
- How do you keep your kids from getting bored?
- What about the social skills they develop in school? How do you replace that?
- What about sports opportunities and activities for homeschool children?
- How do homeschool children earn their high school diploma or get into college?
- And many more!
This is an A to Z discussion all about homeschooling!
We asked all of our questions, AND we opened the door for our community to send in questions for Aaron and Kaleena as well.
If you have ever wondered, “Should I homeschool my child” then you need to listen to today’s podcast!
Should entrepreneurs homeschool their kids (transcript below)
In today’s episode, we discuss, should entrepreneurs homeschool their kids?
Jocelyn: Hey, y’all. On today’s podcast we discuss, should entrepreneurs homeschool their kids?
Shane: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online. Now we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? All right. Let’s get started.
Shane: What’s going on, everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you again today. And we have a very special episode of the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. For those of you who’ve been listening to our podcast for a long time, you know that normally we do not have expert guests on the show. It’s usually a member of the Flip Your Life community who comes on the show, gets a consulting call. We do that on air and we share it with everybody so that you can benefit from the conversation. Actually, the only other guest who’s ever been on the Flipped Lifestyle podcast is Pat Flynn, from the Smart Passive Income podcast.
Shane: And this one came out of nowhere. Jocelyn sent me a message the other day because we have been discussing whether or not we were going to take our kids out of public school and homeschool them next semester.
Jocelyn: We’ve been discussing it for a year.
Shane: Yeah, we’ve been discussing it off and on forever, and the other day a friend of ours sent us this book. What’s it called, Jocelyn?
Jocelyn: So it’s called The 5-Hour School Week. A friend of mine just kind of randomly sent it to me and said, “Hey, you might be interested in checking this out,” because she knew that this is something we’ve sort of been tossing around for a while.
Jocelyn: So, you know, I downloaded it, being a former librarian. I had to jump online and get that thing.
Shane: And Jocelyn devoured it and read it in like 30 minutes or something like that because she can read way faster than us.
Jocelyn: A little longer than that.
Shane: We decided that this was actually a really big issue, not only for us, but for other entrepreneurs out there because as we built the Flipped Lifestyle and we define the Flipped Lifestyle, and we teach other people how to flip their life, a big part of that is freedom, especially time freedom and control of your schedule. That has been a really big problem with us over the last couple of years as entrepreneurs, people who work at home and have total control of our life, it’s really been difficult to send our kids to school, where they’re in this structured environment and they’re sitting in rows and they’re on the bell schedule like a factory.
Shane: Then also, having to work our schedule around getting up so early to go to school or even if we want to take a trip, wrestling with do we pull our kids out? Do they get behind? Do we have to ask permission to even do that? As we’ve talked to other entrepreneurs, we realized, especially with people that already work at home or want to work at home, that this is a major problem.
Shane: So we reached out to the authors of this book and asked them if they would come on to the show. not only to discuss homeschooling, discuss entrepreneurship and how that all fits together, but also to answer some questions from entrepreneurs in the Flip You Life community and that’s what we’re going to do on the podcast today, is we’re really going to wrestle with this question. Should entrepreneurs homeschool their kid, and if they do, how does that work? What does that look like? That’s a really scary proposition.
Shane: So without further ado, let’s stop talking. Let’s invite, let’s welcome our guests to the podcast today, and I’m actually just going to say your first names.
Jocelyn: We’ll let you guys say your last name, okay?
Kaleena: Sounds good.
Shane: And I am good at butchering names and I want you guys to say this. So we have Aaron and Kaleena.
Shane: What is it? Say it again?
Shane: All right. We have Aaron and Kaleena-
Shane: Amuchastegui. Okay. Welcome to the show, guys.
Aaron: Awesome. Thanks so much for inviting us to come on. You know, from you guys getting to talk about what you do and we’re really excited to be able to share with you and your community. We’re entrepreneurs as well, and we had to do some crazy flips in our life too, so we’re super-excited.
Kaleena: Yeah, super excited.
Shane: I do want to stress that we are not affiliates, we’re not getting any benefit for this, you know, financially.
Jocelyn: We’ve met them for the first time, like a few minutes ago.
Shane: Yeah, exactly. So we are literally here just to help entrepreneurs in their journey and to help people who are really struggling with this question about homeschooling. So if you could, you mentioned you were entrepreneurs, tell us a little bit about your background as an entrepreneur and then maybe you could go into that decision-making process that led you guys down this homeschool route.
Kaleena: Yeah, absolutely.
Aaron: Sure. We’ve been entrepreneurs for almost 10 years now. So originally we were full-time workers. I worked for a residential home builder. Kaleena worked for various offices, different things like that. Back in 2009, that was kind of that first moment of quitting our jobs to become entrepreneurs. Part of that was what everybody wants to try for, is trying to get more freedom, more life, more things like that, but our first couple of years of that was we thought that we were going to get a lot of our time back, but our first few years of entrepreneurship was just really, really long hard hours.
Aaron: The businesses that we had chosen, there was 50 and 60 hour weeks and we were buying and selling and flipping houses and doing construction. Kaleena ran a big real estate brokerage. It was a really good experience for us, so we started, after a lot of hard work, we got the money and the finances that entrepreneurship was supposed to bring, but we hadn’t quite figured out that freedom part yet because we were working and working a ton.
Aaron: Then several years ago, we kind of had those years where there’s nannies raising our kids, working way too much around the clock, and just kind of came to these, this kind of different experience where we started to, as entrepreneurs, that way working too much. Our marriage wasn’t really going very good, we had nannies raising our kids, they were going off to school and we were really, really unhappy. Then we had kind of some really come to moments. We started adjusting that, changing that business, had to get recycled and back in 2013 Kaleena said, to kind of take a different angle.
Shane: You mean when you made it financially, everything didn’t work out perfectly?
Kaleena: Yes. Exactly.
Shane: Come on, that’s what everybody thinks, though, right? Once you get that.
Aaron: It’s so heartbreaking, though.
Kaleena: It’s super heartbreaking.
Aaron: Like when you finally make it to what you think you’re supposed to get to and you’re still like, “Wait, we’re still miserable.” That’s a sad, sad moment, really.
Shane: You know what though? That’s a part of everyone’s journey that we talked to that’s made it is … I think we were actually kind of fortunate in this regard in our journey because Jocelyn used to work in corporate, like the ladder. I mean, you’re climbing to the top and you kind of get to a point and you realize, “Wait a minute, you mean if I get the promotion I’m still not happy?” and I did college football coaching and football coaching and things like that. So we kind of had these 70 hour work week experiences before we became entrepreneurs, and I think that kind of tempered how we walked into entrepreneurship. Now, granted, we had the 70 hours weeks when we were working full time, raising kids, trying to build a side business, right?
Shane: But you do realize on the other side of that that it’s not just the money. The money can create some opportunity, but it’s the time. That’s really what you got to get back or everything kind of falls apart.
Jocelyn: Yeah, and it’s just like part of the whole value. You realize that money is important, but time is even that much more important.
Kaleena: That’s true.
Jocelyn: So it’s kind of crazy. It’s like a journey. You have to go through the journey to get there to understand that, I think.
Shane: So as you’re doing this with nannies raising your kids and things like that and you have this come to Jesus moment, like, “Oh my gosh, this is not what we want.”
Shane: How old were your kids in 2013 when that kind of happened?
Kaleena: So we have four children all together and I had three girls that were three and under. So I had a three-year-old, a one-year-old, and a newborn and when things really kind of hit the head, we had just had our third baby. She was maybe like a year, year-and-a-half old. Really, we just kind of self-imploded. Our marriage was failing. We were both making six figure incomes, but we were miserable, like I’ve never been so discontent in my entire life.
Kaleena: So it’s just those moments that bring you to your knees that you’re like, “Okay, we’ve got to change some stuff.” So Aaron went on this mission in growth, like a growth mindset kind of mission, where he started reading Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. He read the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Aaron went on this new mission and I started really scaling back my work. I started hiring people, which we hadn’t done. I’d been carrying like 30 to 40 transactions at a time completely by myself.
Kaleena: So we started outsourcing some of that work and getting rid of the nannies, and me stepping back into the role that I knew was going to make me happier. So that happened over the course … I mean, it took a lot of work. I don’t want this to sound easy. It took time. Like we were probably a full year in to some serious, serious life changes and business changes when we had this epiphany that things weren’t … We weren’t being taken to the level we wanted to be taken to because we couldn’t get our kids there with us.
Shane: Love that.
Aaron: Yeah you know, when we made that first shift to go from 70 hour work weeks to trying to live a four hour work week lifestyle, we made those big changes over that six months to a year, and it really started working. We really started to find where I could travel for work and do things that we could no longer do in California, and then I had a chance to open up – I was doing all these deals again in Texas so I talked to Kaleena and I said, “Hey I need you to open up a brokerage account.” Like hey, we’ve got our family back, we’ve got our lifestyle back, but now I’m paying 30,000 a month in commissions to other people, I need to go open up a brokerage account.
Aaron: And luckily she was super smart and just said, “You know what, we’re not gonna work together now. I’m not gonna choose to go back to that lifestyle, we’ll make up the money some other way. But I want to raise our kids.”
Aaron: At that time we weren’t homeschooling yet, it was just as entrepreneurs the best lifestyle for us was for me to be running a business and for her to be able to focus on the family. But still at that time she was taking the kids to school and going through that process.
Kaleena: Right, and essentially what you were talking about, that 70 hour week but with my kids in school.
Shane: That’s amazing, and for us we’ve kind of come to a point about the school discussion. When we quit our jobs, we went into it working together. But we’ve kind of set some limits in that place, we were working like, during the kids’ school hours. So, we’d take the kids to school, we would work from – I don’t know. We’d come home, we’d go to the gym, we’d come home, we’d work 10 to 2:30, and then go pick the kids up.
Shane: But then we started asking ourselves, is that really what we want for our family? Do we want to drop the kids off and not see them all day? Do we want to have no say in their education? And we realized, I think in the last year, we traded our freedom back to society. Because we are just locked into this school schedule and school cycle now, and it really came to a head this summer when we had to write an essay to get permission to miss a week of school to take our kids to Jamaica.
Shane: And I’m sitting here like, what’s a better experience? Getting on an airplane and flying to another culture, or sitting in a classroom? And why am I having to write a five paragraph essay to get permission from anybody? We have total control over our lives. We control our finances, we control our schedule, we control everything. What have we done that we’ve given all our freedom away again?
Jocelyn: If that wasn’t bad enough, then my son missed a week of school, which was excused by the way because we got it excused from the school, but then he misses a week of school and he gets a little bit behind. And one of the teachers has the nerve to say to him, “Well if you weren’t spending so much time in Jamaica, then maybe you would’ve learned this material.”
Jocelyn: And I’m like, “What?”
Shane: Like that is not an either or, you know what I’m saying? Like, life is not either or, even though society wants us to think that way.
Shane: Why couldn’t we do that and then get caught up and then do something else, or if we had –
Jocelyn: Or why wasn’t that considered a valuable learning experience that you went to another country, and experienced things that most of these kids in this school may never experience in their lifetime? Why is that not…
Shane: And you could bring that back to share it with the other students.
Kaleena: Yes, exactly.
Aaron: I mean, you’ve read the books so you know, that’s the whole basis of the five hour school week, and where that five hour school week came about. It was the same issues of dropping the kids off at school.
Kaleena: Right, it was like, “Hey, we’re refusing to jump through the hoops of life. We’re not entering the rat race. We refuse, as adults, to live this way.” And yet we were sending our kids right into that
Shane: Oh my gosh.
Kaleena: -same rat race that we were rebelling against so strongly.
Shane: I’m so glad that you said that, because we literally had this conversation probably about two weeks ago.
Jocelyn: This is what our entire brand is about. Our entire brand is about putting family first and not living the way that the rest of society says to live, yet that’s exactly what we’re doing every single day.
Kaleena: Every day.
Shane: I got to thinking about our lives. We come home, we’ve worked hard to build this life for ourselves, in the morning we get up, we go to the gym, we work on what we want to work on, we don’t work when we don’t want to. I play a little Xbox in the morning I ain’t gonna lie.
Shane: We’ve kind of built this thing to do what we want to do with our life. And then our kids are just locked into this, every 45 minutes. Like Pavlov’s dog a bell will ring, and you will go to the next place, and you will learn what you learn. And if you can’t keep up with those other 30 kids that were randomly put in your classroom, because they’re your age, and you get behind, you’re screwed.
Shane: It just really doesn’t jive, not only with what we’re doing, but really what we should be doing. Schools were invented 100 years ago to provide childcare for factory workers in Chicago and places like that, and also to train people to work in those same environments. I’m just not sure that’s the way the world is anymore.
Shane: I heard this story, Jocelyn told me this quote the other day that said, “A time traveler came to the future, and was so confused by all the things that he saw. He saw iPads, and the internet, and space travel. And he felt really scared and uncomfortable, but then he went into a school and said, ‘Thank god some things haven’t changed.’ ”
Kaleena: Oh man, yes.
Shane: That’s kind of where we find ourselves, at a crossroads. Are we really pursuing freedom if we keep putting our kids in this environment?
Jocelyn: We’ve been wrestling with this forever. Another part of it for me is what you talk about in the book, you talk about how you get what’s left over for your kids. They give their best hours to school, and by the time they get home, we’re tired because we’ve been working all day. They’re tired because they’ve been working all day. We don’t really spend quality time together.
Jocelyn: And what’s sad is, we spend more time with our kids than probably most of their peers’ parents spend with them, and still it’s not even quality time. Sometimes it is, but not always.
Kaleena: Right well a lot of the time I’m guessing it’s staying on top of them to get their homework done, I’m guessing you’re having to urge them to get that reading in, even though they just sat in a desk for seven hours.
Kaleena: So you are having to now work for the school system and really be kind of a command sergeant, and instead of getting to love on your kid and pour into their life, instead you’re like, “Get that reading slip done, make sure that homework gets done, even though I only get to see you for four hours tonight.” And let us squeeze all that in to this teeny tiny bit of time we have.
Shane: Also, then you take them to their sports, or some activity at night time.
Jocelyn: Yes, we have extracurricular activities.
Kaleena: Yep so do we.
Jocelyn: My daughter, she does an all star cheer team, and it’s 30 minutes away from our house. So by the time we drive the 30 minutes she has practice for two hours, and we drive back. That’s over three hours of time. How in the world are we supposed to do reading at that time?
Shane: And then she goes to bed at 9:30 and we have to get her up at 5:30 AM to go to school because they tell us to be there at 6:50, or whatever.
Kaleena: And what about if cheer is her passion? What about if she is going to make it as a professional cheerleader, and you’re having to squeeze her passion into that teeny tiny bit of time. Because she spent so much time focusing on stuff that does not fill her up. If she was at home, she could be perfecting and mastering cheer. Or perfecting and mastering where her passion lays. That’s the biggest disadvantage, that our kids are spending time on things that are not going to add any value to their life.
Kaleena: We are spending 40 hours a week with our kids teaching and shoving things down their throat they will never, ever use.
Shane: Yeah, and like. Go ahead.
Aaron: We had a couple big moments of that, where it was like hitting us, what are we really doing? I was speaking at a conference and I was on stage telling people about the four hour work week. I said, “Hey you guys work too much. This is how you can work in just a couple hours a day and finish your work day and be successful. Know that the five people you hang out with the most are who you’re going to be like, so only hang out with winners.”
Aaron: And a lady stood up at the end and goes, “Hey that’s great. So how does this apply to your kids in school?” And we were like…
Aaron: Yeah, and I was telling people, “Hey do this, this, and this.” And we were sending our kids off… and we had a big moment that night where we were like, “Whoa!” We had experimented with some different things, but that was a big moment.
Aaron: And then just like another evening, going to bed again after school, and extracurriculars and we’re telling our daughter, “Hey you need to go get your reading done.” And she’s in tears, like, “Why? I actually earned a free pass from something else so I don’t have to.” And we’re like, “No, you have to.” Because we were brainwashed, too.
Aaron: And then we tell her, and we lay down in bed and we’re like, maybe she’s right. What are we doing? We’ve done everything we’re supposed to do. We’ve checked the boxes, and we got successful, and Kaleena is still a stay at home mom at that time and we’re still not even getting enough time with our kids, and not doing it, and really starting to push, you go, hey there’s something really wrong here. Kaleena really started educating herself on it.
Shane: And I want to stress here some really important facts. Because I know people that – this podcast is going to be controversial. I know it is.
Kaleena: Oh yeah. Yup.
Shane: But we have a really good school and a great community. We have really hard working, dedicated, good teachers.
Jocelyn: Who care about our children.
Shane: Who love our kids, and they work within a system that they don’t always have control over. And also if you look at the entire span of human history, it is a miracle in the United States, it is a miracle in the United States that every child does even get to go to school, good or bad.
Shane: It is an absolute miracle of humanity, if you just look at it throughout history.
Shane: However – and the opportunities that we have to be entrepreneurs, to work on the internet, to build a life that we want, and even to educate our child at home, is all built on the fact that that was available for the past hundred years. That being said, somethings wrong. Something has changed in the way that we’re all living that has to be corrected. And the system that we’re using now is just not working – for our kids, for families. For anybody. Especially for entrepreneurs who do have that freedom.
Shane: One of our things is travel. Whether we’re speaking, we do live events around the country. Whether we just want to take a trip for educational purposes, or fun. What happens when you want to travel during the week? What happens when you want to get away for a couple weeks in the winter to keep from getting Seasonal Affective Disorder? All these things that you can take into account, you’ve still got school to contend with. It is trapping you there just like a 9 – 5 job or like a rat race.
Shane: What about your kids who are having their creativity stifled? What if your kid hates math? But they can grasp it, they can do the math that they need to do. But what if they are musically inclined and they’re only getting 20 minutes of music a day?
Shane: Isaac is taking coding in one of his classes, and he’s really disappointed because he’s cycled out of the coding class, and he was really getting into it. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, you mean that opportunity disappeared because they can’t get everyone through because they only have 12 computers?” Like, what if he wants to keep doing that? He stayed at home sick today and he’s up there coding right now.
Shane: Where are those opportunities for that? That’s where we kind of are at right now. Can we pull this off? Can we do this? But that leads to a whole other set of questions.
Aaron: We should say, too, that we absolutely loved the school our girls were going too, too. And the teachers loved our kids. It wasn’t that the school we were going to was broken, the system was broken for us.
Aaron: It wasn’t a good match for who we wanted to be and what we were trying to do of excelling to these different levels. Then that basis of what you said, the whole idea behind the five hour school week is you can spend an hour a day doing all that normal schoolwork stuff, and then the rest of the day is whatever they want. For travel, or focusing on coding. One of our daughters took coding classes for a while, too. And being able to find that passion. The little details with some focus, they can do all the stuff that everybody else has to do in school, and then they can spend the rest of that time they’ve saved now on stuff they love. Whether its cheerleading or soccer, whatever.
Shane: We’ve kind of noticed too that school is – and this goes back to there’s a problem with how the actual thing has evolved – school’s not realistic. It’s not realistic to how life actually works. So we can get into the life skills, and balancing checkbooks, and all that’s fine. We all have jobs to teach our kids that stuff to.
Shane: But when you put 30 people in a room and you teach a lesson once, and you expect all 30 to be able to get there in one class, that doesn’t happen. That’s not realistic. People learn and grow on their own path. Our son came home the other day and it broke our hearts. I was sitting there talking to him and I said, “Are you okay, did you have a bad day?” And he goes, “I just feel dumb.” And I go, “What do you mean?” And he goes, “I’m not understanding area and perimeter, and they only talked about it one day and we went on to something else. But they keep testing me on it.” And I’m like oh my gosh, he got to watch the guy do it on the blackboard. But if he was at home, he could watch the lesson over and over until he got it.
Jocelyn: And that’s how these guys got started, like I know reading in your book that’s what was a light bulb moment for you, right? Helping somebody with a math problem.
Kaleena: Yeah, so it’s interesting. We went on a trip. We started hearing people speak about unconventional education ideas. In fact the vice principal from our private school was leaving to go start an Acton Academy which is an entrepreneurial based school that goes from kindergarten all the way through high school. It’s a really incredible program.
Shane: We looked at it, we almost thought about moving to a city that has an Acton academy.
Jocelyn: Yeah one of our friends, her children go to one.
Kaleena: They’re incredible. So he’s leaving this school, because he’s saying, “I have kids and I can’t actually send them to the school that I’m a principal at.” And so I loved and respected this man. So we were hearing from him, other entrepreneurs were homeschooling their children, and I’d started reading some new material, like Free to Learn from Peter Gray. And so we started slowly tiptoeing into this new territory.
Kaleena: So we were like, we’re going to pull our kids out of school for a week and go to Yosemite. And I don’t care what the school’s going to say, we’re just gonna go do this. So we’re gone for the week, we forget the kids’ homework. We think it’s going to be a catastrophe. We have this beautiful family vacation. The girls, and we, learned so much together just about the park, about nature. We’re doing open air bus rides, and all the things. We’re doing campfires with the rangers. We are learning in real time, and making incredible family memories.
Kaleena: And so then after a week we get home, and what’s waiting for us? A week’s worth of homework. And just the fear, and the anxiety sets in and its like panic in my house. And so I start unloading the car and Aaron’s like, I’m gonna sit down with the girls, we’re gonna knock out homework.
Kaleena: Our oldest, Maddy, is stressed. She has to learn long division. They’re gonna go over long division this week and she hasn’t done it, and this is so terrifying. No exaggeration, Aaron sat there for two hours with all three of our girls and knocked out a weeks worth of work, including teaching Maddy long division. Where she could just sit and independently do problems.
Aaron: Its such a fun conversation with you guys, because you guys could’ve written a couple chapters of our book.
Aaron: The same problems you guys are talking about is what’s there. We discovered some of it by knowledge, some by seeing it. Those couple hours when we got back, it’s the four hour work week principles. If you’re really focused and you have no distractions and you’re going to the task at hand in the most productive manner, you’re gonna be able to finish a whole bunch of stuff in a short amount of time.
Aaron: One of the big problems with school like what you said, is that they teach in one method. Which is going to be slower than the fastest person in class and faster than the slowest person in class. So it’s really only the perfect speed for a few of the students. And it’s only in that subject. So it’s not the most efficient way.
Aaron: The most efficient way to learn is as fast as that individual can learn. Maybe this kid has to go over perimeter and area ten different times, but in this other subject they get it like that. And so the way we have it set up is that it’s that quick focus and then – I take Maddy back to school the next day. We drop her off and she’s relieved. We got to pick her and and we go, “Hey how was your day today?” And she goes, “Dad, I was the only one that knows how to learn long division, they didn’t even get to it this week.”
Shane: Wow. Isn’t that crazy?
Aaron: It is.
Shane: You know what’s funny though? You still had to deal with all the stress and anxiety. She was so worried about this artificial deadline or consequence that society and the school had placed on her. It’s subconscious, they don’t know they’re doing it. This fear and anxiety was over nothing.
Shane: Where is the joy in just, holy crap I know how to do long division. That’s miraculous, that we can do these mathematical things, and that’s gonna pay dividends down the road. But she got to – what if she had just entered that weekend with, “Oh we just went to Yosemite. Hey what are we studying this week guys? Long division? Cool, let’s figure that out.” Instead of, “Oh my gosh if I don’t learn this tomorrow I’m a failure.” And all these consequences, and all these bad things.
Shane: You got the result, but you had to deal with all the problems. When you could’ve just eliminated the anxiety and the problems.
Kaleena: Right. Then the problem continued, because for the next three to four weeks the school was still going over long division and Maddy had mastered it and was bored out of her mind.
Shane: And that’s our daughter’s problem right now. She’s having the opposite problem. In her class in her grade, not that she’s any more smarter or more capable than our son, but she’s younger and she’s the faster speed right now in her topics.
Jocelyn: And she says she’s bored.
Shane: And she’s bored out of her – she doesn’t want to go to school.
Jocelyn: Basically during a big portion of the day she takes accelerated reader tests, which I don’t really have a problem with accelerated reader or anything like that, and I’m not saying anything bad about her teacher. Her teacher is catering to those who haven’t mastered whatever it is she’s trying to teach, and so because my child has she spends her days reading books and taking tests on them.
Kaleena: Right. Oh I know.
Shane: She’s reading easy fun books and doing nothing. So it’s just this weird environment. I go back to, school is not realistic of the real world.
Shane: When I wake up every day, I’m looking at the next thing I’ve got to do to grow our business, to improve our marriage, to help our kids, to help the people in our community, to record podcasts for our audience so they’ve got something to spur them. I’m always looking at the next thing, there’s never a time where I just stop and I’m like, I gotta wait for everybody else to catch up.
Shane: That’s not real, that’s not how life actually works. Looking at how school functions – how old are you guys?
Kaleena: I’m 36.
Aaron: And I’m 38.
Shane: Okay, so I’m 40. Jocelyn’s about 30, so we’re the same age. We talked to somebody a couple weeks ago, we talked to a guy who was like 31. Right? When we had a live event a couple months ago we had over a hundred people that had flown in for a conference that we put on. There was everybody in that room from age 30 to 60.
Shane: But you go to school, and it’s the only 18 years of your life where you’re trapped with people who are the exact same age as you. And now the schools have become such bubbles. The seniors are kept away from the sophomores. And the sophomores are kept away from the freshman. Everybody’s compartmentalized and even the arbitrary – deadlines are one thing – but these arbitrary, weird deadlines, like if you don’t figure this out on time, not if you don’t do something on time, it’s just not real. It’s just not the way the real world actually functions in 2000 and whatever.
Aaron: It’s completely unrealistic and totally inefficient.
Aaron: It’s the least efficient way to learn, is the way that they have it set up. It absolutely takes the fun out of it because they are forced to learn for a certain amount of time, all the time. It is so much less fun whereas instead of being excited about learning long division, it’s like checking a box.
Aaron: By doing classroom time less, now when they do learn, they want to. They love it. Because they aren’t forced to do it all day long, they’re choosing to more and more often. And they’re getting to choose what they learn more.
Kaleena: Right, we’re not learning for a grade and we’re not learning to pass a test, we’re learning for the sake of learning. Which is totally different. This isn’t me shooting down education, I love education. I think learning should be a life long journey. From the day that we’re born, until the day that we die, we should be learning something new every single day. Not stop when we get a degree, not stop when we get all A’s. It’s absolutely crazy that we say, get that bachelor’s degree and you’re done. We’re done learning? Are you kidding me? It’s crazy.
Shane: School’s over.
Jocelyn: That’s just our natural tendency as people, especially as children. That’s their natural tendency, to want to learn.
Kaleena: Yeah absolutely.
Jocelyn: And I think that sometimes in school we kind of stifle that. If we’d mastered whatever it is that we’re teaching that day, read some books and take some tests. You know?
Jocelyn: While that is learning…
Shane: It fills the time to find something else.
Aaron: Yeah, fill the time.
Kaleena: Yeah, fill the time.
Shane: Okay so let me go back real quick, and then we have bunch of questions. One of the great opportunities we have because we have an audience is, we reached out. This is a hot topic. I want to stress, too, that Jocelyn and I, we do work together in our business. You guys have divided this up.
Shane: We both have been successful in our different business pursuits. But we have friends that homeschool from every economic status point. So there’s no restriction, we always kill excuses. That’s our number one mission in our podcast.
Shane: Anyone listening to this, I don’t care if you’re just starting you entrepreneurial journey, I don’t care if you’ve made it, I don’t care if one of you is an entrepreneur and your spouse isn’t, I don’t care if you’re both entrepreneurs, this is one of those things if you want to do it and it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. And if it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. So we just want to slam that door shut, and if anybody’s thinking that right now, “Well that’s great for you guys to talk about this. Shane and Jocelyn got this big podcast. You guys are doing real estate and stuff.” No, there’s no excuse not to do this if you want to. Okay?
Shane: So when you guys made the call – just real quick before we get into a bunch of questions – where did you make the call? How did you make the call? Did you do it in the summer, Christmas time? Just out of nowhere? What was that conversation? How did you execute that? And how did you end up where you’re actually homeschooling?
Kaleena: Yeah, so a lot like you guys. We talked about it for over a year. Aaron was ready on week one. The minute I started the conversation, Aaron’s like, “Pull the trigger, let’s go, I’m in.”
Shane: “I’m ready to go right now. Let’s do it.”
Jocelyn: He’s with ya.
Kaleena: Right, yeah. I, however, sat in a whole pool of fear for a decent 18 months. Freaked out. Like, my kids are going to be home all day, every day, and –
Jocelyn: You’re my soul sister.
Kaleena: Yes. Like, I don’t have a college degree. Yes, I built an amazing real estate brokerage, but what am I going to teach them? Am I gonna mess them up? How are they gonna socialize? If there is a question out there, I had it. And I was terrified of it.
Jocelyn: Do you live in my head? Because I was reading the first chapter of your book, I’m like, “I’m pretty sure she was at my house this morning.”
Shane: Jocelyn, she gets this book, she just walks in here and goes, “I’m calling these people, we’re talking to them, they’re going to be on the podcast.” And I was like, “Oh, what? What are we talking about?”
Kaleena: What are we talking about? Exactly.
Kaleena: So Aaron was ready, and I sat in and sat in it, and we had in incredible summer. So we ended the school year and it was pretty miserable. We went into the summer and we were living our best life, and we are living to the highest of our abilities. We’re traveling, we’re killing it at business, we’re killing it at parenting, our marriage is thriving, and it’s the middle of August and I’m writing a tuition check to send my kids back to school because I’m terrified of like, what are they gonna say? What are my friends gonna think? What’s going to happen?
Kaleena: So I put them back into school in September, mind you I get elected as the PTA president this year, I’m super involved in our kids’ school. I volunteer, we’re huge contributors. That’s the other thing. You’re like, “Oh my gosh all these people that depend on me, what are they gonna say? How are they gonna feel?”
Kaleena: So we go from September into November and it was miserable. I can’t think of very many weeks that I wasn’t going to bed crying, our children-
Aaron: She was so caught up though, like caught up in the moment. As soon as school started again, they were all 100 percent back in it. She was there, it was the long days, it was doing all the extracurriculars, it was setting up fundraisers and things like that. I could see that it was killing them.
Kaleena: We were falling apart. We were self imploding, literally. Every day I was dropping them off and it went against everything that was in my gut.
Shane: This is November right now for us-
Jocelyn: I know we were feeling the same way.
Shane: And when you said that, I thought to myself that is the exact experience that we have had.
Jocelyn: We seriously hate it every day. We hate it.
Kaleena: I know. I do know.
Aaron: We ended up – it was an accidentally pushing it a little further… I saw what was going on so I scheduled three weeks of vacation in November.
Aaron: So it was coming up to November first and we realized that I was on a business trip somewhere, and Kaleena is getting ready to write the November check and realizing that they’re only going to be at school four or five days that month.
Kaleena: Right. We had a couple of business trips, and we decided to mix in going and seeing the volcanoes in Hawaii as an educational piece. So we were gonna be jumping across the country for three weeks and the kids weren’t gonna be in school. Because there’s also Thanksgiving holiday. It’s parent teacher conferences though, and Aaron’s in Florida working, and I just call him on the way to parent teacher conferences and I said, “Unless I get a different feeling, I think I’m pulling the kids out right now.” And he’s like, “I’ve got your back, I support you, I’m so proud of you…” Whatever.
Kaleena: I walked into parent teacher conferences, and the first one was for our oldest, Maddy. And she was a fourth grader. And the teacher said, I’ll never forget this conversation because it just solidified what I was doing that day, she said, “Your daughter is incredible. She’s so amazing, all A’s, the kindest girl in the class, helps people that are below her.” All the things you want to hear as a parent, and then she followed it with-
Aaron: Reading at a seventh grade level.
Kaleena: Right, she’s a brand new fourth grader reading at a seventh grade level. And then, I can still hear it in my head, “But, we need to push her a little bit further. We need to get her where she’s reading at an eighth grade level. Let’s just push a little bit more.”
Kaleena: And I just kept hearing, “But, but…” And I’m sure she went on and said a lot of things, but all I heard was “but.” And I’m like but, nothing. She’s having anxiety attacks every day that I’m bringing her to school and she’s an all A students. But you want more?
Kaleena: I just looked at her and she was like the nicest, sweetest, kindest, great teacher. And I said, “Thank you so much. Maddy’s not coming back, I’m starting to homeschool.”
Jocelyn: Hmm, ouch.
Kaleena: Right? And then I did the same thing – honestly the kindergarten and first grade teacher, she was like, “We wish we could do the same with our kids. If there was a way we could make that happen we totally-”
Shane: I’m sure everybody had an opinion.
Kaleena: Oh yeah. Everybody’s all in or thinks you’re absolutely nuts. There’s very few middle ground to this.
Jocelyn: We’re used to this.
Kaleena: Yeah, you know exactly.
Jocelyn: When we decided to quit our jobs in rural, south Kentucky in the middle of the school year, people thought we were absolutely nuts.
Shane: People thought something had happened, people came up to us like, “Is your marriage okay?”
Shane: “Is one of you getting indicted for something?” We went home one time to Thanksgiving that year and Jocelyn, God bless him, her grandfather came up to me after dinner and we were getting ready to drive back home across the state. And he reaches out, he’s old school, he’s an old coal miner guy. He was going to shake my hand before I leave, and I looked down and he had put a 20 in my hand, and he goes, “Now son, I know you’re not working now, so you need some gas money.” And I’m like, “Bro I made last month as much as I made in a year teaching.” But he didn’t get it.
Kaleena: Oh really.
Shane: They just-
Kaleena: Right no, they don’t get it.
Shane: If you do something weird like homeschool, like be an entrepreneur, do something to change your life even as radical as, we shouldn’t work 70 hours a week because it’ll affect our marriage, but isn’t it what we’re suppose to… Those things really get to people.
Kaleena: Oh yeah.
Shane: And they don’t understand it or have the wherewithal to go do it.
Shane: So I could totally see – this is crazy too, I haven’t had this moment in a while. Because we’ve been rolling now for six years doing what we do, right? But I remember when I read ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, when I read these other books about entrepreneurship and when I found people that had the guts to go be successful, or at least try and fail. Right?
Shane: I remember thinking, “I want that.”
Shane: And, “maybe I’m not to the point now where I can go all in, but I want that.” And when you said, “She’s not coming back.” It just made me, again, feel that I want that. I want to have the guts to say that. I think we’re-
Jocelyn: If it were up to Shane this would’ve happened, probably year ago.
Shane: You know what’s funny though? Until both us are at that point, I think that’s how marriage works.
Shane: The reason I don’t do it is because we are not there yet, and that’s an important part of the dynamic is you both gotta get on the same page.
Kaleena: I think for me, I needed it to hurt that bad.
Shane: You need a catalyst.
Kaleena: I did, because, mind you this is us living our best life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just like entrepreneurship, homeschooling is the same. There are days when you are digging in deep, and you better remember those worse days that were behind you. I’m sure you thinking back at working for the school system. I’m sure you –
Shane: What we look back on, for us, the nutshells version of our story is our son was being abused at a day care center. They were locking him in a bathroom for hours at a time to punish him in the dark. I found this out one morning, and was stuck between a rock and a hard place because I’m a teacher, there’s 30 kids in my classroom, I have to be there. There’s legal ramifications if something happens and I don’t show up.
Shane: So I dropped Isaac off somewhere where he could not stay for more than a couple hours. I asked my boss for time off, and my boss told me that I would have to handle my personal problems after work because she knew my son needed me, but my job needed me, too. That’s the moment. Every day it gets hard, every day I think about that, I am like, “I’m not ever going back”
Shane: That’s where we are at school. When my kid is downcast, shoulders turned, saying he feels dumb, I can’t send him there anymore.
Shane: That’s what you have to reach back for.
Kaleena: Yeah. It needs to – I’m really grateful for that pain, I am, because it is what reminds me that this is why we’re doing it, this is why it’s different, this is why we chose this lifestyle. The timing was perfect for us, even though it felt like a long drawn out process.
Aaron: A lot of biggest decisions, we do wrestle with them for a long time. Even when it was entrepreneurship, it was six months or a year of telling Kaleena, “I need to start my own business, I want go do this and and be…” And when our second daughter was born six weeks early and I was staring at her in the incubator, that’s when I was like, “Oh man, this is my fault, Kaleena was working nights, I was working days. I need to do something better for my family now.”
Aaron: There are a lot of those moments where we think we want to go, and we’re learning, and it takes that bigger catalyst to go, here’s the moment. And Kaleena was so close, and then it was putting them back in school, those feelings every morning were still there. The big catalyst of going, “Hey your daughter’s perfect, but let’s push her really really hard.” And it was like, yeah.
Shane: We’ve coached thousands of people through our community, and we’ve seen so many people succeed, so many people fail. Everybody’s in between, like every journey. But the people who really have that catalyst are the ones that we find really make it the fastest, because… it’s not just something you want. I want a lot of things, but I’m not gonna go do those things.
Jocelyn: It works better when you don’t have a choice.
Kaleena: Yeah, absolutely.
Shane: Even something as simple as, we encourage people to do all of their videos live because you have no choice but to get it out. You can stop on a recording. But you can’t do that when there’s people watching.
Shane: When our kids are watching, when our spouse is watching, when we’re watching each other, it just pushes you to a whole new level. So we’ve talked a lot about some definite benefits, especially for entrepreneurial people who want that freedom lifestyle doing homeschool, but like everything in life it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. A lot of times when you make decisions, it’s not that you’re really even making a decision on which one’s the best. Which set of problems do I really want to deal with?
Shane: So what are the, just from a general-
Jocelyn: What are the challenges, let’s not say problems, let’s say challenges?
Shane: -yeah the challenges, the negative things that arise when you choose to homeschool?
Shane: How long we got?
Kaleena: Right. No, that’s not true. But I love that you say that’s it’s a different sort of – it’s different challenges.
Kaleena: Your kids are home all day for the most part, so just start there and really let that sink in to what that is. Your kids are home all day. So we’ve talked about all the pros that come with that, the cons are, if you’re anything like I am, I’m an incredibly busy person separate from just being a mom. I have my own passions and my own stuff, so it’s about finding a balance that works for our family. I think that’s probably the number one challenge, is that not only are my kids living their best life, but that I’m not sacrificing my best life so that they can have theirs.
Kaleena: Right? This isn’t supposed to feel like, I’m giving up my life so that my kids can live their best life. This is supposed to be as a family, we are performing at the very best level that we can perform at. And if I’m not taking care of me and I’m not living into my best self, then all of that kind of falls apart.
Jocelyn: Yeah. If I’m being really honest that is the number one hold back for me, that is the reason that I have been dragging around on this for approximately 12 months is because – we talked about this during the break, we just had a break a few minutes ago – but really what it is for me is that I am a very ambitious person myself. I am very interested in business, I want to do the business we are 50/50 partners, we do everything together.
Jocelyn: While that’s awesome, I can just see that my kids being at home all the time… when they want something and they’re at home, they say, “Mom, mom, mom, mom.” That’s who they want. They know that I’m gonna do whatever it is they want me to do to get them off my back.
Shane: Also that’s biological, I think, to an extent. You know what I mean? Kid goes to mom.
Jocelyn: Yeah. I’ll be super honest, that is a huge concern for me because I don’t like where we are right now because I feel like I have very little, I guess you would say, genuine interactions with them. It’s all about “Get your homework done, get a bath, get ready for bed.”
Shane: “Get ready for this thing we have to drive you to.”
Jocelyn: Yes. It’s like I have no time that I get to spend with them, so that bothers me. But it also bothers me, the thought that, what I feel is my God given reason for being on this earth, which is to help people figure out ways to get out of their daily grind, I feel like I need to be equally there for my children and equally there for that. So that’s really hard for me.
Shane: And you’re also an introverted person. You recharge by being alone, and now we’re having less alone.
Kaleena: Yes, absolutely.
Aaron: I think one of the challenges, too, is we talked about needing unschooling. Changing the old train of thought. The old train of thought is that the kid need to sit in a desk for eight or ten hours a day, and needs to be working the whole time or they’re just being lazy. Right?
Aaron: So we have a lot of people that Kaleena coaches, and they get started doing it and go, “Well I do the curriculum and he finishes it in the first hour and then he just wants to go play all day.” And we go, “Yes, exactly, and then you’re supposed to let him.”
Aaron: And then the parent is like, “Wait” and you have to unschool that and it’s sometimes it’s a challenge to them, they’re like “Wait what do you mean?” Part of the problem is that old belief, when you do start to get those genuine experiences with your kids. After they finish that, it’s like, what do you want to go learn about now? What do you want to go do now? When they get to see that they’re in control of so much more of that, whether it takes them an hour or three hours to finish it and then they get to start having more control of their life. Then your time is a lot more of the genuine conversations, “How are you doing?” That sort of thing.
Aaron: A change in mindset is a challenge for a lot of people.
Shane: We have to remember, we both went to public school, we both got to this point. We have a friend who has a podcast called We Turned Out Okay, and it’s hard even if you want to break free from it to break free from it. Because you start thinking about, well look at all the best memories of your life, they were kind of forced upon you because you were at school, but some of the best memories of your life are at school. That’s just real life, its hard to let go of that.
Jocelyn: I think it’s to a lot of the known vs the unknown. This is something people struggle with with entrepreneurship, too. Your current life is not great but it’s what you know, it’s something known.
Shane: And it could be very good, it’s just not the highest level you could achieve.
Jocelyn: Yeah, and the unknown is this new thing. Whether it be a new business, whether it be a new schooling method, whatever. Sometimes people just cling to what they’re already doing because its something that they know, it’s like they don’t have to think about what could happen or what might not happen. I think that comes into it as well.
Kaleena: I also think that it’s a lot of work. It’s like, you are having to be incredibly intentional with this lifestyle. In the same way that you’re intentional about being an entrepreneur, you are going to need to be completely intentional about how your kids are learning. Now, that doesn’t mean that all the work falls on you.
Kaleena: Here’s some really quick hacks, because Aaron talked about unschooling. There is this period for kids who are sitting in a school system, in a traditional classroom and have been for years. Like, my oldest sat in a school for six years from the time she was – we started early preschool. Right? Full day early pre school.
Kaleena: We have to untrain that behavior, so is there this six month to year long period depending on how long your kids were in school, where literally you’re gonna have to de-school them. Just breaking down those habits, those habits that I kind of feel are unhealthy habits, we had to break those down.
Kaleena: I’m gonna tell you the easiest way to do that is just let them play. Give them freedom and let them step into being kids again. We really try to overthink it, I think, as homeschoolers. Like, they’ve gotta learn this, or we’ve gotta keep up with what their friends are learning in school, what they were learning when we pulled them out. That is not the point here. We are not pulling them out of school to teach them what they were just learning. We are trying to breed something different than what the school system was breeding.
Kaleena: We want something different, therefore we have to do something completely different. So it’s like literally taking a deliberate jump in the opposite direction. So if you can stay with that mentality in the first part of it, it really really helps.
Shane: That’s an amazing tip by the way. That blew my mind. That just crushes – it’s taking the con, or the negative –
Jocelyn: The challenge.
Aaron: It takes the pressure off.
Shane: And flipping it on its head, it just removes all those obstacles because we are all socially conditioned for a hundred years, five generations of people basically in a society, that your kid does this at this grade to 18 and this must happen, or you fail. And that’s where all these challenges come from. These ghosts, we call them ghosts in entrepreneurship when we talk to people like, don’t invent ghosts. Its not that we’re inventing ghosts in this situation, we’ve been told the ghost stories our entire life.
Kaleena: Right, yep.
Shane: And when we want to do something different, we still remember the ghost story that’s been told like it’s real. And it just becomes this haunting this that one, keeps you from going into the forest in the first place. Or, two, keeps you anxious and terrified when you’re passing through.
Kaleena: Oh absolutely.
Shane: Okay let me ask you this, what was the biggest mistake you guys made at the beginning? Because the beginning is the hardest part.
Shane: Once you get past the beginning, y’all, it’s alright. You can figure it out. So you’re not going back, you tell them this, you show up Monday morning and you’re like, “Oh wait, we’re home, what do we do?” What’s that biggest mistake the first few months that you guys made?
Kaleena: So honestly going back to what I just said, it was really I planned too much. I put this really big expectation on what it was supposed to look like. So my plans was, because I had seen all these commercials all over the TV for like, K through 12, homeschool your kids at home, it’s free. We’re gonna give you a stipend, just sign up for our government assisted public school. You can school at home. And I’m like, perfect. That’s awesome, they’re gonna do all the work for me and I get to have my kids at home. Right?
Kaleena: Okay so I’m sure there’s a lot of good for those programs for other groups of people, and some of them might work like that and be awesome. The one in California was, you need to log, I think it was a minimum of five hours day. They were keeping attendance. You had to pass standardized testing. So I had this very grandiose, original thought of what my homeschooling journey was gonna look like and on day one it blew up. Because it wasn’t what I wanted.
Kaleena: So here’s what I did that people think is absolutely crazy. I just took the next six months off. I would get up on a Monday and I would ask my kids, “What do you want to learn?” And then we would write it on a white board, and then we would go learn those things. And I literally kept it that easy.
Kaleena: And if we had a trip coming up we would learn about where we were going. If they would ask me a question when we were driving down the road, I would hand my 11 year old my phone and I would say “Google that, let’s learn about that right now, let’s answer that question.”
Aaron: You guys did a lot of Khan Academy.
Kaleena: Right. And we would play around with different curriculums and different apps and stuff that were out there. So, Khan Academy is great and it literally takes you from preschool, where you can get a masters, they take you all the way through college on Khan Academy. Every program, every class. Amazing teachers. The whole thing.
Kaleena: So I’m looking at that, I’m looking at Adapted Mind. We’re doing some time for learning, I’m downloading apps. I’m familiarizing myself with programs that are out there, and I’m just kind throwing them at my kids. “Hey try this, how does this work for you?” And I set up, I made this thing called the buffet of learning, where I would just set out their computers every day, and set books and activities and things, and just let them pick, what do you want to do today? What are you gonna do in your hour today?
Kaleena: And we just played. I didn’t put a lot of conditions on that. I wasn’t trying to see a result, I just wanted to get to know how my kids learn and what they wanted to learn.
Shane: I love it.
Kaleena: And it changed everything, really.
Aaron: So much of the book is trying to encourage people to find their way. Try this, then try this, try this. Your situation might look a little different than ours. Kaleena can individually tell people, break it out. But a big concept at the beginning was learning life skills, the stuff they don’t really teach in school. The value of money, making good risky decisions. There’s a lot of stuff out there. So when we go on the trips to Canada, converting Celsius to Fahrenheit and things like that.
Aaron: So part of that mindset, too, was the shift in going, alright let’s learn some life skills too. When you do go on those trips, when you go to Jamaica, things like that. There’s still other, worldly things that they get to learn. So it was a lot more of a focus on learn all that stuff while she was experimenting with the book work balance.
Shane: It’s amazing. This sounds like, it’s the flip your life blue print. It’s exactly what we tell people. People always want to come into the flip your life community, and they say things like, “If I can get my idea and I can get my product and it works then I will continue,” or, “If I just had the exact plan and I knew this is what I need to do to be an entrepreneur I would do it.” That’s big objection.
Shane: That’s not how it works, that’s not how business works. You have to try it and get crushed, or try it and succeed and fail. You have to go out and do. One of the things we encourage people to do is, your idea doesn’t matter in the beginning, you just have to go do it to learn all the foundational stuff. And then your next idea gets better. I heard one guy say, “When you start this you’re going to suck, but if you’re doing it you’re going to suck less, and eventually you’ll suck so little that you’ll actually be kind of good, and then you’ll get to great.
Shane: That’s kind of like what you’re saying here. Our big thing is, the only thing we’ve talked about lately is what curriculum are we gonna use? What product are we gonna sign up for?
Shane: That’s not even the right question at all. You won’t know until you try.
Kaleena: That’s the thing is you won’t know and here’s the other thing, what works for you in September, it may no longer work for you in May. It is constantly evolving and changing. You have to just be, in the same way that you’re flexible with your business and you’re constantly listening to the client and figuring out what the trends are setting. All the things, right? And then you’re also doing the same thing with your kids, going oh this is what we’re into.
Kaleena: So our oldest Maddy, when we started this, was all about coding. Coding, coding, coding. Building web pages, marketing, she was so interested in it. So we found Hackingtons – it’s like a hacker lab. So we would take her to classes at Hackingtons and she would learn how to code through them, and she would come home and she would do Minecraft. She would do all these different things to learn how to code and perfect that skill.
Kaleena: And after three months of just passionately coding, she’s done coding. She was just done. And I couldn’t believe it, I was like “What? No you’re gonna be a master coder, you’re gonna build the best websites and the best apps. And you’re gonna become a millionaire doing it. What do you mean?” And she’s like, “I’m done with coding, I’m not really into it.” And she started sewing. So I bought her a sewing machine and she started sewing.
Kaleena: Because she was 10 and she’s trying to find her way, and if we provide this environment for them then instead of finding their way at 30 or 40 or never like so many of us, we are providing this environment that maybe when she’s 18 Maddy’s gonna know what she masters, what she’s passionate about, what she’s so good at. And she’s gonna be, 10, 15, 20 years ahead of all of her peers.
Aaron: The old mindset was push and push and push them. Now if next month she decides she doesn’t want to sew anymore, like right now if there’s a hole cut in anything we go hand it to her and say, “We need you to fix this.” Or her sisters say, “We need Maddy to go sew it.”
Aaron: She’s good. And Maddy’s also started a bunch of little business that have been successful. She’s a total entrepreneur at heart already. But the big part is, next month if she wants to do something different, instead of getting discouraged and going, “Oh she doesn’t follow up with anything.” It’s like going, “Okay, let’s see what’s next.”
Aaron: They did TaeKwonDo for a couple years, they loved it, and all the sudden they were like, you know what I think we want to do dance or something instead? And as parents we’re used to going like, “No you have to keep going.” Now we try to understand and we’re like, “Alright cool, let’s find your passion.”
Aaron: Because as an entrepreneur, and as adults, if we didn’t like something anymore we wouldn’t do it anymore.
Kaleena: How many times have we drawn businesses, Aaron and I had seven failed business before we had a successful one. What if we had just stayed in those failing businesses instead of walking away from them and starting it new? Like you’ve just gotta keep throwing it at the wall. And it isn’t about being lazy, and not pushing my kids for excellent. It’s actually the exact opposite. It’s really encouraging them to step into who they were created to be.
Kaleena: I think that that’s a thousand percent about the environment. They just need our support. They need us to facilitate that. It’s not about doing it for them, that’s the last thing you want to do. They need to –
Shane: It’s also not like, “Stay in your lane.” There is a point where some of that’s valuable, like okay I do have to push past something that’s hard.
Shane: That’s not the same thing as losing interest. Totally different.
Kaleena: Yeah. Whenever I think that this is, “Oh I don’t want to go through it because it’s a challenge,” or, here’s the other big one, “I don’t want to go through that because I’m scared and fearful of what’s on the other side.” Whenever I think it’s fear based or challenge based, there’s a little more motivation. Right? Like you just know your kids, or hopefully you know your kids. That’s what-
Shane: Or you will.
Kaleena: Or you get to know your kids, I guess. Because I didn’t. I didn’t know that fear was driving my kids in so many areas. It’s like learning that, learning how your kids respond to certain things and then providing the correct amount of motivation and the right environment so that they can learn.
Shane: So what you’re saying is, in reality, that the fear for us is – and this is a weird fear for us because literally we both have masters degrees in teaching children.
Shane: Like honestly, she’s elementary, I’m high school. You would think that we’d be like, “Oh we got this.”
Jocelyn: We got the teaching part.
Shane: But the fear part, really for us is, we sit and think back to kind of where we were teachers and we were teaching every day, we think that’s what it’s going to look like at our house. But we’re not really, as a homeschool parent we wouldn’t be the teacher, we would be the guide.
Aaron: You’d be like a facilitator, actually.
Shane: Be the person that recognizes, okay this is a loss of interest, I support you moving on, instead of, “No you hit a brick wall and you just don’t know how to do that, and you’re giving up” Or, if you’re afraid to go to the next level. That’s really what the homeschool parent’s role is. It’s not to, “Alright kids here’s the blackboard, and we’re going to sit here for six hours together.” Like you would’ve done at school anyway.
Aaron: Right, and let’s say they’re on Time for Learning going through math. And they’re learning math and they’ve got their headphone on and they’re doing some regular curriculum stuff on their computer, I think it’s just nearby doing their own thing.
Aaron: They’re clicking away and they’re clicking away, and then they get stumped, and they rewatch the video and they still get stumped, and they say, “Hey mom I need your help.” She comes over, gets to re explain in a different way. They go, “Okay I got it now.” That’s the most efficient way to learn.
Aaron: As soon as they have a question that’s specific, then they get that help, they get it – so you guys will be able to answer those questions- they get right back on track. Then most of the time you’re sitting back waiting for the problem, and they can actually learn a lot on their own.
Shane: And for us, if we weren’t full time paying attention to them, because we podcast, that’s what we do. We talk to people like you guys all the time, our kids right now, we just told them, “You can’t come in here during the podcast.” Which they listen to about half the time.
Jocelyn: Yeah, it’s like 50/50.
Shane: Izzy’s on almost every podcast that I’ve ever done.
Shane: We would just have to create new structures that work for us, like, “Hey you need to keep your questions because we will go over those between one and three.” Or something like that.
Kaleena: Yeah, absolutely.
Shane: We’ve even thought about hiring tutors, or monitors to help us manage that a little bit in the home. They would come here, because there’s going to be subjects that I don’t know and she doesn’t know and you could get some help, you gotta find a way to get around the system, basically.
Kaleena: Yes. So 100 percent I say it’s all about being creative based on what your needs are for your family. Because the reality is just, it differs from community to community and state to state. But there are options out there. You’re talking about charter homeschools, or you can do a hybrid homeschool situation, for a couple hours a day they go hang out in a homeschool classroom, there’s charters that have homeschool classrooms your kids can go to get tutoring help and be with other homeschooled peers.
Kaleena: Like, our kids go to a free to learn co-op. It’s an agile learning center, its based on the free to learn philosophy where play is how you learn. So they go there twice a week for a few hours a day so I can do life. There’s extracurriculars like Hackingtons and they still have their soccer. So we have just built a formula, I guess, that works for our life.
Kaleena: And I’ve seen families with two working parents that make it work. You really can build it, it just depends on what your needs are and how creative you’re willing to get, honestly.
Shane: The most important thing I’ve gotten from all these things that you’ve said is one, that you can build it yourself. But two, the biggest fear is, “What if my kid gets behind?” But that’s not even a question.
Kaleena: Right. Behind what?
Shane: Behind what? What are we comparing them to?
Kaleena: Right. Behind your neighbor? Because that’s the fear. Your kid is gonna be no less than the kids on their soccer team.
Shane: It’s a status thing.
Kaleena: It’s a a status thing, right.
Shane: And we’re worried about that. Its like saying in a business, I would never, ever advise any business owner to compare themselves to their competitor, or another business, because that just gets you in a world of trouble. Like, oh they work 70 hours a week so I need to do that.
Shane: Or, well they make more money but I’m pretty happy with the money I make, why do I need to go make more? You don’t compare yourself to other people, you write down what you want and you make that.
Kaleena: Yep, yep.
Shane: And that’s kind of what we’re doing here with the homeschool situation.
Jocelyn: It’s funny though because that’s something that we talk about in business all the time but I just never really thought about applying it to this. But it all applies, its the same thing.
Kaleena: Yep. It all applies, it’s life in general.
Shane: That’s what this actually looks like, is life.
Kaleena: Yeah, it looks like life. Yes.
Shane: Okay so, I’ve got a bunch of questions here from our flip your life community.
Jocelyn: We’ll try to go through them like rapid fire here.
Shane: Yeah, it’s a couple questions.
Aaron: We’re not very rapid fire.
Shane: That’s okay. Here’s what’s great, it’s our podcast we’ll do whatever we want.
Jocelyn: And if you don’t like it then we have like 250 other episodes you can go listen to.
Shane: We have an hour to go.
Shane: Those are off the record.
Aaron: If people don’t want to home school they can listen to one of the others.
Shane: That’s right, you’re out. We’ll catch you next week, see y’all later.
Shane: So I went through these dozens and dozens and dozens of questions and I kind of consolidated. I’m gonna ask a question from Blair but I think 10 other people had this question. But these are the big ones, and I think if we can knock these out it’s gonna really help people. Not only to just really wrestle with this and think about it, but to get the resources and… this could change peoples lives. Not just your kids, but yourself.
Shane: So our first question comes from Blair, and Blair says, and I want to stress that Blair is a very successful, professional woman in our community. She’s grown her business into a 20,000 dollar a month business. Just a rockstar professional, and identifies herself as that. So there’s the context. Alright, “I love the idea of homeschooling but I’m concerned about two things. Is this actually, all caps, going to become another full time job for me? As someone in the medical profession I would also be concerned about my kids not having access to advanced placement things and to a college credit.”
Shane: So she has two problems. She’s really professional, really career oriented.
Jocelyn: Very driven.
Shane: Very driven. Has a professional medical practice, and an online business. And she’s worried that this is gonna become a full time job. And even you guys, you made the decision one of you is gonna focus on this, one of you is gonna focus on this, even though we both are capable of doing either job, right.
Shane: So what would you say to someone who says that. First, is this gonna become a full time job for me?
Kaleena: I don’t- oh go-
Aaron: I think it’s more like a passion project.
Aaron: It’s less of a – because it’s not meant to be eight hours of classroom the way that we see it.
Aaron: Do you feel like it’s a full time job?
Kaleena: No. I don’t think that it turns into a full time job, but I do think that it turns into a lifestyle. So, it doesn’t have to be – I don’t spend 40 hours a week teaching my children.
Aaron: You spend an hour or two.
Kaleena: I spend an hour or two a day teaching, like sitting down and facilitating, sitting down and we’re doing actual learning. But we do live a lifestyle that promotes learning on the go. Learning in our environment. Learning real life stuff.
Kaleena: So I would even say to you guys that work at home, make your kids a part of that business. Let your kids be a part of what you’re doing to see if that’s where their passion lies, and for them to figure out like, “Oh no this isn’t the direction, maybe this is the direction.” So no I wouldn’t say that this is a full time job, but for somebody that works full time and doesn’t have a partner or somebody else that can support. Like you said, you can hire somebody, you can bring somebody in, get creative. But if you don’t have that person I would find that to be a little bit more difficult.
Shane: It’s also when you choose one thing you lose another.
Shane: There’s always a trade off in life.
Shane: I promise you I have a job right now driving my kids around. Two hours of our day is taking our kids to school and picking them up.
Aaron: That’s the equal flop right there.
Jocelyn: So really in the time that we drive them we could probably get it done.
Kaleena: Yes absolutely.
Aaron: That was for us the beginning, too. You have that hour of prep, the hour after, you actually get so much of your life back. You already lost those two hours, now you’re focusing on them, and then you get the rest of your day.
Shane: You get to choose when you spend them.
Aaron: The second part of your day-
Shane: You get to choose when you spend those two hours, we’re all spending the two hours, but do you want to do it when someone tells you to do it, or when you want to do it?
Aaron: Now it’s like 9 a.m. after everybody’s had their breakfast, and they’re rested. The second part of Blair’s question is an important one, she asked about college and college credits and what’s gonna happen.
Aaron: There’s a couple of different kind of philosophies and thoughts on that. One is, so community colleges, if your kid’s at a high school level and you want them to have AP, there’s nobody saying that if you’re homeschooling you can’t drop them off for AP math so they can get some college credits. If going to college is really important to them and that’s what they really want.
Aaron: Also getting accepted into college, when it comes to – one of our first things early on is if we do this, our kids – people are gonna think they’re weird, they’re not gonna get into college. Right? Because they’re not gonna get accepted, because will they look at this school the same?
Aaron: The more people we talk to the more they said, “Kids with like 4.5 GPAs are a dime a dozen. Kids that get 1450 on their SATs, dime a dozen.”
Aaron: Hundreds and hundreds and thousands of those kids are applying to schools. Kids that have, by their sixth time they’re 16, they’ve gone to 25 countries, or they’ve done mission trips, or they have these side gigs that they do, or they’ve started businesses, those are the kids that colleges want. They don’t want someone who’s just really good at school with good grades anymore, they want somebody that’s really interesting, has lived a big life, has those life skills. That’s where I think that people doing the five hour school week mentality, if college is where they want to go, we think that they’re actually way better off doing this. Because they’ll be able to scratch off, that yes we’re capable, by the time they’re high school age they can do some of those college classes. And when they go and and do their application and they see, wow this isn’t a normal kid, this kid’s done some amazing, amazing things, they’re the one’s that are gonna get accepted.
Shane: And you can prep, like you said. But when your kid is obsessed with a biology thing and they want to go into biology and pursue those kind of things like medical, you’re going to facilitate them having the opportunity to get the background needed to succeed.
Aaron: Just like dropping them off at a coding class now, it’s like alright we’ll go to the community college and they can go do biology class where they dissect animals there.
Shane: Awesome. Alright, so Jocelyn, read that next question.
Jocelyn: Okay, the next question is from Wendy. She wants to know about what about kids with special needs like ADHD or medical problems, how can we give them the same support they get in schools?
Shane: And there was a related question that Tabitha asked, “What resources are available if we discover our child is ahead or has special learning gifts?” So you’ve got basically, what about kids at opposite ends of the spectrum that are really gifted or really challenged? Why is this a good decision for them?
Kaleena: I love this question so much. I just spent some time at a home school convention a few months ago, and I’m gonna tell you, the majority of what makes up those kids are those two groups right there. Most homeschool kids actually fall in that group of ADHD, on the spectrum, kind of the outcasts of the schools that have a really difficult time fitting in and conforming.
Kaleena: Or you have the kids that are ultra bright and are so incredibly bored and ostracized because of their intelligence. So I find the homeschooling community to be so encompassing just for those reasons. As far as resources, I don’t have- I have kind of like the middle of the road kids. I have very easy situations with my children. But I know that the amount of resources are endless, and it differs from state to state and city to city.
Shane: And this is also, like you said, you think the kids have all these gifted resources.
Shane: But I’ve been in a school, and I’ll tell you right now, those kids in those classrooms are just as pigeonholed as the other kid. You’re still having the problem of, well how do you accommodate this kid in this way, and this kid in that way? And they come up with a general accommodation that might work for the most of them.
Kaleena: Right, there’s no real solution. I have a niece that’s on the spectrum and she goes to a public school, and there’s so many kids in her class that are on the spectrum, you’re talking about probably 20 percent of the class. The resources to fund the actual help that these kids need, the extra time that needs to be given, is not in the public school system.
Kaleena: Your kid that is on the spectrum, or is ADHD, all your school is going to do is, they’re gonna hand out the prescription. And they’re gonna send them back to their test. Or they’re gonna send them to the principal’s office. Or they’re gonna call you to come and pick them up because they can’t control them.
Kaleena: So I think its really important when you have those severe, these ultra smart kids or these kids who need a little bit of extra time, homeschooling actually helps them in the most incredible way because they get to be exactly who they were made to be, and learn in the way that best suits them.
Kaleena: I know that there’s help – my sister in law – I know that there’s specialists, and even state programs to help bring people into your home and help, and with homeschooling and education going through a revolution right now, more and more of those programs are becoming available.
Aaron: I always say too, self paced learning is gonna be the most effective, best way for them to learn. Whether they’re way up here, they’re just gonna be going, they’re gonna figure out, in an hour they’re gonna do 20 different lessons and things like that. If they’re taking longer they might only finish one a day. But self paced is the fastest they’re going to have, it’s the most efficient. Whether they complete one or 20, that’s based on them.
Shane: Well if they’re at home, that might actually eliminate some of the problems you’re having, because their frustration may be coming from the fact that they just can’t do it the way the school has it set up.
Aaron: You can try all sorts of different ways. Like standing or sitting, whatever.
Jocelyn: Right. I wanted to throw in here, too, for people that might be listening to this and thinking, “Homeschool is probably not an option for me.” I want to say to look also at your school district, because our school district actually has several programs that I didn’t even know existed. So one of them is for special need kids, and if they are from certain age to certain age, they have a special program just for them. I had no idea about this.
Aaron: It’s based on homeschool – we actually do have a pretty progressive district they’re trying to create more home school opportunities that do support people. They even have a program where one day a week you can go and get tutoring.
Jocelyn: And we’re looking into this right now. But what I’m trying to say is, if you have a child with those needs look and see what your school district has to offer, you may be surprised because we were very surprised about that.
Kaleena: Yeah absolutely.
Shane: Okay so, Shane, not me, Shane asks, “How do we balance different learning styles and different grade levels at the same time. Is this a curriculum problem? Or is this something I have to figure out?”
Shane: Our son is in fourth grade. We have a son who is shier and I would say is more like Jocelyn than me. And he’s in fourth grade. So we have an older son who’s shier. And we have a younger daughter who’s insane. She’s so extroverted and so up in your grill, there as far different of human beings as you can be. So, how do you, and I’m sure you have the same problem –
Kaleena: Oh yeah.
Shane: – because your daughters are all different ages, how does that work in the homeschool way?
Kaleena: So in the way that we learn, because we self direct, that doesn’t really fall on me. So we’ve taken that time for them to establish their best learning style, where they like to learn, do they want to learn on the computer, do they work better with work sheets? I have one that’s an avid reader, I have one that would prefer to work on an app. So we’ve taken the time now, we’ve taken that first year to deschool, and really that’s not on me anymore now that we’ve figured it out. We set our intentions, we set our goals, and my kids kind of go after those.
Kaleena: It can be challenging. I don’t want to make this sound like a fairy tale. You’re going to have to invest some time in the beginning especially to figure out how it falls into an organic pattern for your lifestyle, but it will. Its going to take some trial and error, but you’re going to start to see like, oh my son, he works so well in the computer, like going through we use Time for Learning as a curriculum program that I use, and I have two kids that really excel in it. They go through all their work, they check all the boxes, they love what they’re learning, they change up what they want to learn, like math and science.
Kaleena: Then I have one who does not like learning on a computer right now. It makes her super uncomfortable and so we have worksheets. It takes, learn what that style is and then all the work is going to be done for you.
Aaron: When it comes to the difference in ages, too, there’s also group projects.
Aaron: There’s gonna be group projects all together with all three of them are going to work together and sometimes they’ll even bring their two year old brother into the mix, and the coolest thing about group projects at different ages and different abilities, that is way more real world experience.
Aaron: Way more real world example. So if you give the three of them a project, we go, hey we want you guys to research this and give us a report on it. When they do it, each of them is gonna do it a little bit different. Each of them is gonna focus on the thing that they’re good at. So the ones that really like typing and doing the computer, they’re gonna type into the computer, and the ones that like drawing are going to draw, and the ones that like to do the research… so there’s a lot group projects, too, and as an extra side benefit of the group project, is the kids start teaching each other.
Aaron: Our oldest daughter starts teaching our youngest daughter, re-explaining – and because she’s closer in age, she might even be better at explaining it than we are.
Aaron: She remembers how it recently clicked for her. So having various kids in all different ages and different levels, there’s actually a huge benefit to that, too. When they do different projects, they’ll go off and do it all by themselves with no interaction and they’ll learn from each other and really get to build off each other as well.
Shane: So this is also, you keep saying unschooling and deschooling, it’s kind of unparenting, because you can’t – I can’t look at my kid, he’s a fourth grader, as the government told me he was, and she’s a second grader, as the government told… it’s more like, no, we’re learning.
Aaron: Great point, yeah. It’s a totally different goal in mind now.
Shane: That’s amazing. Alright let’s see. Would you read that?
Jocelyn: Yeah. It’s like on a small writing
Shane: Jocelyn’s gonna help me out here.
Jocelyn: Alright, Samantha would like to know –
Jocelyn: What do I do on the tough days when homeschooling is just not working? Do I stick to the routine or do I give up and try again tomorrow?
Kaleena: You give up and you try again tomorrow, and you don’t give up in a bad way, you go do something fun. You go for a nature walk, you get out of the house, take them to a movie at 11 o’clock in the afternoon when nobody’s there, you lean in to the good stuff. You lean in to why you homeschool, and you throw whatever that plan was completely out the window. Because I promise it’ll come back tomorrow and you’ll have a fresh mind, and it’ll be better than it was gonna be if you just sit there and try to force it.
Aaron: One of the biggest points was getting the best time of the day back with our kids.
Aaron: We didn’t like the time when we were conflicted with them, we wanted it when it was fun. So it’s not fun and its not exciting, go do something else. A quick little added benefit, homeschoolers, you don’t go out on the weekends, because everybody does. We go do stuff on Tuesday.
Aaron: Just like entrepreneurs, we go out on Tuesday and Thursday when everything’s closed and everybody’s in school. You go to the theme parks when everybody else is in school and you have the theme park to yourself.
Shane: Have you watched our videos? Have you seriously because you’re saying the same things we do.
Jocelyn: We are so spoiled now, so when we go places with other people we have to go on the weekends because that’s when they can go, and then when we go places we’re just like, “This is terrible.”
Shane: Why do we travel on Saturdays?
Aaron: Because there’s other people in here right now.
Shane: We went to an indoor water park one time, we went on a Thursday. We were in this massive indoor water park, there’s probably 20 lifeguards, and us. Nobody else was there, we were just like, “Wave pool is ours!”
Kaleena: “It’s ours!”
Kaleena: Yeah. Absolutely. We love it.
Aaron: Its the same thing, the way that we do homeschooling is what we learned in entrepreneurship and applying it to our kids’ education.
Shane: Alright so, okay this one I kind of consolidated this. But there was a conversation that I thought was interesting that I wanted you guys to comment on, so Kim said on our Facebook page, she was a homeschooler, she said, “I did a lot wrong in the beginning, but I will never regret a minute of it.” And then Brant came in and asked Kim, he said, “What’s the biggest thing you did wrong?” And Kim said, “I think I didn’t put enough focus on math and science, my son loved arts, English, and history and I do, too. So I often avoided the subjects that I was not very good at. I think this made him a little weak in math when he did decide to go to college,” because they do make you, in college, do liberal arts, you’re doing a little bit of everything in the beginning. She said he did fine, but he ended up being a copywriter so it doesn’t matter, he doesn’t use math much anyways.
Shane: So the question here would boil down to, how do you give your kids that broad opportunity –
Jocelyn: A well-rounded education.
Shane: I don’t want to – and how do you keep yourself from avoiding exposing them to stuff? I guess letting your own biases into the education.
Aaron: So, we’ll say that sometimes one of our kids could go months of doing just math and no reading and English, and they’re allowed to do that. And they might go two months of doing just science and not doing any math. And then the idea is then they’re going to learn the most efficient because when they do go back to math its because they want to, and they’re excited.
Aaron: I also totally get her question and her comment of saying, hey they took some time off from math and then when he needed it he was a little behind. When you’re at the end of her story it doesn’t really seem like it hurt him that much, and it also depends on, as you get older you have to plan a little bit. If going to college is the end goal then as they get a little older having to do a little bit more focus. I could see that.
Aaron: So much of it is, you kind of adjust. What do you think?
Kaleena: I think it’s really important to remember, I always go back to a story of when it comes to reading. Because we didn’t used to start teaching kids to read until they were like seven or eight. And now in most public school systems we really start focusing on like, four and five year olds to start teaching them sight words and vocabulary. And then I hear stories of people that grow up as homeschooling or in these Acton type schools, some of them don’t learn how to read until they’re eight, nine. I’ve heard of ten year olds that are still learning how to read because it just wasn’t something that they were interested in.
Kaleena: That kid that didn’t learn to read until they were 10 became just as successful if not more successful by the time they were 18 as the person who learned how to read when they were five. I think it’s really important, when you are ready to learn something and you’re going to need that, that is something that is going to take you further in life, you will go after learning that like you’ve never gone after something.
Kaleena: So when he learned, hey I need to know this math to get through this class, then he probably went over into that math with, like, okay I have a goal now to pass this class and learn this math. Until then, why would he have learned that? He didn’t need than until up to that point.
Shane: There’s also a reckless question behind that, the real question here is how can I prepare my kid for every situation they will ever get in in college?
Kaleena: You can’t.
Shane: You can’t. When I took Asian history class, I was a history major, and I took Asian history. The only thing I knew about Asian history going into it was that the Chinese had a revolution and that the Japanese were an axis power. That was it, know what I’m saying?
Shane: I had no reason to learn that, but I figured it out and I made an A. You can’t prepare for everything even if it is something you love, so why are we trying to prepare them for every single situation, calculus and all this stuff anyway?
Kaleena: The other thing I’m sure you know and that you’ve learned is we learn all of this stuff, but we don’t actually remember or retain a lot of the stuff that we are taught. I find myself relearning so many things right now as I’m going through it with my kids, because I never used it, it didn’t bring a lot of value to my life, or whatever it is.
Kaleena: Really learning in the moment when that’s gonna bring the most value to my life, I need to know this type of map so that I can build this business, or make this demo, or whatever it is. I need to know this because it’s going to make me more successful, then you’re going to learn that with such a passion that it’s ingrained in you at that point.
Jocelyn: It reminds me, the other day, my fourth grader. He was learning about the types of rock, or something, and I’m just like, “Why do we need to know this?”
Shane: Somebody needs to know that.
Jocelyn: Yeah, geologists need to know that.
Kaleena: Right, yes.
Aaron: Building on top of the rock…
Jocelyn: But when have you ever needed to know about metamorphic rock or sedimentary rock? Have you ever needed to know that?
Shane: I don’t-
Aaron: In fourth grade you especially don’t.
Kaleena: He totally doesn’t.
Jocelyn: I was looking at that page and he was upset because he got a bad grade on it, and I’m like, “Who cares?” This doesn’t even matter.
Shane: I thought about this the other day. When Isaac was struggling with area and perimeter, I was sitting there thinking, “My job every day as a communicator and a wordsmith, that’s pretty much what I do – I write emails, I write ad copy, I create courses, I communicate on our podcast. We built this deck out here, we were trying to figure out how big and what dimensions…
Jocelyn: And by we, we don’t mean we.
Shane: And I was like, I thought to myself, “I don’t know how to do this, I don’t remember.” I could probably look it up on Google and figure it out, but I was like, “No I’m gonna hire this dude name Jeff.” And Jeff came and built my deck, and I never did anything with the deck until I walked out and walked on the deck.
Shane: Like you said, do we need foundational skills? I think we all agree, yes.
Kaleena: Yes, absolutely.
Shane: Reading, math, the fundamentals – we need those. But these advanced concepts, as we keep branching out we don’t need to all learn all the things.
Kaleena: And jumping on to your deck story just really quick, if you wanted to build the deck, let’s say you couldn’t financially pay somebody to do the deck, I’m gonna tell you that if you got on YouTube somebody on YouTube, maybe 500 people will teach you how to build that deck, and you will learn that day instead of spending six months learning area and perimeter, and all the things that you need to learn to build a deck.
Shane: Might need to learn.
Kaleena: Or that you might need to learn, you’re gonna learn in real time as you’re building that deck, by somebody who has built a deck before.
Jocelyn: And then you’ll know problem solving skills.
Jocelyn: I had to learn this for this purpose, oh wait I can do that again.
Shane: And YouTube and access to information was not democratized a hundred years ago, or even 25 years ago when we went to school.
Shane: So it’s a totally different ball game.
Kaleena: Yeah it absolutely is.
Aaron: A way to blow people’s minds, which is really where it goes into you can learn it on YouTube. If you’ve got a 10 year old today, by the time they’re 18 their average job hasn’t even been invented yet. The highest paying, most common jobs that are gonna happen 5 years from now haven’t even been invented yet. We’re living in this crazy world but there isn’t much in the way to plan, there isn’t curriculum that’s going to train you for the perfect job 10 years from now. Because everything’s changing.
Aaron: Like, will my youngest kid ever need to know how to drive a car? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they’ll never need to learn the skills to drive a car, but they’re gonna have to have skills on a different level.
Shane: That’s a good point.
Jocelyn: Alright next question is from David.
Shane: This is a really good question that I’ve never heard anyone address on homeschooling.
Jocelyn: Are you ready?
Kaleena: Alright let’s do it.
Jocelyn: Okay David says, “How do you make the transition from public school to homeschool easier? It’s all my kids have known. They want to homeschool but they get sad about missing teachers, friends, and I’d say even the routine they are used to. Also how do we make it easier for our kids’ teachers and their friends? How do we maintain those relationships since they will no longer be in the classroom every day?
Shane: Isaac actually asked me this the other day, and we like to sprinkle it in.
Jocelyn: We planted the seeds.
Shane: So they’re kind of warm to it, but he started – he got really teary eyed and he really loves his teacher, she was his third grade teacher, she moved to fourth grade and he got back in her class. So he has this really strong – and he’s a really empathetic, passionate kid so he’s attached to her and he’s worried he’s not gonna get to see her anymore.
Kaleena: Right, yeah.
Shane: How do you deal with those kind of issues when you’re doing this?
Kaleena: I love that question and not enough people ask it. I think that for us it’s just been being really intentional and also just figuring out what works best for our kids.
Kaleena: For us, Aaron coaches soccer and a lot of the kids that have been on his soccer team, the girls went to school with. So he’s been coaching that soccer team for three years. When we pulled the kids out of school, they still had soccer season and a lot of their friends were still gonna be there. When we’re in town, we travel a lot, a lot of our program is based on travel. But when we’re at home, I’m crazy intentional on – we have an amazing church, our kids go to youth group on Wednesday night, they do their soccer practices, I set up play dates.
Kaleena: And then here’s the part that people just don’t like and I’m gonna be really honest about. Sometimes when you leap in another direction, change is change, and change is hard. You are going to leave behind some things that you think you need to have in your life. I will tell you that if you are following your gut, you are leaping into your life’s best purpose, then you don’t necessarily think you need the things you think you do. You don’t need the things you think you need, necessarily.
Aaron: And now you get to choose, so there’s probably 10 or 15 kids they hang out with at school, and there’s 5 that they hang out with that they kind of like, and there’s another 5 they like, and there’s 5 they’re really gonna miss. Well now they can actually focus their interaction on just spending time with the ones they were really gonna miss. Now you can set up those play dates and set up those activities, so they get more real experiences with the ones they care the most about.
Aaron: People will say like, “Aren’t you gonna be weird? Isn’t that gonna be different how you do it socially?” And we like to challenge them and say you know, I graduated from high school with the same kids I went to kindergarten with. From a small town in Oregon, so I knew everybody for 18 years and then when I went off to college, I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know how to meet people.
Aaron: They talk about how, what really is normal or what really is healthy? So some people say your social relationships as a homeschooler are not healthy, and we would probably argue that the way the traditional school is set up, that relationship is unhealthy. You’re forced who you hang out with, forced who your friends are, forced to where you’re gonna socialize. And the teacher that he really likes, I’m sure there’s a way you can find time, and the friends they really like, but you will have to be intentional for the ones that are really important. There will be some other that you’re like, oh we thought that was gonna be important.
Aaron: One of our daughters is super social, would love to hang out with her friends all the time, and the other ones, she would be the one that needed more play dates, and then two of them that didn’t need as many play dates.
Shane: That’s amazing. We tell our kids all the time, and it remind me of a real life example of this. When we started this online business, and when I was about to quit my job, I had a really weird dynamic because I was the defensive coordinator on the high school football team, and I had to go tell my principal that I was quitting my teaching job that day. But then my head coach, I had to tell him, “Hey bro I ain’t leaving I’m staying for the season. I’m not gonna leave these kids, I’m not gonna leave you.” It was just weird. I had to come to school every day, I had already quit. And all these – just weird.
Shane: But I remember, he got really really sad and he was like, “Man it just sucks because I love being around you,” because I live 30 minutes from that school, he says, “I know we’re not gonna be around each other.” This is my friend, the guy that hired me, got me the job, said this to me, and it’s so funny that that is true. Those were great moments of my life, sitting around the locker room, winning ball games on Friday with that guy. Our families knew each other. And honestly I don’t think I’ve seen him twice in the last six years since we left that moment, and really in the last four years probably not one.
Shane: It’s not like that’s diminished, how good that moment was in my life. And it does stink a little bit that we don’t get to hang out, but I would never change what we did, because we got so much more for us on the other end of it. That’s just part of life and you gotta deal with it, sorry.
Kaleena: It is.
Kaleena: Yeah, it is.
Kaleena: Right well there is that, nothing changes if nothing changes. I do want to tell one story because it is so important, because I think parents think their kids need 30 friends or whatever and that their kids actually crave that. Something that happened for us, I don’t share this very often, but something that happened for us is after we left the school our oldest would get invited over to a slumber party or to a birthday party, and all of her friends from her class were gonna be there.
Kaleena: And I’m like, “oh this perfect, this is exactly what she needs, she’s gonna be with her peers again.” And after a couple months Maddy got really comfortable with me and she goes, “I don’t want to go to that slumber party. I like that girl, and that girl’s really nice, but the other girls that are at that party, they don’t make me feel good about myself, or they’re not the type of person that I want to be.” And all of the sudden my daughter got to measure her friendships and she got to choose the people that were gonna be in her life, and that was a freedom that our kids usually don’t get.
Kaleena: Where you think maybe you’re doing a disadvantage to your kid by pulling them out and they’re not gonna be with all their friends, you don’t actually know how your kid feels about all those kids. When you get to selectively choose the people and the influences that you put in your life, I know as adults and as entrepreneurs you do that, you hang out with winners, I know you choose positive people in your life the same way that we do. That is the freedom we need to be giving our kids. It’s one of the biggest things that school completely takes away from them.
Shane: That’s mind blowing.
Shane: Our next question comes from Jeff.
Jocelyn: Jeff says, “I’ve seen a lot of homeschool families get judged for the decision by their friends, family, and even other kids. This worries me. Will my child, or even me, be excluded for our decision? How can we avoid that?”
Jocelyn: Good question. I don’t want my kids to be outcasts and frankly I don’t want to be judged, I don’t know how you deal with that part of the decision.
Jocelyn: I laugh because we get this question all the time.
Kaleena: My only answer is go scared. You go. If those people are gonna be judging you and telling you you shouldn’t be doing that, do you really want those people in your life? Where is your group of people that are raising you up because you’re homeschooling? Where are the other entrepreneurs? Where are the people that are going against the grain? If you want to do something different, then you’re gonna have to be something different. Not everybody’s gonna like that or agree with that.
Aaron: And at the same time, homeschooling is now, its not what it was ten years ago. Its definitely not what it was 20 years ago. There are more and more cool people that do this as their lifestyle and they love their life. Any decision that we make in life, we do get people that are gonna push back and not… so yes you have to be questioned on what’s more important.
Aaron: And for the people that that’s more important then they’ll stay with that.
Jocelyn: Those bold decisions like that, like for us quitting our job, taking our kids out of school, doing something different that is not what society typically does, you’re always gonna get some kind of push back from that. There’s no way to avoid that.
Shane: Its kind of like, too, I heard this really harsh criticism, I can’t remember who said it, but it was – oh I know who it was it was Brendon Burchard I was at a Brendon Burchard event, super positive guy motivational speaker dude. He said, and I’ve never heard anyone confront the audience with this, he’s like, “I hate to tell you this, but if you’re 35, 40, 50 years old and you’re really still worried about what other people think to the point that they’re stopping you, you have much deeper issues than staring a new career or homeschooling. You’ve gotta deal with that because it ain’t about your kids, it’s about your problem.
Shane: Because that’s some truth. Whether it’s starting your online business, quitting your job, changing careers, talking to your spouse about problems, all these things can’t let the judgments of other people dictate your behavior.
Jocelyn: You just gotta rip the band aid off.
Aaron: It is a legitimate fear that stops a lot of people from homeschooling them. It is a shame to think that the fear of what other people think stop us from doing them. But its very valid, we get it.
Shane: Alright, we got two more questions. The first one comes from Darren. I’m very interested in this one.
Shane: What about sports? Won’t my kids miss out on opportunities to play team sports or get athletic scholarship opportunities?
Shane: Also what about things you can only get in high school, like prom? School Spirit? Will my kids be connected to the community? Those unique things that are coming of age experiences that come from school.
Aaron: It was two different questions, sports and then the –
Kaleena: You take sports.
Aaron: The sports one is actually a pretty simple answers. For us, soccer is through our city not necessarily through our school. When I was growing up there was a kid that was homeschooled that got to play on our elementary school team. So homeschoolers are allowed to play on any of the high school teams. They can try out and be a part of, in most cases, they can be a part of the bigger program. Whether its affiliated with the school or extracurricular. Where we live here, you can sign up for basketball, soccer, all sort of different sports, and its not affiliated with the school, it’s affiliated with an after school program.
Kaleena: Right so you have city leagues and you have private leagues. I want to say its up to 17 states that schools have to be inclusive to homeschoolers to let them try out and be on their team. So I don’t know what Kentucky is like, but I know that as a homeschooler if I want my son to play on a public school’s football team then he has the right to try out.
Shane: Oh okay I see.
Kaleena: So it is like that in California and I think it’s like that in 17 other states. It also changes city to city, a lot of communities embrace homeschoolers and letting them on their team. Some of them not so much.
Shane: We can’t get caught up in like – that worries me a little bit, but how do you even know your kid wants to play?
Shane: There’s very few sports that you can’t do outside of that environment.
Kaleena: Right absolutely.
Shane: You’re not gonna be playing on Friday nights. Football is the big one.
Kaleena: It is the big one for most people.
Shane: Associated to school. And there’s not really school leagues after middle school.
Shane: Other than that scholarship thing, I was a college football coach, you have a one percent of percent chance to get a college scholarship. If that is really what’s holding you back I don’t know that that’s even a discussion. Because its like 99.99 percent of kids won’t get an athletic scholarship who actually play another sport.
Aaron: And if they’re that good, extracurriculars, they’ll still get it.
Kaleena: If you have a kid that’s headed to the Olympics, home school them, get him in private school, let him do it six seven hours a day. Simone Biles. She was a homeschooled kid so that she could practice for seven hours a day. Her passion to become an Olympic gold. It just depends on where your kid is headed I guess.
Shane: Do you think that this is kind of an excuse that you see people make?
Kaleena: Absolutely, yeah.
Shane: Do you think people are on the verge of homeschooling and they’re like, but what about the pigskin on Friday?
Kaleena: Oh right.
Aaron: We used to say it. I used to say.
Kaleena: Aaron used to say it but its less about, oh I want my kids to do it, I think it’s a lot about our glory days. Our gold old days. I went to prom. I sat on the bleachers, I caused a lot of trouble in those bleachers and I was not living my best self at prom. So yes, in our head we’re like those are amazing life – like you have to have those moments. Why do you have to have those moments? We take our kids to Haiti. Our kids aren’t in school but we’re taking our kids to Haiti. We’re going to Finland and Iceland tomorrow.
Kaleena: Its about choosing what memories you want your kids to have. If getting drunk and making out with a boy is the childhood memory that they have to have then go for it. But for us I’m like, I think I can actually provide a better memory and a better thing to think back on when I was 16.
Shane: Even football, because I’m deeply ingrained in football.
Kaleena: Right, I get it.
Shane: It was my career. My life until six years ago. I even worry about this question because we put a lot of emphasis in it, and sports are important.
Jocelyn: We enjoy sports, we like to watch sports, we went to the University of Kentucky, we support University of Kentucky sports. There’s a lot of influence of sports in our life and I think sometimes we find ourselves being like, our son for instance, he’s not very interested in athletic things. He’s just not.
Jocelyn: So we’re looking at each other like, what’s wrong with us? Why is he not interested in sports?
Shane: But he will go jump on a trampoline for three hours non stop. So its not, we have this inherent, you won’t play a sport and therefore you’re lazy and not good enough because society demands sports in America.
Shane: No. He will go jump on a trampoline, literally, three straight hours and sweat dripping, lost 40 pounds of water weight. That’s what he was wanting to do, but I was like if you don’t go do a sport people won’t value you. It all goes back to status thing. Do I really want the peak of my daughter’s life, or my son’s life, to be man that high school team we were on my junior year was great?
Shane: Its hard to fight that because that is American culture. That’s how we go to war. How do we overcome that?
Jocelyn: Sadly for a lot of people those are the best years of their life. And they look back on that and think I have to have this experience, and I’m not saying that about Darren or whoever asked this question, I’m just saying like a lot of people they were doing things that maybe they don’t have the courage to do now, and they look back and think if my kids don’t have this experience then they’ll never have anything else to look forward to in their life.
Aaron: I was super worried about that. I used to say, many years back, we can never homeschool because high school football games. I remember being at the bleachers, and there was some stuff where we had to look back and go… Some stuff you’d be able to replace. There’s some home school things out there, they’ll do some dances and there’s some co-ops and there’s ways to have similar experiences and a lot of that stuff. But you will miss out on some of those, but are they really detrimental?
Shane: Even if it’s good, who cares? Just because that was a great experience and was positive and had benefits, so are other things.
Aaron: Right, there’s plenty of other stuff.
Shane: Its not like you’re gonna miss out. Okay there’s a hole there for four hours on Saturdays where they had to sit in a dark closet because – you know, you replace it with something beautiful.
Kaleena: Yep. Absolutely.
Shane: Okay good question. So the last question, there were a couple more but we already talked about them, this one’s very interesting. Nick says, “Public school is free. What costs are involved in this? Is this going to be a burden on our limited budget?”
Shane: So what are the costs, because you keep talking about curriculum, you gotta go on trips and field trips, you gotta create experiences, let’s be realistic here that takes money. Then how to manage the money part of it.
Kaleena: I love this question because just like everything else you get super creative with home school and there’s some awesome opportunities out there. So most states have government run charters, and they will pay you to homeschool your child. They will give you a monthly stipend, they will pay for curriculum, they will hook you up with free curriculum, they will pay for gymnastics, they will pay for karate, they will pay for music classes, they will send your kid to crossfit. Whatever it is you can get monthly stipends to pay for curriculum and extracurriculars. Number one.
Kaleena: A lot of those programs don’t have the same requirements that school does. So you’re gonna hand in two or three assignments a month, so they’ll allow you to have that same sort of freedom while they’re paying you to facilitate for your kids. So most of the people that I coach actually close to 80 percent of them, that is the path that they take. A homeschool charter that pays a stipend.
Kaleena: Also so many of these curriculums are completely free. Anything that you want to learn you can learn online at no cost. Khan Academy is completely free and it has all educational values, literally everything that your child needs to go through even a doctorate. I’m not even exaggerating. Listen to Sau Khan’s Ted Talk, so good. Mind blowing. I have my kids on a curriculum for Time for Learning, it’s like 10 dollars a month.
Kaleena: When it comes to travel, travel is a part of our five hour school week. It doesn’t have to be everybody’s. We have families that farm, and that’s why they’re doing the five hour school week, because their kids work with them every day. It just depends on your lifestyle what you plan on doing with it. You can really do it for less money than what it’s taking you to drive your kids to and from school. I know a lot of people actually homeschool because financially it sets them up better.
Shane: There’s expectations too, right?
Shane: Like I shouldn’t compare my kids’ homeschool to yours, you shouldn’t compare yours to mine.
Shane: And no one should… everybody has to create their own experiences anyway. So its just making it work for you.
Aaron: And we aren’t through one of those charters that reimburses us, but only because we knew that we’d be pretty extreme being able to even follow into the stuff that they needed for us. But our expenses was buying each of the girls 150 dollar laptop, and making sure they had headphones, and then the monthly costs of 50, 60 dollars a month for the different curriculums. And then there’s different times that yes we’ll go spend more on craft projects and different things, but I love your comparison for a similar amount of what it was costing to drive to and from school and pay on school events too.
Jocelyn: Yes, and I was gonna say at the fundraisers, all that mess, the book fairs, all these little extra things that you pay for all the time in school, you’re not gonna be paying for that anymore. I think that it could even out.
Jocelyn: In our district, there’s a program that we’re looking into, we don’t know much about it yet, but I think we pay 50 dollars a month per child and we get access to a teacher one day every week and we also get access to all of their software that they have. So I think that’s a pretty good deal. We’re gonna go talk to them about it and find out more information and what the requirements are.
Jocelyn: Just look in your local area, there probably are opportunities, you may just not know about them.
Shane: You don’t know what you don’t know.
Shane: We could all sit here and say this looks expensive. But that’s only because you’ve never looked at it. When you start looking at it, it changes the whole dynamic and what you said earlier, there’s your zero time replacement. There’s the two hours getting the kids to and from school, that just becomes two hours of time that I work with the to help them. We’re all together anyway, same thing.
Shane: Same thing with the money, you think well that’s gonna cost me 100 dollars a month, but then you realize I’m already spending $250 because of that book order, and because of this, and because of that. You’re just not comparing apples to apples really when you look at it that way.
Kaleena: Yeah. It’s totally different. And it doesn’t have to be expensive at all.
Shane: Well listen, we have taken up a lot of your time.
Aaron: This is our longest podcast by far.
Shane: I had a feeling. I think we just recorded two podcasts actually, so we may make this a two parter.
Jocelyn: Yeah this is our longest podcast, too.
Shane: I think it is.
Kaleena: Oh my goodness.
Shane: I knew this was gonna go this way when we were talking off air before we started recording, because I just felt the Flipped Lifestyle spirit in you guys. You’re doing the homeschool thing for the right reason. There’s so much embroiled in the argument of should I send my kids to school? Is homeschool better? Are charter schools better? There’s so much political and all kinds of overtones on the discussion that it’s just amazing to hear reasons why you should think about it. And hear some truth spoken to the argument of is this right for my family?
Shane: It may not be, that’s not the point of this podcast, to convince anyone that they should do it. I have a friend, I told her we were gonna do this podcast today, and she said, “You know we’ve really considered it, we explored it, we tried it with one of our daughters.” And they went the private school route, they just felt like that was better for them at this time.
Shane: That’s cool, but at least we’re thinking about it. Right?
Shane: Like what is the best for our kids and our family? That’s really what we’re all trying to do. I just really appreciate you guys writing this book. That’s why it’s so important, back to our podcast listeners, oh my gosh why are you not creating something that someone else needs? Because you can’t have this discussion and think these processes through unless people are out there creating and being entrepreneurial and sharing what they know with the world like you guys are doing.
Jocelyn: There’s somebody who needs your information, there’s someone who needs Kaleena and Aaron’s information. There’s someone who needs your information.
Shane: Nobody’s got it all figured it out. Everybody always asks us that, “How’d y’all figure everything out?” And I’m like, “We don’t, that’s why we’re reaching out to people the write books.” There’s always something we all don’t know, it’s just amazing that you guys are doing this and helping people in this space.
Aaron: Well thanks. It’s how it all started. Kaleena was just doing pictures and videos and people just kept asking her questions. Like, “Hey what are you doing?” And its like, “You know what we gotta write this stuff down.”
Aaron: We’d love for people to come follow along, be able to either find us online with social media. You read the first chapter or two and said “Hey this was our life,” this morning. If they go to our website, if they go to five hour school week and join our mailing list, they’ll get that first chapter emailed to them. Its a quick 20 minute read and they’ll get to decide, do I want to learn more about this or not? It’s a pretty fun, exciting first couple chapters.
Shane: Is it five like the number five or the word five?
Aaron: We were so worried about that we got both, so they go to the same place.
Shane: There you go.
Aaron: Fivehourschoolweek.com, join the mailing list, study the first couple chapters of the book and hopefully the love it as much as you guys did. We’re so glad you read it and reached out and we’re so excited about it.
Shane: I just want to say, we don’t recommend anything to anybody.
Jocelyn: Very rarely.
Shane: And you are the second guest ever on the show, and I would highly recommend everyone view their work. We will never receive any benefit from this, but you guys might receive a great benefit for you and your family.
Shane: Thank you guys so much for being on the show. Thanks everybody for listening in, we hope that this was a good episode for you guys. Til next time, do whatever it takes you flip your life.
Links and resources mentioned on today’s show:
- The 5 Hour School Week by Aaron & Kaleena Amuchastegui
- Flip Your Life LIVE 2019 Waiting List
- Flip Your Life community 30-day trial
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