364: Mindset Strategies to Survive and Thrive as a Homeschooling, Working Parent with Carrie Husse

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com. That’s wellness with an E on the end. It’s my new line of personal care products that are non-toxic, completely safe, and beneficial to the body from the outside in.

This episode is all about mindset strategies to survive and thrive as a homeschooling and working parent, whether that is as a full-time homeschooling parent, or if you’re navigating virtual school this year or any hybrid of the two. And I’m here, very excited to be with someone I really admire and love so much. Carrie Husse is the editorial mastermind behind the content on Wellness Mama. So, she makes it sound polished and beautiful and has been a valuable part of the team for years. She’s also one of the best moms I know, and a homeschooling mom of three. She made a jump from a career in book publishing to serve as the managing editor here at Wellness Mama, and we are all forever grateful that she did.

Like my family, Carrie and her husband both work from home full-time in addition to homeschooling. And it hasn’t always been an easy road for them or for us. But she is addicted to building a flexible out-of-the-box life where family and career go hand in hand and they navigate homeschooling and work and family life all together. Like me, she loves reading and traveling and they love to learn as a family as well. And she also has a suburban home set and we touch on so many topics in this really wide-ranging episode, but everything from the very basics of homeschooling, how to protect your time and energy and mindset as a mom and a homeschooling parent to how to set up the time and environment and structure of homeschooling and some of our favorite tips for navigating it and so much more. If you are navigating any of these things, I know that this episode will be very helpful to you. Carrie is a wealth of knowledge. So, without further ado, let’s jump in. Carrie, welcome. I’m so excited to chat with you.

Carrie: Hi, Katie. Me too, this is a complete privilege.

Katie: This is awesome to get to have you here and have everyone hear this conversation because you are such a pivotal part of “Wellness Mama,” and I feel like it’s only appropriate that we have you on here and people get to learn from you as well. Especially because you are, I know you in real life, an incredible mom, and a homeschooling mom. And I know that this is a big topic right now. And we’ve heard from so many listeners and readers who are understandably overwhelmed with everything going on. But especially people who are taking on homeschooling for the first time or whose homeschool world looks a little different this year, because of everything going on. And I know that this is something that you, as a homeschool mom, have been very intentional about and have actually already helped other moms with. And I knew I really wanted to have you on to share with the audience as well.

So to start, I think we kind of need to start broad and then narrow down. And it seems like the common thread we’re hearing from a lot of people is that overwhelm. So I would love if we could start with some of those mindset tips, especially for homeschool moms or any working moms right now who are juggling so much that I know you’ve talked about before.

Carrie: Sure, yeah. I definitely, when I thought about, you know, what I have to say to parents who are in this situation. And I’ve been getting phone calls off the hook from friends I haven’t talked to in a long time, you know, just asking my opinion. So I’ve had some time to practice with some of this feedback. And just to share a little bit about myself. I’ve been homeschooling all along since my oldest daughter is 12. And, you know, I went into it for various reasons. I just kind of had an instinct that she wasn’t quite ready for school for various reasons and went with that instinct. And I live in an area where we have really great support for homeschool.

So I think the title of homeschool is a little bit of a misnomer, at least in my case, because we do a ton of our school out of the house, or at least we did pre-COVID. And we kind of can plug into a hybrid system here with the public schools where my kids take classes and have teachers. Anyway, there was a great jumping-off point and a lot of support, so that’s how I got into it.

And then over the years, I’ve had two more children. My children are kind of spaced out age-wise. So, you know, it’s really changed over the years, and when people call me and ask questions I really had to, I was kind of almost surprised at the answers that I started with. You know, it made me reflect back and think, why do I do this? And what does work? And what are the most important things to pass on? And all of my advice are around relationships and really supporting the parents in a state of overwhelm, as you were saying.

So I definitely just wanna start out this conversation saying that, I’m aware that the reasons that I chose to homeschool or, you know, the excitement in my voice over this life that we’re building, it doesn’t exactly relate to the situation a lot of parents are in right now. Where they’re having to jump in with all their children all at once, and just all of their routines have been interrupted. My heart goes out to teachers, and parents, and kids right now. So I just, you know, kind of share what has helped me deal with stress and the uncertainty in such a flexible lifestyle and hope that it helps lessen the learning curve for some parents out there.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s such an important point to bring up, is that, for anybody who’s just jumping in for the first time who feels overwhelmed, that’s completely understandable. And you and I both got to start homeschooling one child at a time and to learn with a kindergartner or, you know, like even younger, and it is a lot to take on. And definitely we wanna speak to the fact that this is a lot of…It’s something very big that many families are navigating.

I think a couple of important points that I love that you brought up already is the idea that homeschooling doesn’t mean you’re in the house all the time. And I think that’s one thing for us as well, that makes it so much easier is when you’re able to be outside or do hands-on things or break from that routine of just being inside, it does help just kind of the mindset of the entire family. And I also love that you brought up the personalized aspect and how you’re able to plug in to things locally where you are. And that’s another important factor is, homeschooling looks different for every family, it looks different in every area.

And just like with health, we found so much more in recent years, it becomes so personalized and so individualized it very much is the same with homeschooling. And I think that’s another just important thing to keep front of mind as we kind of go through this, even as we speak to the things that we do, there’s not even close to a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to homeschooling. And it’s very experimental and you’re gonna find the things that work best for your family. And you shouldn’t feel the pressure to imitate traditional school environments or to imitate any other homeschool environment when you’re trying to figure out the routine that’s gonna work best for you.

Carrie: Absolutely, you know, it’s very similar to parenting in general, right? So with our kids, we think we figure something out and we’re so excited because we finally got the baby to sleep through the night or, you know, someone potty trained, or, I don’t know, a kid through a fearful stage. And then you feel like you’ve…with the routine and this recipe for success. And then three months later, the kid is in a different developmental stage and you’re going “Oh, no, I have to figure out a new approach all over again.” I mean, all parents I’m sure know exactly what I’m talking about.

So homeschooling can be very similar in that even the things that work for you may not be the same at the beginning of the year as it is at the end of the year or with one child versus another. So I agree, it’s very personalized, which is a wonderful opportunity. And it’s also, it’s been difficult for me sometimes to find my center as a mom, and a leader, and an educator in the face of, you know, always reinventing. But really, when I think about the skills that our kids need, or that we even need in the workplace today, a big skill is being able to adapt at a fast rate.

I think that the world changes so quickly, as we all have seen, with technology and everything, the ability to learn and relearn and pivot is just really going to be, I think, the currency of the future. So, in a way, I feel grateful that our lifestyle is teaching us these lessons now and we can work on them together.

Katie: That’s such a great point. I think you’re absolutely right on that. I think about that as well as how do you prepare children for a future when you don’t really know what it’s gonna look like. And certainly, what I do now, as a career didn’t exist when I was the ages that my kids are, so we’re preparing them for an unknown future. But you’re right, those type of commonalities prepare them for whatever future they choose because there is gonna be that element of needing to be adaptable and to be able to learn new things quickly.

And I think the freedom that that gives us as parents and educators also is to realize it’s shifting from becoming about the specific facts and knowledge that we need to get across to them. And it’s more the skills and those underlying foundations of being able to learn rapidly and to keep their curiosity and their desire to learn. Because, through technology, they have essentially the extent of human knowledge at their fingertips all the time. They don’t need to memorize, you know, key dates, or even necessarily memorize how to solve every type of math problem in the world. They need to know how to think through the process of figuring out those things, and how to be able to assimilate information and to build on that. And I think you’re right, we’re trial by fire being given a perfect opportunity to learn those lessons and to model them for our kids right now.

Carrie: Yeah, I’m amazed looking back. I mean, I would just like to start out by saying, I haven’t always been the world’s most successful homeschooler. I think that, just like in lots of areas of life, there’s a high potential for comparing yourself to others all of the time. I think this is something that we as like women and mothers especially struggle with probably across the board. And I will look at other homeschoolers who are so organized, or I’ll listen to a podcast where, you know, just what they’re describing kind of hurts my brain because I feel like I can never reach that level of organization and planning.

You know, to a certain extent early on in my homeschool journey felt a bit like a fish out of water among other homeschool families. But I think a lot has changed in the last 10 years. I know even just like, Katie, what I’ve observed spending time with your family and, you know, seeing how you school and, you know, I’m very inspired by it. It’s, you know, very forward-thinking and really thinking about the child as a whole person, giving them opportunities for, you know, as you said, just keeping the wonder alive, following interests, moving, being physically active and healthy, you know, it goes so far beyond academics.

And I may not always have rocked the perfect homeschool plan but I do think what we’ve done well as a family in our house is learning to work together as a team and learning to constantly, you know, go back to our goals of why we’re doing what we’re doing and what’s important next and then evolving. So, you know, no one person is gonna have the complete skill set to be the perfect supermom, homeschooler, that just doesn’t exist. But you can arrange your environment to work for you and the individual members of your house and hopefully thrive, really, move and just having those moments of joy that the payoff is worth it.

And at this point, you know, I am kind of addicted to this way of life. But at the same time, I wanna be really honest with people that, you know, not every day is magical or easy. And, yeah, you gotta dig deep sometimes, just like in all walks of life, we have our things we struggle with.

Katie: Absolutely. And you’re right, I think it comes with having to be very intentional to protect things like time, and mindset, and mental bandwidth. Just like anyone who works from home, which I know many people are doing right now, and many listeners are probably working from home, and homeschooling, and have a spouse home full time for the first time or any combination of those dynamics. And I know when I had to make those adjustments, there are some major mindset shifts that come with that.

And I had to learn to be much more intentional about things like time and boundaries and making time for other priorities. Because it’s just that idea of when work is now at your house or school is now at your house it’s always there. And so how do you build the structure and the foundation and the lines between family time, and school time, and work time, and having to navigate all of those in the same place? So I’d love to hear some of the things that you do kind of on a practical basis and the mindset basis to protect that dynamic in your household?

Carrie: I think one thing is definitely thinking about making your actions more visible, and your thought process more visible. So, when you’re home with your spouse, and your kids, and they’re watching you all of the time, and let’s say, you know, you have your phone, maybe I’m doing, you know, Wellness Mama work or sending an important message about one of their classes on my phone, but they don’t necessarily know that, they can’t see what I’m doing. And that can be frustrating for them as a three-year-old or an eight-year-old, observing you and needing your attention.

So one thing that I have learned to do over the years, is to verbalize my thought process out loud. And to say out loud, even if it feels kind of strange at first to say, “I’m sending a quick message to your piano teacher about moving your lesson.” Or I’ll even verbalize kind of things I’m struggling with inside. Like, “Today I’m struggling because I didn’t sleep a lot, you know, the little one kept me up. I’m just gonna need you guys to be extra supportive today, or I’m gonna need you guys to do this or that.” And just kind of trying to pull your team together by making those things external and giving them strong cues to follow.

I do this with my husband too, we’ve had to learn a new way of communicating with each other since we’re both in the home. My husband, he works more of a corporate type job than the entrepreneurial things that you and Seth do. But he’s home all day. And we actually were living that way about a year before the pandemic started. So, you know, we’ve made that adjustment and it’s a new pattern of communication. So think about those things I think that will really help.

The other thing I like to do is put things in writing and put them up on the walls. So I have like chalkboards. I prefer chalkboards but you could do whiteboards. Not real big ones, but tons of them almost on every wall. And I use them to write, like, our routines, the goals we’re working on, reminders to the kids. You know, think about what you can make visible in a permanent way, or a temporarily permanent way through writing because that is like one more thing you don’t have to say but the kids will see. So, yeah, working on that communication piece, once everyone is in the loop, and they know what the expectations are and that’s made really clear in your environment, it just goes so much better.

Katie: Absolutely. And I definitely understand what you’re saying about having to learn a new communication style when you make that shift. And I think actually maybe having Seth at home was even a tougher one just because I was used to having it be like, okay, this is kid time, school time, and then he would come home and it was family time. There was much more clear division. And so we had to kind of create that from scratch when those natural lines went away.

I love that you brought up the relationship aspect as well, because when you take on multiple hats, at least for me when I became mom and teacher and all the other things, I had to make sure I remembered always the priority of which of those relationships come first. And as a mom, of course, the mom relationship is always with my kids it’s always the primary one. And so with homeschooling, I love that there’s the freedom if they’re having a tough day, that I can be mom first and we can work through that. We don’t have to go straight to math if there’s something that’s a life lesson that they need to talk through first. Or, on the flip side of that, there’s something they’re really excited about and curious about that’s a perfect opportunity to dive in and learn from that.

So, in that sense, I love like getting to deviate to keep those relationships in mind and deviate from the plan at times too when it’s helpful. And I love your tip, I need to get better about doing that, having things visual and written. But definitely agree on being real with the kids and communicating expectations both ways and letting them feel like part of the team. I think that’s a big shift both with homeschooling and just family life in general, is, when you shift to that idea of a team mentality, and we’re all in this together working toward a common goal. It helps reframe it versus it just being a thing that you’re teaching them, they get to come on and have ownership of parts of that as well.

Carrie: Definitely agree. Even things like when we’ve had some tough days, and I’ll be honest, I mean, sometimes you get up and things are just off the rails and you’re like, “Okay, how do we get back to our center?” And, you know, what I mentioned about having the chalkboards and whiteboards around I mean, lest you think I go around writing inspirational quotes all day. I don’t do that every day, right? But my kids have sort of internalized this over time. And now a blank chalkboard with a piece of chalk is their opportunity to write something they find inspiring.

So they might notice that I am in a crummy mood and they will go write out something they know is one of my favorite quotes. Or, there’ll be like, “Look, mom, you know, I made a new plan for us today.” And I love seeing them start to take ownership. So, you know, I would just encourage you, if you’ve been homeschooling and you’re just in a tough spot, if, you know, you are gonna be jumping into this, there is a point where the kids will kind of get more used to the routine and you’ll get past that really painful, like, “Oh, we’re setting up all these new habits and routines,” and they will start to adopt it themselves and it will get easier because they’ll start to know how they can work together in this new way.

Katie: Absolutely, and I think it’s also important to call out, especially for people who are doing this for the first time, or even those who are veteran homeschoolers but are looking for tips. I think it’s important to also call out that there are so many strengths built-in to homeschooling and often just subtle shifts in our mindset about it can take a lot of the stress off. And what I mean by that is, you know, like, especially if people are trying to make this transition, there’s that temptation to try to just recreate a school environment. I’ve heard from moms who say things like, “How am I gonna keep my kids busy and in class for eight hours a day?” And I was like, “Oh, no, no, no, you’re not, you don’t have to do that.”

You know, school exists…Well, there’s a lot of theories. But, it was built on a model when parents needed to work a certain number of hours and that was the common length of a workday. And so those time slots kind of overlapped and it made sense that kids would be in school for that amount of time. And so school was built to fill that time block. The advantage with homeschooling, especially if you’re going to focus on skills up and what kids actually need to thrive as adults is that you can very often do that much more efficiently and much easier and you’re not having to build in things like changing classes, and getting to school, and recess. You can get school done in a much shorter time.

And then you can build in things that help moms’ mindset and kids’ mindset. Things like kids having time to play outside a lot more, or to work on creative projects, or, you know, climb trees, build forts, whatever it may be. There’s just so much more flexibility built into that, and you can be so much more hands-on. And so I think that’s something I always tell anyone new to homeschooling is resist that temptation to just try to recreate what a school environment looked like for you or what a school environment looks like at other schools in your area because you have so much freedom and flexibility when you start homeschooling.

And if you focus on the true essentials that you need to get done from a book work perspective, you can build so much more around the hands-on stuff and getting kids outside and engaged. And I feel like they actually learn better that way.

Carrie: They do for sure. I read a book early on, you know, when I first started homeschooling, it’s called “Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head.” And that was really instrumental in changing, I mean, not exactly changing my mindset because I didn’t start in the school setting. But making me realize that there are so many things that are learning that we really don’t recognize as learning. Like looking back on my school experience, I was not necessarily thinking about, you know, running outside, or riding a bike, or planting a garden, or, you know, those types of things as learning.

But anyway, this book is, you know, just really comes at it from a sort of sciencey brain-body connection and what makes us learn and what does that look like. So I definitely recommend that as a…I mean, it’s really enjoyable to read too. And I don’t think would add to the sense of overwhelm for anyone. I think it would just sort of the refreshing look at, you know, what learning can look like.

Katie: Yeah, that’s a great suggestion for sure. I know like one thing…I’m working on actually making this a curriculum that I can share with other people. But one thing that was really helpful for me, and that kind of revolutionized my mindset and my stress level when it came to homeschooling was, that idea that we touched on in the beginning, but of skills up versus knowledge down.

So I feel like in a lot of school environments, kids are given all of this knowledge that they’re expected to at least be able to recall for testing. And then we hope that they pull the skills out of that knowledge and through that, learn things like how to learn and all these skills we want them to have as adults. Whereas I feel like if we flipped that on its head. And I’ve talked about this a little bit before. But focus on the core skills that they’re gonna need that can help them be successful in any type of future, whatever that looks like for them. Things like critical thinking, and creativity, and ability to figure out how to learn anything quickly and, like you said, adaptability.

If we focus on those and build up, it actually gives us a much easier framework to teach from and much less requirement for like bookwork and for knowledge down. And I think it’s a lot more fun for the kids as well. And I think that shift for me just thinking about the way I was gonna communicate the things that they needed to learn, really helped my mindset too. Because I realized getting those skills across, getting the things that I want them to have as an adult across to them, and giving them those tools and foundations, that’s actually much simpler than it seems like when you’re starting from the knowledge-down approach. And I know you guys also do a lot of very hands-on stuff as well with your kids from gardening to all kinds of activities. Can you speak to some of those things that you guys integrate?

Carrie: Sure, we make it a priority, or at least pre-COVID made it a priority to travel as a family. That probably is the most rewarding, you know, bucket list type things that we’ve done so far. Last year, we lived in Florida for a month as a family and just enjoyed being in a different place. We went to the library, checked out every book they had on the ocean and seashells and all those types of things. And, I mean, it was a dream come true, really, for me. But obviously this year is gonna look a little different and, you know, we’re all kind of adjusting to meet that.

But also I work with a, it’s basically an educational group that teaches gardening and woodworking and a lot of those traditional skills that kids don’t necessarily get access to now. So I work with that group, it’s called Loonling Learning and they have a garden called GreenFire Gardens and I’m a garden assistant there. And I’ve just been diving deep into growing my own homestead here on my 1 acre, totally suburban residential house. I think during quarantine, I dug up more of my lawn than I have in all the years we’ve lived here. And we actually just opened our first farmstand in our yard yesterday.

And, you know, I just try to do things like that, it’s really easy for me to prioritize things like that and I count those as part of our school day. I think they’re tremendously valuable. My kids know what kale and kohlrabi and broccoli look like. And we talk about nutrition. And, you know, now my daughter is learning about supply and demand and pricing as she tries to get this farmstand going. So, even though we’re kind of stuck at home right now, there are different things we can do to build in those learning activities that aren’t necessarily straight out of books or on a Zoom call.

Katie: Yeah, exactly. I think, yeah, it’s just that mindset shift is so important. And I keep saying it, but that was a hard one for me. And I’ve talked to so many friends, you probably have too, who are trying to make the switch and are struggling with that. And so I just feel like that’s so important just keep reminding of it. It’s easier than, and it does not have to be overwhelming, it can be much easier than you expect it to be. And you have so much leeway and so much freedom when you’re homeschooling. And I just think that like that mental shift makes such a big difference.

And I also love that you brought up travel. I know that’s not really possible for most of us right now, short of anything we can do in local areas, or camping or places we can drive to. But I’m very much with you on that. And another advantage of homeschooling is the time freedom to travel. That’s something that’s a big core value for our family as well. And I’ve mentioned a little bit on different podcasts before, but, the idea that I know from my own life, looking back, I had certain challenges in life that I wouldn’t have chosen to go through, but I now can recognize the lessons of those helped me become who I am now.

And it’s tough as a parent because you don’t ever wanna make your children’s lives miserable on purpose, you don’t wanna see them have to suffer unnecessarily. But you also realize the value of doing hard things and of challenges. And, for us, travel is a perfect way to build that in because there are challenges that come naturally with travel and discomfort that sometimes comes with travel. And it’s a great team-building experience and a way to overcome challenges together. So, I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get back to a world where travel is possible sooner than later.

But that also is a good segue into the idea that there are all kinds of alternative types of homeschooling. There’s amazing resources for all these different types, I don’t claim to be an expert in any of them, except for, in most days I don’t even claim to be an expert in the homeschooling I’m doing. But we can put some links for people who are interested in this. But I love that you brought up the travel aspect, because there are people who do things like world schooling, they call it, where they are homeschooling full time and also traveling full time. Or people who live in RVs and road school and all kinds of hybrid combinations within that.

We’re also now seeing and I’m hearing from listeners about things like micro-schools where families are forming together to create small group schools and bring in either tutors or teachers to help with that transition to homeschooling, and also to give kids community even if it’s smaller. So I just wanted to bring up there are so many alternative types of schooling and you don’t have to be confined to just, you know, book work in a room, there are so many alternative ways. And I know you guys integrate some of these types of things as well as part of your plan and your curriculum.

Carrie: We do. So, one thing I’d really recommend, and I think that you’ve mentioned it on the podcast before, Katie, but it’s called Mighty Networks. And you can set up, it’s almost like building a website and a social group at the same time and they make it really easy and it’s not too expensive. And then you can also add classes onto there. You don’t have to know coding or anything special to set it up. And something about the design is just very engaging, like, it feels like a pleasure to use.

So this is a tool that I’ve started using to build things like, you know, kind of a local gardening Co-Op group in our neighborhood where we help each other with watering our plants or, you know, keeping up on chores. Because this is one of the things, I love to travel and we have chickens and a garden and it gets bigger every year. And those two things don’t always go well together. So, definitely looking to your community and trying to create that and saying “How can we help each other?” You know, I’ve made relationships with a couple of families who live close by and are able to give us that freedom when we travel, and then we do the same for them.

So, it is possible even in this strange year, you know, you can set up a virtual group, either through, you know, Facebook or try a Mighty Network. You know, it could be as small as a text thread, but kind of finding who your support community is. I mean, I’m glad you brought up too that idea of support because I don’t want anyone to walk away from this thinking that a homeschool mom or a homeschool dad just does it all on their own.

You know, I look at my role as sort of a facilitator of my children’s education and I’m basically setting up the environment to support them educationally. But I am not teaching and doing it all myself. So I am definitely, you know, signing them up for things where there’s another teacher, or I’m, you know, finding that person who’s just super talented and passionate about science, and they’re the ones teaching my kids science because that’s not my thing. I hire childcare. I mean, I work, you know, close to a full-time job when you put together all my various freelance writing and editing jobs. And I run the local Co-Op here as well. And, you know, it’s a lot, I have to have help in some way, I can’t do it all.

But what I’m doing is setting the environment, putting those resources in place. Like, for me personally, I’ve tried a couple of different childcare arrangements and I’ve discovered for myself that what really moves the needle for me is hiring out my house cleaning, and that like rewards me and fills my cup even more than having help with my younger kids. So, you’ve gotta kind of experiment and find out what it is that you need to really keep you motivated and supported and sustained as a teaching, homeschooling, working parent.

And I wish I had done a better job of that early on. I really didn’t start out with a plan for myself and my husband, and like supporting the educators first. I feel like the kids will be fine if we are fine. And I would really encourage everyone who’s sitting down to pick out their curriculum, and they have stacks of books everywhere, and they’re all related to their kids and their kids’ academic needs, I mean, that’s wonderful that we care. But, start with a plan for you, there should be things in your plan that will maximize the joys and the things you naturally are talented at, or would like to do, or would like to learn. Make a plan for those first and then make a plan for your kids.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I love that you brought up the idea of like hiring help and finding help, and whether that’s trading off with other moms or having someone help clean. I realized that same thing a while back when I was in the busiest phase of work stuff and also still trying to homeschool and manage a household. For a while, I kept trying to have, like hire teenagers as nannies or have people come help with my kids and it always created more stress than less stress.

And it took me a while to figure out that it was because I didn’t wanna pay someone else to play with my kids while I clean my house. I actually was yearning for more time with my kids and was just overwhelmed with all the stuff I had to get done. So it made much more sense for me to hire someone for less time to help with those tasks and me have more time with my kids. And that helped our whole family dynamic.

And also to go back and touch on the idea of community, I think people might be even tired of hearing me talk about community so much on this podcast. But, you cannot overestimate how important that is. And especially right now, I think so many of us are feeling the brunt of having lost aspects of community that went away for a while this year and it’s a good reminder to be very intentional about that. And even if still like large group activities and school activities are not happening right now we can still, in most places, build small communities and get together in small groups.

And in many ways, I hope that’s a silver lining that will last of this, I hope we can return a focus to those small, intentional communities built with people in our local area, kind of like tribes of people of support. And we’ve kind of done that here, I think you’ve seen some of this when you’ve visited is building communities in different ways that support both the parents and also the kids. So we have communities built around activities like pole vaulting, and we have people who come to our house that we hang out with related to that. We go and pole vault near our house and it’s all in our local area and small groups of less than 10 or 20 people.

But having that shared interest and having that real-life face time with real life people in person, not just on Zoom, makes such a difference, especially when that was gone for a while. And we also kind of have the same thing built around other activities like music and art for the kids. And so many of those things can be done even outside we can find creative ways to do that. And it can be as simple as kids having time to just play creatively outside while the moms sit on the patio and drink coffee.

I think those little things go so far to helping mindset, especially when we didn’t have those things for a little while. And that’s my other encouragement to moms, homeschooling or not, truly it doesn’t matter if you’re homeschooling, is, be very intentional about building those communities and putting time in them and nurturing them. Because certainly, I think in this year that we’re all navigating right now they become increasingly important.

Carrie: Yes, I definitely…This year feels different obviously, that’s, you know, painfully obvious. But I think that it’s made me almost dig deeper into my true goals for my family and there are some benefits to that. So, one of the best resources I have from all my homeschooling years is a super simple composition book. It’s like one of those ones that has the black and white cover that you buy for 50 cents that we used in grade school growing up. And I was actually kind of made to do it at a training, we used a program, we’re Catholic, so we used a program called Catholic Schoolhouse.

And they had a retreat and they made us like basically put pictures of our family on this composition book and then cover it in contact paper. And I remember at the time thinking like, “This is really cheesy, I don’t know why we’re doing this.” Because I’m not a crafty person. It is possible to homeschool and not be crafty. But anyway, we made this book and it’s got all the smiling faces of my family on it and my husband and our house. And it’s amazing, I mean, I made this book probably eight years ago, and I use it every single year. And I only write in it our very high-level plan.

There’s no curriculum in it at all, it just says, basically, it has, you know, 2020/21 family plan. And then the name of each of my family members, including me and including my husband. And then just three or four priorities for each of us. And I solicit my kids’ input on this, you know, what is it you wanna learn this year? What is it you wanna work on, you know, it’s also part of identifying weaknesses.

Like, for example, on my list for this year, I wanna get better at time blocking, and really putting a time budget in place. Because sometimes I can definitely be guilty of mixing up the different areas of my life too much. And I wanna get better at that, so, as I think about it, that emerges for me as a priority. So it really ends up being just one page. And then I have those little goals for each family or each family member. And some of them are academic. You know, my one daughter needs to catch up a little in math. So math is gonna be a priority for her this year.

But another daughter, the priority is finding her social connection and community in this strange time, because she’s a very social person. So, it’s individualized to each person. And what I love about this plan is when we’re halfway through the year, and I’ve only done half of what I thought we would do, and I’m looking at all the books I haven’t touched yet or the things that haven’t gone the way I thought. I can go back and look at this one-page plan and get re-centered. And, you know, we put a lot of things on there that just kind of naturally light us up because of who we are.

So it’s a great place like a touchpoint to go back to when, you know, you sort of feel like, oh, this is not going as well as I thought it would, or, I feel off track and then, you know, you get centered again. And it’s a great record of year after year of what you’ve worked on as a family.

Katie: I love that tip, I’m making notes as you talk today. A few random tips I’ll share, I feel like this is kind of jumping all over, but also that’s a great representation sometimes of homeschool days, at least at my house. Some random tips that we found helpful. Two things, and I’ve mentioned this before in passing, but we start most school days with “TED Talks,” and we actually do them at breakfast as a family. And this was a tip from past podcast guest, Naveen Jain, who, when I asked him, how would you encourage critical thinking and entrepreneurship in kids? He said, “I would have them watch ‘TED Talks’ every day.”

And the reasoning was that kids are natural pattern makers, we’re all born that way. But they look for patterns and they try to connect dots and that’s how kids are geared towards learning, especially when they’re young. So if you give them “TED Talks,” which are essentially 14 to 18-minute distillations of someone who’s the best in their field, talking about the best of the knowledge they have. So if you do them three of those in a day on completely unrelated topics, kids can’t help but try to connect the dots. So they’re gonna try to find patterns or find ways that those ideas work together, which is essentially what innovation and entrepreneurship and problem-solving are.

And so his thought was, if you just constantly give them exposure to new ideas and new ways of looking at ideas, they’re gonna try to connect the dots and that’s how we create problem-solvers for the future. And it’s also just a fun thing, we’ve learned so much as a family. I’ve learned so much from watching these “TED Talks” videos. And it’s led to composting projects in our house, or super worms in our closets, or all kinds of different projects that have been fun experiments for all of us. And so that’s been just a fun tip, it doesn’t take really any effort and it’s been fun for me too.

Another thing we do, they have, in school, an amount of time that’s just called topics, and that’s the subject of that. The goal is every day they research any topic just for a few minutes and try to get like a broad level understanding of it and jot down some notes that I’ve built-in, there’s a writing aspect, there’s an analytical aspect, there’s an aspect of pulling out the most important pieces of the topic. And I kind of dovetail this with something called the Feynman learning technique, which I mentioned actually recently in a newsletter.

But the idea being, when you are learning a new concept, you can get a pretty good idea if you understand it if you’re able to explain it to a child, the age that I think he gave was a six-year-old, which is also ironically very much what homeschooling is, is explaining ideas to a child. For those who aren’t familiar, Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, who is often discussed and largely considered a genius and contributed a ton to that field. And this was how he learned new things. And I use this concept and teach my kids this concept with reading a book. Same idea of, when you take a new knowledge, read it with the idea of trying to be able to explain it to someone else, especially a child, in a short amount of time, and get across the key concepts in a way that they could then explain it back to you.

And so when the kids do topics, they might research, you know, something to do with worms, or they might research how planes are actually able to fly, or whatever it is, whatever is interesting to them that day. And then they explain it, write it down and kind of create a Feynman one-pager, or they explain it to me, or they explain it to a younger sibling. And so that’s building in that learning by teaching idea. And getting everybody involved in the team mentality. And that doesn’t really take any extra direct work from me. And it’s been one of the more fun things we do as a family. And they’ve learned so much in all these different random topics because of that, and it’s led to, again, like new research and new experiments and things that they’re interested in.

Another tip, again, jumping around but that I love to bring up is, you don’t have to mimic a traditional school environment in the way that you teach school physically either. So you don’t have to create a room with desks that looks just like a schoolroom. If you want to, cool. What I find works better for my kids, because they all like to be active, is a combination of like the chairs that wobble, like the balance stools, I think they’re called button chairs. We’ve had the founder on the podcast before. And things like balance boards, and rings, and yoga swings hanging from the ceiling. And any combination of things that keep them moving.

And I know that there are limitations in many schools that prevent that. But there’s some really cool research on how kids integrate information better if they’re moving. And especially if they’re moving in ways that kind of stimulate the right-brain left-brain activity. And so, rather than tell kids they need to sit down and be still for extended periods of time during the day, we might be able to teach them more effectively in a more movement-based approach. So whether it’s having a little trampoline in the schoolroom, or stools that move, or whatever, or sitting on the floor.

Past podcast guest, Aaron Alexander, said we’d all be a lot better off if we just sat on the floor versus a chair. And with homeschooling, you have the freedom to do that. So, just like with “TED Talks” in the morning, teaching us to think outside the box, that’s my encouragement to other moms is, make it fun and make it what works for you even down to your environment. Think outside the box, you don’t have to make it look like a traditional school.

Carrie: For sure, and you do that so well, Katie, I mean, I’ve seen, you know, you have like a rope hanging from the, what do you call that? Pergola in your backyard and it’s like right where you walk. So your kids like see it a million times a day and, you know, it’s like gym class but so much better because they’re doing it because they want to. And they can repeat it as many times as they feel, you know, ready for that challenge at that time. And then, you know, ring the bell, I think you posted on your Instagram about it recently, you know, ring the bell at the top and come back down.

You know, so that’s a huge goal of mine this year, especially since I think we’ll be home a lot more than we have in the past, is implementing some of those things around our house to, you know, promote healthy movement and keep the kids physically challenged. And, yeah, I think that is such a cool idea.

You know, I love the Montessori method. And I think your blog post that you have currently on “Wellness Mama” about homeschooling, they give them a snapshot of kind of how you started out. And I know you did a lot of the Montessori stations and more of a prepared classroom environment when your kids were younger. But I think the neat thing is you still have a prepared classroom environment, but it’s like your whole house. And it’s all the things that you just described, are, you know, when you give kids access to cookbooks, and healthy food, and a stocked kitchen.

And, you know, like we’ve done the kids cook course that you always recommend. You know, when you give them access to things like that you are preparing the environment, it’s just in a different way now that your kids are older and you’ve evolved as a family. So I think it’s really neat.

Katie: Yeah, I think it’s funny too because I’ll call myself out on that. Like, the more we’ve geared the environment to just constant movement and put like ropes in walkways and rings in walkways, headstand stools in the hallway, and all those things. It’s had a crossover effect of being really good for me because I’d never thought I could do those things or I’d have to schedule them or like make, you know, half an hour for me to go do that. And now I’m like, “Oh, I’m walking down the hall I’ll do a handstand.” And so it’s been…I’ve noticed a difference in myself as well. And I figured one day, at this rate, I might at least get close to their level of all the stuff that they can already do because kids are amazing when it comes to movement.

Carrie: They are, yes.

Katie: I hope that, especially for anyone new at this, that hopefully we’re not adding anything to anyone’s plate or making it overwhelming. My hope definitely and I hope what’s coming across in what we’re talking about is, this really can be fun and you’re not bound by a lot of rules when you start doing this. And you can make it work for your family. And I think and I’ve seen in our life and it sounds like you as well that it can make you closer as a family and build that team mentality and have so many beautiful moments. Not to say it will not be an adjustment, especially if it’s new, it absolutely will be. But there can be so many beautiful moments within that.

And I think we should also touch on that to the idea of the minimum effective dose of this. And we’ve mentioned it in passing of focusing on the essentials. But you and I have both had to homeschool through times that were less than optimal. For me like the worst parts of Hashimoto’s or being pregnant while having Hashimoto’s and being so tired. I had days where I would put my little ones in a room with toys or where they couldn’t choke on anything, and I would sleep in front of the door so they couldn’t get out and I was just so tired. And I know that you’ve also had to maintain homeschooling and family life during circumstances that were less than ideal. So any tips that you would share for maintaining just the minimum effective dose when times make it more difficult?

Carrie: Yes, definitely. This has been a really helpful concept for me. So I did homeschool during some difficult pregnancies. And I’m pretty much bedridden through a lot of my pregnancies for various reasons, it’s just, you know, the way it is for me. And homeschooling through those times was tough. And I think that is one of the reasons why we’ve become good at stress management around here.

But basically, I would suggest, deciding in advance, what is the minimum I need to do to have a successful day? And come up with that formula and let your team, your kids, your spouse know before you get there. So what I mean is, when you get to the day where like two kids are throwing up and you have a work meeting, and you have a deadline, and all of a sudden it’s not a normal day. You sort of know and your kids already know. Okay, on days like this, we go outside first thing in the morning…I mean, I’m just going through my family’s checklist, this could look different for you or someone else.

We go outside in the morning, because I know that just makes us all feel better. So they have to go outside before they have any screen time. Their chores have to be done before they have free time, they have to do math and piano, which they can do pretty independently. And then there has to be like a quiet time in the afternoon. It’s absolutely mandatory in a homeschooling family, I think, to build something in to the routine where everyone finds a room individually and has some space to themselves. We always do that in the afternoon.

So that’s kind of what our minimum day looks like. And I think it really helps to think that through in advance, so you can just say like, “Okay, guys, it’s one of those days, here’s our plan, and here’s what we’re going to do.” And Pam Barnhill has a great article on this that I can link to in the show notes. So I would definitely recommend thinking that through first.

The other thing I would suggest is to decide on your priority on those days. So I feel like there’s different buckets, right? In this type of lifestyle. There’s your home, like your home management, your meals, picking up all the things that have to be done to just pay the bills and run a house. There’s your professional life, if you, you know, work in or outside the home. There’s the academic life, right? You know, kids’ schooling. And I don’t necessarily usually do well in all three categories in one day. And for me, it’s almost a recipe for disaster to try and do well at all of them in one day. And something that’s really helped me is deciding, today is a professional day, today I am like doubling down on this, my kids know this we’ve made a plan. Let’s go.

And then the next day is going to be like mom’s here, let’s learn together, let’s go outside. Like they’re gonna kind of know that’s coming the next day. And then maybe I have a day where, you know, we do a lot of bulk meal planning. One book that’s really helped me, I mean, number one, my kids know how to make every recipe from the Wellness Mama Cookbook by heart. And then I love the book “Cook Once, Eat All Week” because it lays everything out step by step, the kids can help with it, my husband can help with it. There’s no questions for mom, they just prep all the food. You know, we kind of have like one big day where we get the house kind of up and running.

So, that has really helped me. I mean, obviously my approach has changed a little bit here and there, but generally, my brain feels more quiet when I decide on one priority first on a given day, especially like kind of one of those unusual days.

Katie: For sure, and I love that you said there’s no questions for mom when you mentioned that “Cook Once, Eat All Week ” Because this is another tip I tell people, that it’s almost always, it’s not the getting everything done that’s the hard part. It’s often all of the planning and mental stress related to that. And for moms the decision fatigue of all of the questions that come. And when you homeschool, then you end up with more questions because they have questions about school, and then, of course, they’re still gonna have all the normal questions that come at you all day from being a mom.

So if you can solve for anything that reduces questions, that really helps with the overwhelm, especially as you get toward the end of any given day. Like we know that decision making capability is a fixed resource and so it’s a very real thing that we hit that kind of point, for me it’s usually like at 4 p.m. where I’m just like, “No more questions.” So how can you solve for reduced questions and it can be simple things like put the cups the kids use low down in cabinets so they don’t have to ask you for water. So anything you can enable them to do for themselves without having to ask you

But also things like that, like if they’re able to cook things, or how can you set up the school rooms that they have the minimum needed questions and the questions they need to ask you are the important ones. And then you can really like lean in and focus and have your full bandwidth to answer them. That was a game-changer for me was just realizing how can I reduce the number of questions that I’m getting? Because, between work, and school, and just life, I was getting so many questions that I would find myself overwhelmed by the end of the day, and that made a big difference for me.

Carrie: Yes, it is so hard, like they can ask you a really inquisitive awesome question about something and you’re in the middle of, you know, you have a work call in the next 10 minutes or, you know, the three-year-old is screaming. I mean, you’re absolutely right, that is a huge part of the mental overwhelm. And I’ve tried different things over the years, some things have worked, some haven’t, you know. I sometimes seriously thought about just wearing like big bright orange earphones so they know, like, oh, clearly mom is working and I shouldn’t interrupt her right now.

But, you know, some things work and some don’t. And, you know, I think an important thing is just to kind of take on a reasonable amount of change and look at your expectations and go, “Okay, like, where does the reality need to change and where are my expectations more the issue?” And one thing that’s helped me too is, you know, certain days we, this is a little habit that we’ve picked up, is, we will, I mentioned like the chalkboards and the whiteboards and we usually put our plan for the day up on there. And this is one reason I like having a plan that can be quickly changed is we’ll erase the board on those really tough days and we’ll go, “Okay, guys, what’s going well today?” And that will replace our plan.

We’ll write down everything that we accomplished, like do it as a group exercise. You know, “Okay, mom got a post up and, you know, we made scones for our neighbor because she was having a hard day. And we were patient with the three-year-old even when we didn’t wanna be.” Like anything, we’ll list it out, you know. And by the end, we’re looking at this list of 25 amazing things we’ve already done before noon. And previously we felt like the day was a disaster and now we feel like a success.

And, you know, I’ve heard you say before, I’m not sure if it’s someone else’s quote or yours, but that, “Action breeds motivation.” And, you know, when you get to those toxic points or those really discouraging points, just putting some fuel in your tank through an exercise like that. I mean, whether you’re e-learning or free-range homeschooling, or working from home, whatever it is, if you’re trying to do it as a team, which many people are in that boat this year, that’s just a really helpful exercise.

And now my kids know to do it for me, like when I’m kind of getting grumpy, they’ll go, “Okay, Mom, what went well today?” And of course, sometimes I’m not very receptive to their reminder of being positive. But I’m grateful that they encourage and help me in that way. So, I would definitely recommend trying that if you run into a tough spot.

Katie: I love that, it’s such a great tip.

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Carrie, this has been such a fun chat and hopefully also helpful to everyone listening who is either considering homeschooling or already homeschooling and wanting to just continually improve. I feel like we’ve talked about a lot of things that you and I both enjoy and we’ve both been doing this for a while but I also want to circle back and make sure we end really practical for anybody who is jumping into this for the first time especially this year with everything else going on and maybe feeling a little bit overwhelmed. So can you give us a few of your kind of core takeaways and advice for getting started in a practical way?

Carrie: Definitely. It surprised me, the first advice that’s come out of my mouth when I talk to friends has been double down on your marriage, your relationships, you know, whoever that support person is in your life, if you’ve been thrown into working and homeschooling, you know, possibly altogether as a family unit, that’s a huge change. So, you know, get that date night on the calendar, you know, make sure you’re making time to talk. And I can’t recommend enough a book that I actually learned about on your podcast, Katie, I think it’s “201 Relationship Questions” by Barrie Davenport, I hope I’m saying that right. But my husband and I do this for like five minutes a night, you ask each other a question and it’s on different categories of your life and it’s just a great way to proactively open the channels of communication because you’re gonna be kind of navigating this whole new world as a family.

And then the second thing, just to go back to that idea of making your family vision for the year before you pick your curriculum, I would definitely recommend just thinking about what each person in your family needs as human beings and then kind of picking like one joy you’re gonna work into your life and one area you’re gonna work on and then kind of make your academic schedule after you assess that.

The third thing that usually comes to mind is, you know, start leaning into your morning routine and just start with that. That’s something that around August, I usually start working on with my kids, maybe we’re in some lazy habits or we’ve been staying up late summer nights and we just kind of start tweaking our morning routine, getting in a little bit more of a schedule, setting the expectations and doing that bit by bit.

And I think the last thing that would be important for families facing this is just to manage change with baby steps and, you know, manage your expectations, I mean, you can go little by little. So as a homeschooler, you have flexibility, you don’t have to start in September if you’re not ready. One thing that I always do is I start our school year in stealth mode, so my idea is like if they don’t know it’s happening they can’t resist it, right? So we kind of start with optimizing our morning routine around August and then I will add in just math because I view that as their most important subject. We’ll just start with math, we’ll put that into the routine, we’ll get that down for a few weeks and then we’ll add another subject. And that way you have time for habits and routines to build up and support your schedule that you’re trying to keep at home. So that’s been a great method for me, you can do that kind of soft start to the school year, you don’t have to have it all figured out with the perfect plan, you know, the first day of school. You have 365 days to fit in 180 days of school, you know, use that flexibility.

So I mean those four steps, you know, your relationships, your family vision, your morning routine and just taking those baby steps and managing change has been really helpful to me and I hope helpful to a lot of the parents out there.
You know, ultimately I don’t know if you agree but I feel like homeschooling and progress in homeschooling is just like parenting and life in that it’s not linear, you’re not always gonna move forward and, you know, hit one checkpoint after another, often you’re kind of constantly circling the wagons and readjusting. So if there’s just one thing that’s really helped me as a homeschool mom, as a family, it is investing in our mindset. You know, I’d even recommend like picking out a piece of curriculum just on that, you know, maybe you take a class throughout school on like mind mapping emotions or there’s the Big Life Journal or some other different books that have really helped us that I can put in the show notes. But, you know, learning those skills are gonna help you no matter what your walk of life is or what stage of life you’re in, they’re gonna help you personally and professionally. So, you know, just because a day feels like a disaster, it doesn’t mean it actually is, you know, pay attention to your thoughts, recognize the good moments in that day and then, you know, gather your team together, your family and, you know, decide how you’re gonna move forward and how you’re gonna support each other bit by bit through all the ups and downs, I mean, that’s really where it’s at to me.

Katie: I wholeheartedly agree with that, I think such an important point about none of this is linear and I’ve definitely had experiences where I thought the day was a complete failure or that I was just at my wit’s end so we adapted and modified and skipped parts and, you know, ate like a picnic lunch that was kind of just like snack foods outside and the kids thought it was the best day ever. And so I think like often it’s managing our own internal expectations because often the kids have such a different perception and if we don’t let our stress and overwhelm drag us down, often I feel like if we ask our kids, we’re doing better than we think we are.

I also think the morning routine piece is so important no matter what form of school you’re doing, just I think when you…like we’ve had podcast guests, when you master your morning, you end up in such a better place for your day. And from the homeschool side, I mentioned in passing but the things that really seem to help dial it in for us are starting with TED Talks and letting the kids…just that seems to get the learning creativity juices flowing. So we’ll watch kind of three unrelated TED Talks and then talk about them. We’ll also try to spend time outside in the morning, often it’ll be my husband and I drinking coffee and the kids out there and we’ll have conversation whether allowing or just like some gentle movement and those kind of things seem to help everybody get focused and kind of aligned for the day.

And then I mentioned that we have a topic in school called topics where they can research anything they want and kind of synthesize it and try to understand the broad strokes of it. And that’s another fun one to start I feel like the school day with because it’s something that just naturally gets the brain ready to learn, those are kind of the practical pieces of a morning routine that have helped us the most.

Another piece of advice I’m giving this year to friends who are new to homeschooling, especially since we are still trying to figure out what this fall is going to look like for every school scenario, is to form a micro-community if possible or a micro-school. I’ve actually seen quite a few friends in various parts of the country doing this where you’re getting several families together and actually hiring a teacher to come teach the kids. And if…you can do the same thing without hiring a teacher, if you have multiple parents getting involved, if that something you’re willing to take on, but whether it’s for school or just for human interaction, I think that’s another important thing we can all be doing is forming these micro-communities of people that we can regularly spend time with that have some kind of common interest.

And then to your point, I would say a few tips that I would just go back to for anyone especially new to this like you said is like I mentioned before like to elaborate on your point is don’t feel like you have to do it all in the very beginning or even at all, like use the 80/20 principle and keep the focus on the basics. You can use any curriculum for that, you can use Khan Academy for that. The goal is not to fill time, you definitely don’t have to keep kids occupied for a certain number of hours per day, it’s more about hitting those targets over time. So having that freedom build in time for creative play, indoors and outdoors, and build a system, like, I love your point, you know, ease into it, build a system that works for you. So a lot of states dictate if you’re new to homeschooling that you need a certain number of school days, but there’s usually a lot of flexibility in what those days can look like. So track your days for the sake of meeting state requirements but realize that some days, maybe a school day, that’s a field trip day or a play day or a field day, or, you know, all these things that other schools also have. And sometimes those are really important mental breaks for regular school days.

I also really encourage families to keep the focus on nurturing creativity and play and not just trying to just focus on the bookwork side. I’ve mentioned that a little bit but I think we’ve gotten away from the idea that playtime and free time outside are not just something…I mean, they’re absolutely essential for kids. And they’re saying kids these days are spending less than half the time that even we did at their age playing outside. And there’s studies that show there are benefits to playing outside and to being bored that kids are missing out on. So it’s not just the fresh air, it’s not even just the vitamin D, it’s the psychological aspects of manipulating real-world objects and navigating their outdoor environment and developing motor skills and spatial awareness and social interaction with other kids. And there’s also evidence on the science side that playing outside in natural light helps eyesight and can help prevent some vision problems later on. And I think that’s just one I always go back to as well, you don’t have to feel like you’re a bad mom. If you’re sending your kids outside to play for a few hours, that’s probably actually one of the better things you can do for their brain development, so just give yourself… I think…and maybe that’s the point to wrap up on is so much of his pressure I think often comes from inside, we hold ourselves to such high standards that of course raising our kids is one of the most important things we will ever do in our lives. So we should, but at the same time, I think often the stress comes from our internal expectations when what our kids are experiencing and the actual outputs are a lot better than we expect.

Carrie: It does for sure. I think that’s the perfect point to wrap up on, it really rings true to me.

Katie: And to that note, I know for any of you guys new to this or veterans, please feel free to chime in the comments and share advice or ask questions as it seems like many families are navigating this I suspect this will become a regular podcast topic and also something we’re gonna be creating more content on the site for. So stay tuned for that, we would love to hear from you guys and what’s working and not working in your own lives. But very grateful. Carrie, thank you so much for spending time today and for sharing from your years of knowledge of doing this. And I hope this was helpful to many of you listening.

Carrie: Thank you so much, Katie. It was helpful to me too. So thank you for the conversation.

Katie: And thank you as always for listening, sharing one of your most valuable resources, your time, with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, we’re so grateful that you are part of this Wellness Mama community. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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