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Episode 3: Interview with Sarah Smith: Home Schooling - It's not what you think!

Updated: Oct 30, 2023






Visit Sarah Smith's website: https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com


To watch or listen to this interview, visit Vlogs and Podcasts page.




00:00:00,000 -->

Melanie Rubin


Welcome to this edition of Parallel Times, where we'll explore why alternatives to public school are so important these days.


Thank you for joining us.


My guest is Sarah Smith, a colleague and friend who is an expert in this topic, as well as many others.

And I hope she'll come back as a guest again soon.


Sarah has been homeschooling her two kids for the last 10 years.


She's also a natural healthcare practitioner, a former NASA aerospace engineer, as well as the most prolific grassroots activist and outreach organizer that I know.


And we work together on the Executive Committee of the New Mexico Freedom's Alliance and also the National Coalition for Health Integrity.


Sarah, thank you for being here today.



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Sarah Smith

Thanks for having me.



00:01:16,800 -->

MR

You are most welcome.


In a moment, I'd like to set a little context about why I wanted to include this in this kind of pilot series of Parallel Times.


But first, I'd like to have you give us a quick overview of why you personally decided to homeschool your kids 10 years ago.


And then we'll go into more detail after that.



00:01:42,520 -->

SS

Absolutely.


So, I didn't actually start homeschooling for a lot of the reasons that people would think that I would have. In reality, when I was working at NASA, one of my coworkers, his wife, was homeschooling their kids.

They had four kids.


And when I met his kids, they were very different from any other kids I had ever met before. They really liked each other a lot. And that spoke to me.


I didn't necessarily have a very good relationship with my own brother growing up.


I feel like school kind of drove a wedge that just kept getting deeper. And so, I was really impressed with the family relationships that they had.


And it made me kind of look and wonder because I had never really heard of homeschooling before. And so that kind of planted the seed.


And then once I had my kids and felt such a strong call to raise them and to take care of them, it was just the next natural step at that point to homeschool them.


So only later did I find out about a lot of problems with the school system and other things that would have made me want to homeschool and that made me very glad that I was.


But those weren't the original reasons.



00:02:53,560 -->

MR

That is really interesting.


And I just spent last weekend with a family that has six kids from two and a half to fourteen.

And they've homeschooled all of those kids. And those kids are amazing.


And they get along so well. They're like a perfect little tribe. They take care of each other.


They're so well behaved. They're so well spoken. They all seem really smart.


So, it's interesting that you say that about homeschool kids in relationship to each other within the family, because I just experienced that.


So, thank you for that. One person is very specific, lived through experience of why she's homeschooling.

For me, everything is about the safety, well-being and future of the kids who are in the world now and how we can support them in being healthy in all ways, especially in the midst of the control and encroachment on freedom and reason that we see happening in the world.


So, I came from a family where public-school education was part of the gospel of our lives.

And I loved school, and I thought I was getting a good education.


And it's only now as an adult that I realize how much of my education was actually dedicated to teaching me how to obey authority and actually set aside my questioning mind.


So, I wanted to give a little context.


The Academy of Ideas that has a channel on YouTube have a video called Why Public Schools and the Mainstream dumb us down.


And I find what they've presented very interesting. They explained that the American school system is actually modeled after the factory-style education system of Prussia in the 1700s.


According to John Taylor Gatto, who I know is a writer that you've referenced quite a bit in our conversations, he's an American teacher who became one of the greatest critics of the U.S. education system.


And he says this approach to schooling from Prussia in the 1700s was actually designed to, and this is his quote, “produce mediocre intellects to hamstring the inner life, deny students appreciable leadership skills, and ensure docile and incomplete citizens in order to render the populace, and this is quotes, manageable”.


And that's from his book, Weapons of Mass Instruction, which I thought was quite a clever title.


And I'm noticing that these, this little tribe of six kids I spent last weekend with have obvious leadership skills, although they're very respectful and well-behaved, are not what I would call docile in any way and have clearly have a strong inner life.


So, during COVID, personally, I couldn't stand how children were being traumatized by being isolated at home with online learning while indoctrinated with fear at the same time.


And then once they returned to school, I felt outraged by the pressure that they received to get the potentially permanently harmful COVID shot.


Combined with it (makes me cough even just speaking that), combined with the psychological and physical harms of masking, social distancing, and bullying.


So, all of this caused great separation and pain in families and socially. And so, we saw these families being divided.


And meanwhile, they were exposed to additionally traumatizing and indoctrinating critical race theory curriculum.


It's really interesting how when I start speaking about this, it's like I can't even say it.



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SS

Yes.


Well, with the harms that have been happening, they do bring a lot of people into awareness.

MR Yeah, it's like it, it's unspeakable really.



00:06:57,840

MR

So combined with sexualizing content that was inappropriate for children.


And on top of that, the pressure to question their own and other people's genders.


And that all became intense as we know.


And meanwhile, parental rights are being eroded rapidly in many places, reducing parents' options for having influence on what their children experience at school.


And the teachers, these poor teachers who don't want to go along with what they're being told they need to do, like keeping parents in the dark about their children's gender identity choices, are squeezed in a difficult situation to do their jobs because they could lose their jobs.


And numerous of them have for doing what they think is ethical.


And I know you've been working with a group of teachers in New Mexico and are just acutely aware of all of these things.


So, so with my personal social indoctrination that I was raised with, homeschooling always seemed foreign and even vaguely irresponsible somehow.


But as I began to learn more about homeschooling and what it really is and what it isn't, I realized that it was not what I thought it was.


And it does not involve what I had thought it involved or require of parents what I thought it required of parents.


So that's why I'd like you to share your insights about homeschooling because and other public schooling alternatives based on your experience because this is really a viable alternative for parents but for so many parents, it can seem so overwhelming and so daunting.


So, we wanted to do just this is like a drive by overview of homeschooling and public schooling alternatives because it's a big subject, but we want to do a broad brush across it and demystify some things to get people started.


So, let's dive in.


First what do you see as being some of the greatest misunderstandings that many people have about homeschooling like I did?


And also, please feel free to comment on anything else I just touched on in the interview in the introduction for this interview.



00:09:04,560 -->

SS

Sure thing.


You know I think this conversation is really pertinent right now because as you mentioned a lot of parents have realized things aren't what they thought they were at school and that things aren't okay at school in a lot of ways.


And so, you know as people are looking for new paths, homeschooling is one that can make parents feel extremely overwhelmed, but I've been homeschooling at this point for over 10 years and have mentored a lot of homeschoolers here.


We have a homeschool group that I organize here as well and I think that one of the important things is parents greatly overestimate how much time it's going to take to homeschooling or to do homeschooling and in reality, it really doesn't take nearly as much time as people think.


They assume that they have to do something similar to what's happening at school and in reality, for elementary school one to two hours a day is really all that you need to do and that kind of pops the bubble for a little bit of people like what, how is that possible but if you think about in school there's a lot of time that's just spent waiting, waiting for other kids to finish stuff, standing in line you know going between classes - all these things none of that's happening at home and so because the parent can work with the kid one on one or three on one whatever it is however many kids they have it can really be really efficient.


The other thing is that homeschoolers usually teach all of their kids at the same time the same subjects so they don't have to have an individual curriculum for the kid who's seven and the kid who's nine.


Most of the time there's a lot of overlap and you can do some customizing, but those are two important things, two big hurdles that people need to understand that maybe aren't actually there.



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MR

That's really great thank you and it's funny this.


I had extensive conversations with the 14-year old last weekend who is homeschooling and he had gone to a private school the previous year and decided that he preferred homeschooling and went back to homeschooling and when I asked him why the biggest reason he said was because he would finish all his work at school and then he would be sitting around, and he said at home I can get my work done in a couple of hours that it takes me all day to do in school and then I can do all the other things or research the other things or play or build

things or whatever that I want to do and so I felt like I was wasting my time in school, which was really interesting.


So, if homeschooling is not those things, then what is it and how does it actually work conceptually?


Are there different philosophies of homeschooling? What are some of them?


And again, this is really quick but the philosophy that you subscribe to how can we wrap our brains around this?



00:12:03,000 -->

SS

So, there are actually a lot of different ways to homeschool.


They range from trying to do school at home to unschooling which is more child led just following their interests and everything in between.


So, there are a lot of diverse ways that people will do homeschooling and I think the first year or two most homeschoolers are experimenting.


Most homeschoolers start out trying to recreate school at home. That's what I did.


I was very type A as a former engineer.

I was very structured, very scheduled, totally crashed and burned.


It did not work well, and I had to go back to school myself and learn, okay how do I do this?


How is this supposed to work?


If it's not supposed to look like school, what does it look like?


And for a lot of homeschoolers where they end up settling in is that learning happens a lot outside of your sitting down at the table time.


There are so many other opportunities to learn, to go places, to explore things, to be with people and so my homeschool looks different from another homeschool because we can all make it our own and so I think that's one of the really beautiful things about it.


As far as different philosophies I started out doing a classical philosophy.


That was the extremely rigorous way too much for my daughter at that time and really ever, I think.


It was just too much.


It was more of that same mentality of trying to cram information into a child's head; and in reality, what we want to do is teach them how to think, not what to think but how.


And so, the philosophy that I ended up settling on that really felt like home to me was Thomas Jefferson education and that's the philosophy that we've been using I think for eight or nine years at this point and it focuses a lot on finding each child's unique genius and finding their mission, what they are here to do and then supporting them and giving them the education they need to do that.


And I love that holistic part of it of treating them as an individual and finding their gifts and then helping them create their own path so that they can go out and impact the world because that's the whole goal in the end is what we're here for.



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MR

That's great. Thank you.

I love that quote of not teaching them what to think but teaching them or supporting them and learning how to think is so powerful because it's the opposite of indoctrination.


It's kind of the opposite of what happens in a lot of public schools and it seems like if as adults we're here to support children in becoming their best highest selves and we can't possibly know what that is or impose that on them, that it's about following this unfolding of their perfect individual, you know, divine selves if you want to think of it that way and anything less than that is kind of interfering or meddling or damaging.


You know, it'd be like when a flower is unfolding to get in there and say, well, I know how to do this better than you do flowers so I'm going to pull the petals out or no, that orange petal is wrong. I'm going to make it purple.


You know, it's disrespecting the wisdom of the organism.


So, in your home, how does it work logistically?



00:15:36,320 -->

SS

So, I actually work full time among a few different kind of job paths that I have going in the advocacy work I do.


So, my homeschooling schedule has to fit around that, and my work has to fit around homeschooling.


So, I tend to do a lot of work early in the morning. 5 a.m. is usually my start time and then I don't actually meet up with the kids until about 8.30.


And my daughter is older now.


She's sixteen and she, with the Thomas Jefferson education approach, one of the main goals is that children will be self-directed during their high school years.


And so, in addition to the time that we get together for school, my daughter is doing her own schooling.


She has her own curriculum plan that she develops for every semester. I work with her on that to figure out what to do and make sure everything looks balanced.


So, while I'm working in the morning, she gets up herself and starts doing her school on her own.


And then we meet up at 8:30 and we usually will have some school all together with my daughter who's sixteen, my son who's thirteen for a couple of hours.


And that's our big block of school is a couple of hours in the morning and it's not even every day.


It's an average of three days a week that we do that, because we do a lot of other things.

We do a lot of field trips and hiking and nature exploring, going to the lake, and looking at different ecosystems and museums.


So, there's the schooling that people do at home, but I would say for most homeschoolers that is maybe half of all the educational things that they're doing.


As for the rest of our days, I work in the afternoons.


My daughter does her own studies in the afternoon and my son does his own explorations. He reads, he chops wood, he plays with the chickens, you know, he has a lot of free time.


Free time is one of the most important things that kids are missing right now.


That's the time when their brain can flow, when they can let go of the stress and the requirements and actually get into the curiosity zone.


So, I think that building in free time is really important.


As far as other things that make our homeschool work while I'm working, another thing is that there's quite a bit that happens outside of school hours.


We do read together pretty much every night as a family.


We often do some schooling on Saturday or Sunday as well.


So, homeschooling gives you the flexibility to figure out when it'll work.


I know some other families who homeschool, you know, if both parents are working full time, they might do their homeschooling in the evening together, but it can really flex around the parents schedule and that's one of the beauties of it.



00:18:11,720 -->

MR

That's great. Thank you.


So, this is another question I've heard quite a bit.


How do homeschooled children learn how to interact and get along with other kids as well as adults?


And I know you have a very vital homeschool group.


Tell us about that and other options for socialization and fun and play.



00:18:34,320 -->

SS

Yeah.

So, I would say socialization is the question that homeschoolers get asked the most by other people.


What about socialization?


And it's kind of funny because in the homeschool communities, we just sort of laugh about it because it's sort of a non-question when you're actually homeschooling.


Your kids get a lot of social interaction just in day-to-day life, you know, going to the store with you, they talk to different people.


I'll have my kids go up and go grocery shopping and do things on their own, so they get to interact with adults.


And then there's a lot of group activities, you know, depending on the community, there might be school co-ops, homeschool co-ops, a homeschool group like ours, field trips.


So, there's also lots of classes too.


My kids, for instance, have a band class that they go to a few times a week.


And there's all kinds of different homeschool classes depending on the community.


So, the homeschoolers really get socialized in a unique way than the school kids, but in a way that's a positive.


They tend to have a lot more cross-generational socialization. So, they know how to talk to adults more.


They also know how to talk to younger kids more, whereas at school, the kids are age segregated.


And so, they really only interact with kids that are the same age as them.


But at the homeschool groups, you know, like today, for instance, during our book club at our homeschool group, my son is holding an infant on his lap.


It's not my infant, it's somebody else's, you know, and they get to really learn about how to be around all kinds of kids of different ages.


And I think that's a big bonus for homeschoolers.



00:20:10,960 -->

MR

Wonderful. Thank you.


Now I know if I were a parent, I might be afraid that homeschooling would require me to teach things that I don't know how to do.


And that could be intimidating, you know, teaching, well, reading is one that parents are very concerned about often, how to do that properly so their children learn to read at an appropriate age, whatever appropriate means.


We have misunderstandings about that.


And then the other one you hear about is math.


Well, I don't remember algebra, how would I teach my child algebra?


So, can you speak to that?


And of course, there's a whole range of electives, like how would I teach them a language they want to learn or whatever.


So, can you speak to that concern?



00:20:55,960 -->

SS

Yes.


So, I think you're right, reading is one of the things that stresses people out a lot.


And I think part of the reason that it stresses people out is because we have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it should look like for a child to learn how to read and when they should do it.


And this is backed up by psychology.


You know, Peter Gray is a developmental psychologist who's done a lot of writing about how children learn to read and how they acquire the skill to learn to read and when.


And what he has found is that there's a really wide developmental age for reading, ranging from four years old to 12 or 13.


And the kids who fall towards that later part of that age range, their parents tend to get really stressed out and the kids themselves think, I'm stupid, there's something wrong with me, I can't read.


And in reality, they just haven't reached their developmental age yet.


And so, for my two kids, myself, my daughter was a very early reader. She started reading at age four. That was when she hit her developmental boom.



And she advanced through six grade levels of reading in six months. She was reading Charles Dickens for fun at the age of six.


So that was my first child.


Then my second child, my son, who is totally different.

He wasn't ready to read at six.


He wasn't ready to read at seven or eight. He was almost nine.


And then this exact same progression happened with him when he hit his developmental age. Within six months, he went through five, five grades of reading levels and just took off. And that was when he was almost nine years old.


So reading is something that I think I would encourage parents to learn more about it and not to put so much stress on their kids about it because that creates kids who think they hate reading, and kids who think I'm not good at reading and I'm stupid.


And those three lessons are going to set that kid up for a lot of problems with learning in general.


So, it's something to try to pull back and relax about. As far as how parents can teach things they don't necessarily know themselves.


Well, you don't operate in a bubble when you're a homeschooler. So, there will likely be classes.


If you don't want to teach something, somebody else could teach it.


For me, a classic example would be art.


I'm not very artistic myself. My daughter is extremely artistic.


So, I just outsourced that.


She takes classes in learning how to draw and she has her sewing business, and she creates these amazing things that are outside of my wheelhouse. But that's okay.


I can find someone else to teach it to her.


You can do the same thing with math.


Another thing is that there are a lot of different types of curricula you can use.


So, I learned that I can't teach my daughter math even though I am good at math, quote, unquote, myself. My brain doesn't work like hers.


None of the ways that math makes sense to me, they don't work for her at all.


But there are a lot of different curriculums.


And so, I was able to find one that works for her.


That's very creative and it teaches math in all these bizarre ways. It's Danica McKellar, you may remember her.


She was an actor in the Wonder Years and then she went on to become a mathematician.


And she writes these books that are fantastic about math in these really creative ways.


So, I would say don't worry parents. There are lots of resources and you can find what you'll need.



00:24:22,040 -->

MR

That's great. And I'm sure that's reassuring for parents.


One thing that's interesting to me is that there's a lot of free curricula.


And of course, although you don't want to park your kid in front of a computer and then leave them there forever, there are pieces of online curricula that makes sense or can make sense depending on the child, depending on how they learn, depending on the age, and their interests. It can make sense for them to do some online learning.


I've recently been impressed. You know, I work with these two kids who are six and seven and we went to some picnic somewhere and I was just amazed at the things that the seven-year-old is reading.


Like when did she learn how to do this?


Like we, you know, how to open a valve or we also went to the museum, like the science museum.


And she just, where did she learn this stuff?


Or she started learning some Japanese. And so now she's speaking bits of Japanese to us.


And how is she learning this, you know, some of it's through games or, I don't know, it's, it's just amazing.


They soak it up like little sponges if they're interested in something.


So, let's see.


Also wanted to make sure that we address the hybrid approach questions.


So, say there's something at your local school band or Spanish that your kid wants to learn. Can you talk about how you might be able to access that as a resource?



00:25:55,920 -->

SS

Yes.


And the laws for this will be different depending on what state you're in. So, you'll want to check where you are.


I'm familiar, of course, here with New Mexico laws.


And here by state statute, all the local public schools have to give access to home schoolers to elective classes.


And then at the district level, they're allowed to decide if they want to allow other classes.


So, for instance, I know some home schoolers who have used public schools for their science class or for their English class.


And so, check and see, there might be more flexibility than you think.


And that's a really nice option for giving parents another tool that they can use.



00:26:37,280 -->

MR

That's great. Thank you.


And that brings up an important point because of course, both of us are in New Mexico, but we can have people watching from all over the place.


So, although the things that we're talking about may not be exactly the same where you live, if you know what the questions are to ask, you can find out what the requirements are for homeschooling in your area through your Department of Education. You can find out what the resources are for this type of hybrid approach.


And what else do you think?


What are some first steps a parent can take if they want to learn about homeschooling?


And regardless of where they're located?


00:27:22,880 -->

SS

Yeah, I think that one really good resource for parents anywhere is the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. And it's hslda.org. You can look at the homeschool laws for every state there.


And that organization also does a lot of advocacy on protecting the rights of homeschoolers.


They're protecting, for instance, some things right now where our state is trying to encroach.


And so that's a really good organization to look at to understand what's allowed in your state, how much oversight your state is going to require for you.


I do think that for most parents, having a period of time where they themselves go back to school as it were on learning about education is an important part of having a good homeschool experience.


And so, in addition to that, many of the kids, if they have been in some sort of public school environment, they need some sort of a detox period before they're going to be ready to actually engage in homeschooling.


Because a lot of them come away from public school with some really bad ingrained ideas, whether that is related to themselves not being able to learn well, or I hate math, or I hate reading, or any of that kind of stuff.


Before you start homeschooling, you want to let that fade off and let them release all of that stress.


And so, there's a method called de-schooling, where you are not trying to actively homeschool.


And the general rule of thumb is for at least a month for every year of school that the kid has had.


And sometimes that freaks parents out because it seems like it's too long and they're worried their kid's going to fall behind. But it's OK. You just got to relax a little bit, trust the process, and let them get back to being curious again, and wanting to understand things, wanting to learn, and wanting to engage.


And so, during that de-schooling time, when the kids are hopefully having a lot of free time, a lot of play time, a lot of family games, field trips like museums and hiking and things like that.


Probably not so much screen time because that can really get them hooked into a whole other level of, OK, I just have to be entertained all the time.


But while that's happening, the parents themselves, I would recommend, should read some books, and learn some more about different approaches to homeschooling so they can see what fits, what feels good to them.


I would highly recommend John Taylor Gatto's book, Dumbing Us Down, as a first step for parents to understand what was wrong at public school.


And he was a public-school teacher in New York State. He was public school teacher of the year for the whole state of New York. But he knows intimately what was wrong with the system there.


And so, I think it's a really good book to help parents understand where their kids are coming from. And then from there, they can jump off and read other books.


Thomas Jefferson Education, I would personally recommend, but there's lots of other books too.


There's another one actually called Free to Learn, and that's by that same developmental psychologist I recommended, Peter Gray.


And it really helps parents learn about how important it is for kids to play and how much they learn through play and how biologically that is the mechanism for learning. And kids will naturally push their own limits and discover all sorts of things through play.


So, I think that's a really important part for parents to understand that because we have this idea in our head that learning looks like a certain thing. It looks like sitting behind a desk and doing such and such for six hours, and that's not the case.


So, we have to learn how to let go of that and how to embrace something else instead.



00:31:02,760 -->

MR

Great.


And these resources, we're going to put some links here on the video and also in notes so that you don't have to remember all that stuff that Sarah said.


So, if that all seemed very fast and furious, we're going to direct you to some web pages.


And we have, Sarah has actually curated a lot of this information on the Ask Healthy Questions website, which is one of the websites for the groups that Sarah and I work with. And also, it has links to these books and or lists of these books and curricula and some of these topics that we've talked about.


So many things that that you can access going forward. So, you don't need to worry too much about madly writing it all down right now.


So, one thing and just want to touch on this briefly, but because we breezed through it; it's being concerned that their kids are going to fall behind.


What does the social science show about homeschoolers versus public schoolers or even private schoolers in terms of their test scores and other metrics for their success in education?



00:32:31,000 -->

SS

It's an interesting question because by and large, a lot of homeschoolers don't test or grade, I actually don't do testing or grading. I mean, there's mastery and then there's you don't know it.


Those are basically only two categories.


But you know, this is a question that a lot of parents wonder about, and multiple studies have shown that homeschooled children outperform both public school and private school kids in standardized tests and in several other academic metrics.


And then there was a recent study out of Harvard that actually found that homeschooled kids were a lot healthier emotionally. They tend to be a lot more involved in volunteering and being empathetic and helping other people.


And so, I think between those two things, you've got educational benefits as well as emotional social benefits.


And so, I wouldn’t be scared of those things. Those things are pretty well established at this point.


The science is showing that homeschoolers do really well.


As far as college admission, which is another big question that a lot of parents have, a lot of schools are actually actively seeking homeschoolers at this point. And it's because they think differently, and they tend to be more innovative.


And this includes Ivy League schools. You know, Harvard, for instance, is one of the schools that actively seeks out homeschoolers. Their transcripts might look different, but that's OK.


They're not expecting that they want these students who are actually coming from a little bit of a different perspective.



00:34:01,960 -->

MR

That's exciting.


Now this could feel like a high gradient to begin considering homeschooling.

What advice would you have for parents who want to dip a toe into this and at this point, they don't feel they can take their children out of school, and they want to protect their children in school and perhaps start looking at homeschooling?


What advice would you have for the steps they can take for both of those endeavors?



00:34:34,160 -->

SS

Well, as far as keeping your kids in school and making sure that everything is OK, the parents need to get really involved. They need to know what the local district policies are.


You know, for instance, some policies in the local school district here where I live include that transgender children can use whichever bathroom they want to.


And they can participate in sports, whichever ones they want to.


So those are some of the policies, also policies on things like how do they handle bullying in your district? How do they handle issues in the classroom, behavioral things?


And beyond that, I would encourage parents to get to know your teacher, your child's teacher every year.


Because like Melanie mentioned before, I work with a bunch of teachers.


We have over two hundred of them around New Mexico who are concerned about the way things are going in schools right now.


And there are teachers in the system who don't like what's happening and who are doing the best they can to provide a good environment despite what's going on.


But there are also teachers who are completely on board with the things that concern a lot of parents right now.


And so, you need to figure out where your kid's teacher is at, where they fall on that spectrum, and whether they're going to allow you to be involved.


Go look around in their classroom. You can tell a lot just by what's in the classroom.


So, I would encourage teacher involvement as well as the school board and local district policies if you want to make sure that your kid is going to be protected from specific things that might be harmful influences at school right now.


And while you're doing that, start reading these homeschooling books.


531

00:36:10,280 --> 00:36:11,800

Read Dumbing Us Down. Watch some podcasts. Get your feet wet.


Maybe during the summer months, you could experiment a little bit with it when your kids are not in school anyway. And see what it feels like.


A lot of homeschoolers will find that the relationship between the parents and the children improves dramatically when they pull their kids out of school, when they actually get to instead of having a lot of interactions around them.


It's time to get up and go to school. Where's your homework? Did you do your stuff?


It can really change the dynamic to where they are fluidly living together and understanding each other and exploring together. And it can be really beautiful.


So, the summer months might be a good time to explore some of that and try to do some of the kind of de-schooling purposeful relationship building to see what it feels like.



00:36:59,240 -->

MR

Great.


And I know we have these resources that are relevant in New Mexico about parents giving notice to their children's school, about the involvement that they want to have, and the parental rights that they want to maintain with their children.


And if this is something that happens to be a particular concern for a parent who's listening, there are also forms to fill out to get vaccine exemptions for children.


So, I'll put links to examples of this for New Mexico and then our listeners can research what's available in their own areas.


So, we're a little over time it’s such a big topic, any other burning items that you want to make sure that you leave parents with?



00:37:53,960 -->

SS

Hmm.


Well, the main thing is trust yourself and trust your kids.


So, if your gut instinct is telling you that something's not right, then it's probably not right.


And you're the expert on your children, not the school, nobody else. You are. So go with that. Follow your intuition.


And if you want to make it work, you can probably find a way to make it work.


Some families will have to spend a little bit of time getting out of debt and doing some other things financially before they can make homeschooling work. That's okay.


Take a little bit of time, do what you need to do, but follow your gut instinct so that in the end, you're raising your child. And you can protect your child and raise them up in the way that you want to.



00:38:39,600 -->

MR

Great. Thank you so much.


We've been speaking with Sarah Smith, who is a homeschooling expert, amazing grassroots organizer with the New Mexico Freedom's Alliance, the National Coalition for Health Integrity, and Free People of the Southwest.


And thank you for joining us on Parallel Times, Sarah.


It's always a pleasure to speak with you, and I always learn more from speaking with you.


So Parallel Times is a new information service.


And so, I hope you'll tune in again to learn more about topics of taking us into Parallel Society, a parallel healthy society.


If you want a T-shirt with that, you can see I'm wearing one.


They're now available on the paralleltimes.info website. And the back says, creating peaceful, powerful alternatives together.

That's the motto for Parallel Times.


So, thank you for being with us today.


Thank you again, Sarah.



00:39:37,360 -->

SS

Thank you so much, Melanie. It's always great to talk to you.





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