Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family?

Welcome to the Built by Kids podcast! Today we explore the world of homeschooling from a parent’s perspective, with Amber Trueblood – parenting expert, author, and host of the Stretch Marks podcast.

As people who weren’t homeschooled ourselves but who know plenty of extraordinary kids who have been, we’ve always been curious about how this alternative approach works, how it fits into working parents’ schedules, and most importantly, the shift in mindset that’s needed to make homeschooling a viable option – 

Knowing that, against the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic, more and more families are evaluating the option, we hope our conversation sheds light on this growing movement and helps guide you to create the best path for your unique family.

You can find the show notes and links to all the resources we discuss at builtbykids.com/homeschool

And stick around after our conversation with Amber as Timothy and I synthesize the discussion and evaluate if homeschool is a viable option for our family.

Every community has different homeschool resources. We’ve been using Outschool to supplement our son’s remote school this past semester since his school closed and he has enjoyed the classes and we’ve found the instructors to be great.

About Amber

Amber Trueblood is an author, retreat-host, podcaster, and mother of four sons. Amber is obsessed with providing mothers simple and realistic tools to guide them toward a happier, calmer mom-life.

Her approach includes helping clients clarify their unique combination of values, lifestyle, priorities, and family dynamics reinforced with a solid commitment to self-kindness and self-honesty.

She inspires and emboldens moms to choose and implement the tools and tactics most likely to work for their individual personalities and priorities.

With confidence, clarity, and a clear sense of purpose, Amber’s clients and students can minimize their relationship & parenting challenges and improve their mental health & emotional sanity.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stretchmarks
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/officialambertrueblood/
Website: https://ambertrueblood.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/truebloodzone

Full transcript of the homeschool podcast episode.

Laura
Welcome to the built by kids podcast. Today we’re exploring the world of homeschooling from a parent’s perspective with Amber Trueblood parenting expert, author, and host of the stretch marks podcast as people who weren’t homeschooled ourselves, but who know plenty of amazing kids who have been, we’ve always been curious about how this alternative approach works, how it fits into a busy working parents schedule, and most importantly, the shift in mindset that’s needed to make homeschooling a viable option. Knowing that against the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic, more and more families are evaluating homeschooling. We hope our conversation sheds light on this growing movement. And helps guide you to create the best path for your unique family. You can find the show notes and links to all the resources we discuss at built by kids comm slash homeschool and stick around after our conversation with Amber as Timothy and I synthesize the discussion and an evaluative homeschool is a viable option for our family. Without further ado, let’s say hi to amber

Amber
Hello, thank you for having me.

Timothy
Thank you for being here.

Laura
So happy you’re here and I just want to kind of start off this whole conversation saying that we’re not having this right now to try to sway anyone either direction, you know, in our life right now and in our personal circle. We’ve had a lot of friends asking about homeschool and is it something that we would consider given the fact that this remote learning thing seems to be something that might be lasting into the fall of next year. So you know We wanted to bring on a good friend who has a lot of experience in this and get your get your feedback, get your dive into that brain of yours and get everything out of you.

Amber
Yeah, I’m happy to share whatever is useful and I you know, my work is right in alignment with what you guys do, which is, you know, really focused on giving parents the tools and information they need to make the right choices for their families. So this is just hear some more information that hopefully, you know, shed some light on different options and different perspectives so that you can just make a better decision for your family. Absolutely. Thank

Laura
you for that. So yeah, so tell us what how are you and your boys schooling these days, you’ve you’ve had so many different versions of homeschool public school, private school, independent school, all of the schools what’s going on and

Amber
that was never my plan going into parenthood that I would hop around. I grew up in the public school system in Southern California forever. never even occurred to my mom that like to not just go to the neighborhood school. So, you know, I thought the same thing. And I have four boys. So right now they’re seven 911 and 12. And, you know, we lasted in the local public school for a little bit and I was very, you know, just not not satisfied with it. And then we try to public school and kind of a nicer neighborhood and then we try to magnet school and we try to charter school and we try to private school. So we’ve literally been all over the place. And by the time I had three of them in a private school, I had a good friend mentioned to me, you know, you know, how much money you would save, you know, what you could do with if you took those three tuition payments and like traveled and had tutors and she put the idea in my head and I couldn’t get it out. So we ended up saying, you know, let’s we were kind of over we live in LA, we were ready for a shift And I was ready to be not driving on the four or five so much anymore. And so my and my husband was on board right away, which I know is not typical in these situations, lots of times it’s the mom that is itching to try homeschool or out school or unschool and it’s the father who traditionally is like, way, way, way, way way what is happening No, like this is scary for a multitude of reasons and concerning. And so that’s typically the dynamic whereas in this case, you know, Jamie was right on board. So we pulled everybody out of school and and tried it but I first like spoke to some parents who were already doing it and I just picked their brain like with honestly with like, a lot of you know, hesitancy I kind of was very suspicious like how does this work because I’m not sitting at the kitchen table and teaching them math like I’m I’m this is not That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for more flexibility. And I’m looking for, like, a learning system that I feel like is challenging, but fun. And for me, the bottom line was that I have kids that really, really like to learn. And I saw that start to dissipate, and I saw their confidence starts to dissipate. And that concerns me,

Laura
that is so important. You just said that and that’s been the fear to use the word around our our social circle, right, that fear that fear that they may lose their love of learning, which is the only thing that matters in life, really, when it comes down to it.

Amber
I agree. I for me, for me, that’s that’s top notch and that they’re challenged, but in a way that like, just enough so that when they do break through something, they feel that sense of pride and achievement, but not so much that they’re just crushed by it and they don’t want to, you know, and that’s a fine balance and every kid is different, right? So some kids You know, they want to, they need a lot of challenge they want a lot of they want to push themselves and if you make it too easy, and they’re bored, they’re not interested. Other kids, you know, are the opposite. And so for me when I started homeschooling I thought, okay, and I call it homeschooling, which a lot of people would not they would call it probably out schooling or some combination. I I really wanted to find people to work with them who have that like sparkle in their eye and that excitement in their voice when they talk about the subject that they’re teaching. Because, you know, if I try to teach my kids math, they will know in two seconds that ah, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. And B I don’t give a shit about it. I don’t care. It’s not important to me, you know, but you know, now they have a math tutor who can talk about math all day long. And never get tired of it is so excited and that, you know, that breeds and excitement in them, which is what I wanted.

Laura
Absolutely. Okay, so you’ve covered so much, let’s, and I and specifically about you have four different people with different personalities and learning styles and I definitely want to get into that because even as parents of just two, they’re pretty much the exact opposite from each other and So, definitely wanna know how that works. But let’s go back you’ve been throwing out a bunch of words homeschooling out schooling unschooling, let’s define those.

Amber
Okay, do you want to go with unschooling one you mentioned, you’re good at? Sure. I mean,

Laura
in my research, right, I just kind of feel like homeschooling is taking control of your child’s education and facilitating learning at home, right in that environment. Whereas in my, what I’ve come to understand is that unschooling is more often it’s a homeschool method where you allow the child to learn in to lead in the learning, rather.

Amber
Is that how you feel it and then decent, getting rid of structure as far as I understand that there’s very little structure. It’s very Student lead. And then there’s also D schooling, which is something that a lot of people found really important when they transfer from traditional school, to homeschooling. I didn’t have to do that with my kids because school, we didn’t leave school because it was a negative experience for them. I just am super, super picky. And it’s a high priority for me. So I pulled them before it got to that point. But a lot of people, it goes much farther before they decide to leave if they do decide that that’s best for them. And so they end up having to go through a few weeks of maybe more depending on the child’s personality of D schooling, which is a kind of a very flexible, compassionate time. That’s more like, emotionally supportive to go through that transition. Does that make sense? It does. And so is that kind of getting rid of the routine and getting them used to not seeing their friends every day and all of those things? Yeah, yeah. And I think it’s gonna look different for every kid. But, you know, some kids that have had a negative experience, whether it’s academically or through bullying or something like that, they they begin to associate, you know, a lot of negativity with school with just that word or just learning or just math or whatever it is. And so, spending some time to kind of disconnect that negativity from learning, you know, is part of the process and so some people you know, it’s really tricky to go directly from like, school school school, especially if it’s been a negative experience to Okay, now we’re doing it this way. They’re still gonna have those negative connotations with it. So a lot of people encourage others to go through like a D schooling period of time. Like I said, you know, it depends on the kid and you I always tell parents, like you know, your child best like really, really go with your gut on this. If it doesn’t feel right if it feels too soon, like, I think this is one of the things I love about alternative ways schooling your children is give you the kind of the permission and the authority again to say, Okay, you know what, like, I know what’s gonna work best for this kid? And even if I don’t for sure, you know, you’re the most likely to know. Right? So, you know, I don’t care if they had the best teacher in the world that teacher has, you know, 25 or 30 other students that they’re trying to manage, and they, you know, they have a lot on their plates. So, really taking ownership and understanding of your kids needs, I think, is is a beautiful part of this process. It gives you the opportunity to say, okay, a, what does this particular child need at this point in time, and be like, what’s important to me? Like, what does school mean to me? What does educating my child mean to me? And that’s really Laura. Like, I think the first question I would ask,

Laura
I love you saying that because when this whole time we’re talking about D schooling I’m thinking how much I would need to be D school. If we actually made this decision because yes, I mean, I was a product of both public and private school, and it was always a building that I went to. And a teacher presented information to me that I was supposed to regurgitate on tests. And that’s not that’s not to make it such a simplified explanation of what I believe school is at all. We have a great situation going on with hunter right now. But yes, I would have to be D schooled and be able to go into this without any fear that I have. All I’m entirely empowered. And I know my student better than anybody to give him the best way to help him thrive and become the best version of himself.

Amber
Yeah, so two thoughts come to mind when you say that, first of all, none of us is perfect. You’re never going to be perfect. Nobody’s going to make the perfect decisions at any point in time ever, ever, ever. So first, like let’s have like, kinda expectations of ourselves. The cool thing about alternative schooling I’m going to call it is that you can adjust, like, on a week to week basis, if not more. So if something is not working, you can adjust it really easily, you have a lot more control. And that’s, that’s a mindset shift too. Because when you pick a school, it’s like at least you know, it’s a minimum of a year, you’re impacting, right. So you’re, you know, if you choose this school over that school, or you know, this teacher or this activity, you’re talking months, or a year worth of commitment. Whereas if you make a homeschool decision, and you sign them up for a Spanish level two class, and it’s too hard, or the teacher sucks, you can just drop out of the class, you don’t have to sit there and do it for the next six months, like so there’s a lot more flexibility, it’s kinder to you know, to kind of test things out the second so you’re not perfect, you’re not gonna make perfect decisions, but you can change them as you go. The second thing Is yeah getting really, really clear on what is important to you and your family as far as education is concerned. So when we we ended up traveling after about six months into our homeschooling situation, we this is a whole nother podcast show, but through a combination. through a combination of coincidences, we ended up joining a touring a Broadway touring musical and going on the road, all six of us, and so was homeschooling but on the road and what that ended up looking like for us was a weekly Skype session with a math tutor that sometimes happen sometimes didn’t happen depended, you know, on what city we were in and what our internet connection was like and what their schedule was like with work, because two of the boys were in the musical. I was not in the musical I always forget to say that because some people are musical and I’m like, No, no, no, no, no, not me. I thought that was this Soon, no way. Anyway, so um, and then we read lots of books, like literally because I like real books and I’m obsessed with books. So we did you know, I had suitcases full of books. And then and then we would just explore the cities and go to museums and go to science centers or go to national parks, whatever we were exposed to at that given city we would explore. So, and that worked for us because for me, education is keeping their thirst for learning.

As you know, igniting that keeping that alive as much as possible.

Making sure that they understand how to communicate clearly and effectively with other people. And making sure that they are compassionate and knowledgeable when it comes to other you know, races religions, cultures, communities, and, and that I don’t completely lose them all. The very simple things like fundamental math stuff, because I wanted to them to still have those kind of core skills so that when we returned to traditional school or wherever we were going to be next, that they weren’t so far behind that they had to catch up. And I know being far behind quote unquote, is like, a big, you know, concern for a lot of people right now. So I definitely have something to say with that. Um, so So for me, because those were my priorities that worked really well for us.

Laura
That makes sense. It makes so much sense. So clear.

Timothy
Yeah, I want to go back maybe to that first part, when you talked about the flexibility. If you had a teacher that didn’t work out, or the subject matter was too hard or too easy, like you said, you’re not you’re not committed to a full year, or even a semester of locking in and I was reading something recently about students who, you know high school may becomes very difficult because of that their rigidity there and then when they get to college, you know, the fact that you can drop it Classes the fact that you know, you actually have less of a workload it might be a little more intense or probably more intense. But students they’ve found a flourished environment where they can actually fine tune a their education to their needs and how they best learn well,

Laura
their passions to write their choices of

Amber
classes. I mean, it’s somebody somebody likened it to this the other day and they said, you know, when you go to get a job, or even like you said, a major in college, you choose what interests you. You know, so somebody is not like, Oh, you need to be a dentist, you’re going to be an accountant. Somebody told me I had to be an accountant, oh my god, I would be terrible and I would hate it and be miserable human. And so there is something to be said confidence wise and ability wise, and you know, what kind of humans are we trying to put onto this planet for the next generation, if we really can, you know, broaden and deepen their, their strengths and interests. Instead of working on you know, making everything even, you know, you got to be just as good you got to be Have bees all the way across? And somebody said this recently they said, Would you tell your kid, you’d rather have them have straight bees all the way across? Or you’d rather have them have two ways and the rest F’s. Now most of us would say, you know, our gut reaction would say, Well, of course bees, but in life, you look at every single person who is successful or has their own business or is, you know, in any field, most of that if you graded them across all these different areas, they probably have one or two A’s and the rest really low grades. So when we go out into society, that’s how we’re rewarded. We’re not rewarded if we’re just kind of like just above par in everything.

Laura
Haha. So well said I mean, it’s such a modern world, right? We ultimately are having to prepare our students for jobs that don’t exist yet. And hopefully, it’s our it’s our students and our children who will be creating these jobs and these innovative new ways of the world. So how you How do you get to be on everything and

Amber
feel fine with that? Right. So on this note, I, you know, I think it’s also important not only to ask yourself what, what does education mean to me what’s important to me that my kid learns, but you know, what qualities are you trying to grow and foster and encourage in your children so like for us, it’s, you know, compassion, creativity, kindness. I was forget the rest of the Seas on my list, cuz they’re all but um, you know, and so then it makes it really a lot easier to make discipline decisions to make choices about how you’re going to spend your vacation or how they should be treating their siblings, when you know, hey, you know, what did that reflect the core things that we are as a family, you know, really didn’t and we’re all about being compassionate and kind and creative in this family. So how can we do that differently next time, man, you can just like go back to that every single time instead of you know, and if you’re a Aligning, you’re truly answering the things that are really important to you, then it’s easy to follow through on those parenting decisions, because they really are important to you. But if you’re trying to reinforce things that you really, truly don’t care about, then you’re far less likely to really be not forceful, but strong and confident in your kind of your boundaries for your kids. And they see that, you know, then they’re like, ah, she doesn’t mean that didn’t really care about those math tests. Like, they know, they know.

Timothy
Yeah, I essentially you mentioned the core values of your family. And, you know, you fit the education into that and sounds like you know, you’re, you have a mission statement that works for the family, and you are customizing education around that as opposed to searching for a school that has a mission statement that you that you connect with or school district or community, you’re more of an art. This is what’s best for our Family and we can make it work instead of having to fit into something else and hopefully making that work.

Amber
Yeah. And you know, that’s true. And you also have to know your personality as a parent. So there are parents, that there who are very like, they like things to be structured. They like to know what’s coming, they like to plan ahead, they like to the like, the acknowledgement of authority. And this is there’s no judgment in any of this. It’s just really understanding what’s comfortable for you. So for me, both Jamie and I are not really great with authority. We don’t like people coming in and telling us unless it makes sense to us, you know, I will question it. And I’ll say, you know what, I think that’s baloney. We were at a private school. And they would come home and say, Oh, yeah, we watched a movie today and I was what like, I’m thinking a documentary or something about you know, whatever music No, we watch in like Disney Bologna and I’m like, Are you kidding me? I’m paying however much it was, you know. $28,000 a year. You’re watching cartoons at school like, I was, like, I was speechless. That infuriated me. So you got to know like, what your trigger points are, and what’s important to you, and what’s your personality, and then you can structure if you do want to step outside of the traditional, then you want to make sure that if you’re somebody who really likes structure and likes planning, or you have a kid that’s like that, that you create, you can create that at home much more structure. And if you know things like you know, making sure that they have they love soccer, you know, and they, they want to play on their soccer team, you know, or whatever other things they have dance or you know, I know a lot of, you know, I have all boys so if there’s it’s a little bit different. I know when we were up in LA homeschooling, a lot of the girls had many more social interactions, interaction connection, so they would have like, a reading group or a playground. And they would meet you know, all the time so that they were around other girls their age consistently like the same girls because they formed these really deep you know close knitted friendships whereas my kids I remember when they left traditional school and I’d say hey you know is there anybody you know you want to have a playdate with or somebody you want to you know connect with we can meet up or I can plan something and and they say Yeah, that’d be great and I’d say okay who and they’d say like anybody they you know, they love social interaction. They’re very very social boys but they don’t at least mine don’t seem to form this like really deep connection to one or another or another like they like the community of it, but I feel like it’s, I’ve seen a little bit of difference when it comes to girls and they form these and that’s the one you know, they connect with what kind of little cliques of school and your family is it

Laura
there are four of them right in there. Very close. And so you’ve kind of built in your own socialization within your own family unit. Right? So, for those students who are only chat children or you know, one of two, it might look a little different, and they may need a little bit more outside. So, and I know that’s a big, a big concern for a lot of people. I mean, having said that, I was doing some research and in the year 2000, there was estimated about a million people homeschooling in the US. By 2018, it was 2.3 million. So clearly, it’s growing. It seems to me that means that there must be resources out there and that our people are innovative enough to create new resources and jump on this opportunity. So to me, it seems like coming this fall, it might be even, you know, wider open.

Amber
Right? Well, before we jump into that I do you mentioned socialization, and I mean, like, it’s always always one of the first things things that come up and I get a little fired up on this because, you know, I have family members. My mom and my stepmom were both lifelong teachers, public school teachers. And, and I get really confused when people ask Who are you worried about socialization? That’s such a typical, and very, very common question. And my first answer back to that is what? And not to be snarky, but like, what do you what do you mean by that? Like, what does socialization mean to you? Like, what does that mean? Because, honestly, like if you’ve met my kids, you guys have met my kids like, would you say they’re well socialized?

Laura
The best?

Amber
Like they can have a conversation like each of them. We called grandma last night on the phone. Each of them sat there and had a 15 minute conversation with her and they asked her how her how she was feeling. What was her day looking like, oh, How’s this? How’s her neighbor doing? You know what’s going on in her life? They know how to not just sit and be polite and make eye contact and answer questions. But they know how to engage in conversation with kids, with adults with babies, they love babies, they love me, they love your kids, you know. So to me, socialization means they can be flexible and communicative and comfortable in a variety of social situations with a variety of people from different backgrounds and different ages. And to me, that’s far more likely if you’re traveling and engaging in having them have practice engaging in different social situations. It’s far more likely they’ll develop those skills, what I call socialization, then they are sitting in a desk all with kids their same age, every day for six hours a day. So, to me, you know, I don’t get the question. I think it’s just a, it’s just become like a very typical, you know, concern that people say, Well, what about socialization? And so I would ask yourself, if you’re, if you or your spouse is saying that ask like, what do they mean by that? What is their concern? Because maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s like, man, I had a really awesome group of, you know, fifth graders when I was in fifth grade and we and that I can’t imagine my kid not having that bond with like their four best friends to like, go to the mall on the weekends and do this. So that’s a different, that’s a different thing. To me, you know what I mean? That’s a very specific concern that you can then say, Okay, can we address this? Can we meet this type of need? elsewhere? I know for my husband, he’s concerned about girls like what they need some access to And, you know, and what hasn’t really started happening yet, but he’s like, you know, very concerned about that. So we’re, you know, we’re very seriously considering jumping get back in traditional school and high school.

Laura
Interesting and that and that’s a great question. I mean, so you feel open and flexible enough to jump in and out of this as as the seasons turn sort of.

Amber
Yeah,

I do because they’re learning more. This is a another I think big misnomer with homeschool. And every kid is different. So some kids are going to need more babysitting than others. But I think if you if you look at school as being engaging and like, like you were speaking about earlier, really focusing on on somebody’s interest in strengths, then it makes it far more fun, but you’ll also find that the progress they make is much more efficient and it’s an It’s not a judgment, it’s just because it’s one on one. So like, if you have a one hour math tutor, one on one, versus maybe 45 minutes of math a day for five days in a group, you know, for most kids, if they’re not following, if they’re not getting it, it’s hard to they, they often won’t speak up, you know, and say, I don’t really understand how you got this, can you really walk me through it? And even if they do, or if they really get it the first time, and they get it right away, but then the teacher has to spend four more days explaining it to everybody else. It’s just not the most efficient way I think of learning. And so when they have a one on one situation, or even like a Khan Academy or an online situation, they’re built to really, really figure out and if you’re understanding the content and if not review and If yes, then you move on. And so to me, it’s what I’ve seen personally is the learning and just take off like faster than I can keep up with it most of the time. And the excitement about learning really grow as well. And from most of the homeschoolers I’ve met in the past, they report like very similar things like kind of a burst, like if I if you could see my hand right now, you know what I mean? It’s just like a, you know, just starts to fly and both their interest and their ability levels so as far as jumping back in my only concern about them jumping back in is that you know, that might get bored or frustrated, you know, with, you know, frustrated with the limitations. But you know, a lot of kids who I know do jump back in, jump back in specifically with that understanding and knowing that they are choosing, you know, the social interaction and the normalcy around like having friends. Have a normal kid experience. So hey, I want to go do sixth grade with other sixth graders. And I know like, I might want to do some other schooling stuff outside of that. But I want to do this for the, you know, for the social interaction.

Laura
Yes, sorry.

Amber
You’re taking that

Timothy
in. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s, yeah, this is all a lot to take in here. I think, you know, some of our I guess, I don’t know, if we’re in the point we want to talk about other concerns there. I think. One is when you when you talk about the socialization, and you’re coming from that part, I think, I mean, the stereotype of a child just kind of isolating, and just in general with their school in front of a computer, and then they’re, you know, so they’re thinking of socialization as that learning being very isolated with just what I want or watching a video or something and then not, not realizing or not taking the initiative to do this other socialization regard Other students or children, whereas I know from your standpoint, as well as socialization is with the way you provide as a family as a parent in regards to how, how you’re raising your child to, you know, to, to, you know, have manners or engage with other people, like you said, of different ages, different positions, all of that. So, so yeah, like you said, it’s just a matter of how you define socialization. And that’s so important.

Amber
But you mentioned something important, which is, you know, this distance learning that’s happening now is by and large on devices, right. And we don’t do a lot of devices in our house. So this is the most access they’ve had to, you know, to online stuff ever. And I recently heard another homeschool friend say that her daughter was talking with some friends that were doing this online programming and, and they said, Oh, well, now that we’re homeschooling And the the daughter who is with her whole life said, No, no, this is not homeschooling, this is nothing. What my schooling ever looks like. This is distance learning. This is online learning. This is not homeschooling, homeschooling, we’re never home, we’re out. We’re doing classes. We’re doing group classes, you know, when when we were in LA doing it twice a week, they spent all day in these homeschool, kind of like community schools where they would go take different classes with different kids their ages, but they weren’t It was like, one of them for my littlest one was like superhero math, and they would walk to the park and they would do superhero math games and they would learn math, you know, through these, you know, superhero things and others were one of the classes was architecture around the world and they studied different architecture around the world and then they did our projects with that and you know, all kinds of different kind of combinations of classes. And they did and then we did a lot of like group you know Taekwondo classes. And then they, they wanted to learn cough. So they did golf, you know, they did all these random things. But one of the other benefits that I liked was because the actual academic time required for the material that I wanted them to cover was less than a typical school day. We had so much more time for like music lessons and exploring these different sports that they wanted to check out. That Previous to that because we were driving all day and because they were in school all day and they had homework and they had to eat dinner and I wanted them to get some outside time and I wanted them to shower once in a while. There was no time for I wasn’t going to add more things. I raced them off to chess class and then soccer practice. And then over here I was already I was exhausted, let alone them. So for me, one of the things that I liked about switching to a different type of schooling was that it felt like for me so much more time over Up in the day where I was, I was only running around if I, if it really meant a lot, like if it was really important. Otherwise, you know, I had a lot more flexibility in my day. And, you know, we had we found some really cool music teachers and we were able to explore stuff in more depth, other areas of interest that I just didn’t have time for before. And probably because there’s four of them. I mean, it would have been easy if there was one, I suppose.

Laura
And I’m so glad you brought all that up, because those have been the burning questions on my mind. I mean, we’ve been talking about the efficiency of homeschooling, and how quickly they can, you know, level up and all of these things. And it seems it does seem like three hours maybe of focus learning is all it is all is necessary in a day. Is that true?

Amber
And yeah, not only is it true, but it’s funny because so mine had these big exams this weekend they so Friday, Thursday and Friday. They were like my two older boys were studying like All day. And so yesterday I was like, just chill like, like, Come outside. We set up this like all these little skate ramps in the front and they were playing and and they just were having a blast and my oldest was missing. And I was like, What is he doing? Like, I just wanted him to have chill time. They also read a lot. And he was and he said, Oh, he had asked to print out something on my computer. And yeah, so I catch him. He’s at the dining room table. He’s printed out all these blank maps of the world. And he’s filling in all the countries. That’s what he’s doing for his downtime. Okay, like that’s what’s fun. So, so yes, I guess to answer your question, there’s, I’ve found a lot more free time but also it’s funny to me sometimes what they will dig into, which to me is they were talking to me about I’m not kidding, like the elite and my kid or my kids are a little wacky when it comes to this. I get it’s not typical, but they were talking about the Elliot in Odyssey the other day to me and I was like, What Where are you guys learning this where’s this coming from? This is just all on their own or World War Two they were getting they were they found some learning video website about you know World War Two and so they were talking all about World War Two and I was like holy mackerel. So not only does the learning that is assigned, I think get a lot get done more efficiently but you may find that they like on purpose. Dig deeper into other academic subjects that might surprise you,

Laura
which is beautiful, but so the converse to them being more efficient and getting through the day more quickly and being so much more energized in life and learning is it seems like so much more work for you. I mean, I feel like you know, our, our educational system has been able to kind of be daycare right for busy working parents and I just truly don’t understand how the day would look.

Amber
But that’s a really that’s a fair question. So some of this is going to differ depending on the age of your children for sure, and their personality but by and large, their developmental age. So once I think they pass six or seven and depending on the maturity of the child, maybe earlier, you can foster a lot more independence and self directed activity. And I would argue that it’s going to be a little bit of a mind shift set shift from school to home, but so one of the first things I did when they all forced switch to home so as of the beginning of the quarantine, you know, instead of having to at home I had four at home because I already started I started off the year with one of them homeschooling, then it winter break, the second one shifted, and then now all four of them are back home. So what I did was at the beginning of that every day by nine o’clock ish. They would need to bring me their to do list of what they were going to accomplish that day. And the requirements were this that it needed to that they needed to come find me and give it to me. First of all, I’m not going to go running around the house asking for it. So they need to come to me. And they it needs to include academic things. So some reading and some writing, it needs to include reading time, it needs to include outside time, it needs to include a chore, some things not just clean up your own mess, but something that is benefits the entire family for the household. And, and some music because that’s a priority in our family as well. So some music practice. And then it can include you know, something funny, and they they all deem themselves little comedians, so there will often be funny little notes on it as well. Like, you know, make sure you look at Cameron’s You know, one of them would say for me to check the other person’s list or whatever, they would just have silly things on it and so So then they would so then during the day, oh, and then also included what we called the trifecta of terror. And that came about and what the trifecta of terror is, is get dressed, make your bed, brush your teeth,

Laura
terrified.

Amber
And I started calling it the trifecta because I got really effing tired of saying, Okay, well, you made your bed. Did you brush your teeth? I didn’t forget or Okay, you brush your teeth. But did you get dressed, you’re still in your pajamas. Now everybody’s in their pajamas. It doesn’t matter. But, and so the boys started calling it their trifecta of tap terror. And so then first of all became more playful and funny, you know, to talk about but it made it more convenient for me to find these kinds of tools. I think as you go that work you know, like you think Okay, wait, I’m This is driving me nuts. So what can I do to resolve this? So they would have to do that. So they probably did that um, for and like the seven year old would spend probably 14 years minutes making these lists and they were beautiful, they’d have drawings all over them, they’d be multicolor, they’d be different shapes, it’d be, you know, just writing the list in itself became a task that was, you know, beneficial that had learning, you know, a learning component to it, practicing writing, figuring out how to spell the things that they wanted to do. So for the seven year old, even that was was a big thing. And his list was a lot shorter than the older boys. But what I noticed was, so this was to keep them on track to let them you know, and then I would say like, Okay, let me check it, then I noticed after a few, not even maybe a couple weeks, I didn’t really have to check it anymore. They they knew what they had to do. So then I stopped checking the list. Now, they don’t even make the list. They don’t even need to make the list because they can stay on task and they know what they have to do. And so that’s building a skill. This has been what we’ve been doing this for eight or 10 weeks now. So now in eight or 10 weeks, they’ve learned how to manage their time understand what they need to do, and also balance it. So I will say, hey, just take note, if you’ve been on the computer for, you know, 60 or 90 minutes already, you probably need a break. So what do you think you should do? Do you want to go? Do some music? Do you want to go play soccer with your brothers in the backyard, you want to go on the trampoline? Or just go outside and read a book because you’re feeling kind of low energy? You need some food, you know, and so we, you know, teaching them the skills to manage themselves. I mean, there’s adults that can’t do that, right. I mean, that’s the whole point about my kids. So thank you for that commercial.

Yeah, so I think that there are, I’m all about making life easy for me. So I would never do this homeschool thing if it was more of a pain for me. And not just like pain versus benefits, but really honestly, like I have other I’m building a company right now. Like I have other things. I want to do, you know, and and I do them. And so it’s figuring out like what works for us figuring out the shortcuts, figuring out how to have them, you know, treat each other kindly. I’m not I can work in here for three hours without running outside worrying that they’re, you know, um, you know, whatever bullying each other having a fight or you know, freaking out or somebody’s destroyed somebody else’s toys. So, all of those things that I’ve done with them parenting wise from the beginning have allowed me now to have the space and the confidence to say, Okay, you guys take care of your stuff. If there’s a problem or you have a question, you know, come to me, they might had my seven year old make a note on my door. So I have one note, one big sign that says filming because I do a lot of interviews or workshops or webinars, and then another one that says like in meditation, so they know you know, okay, if that notice on the door, you you go away unless it’s an emergency.

Laura
All these tips are so valuable and And, I mean, I know you’ve always spoken highly about the resources within the community. I mean, the homeschooling and unschooling groups all over the country, right? Aren’t you part of a bunch of those?

Amber
I am and that’s the other thing I would say if you’re if you’re doing this now and there’s pieces of it that you like and you want to kind of you know, maybe hesitantly look into it a little bit more, I would definitely say it varies the resources and and even the the legal components of it of like how you have to register and if you get money back from your state or not, and you know, all those different options vary quite a bit state to see and even just, you know, city to city about the options parts. So I would definitely reach out to I like Facebook groups and look in your area for you know, homeschooling or out schooling or unschooling groups, that you can then connect with some of those people and say, have some questions. The cool thing is the nature of these groups is that these are people who have stepped outside who the traditional route has not worked for, for one reason or another, and they’ve stepped outside that. So kind of by default, they tend to be more open open rather to two different perspectives because they have a different perspective. And so they tend to be my experience has been far less judgmental. They’re not going to say, Okay, well, if you have to homeschool, if you want to homeschool, then you have to do this and you’re going to do it like that. And it does or not people are gonna say that. They say, Okay, well what works for you. This is how I do it, like, Oh, we have this English teacher we love and on Tuesdays, we all go to the beach and we do whatever, you know, they’re going to kind of share with you how they do it and how other families do it and give you the options. And so that was really refreshing to me, because then it didn’t quite feel so scary. It felt very welcoming and open and non judgmental, which I appreciated.

Laura
No question

Timothy
ever, ever Going back another question can somewhat concerned thinking of your advice as well about screen time? Yeah. And you mentioned how, you know, your family even you know, beyond outside of home school, you just don’t do. You don’t do screens. You don’t have tablets, you don’t know the kids don’t have phones and, and we’re in that same boat and so, you know, you know, hunters, you know, he doesn’t have a phone, he’s never had a tablet never had a computer but, but now that he’s doing this remote learning, he has a computer so he has access, you know, to all of his courses online and everything and, and so but now he has access more to YouTube into other things and how do you have you had to put restrictions or you know, it’s just say, hey, okay, is your learning done? Okay, now it’s time to pick up that book or to go outside or do something like that. Is it Are they self discipline enough to to go that route or

Amber
balance? know for sure there you know, we’ve talked a lot with a look. So the thing about YouTube Is that it’s, uh, you know, it’ll suck in. And it’s not and even if you’re on educational sites, you know, they’re their thing or my kids use it, I’ve been using it a lot to do creative things, they’re making movies or two of them are making a board game company. So they’re designing the board games and they’re writing out the instructions and they’re doing a domain and you know, which is all hambulance stuff, it’s all really, really cool. So a lot of it is, you know, having those conversations saying wow, what you’re doing I really, I like these parts of it. I like that it’s creative. I like that it’s you know that you’re doing it together that you’re learning a new you know, program that’s really cool. However, because you had all these other classes on today and in your online a lot seek a break for that, or is there a component of that that you can do at the dining room table with paper and pens? And I mean, it really is to me like it’s a conversation and it’s a comp you know, it’s it’s just like the clean your room stuff, man. I mean, like My 12 year old, I still have to tell them like, Oh, your clothes are still do not see them, you know? So it’s a, it’s a constant process. So yes, we talked about it and they know like, Hey, if you’re in here for school time, and I walk in, and I see that you flip screens because I’m not a dumb ass and I’ve done that before, too, you know, I know what you’re doing. I’m, I’m not, Don’t lie to me about it. But look, it’s very tempting. I get it, I’m tempted to so here’s what we’re going to do try really try to stay focused on this and then you know, within like, 40 minutes, we’re going to go outside and do that, and we’re going to take a eating break. So, you know, it’s just, I guess what I say is there’s it’s not um, it’s not a simple answer. It’s a conversation because, yes, technology is it’s so tempting. And you know, and I think sharing with them, your stroke, you know, that you’re not perfect with it either. is really useful. And I’ll say, Hey, you know, when I’m writing, there’s a program you can put on your computer that I think it’s called freedom. And if you try to click over to Facebook or your email, your screen just goes black and it says freedom or something, it won’t let any other applications, you know, so you can talk to them about like, yeah, this is a thing in our society because it’s difficult. The other thing if your children are still young, and you haven’t exposed them to, you know, video games and iPads and things, the longer you wait, man, the easier it gets. So like when we came home from the tour, and Cameron was 11, I guess he was going to be taking this class at a school that I wanted him to have a cell phone for safety reasons. And so and so I got him one, man, he he never uploaded any app. He doesn’t use it at all. It’s hardly ever charged. It’s because he didn’t, there’s no inner to mean like he hasn’t built that affinity for it. And so when they kind of jump in later in the game, they’ve already have so many other interests. And skills that I think it’s far less likely to become as as addictive and integrated into their like being, you know, as it otherwise would be,

Laura
could not agree more, or you have this child who is does not have access to all the technology, but it’s just dreaming of it all the time and becomes obsessed with characters and games that he doesn’t even play. But if you talk to any of his friends, you’d think he was playing eight hours a day. So and that’s kind of where we are, but absolutely agreed give them time to understand what life is about and the beauty of the real world. And back to your point. I mean, the mindful use of technology is a consistent conversation in our family. And I have that conversation mainly so that I can hear it myself. It is, I mean, again, this amazing blessing that we have and if we can use it to benefit ourselves into To help ourselves grow in the direction that we want to go, then it’s a it’s a beautiful thing.

Amber
So yes, like food, I mean, some people can relate it to, you know, food, there’s, there’s kids that, you know, you might have some kids that, you know, they can have a couple bites of a dessert and they’re over it, there’s really not that interested. Other kids, you leave them alone with a key lime pie and it’s gone and then they’re like sick to their stomach the next day. So you you know your kid, you know, how they’re going to behave with technology, you know, that if they if they do it before bed, you know, their nightmare bedtime, they’re a mess. So, you know, no, I, you know, and I’m always about like, Well, that doesn’t help me that I don’t want to deal with that. That sounds like a nightmare, you know? So that’s really the main reason that I avoided it for as long as I did, as I just said, Man, the families that allow a lot of screentime seem to seems to cause a lot of problems. So like, I don’t need more things, no more opportunities to have you know, Either fighting amongst the you know, siblings or any of that, so I’m just gonna avoid that because she doesn’t seem like

Laura
that has been I call it selfish but it is for the greater good of all that is has been my reasoning from day one for so many things that I do as a parent.

Amber
Right, I made a lot of work and and the homeschooling to me is the same thing as you know, it’s it’s my opportunity to set them up as you know, independent and creative and problem solving and helping one another. So, you know, they actually like my younger ones will go you know, watch the you know, oceanography video that my older ones are watching and they work together and they like to teach each other stuff and, you know, I’ll go find them I you know, and then I’ll do stuff like I love maps. So I’ll just I buy maps and put maps up all over the house, you know, or I’ll just randomly introduce other you know, topics of, you know, but by bringing in something like it’s often a book in fact, it was funny with When people were getting obsessed with when Hamilton with kids was first getting popular, write the songs. I bought the book that big giant Hamilton book with the star on the front. And I was like, yeah, we kids are really into Hamilton. I mean, I got the book, and everybody looked at me and they were like, you have to play them the music.

Amber
I know, so funny, but like, I’ve done that with other things, and it’s work. So as soon as I played that in the music, then oh my gosh, then they dove into that book, they analyzed and remembered everything from it. And it was so funny so so I’ll do that. I’ll just expose them to other content and kind of see what sticks you know, see what interests um, you know, you know, cuz sometimes you think, Oh, this kid, you know, they’re really a math kid. They like numbers, they like this. And then you show them something else and you realize, oh, like, you know, ciphers, and we’ve got really into ciphers and cryptography and then from that you kind of have to learn some history because You have to figure out like, why did they start coding and encoding things in the first place? And, you know, and so you can go really deep into that and learn all kinds of stuff about different cultures and wars and, and math and patterns. And just from one word, one book about cryptography.

Laura
I know. And I mean, just going back to that Hamilton example, it resonates so deeply with Timothy and me. And I think it’s such a great analogy for homeschooling in general, because we went to the play here in Los Angeles, wonderful date night. And without exaggeration, which I’m going to exaggerate without exaggeration. Every child in that audience was singing every word to every song. And it was just astounding because I hadn’t been that familiar with the music. I mean, I maybe had heard one or two songs, but truly every word and so the fact that that resonated so well with them that they were learning this incredible history. In such a fun and engaging way, is I think, the dream of homeschooling and unschooling, and I think that’s why we’re even having this conversation. So yeah. I mean, I feel like, gosh, we’ve covered so much and we could be talking for forever. But, I mean, do you have anything else you want to add? Is there anything we’ve highlighted?

Amber
No. I mean, I would just close by saying or at least kind of to wrap up all of those disparate, you know, threads that you know, it’s it’s about first stepping back and asking yourself like what works for your family? What works for you what works for your kids? What is school mean to you? What is learning? What do you want for your kids? So like, if you picture them at 18, not only like, what do you want them to have learned but what kind of person are you hoping they are like if their guidance counselor came to you and said, Oh my gosh, like Hunter is so incredibly blank, blank, blank and blank. What would be the four words that would just make you feel with pride? And then that becomes your Mecca? You know, that becomes your point for answering, like any other questions, I think between now and when they’re 18.

Laura
So simple.

Amber
And you can always change your mind if it doesn’t work. I mean, I know I do know people that hop back in and out and, um, you know, depending on the school, and if, you know, if it’s a private school, and they have only, you know, certain places, that can be tricky, but you can even talk to the school and say, Hey, can we take a leave of absence? You know, we want to whatever you can say we want to travel or they need to know what you’re going to do, but you can just say, you know, we can would you hold a spot for next year? You know, there’s you saying that I mean, truly the that’s where the I start feeling the freedom of no decision has to be the last decision. You can I mean, that’s a point of life right to pivot as you need to. So it’s just it during this time. Summer. I mean, that’s what I did. As you know, the summer before we officially bowed out of traditional school, I just did it during the summer I taste tested some of the things and some of the tutors and some of the classes and just thought like, Okay, let me see how the kids do. Let me see how I feel about it. Let’s see how that impacts the family differently. Like, oh, gosh, everybody’s at home all the time. How’s that work? You know? Well, they’re not they’re gone a lot more than you think. But they’re gone according to your schedule. And when you want to schedule them with things that which is different than just them being home all the time, which is now

Timothy
that’s a different situation. Very different situation. And right, I mean, to end on that, that this, this version of remote learning that most families are dealing with right now is not what we’ve been talking about at all and it’s not what we would be creating for ourselves and for our families, and even the homeschool you know, opportunities right now are somewhat limited because you can’t, you know, gather in groups, a lot of these museums are closed you know, Parks things are just not the access isn’t there and so you still you’re more restricted even a homeschool choices which can which you know many places are going to that’s going to fall in or when start school starts up in the fall they’ll still be restrictions and so it’s maybe not the true version of what homeschool you know can be

Amber
that’s so true Timothy yeah and and on that note like if you are liking components of this now in this crazy environment, then you’re really gonna like it once you have like all the true options open to right

Laura
no question I love it. Well Amber, thank you for this. It’s just a it’s put my mind at ease a bit and it’s a great a great perspective to have and I’m hoping that our listeners feel the same.

Amber
Well, thank you for bringing up the topic. It’s Oh, it’s always fun to talk about and share because it’s one of those things that has a lot of brings up a lot of like nervous energy and people And I think there’s a lot of Miss conceptions about it and you think it’s one way or the other. So I think having that discussion, and and allowing a space for people to just ask questions and consider different options is is beneficial to everybody.

Laura
Indeed, our collective journey raising amazing people who are going to create an incredible and extraordinary future. There you go.

Amber
Do it.

Timothy
Thank you, Amber.

Unknown Speaker
You’re welcome. Thanks for having me on. Cheers, babe. Cheers.

Laura
Yeah, so we just got off of a fascinating conversation with our friend amber Trueblood about homeschooling. And even though it’s an hour long wait, there’s so much more to cover. And Timothy and I are just sitting here and having our own private conversation about it and how we feel about it as we too are in this boat of trying to figure out what is best for our children. So we figured why not pick the mics up again and record this in case it’s helpful to you all

Timothy
and thinking about the actual realities. Okay, we’ve we’ve made that mind shift to accepting that homeschool could be a great option. But now how do we how do we actually execute that?

Laura
Right? We you have the faith that this could be the most amazing thing and this picture that you see in your mind that amber was able to paint is so glorious, but I sit here remaining overwhelmed at how the free do I accomplish that when I am also building a company and doing other things. And you know, it has to be said that the traditional model of I guess there’s no traditional model but in general in the United States home schooling and out schooling, unschooling is a privileged white thing. I mean, let’s just put it out there in turn, like one parent needs to be able to focus on this while the other is earning a living

Timothy
thing between with a with a wife One income, maybe family where, where that one income is enough to support the family. Then you have the other parent who is more involved in, in the homeschool and in education process.

Laura
And of course that is traditionally the mother the way our society has developed. So, which is why I’m the one sitting here with a little bit more overwhelmed perhaps.

Timothy
Well, you take on that role, you know, a lot of ways more than I do so. So yeah, of course, I think you can take it on right now just just off of just coming out this conversation. It’s okay, what do I do and your mind’s racing, the choices and decisions that you feel need to be made rest more solely on your shoulders, and we obviously discuss everything but you’re also more educated about this. You do a lot more research about this than I do so many times. You come to me as a soundboard or a fan for me about this great thing, this great article. What do you think of that? This and so I come from that without knowing anything about it. And, and yeah, I mean we’re pretty, we’re really on the same page with with most things anyway. So it’s great to,

Laura
to partnership

Timothy
to, to see this and so again and also think recently we were speaking about hunter and what he wants and how he could picture homeschool or how he could picture being it. And, again, what we’re doing right now isn’t quite what it isn’t really what it would be. It’s not so

Laura
we have to remind ourselves of that.

Timothy
Right And so, you know, and one thing we talked about in the podcast too, with, you know, he and his friends and a lot of the socialization he has around that and which is great, but he has great neighborhood friends, his other friends outside of school that that are important to him. So, so again in any normal situation, you know, he’d have those opportunities to be with them but

Laura
well in in my dream they’d be richer relationships because if you’re making friends with someone who is also passionate about a certain subject or I mean, there’s you already are connecting at a different level than maybe just a random but also that’s where another one of my not fears but questions and concerns comes in which is life does not hold your hand. And I am the most optimistic person I think most people might meet, but that’s just a reality. Right and so preparing our children for the true what true life will be and how right is there’s something there that still holds me back in to make in making this jump, I guess.

Timothy
And there’s part of I think we grasp on to at least I do. The thought of continuous education beyond beyond the homeschool what he set up for if we would want him to go to coffee, you know Is college important to go to college and if that’s important and those sorts of things, so yeah, he, um, he has definitely these really strong interests right now. And some of them are based around things that would be in a curriculum and some of them aren’t. But, you know, there’s a there’s so many,

Laura
but learning about the world through the world has always been my mantra. Right. I mean, even in preschool, we chose a Reggio style preschool.

Timothy
I don’t think we haven’t been we’ve discussed, you know, gap year sort of situation, for me, traveling abroad, and not necessarily going to a school abroad, but living abroad and experiencing life abroad, experiencing what city what that city has to offer, a language, all those sorts of things. It’s not something that we’re on board with as well. So, you know, we also have a younger guy, and he’s just going to be starting his, you know, traditional, I guess, process of preschools come

Laura
in, at the age of good,

Timothy
right? So, you know, what, what we, how we bring him into that. We I think we often say like, Oh, he’s going to thrive in a preschool environment or being around other children and, and learning these different things, you know, how do we shape

Laura
that? Well, that’s something we didn’t get into depth with. With Amber, which is the difference in personalities, right? I mean, we have a very sort of independent self led eight year old and a two year old who is larger than life who I think needs some rules and stability and, you know, structure and that’s not to say that you can’t have that with homeschooling, but I also know my dynamic with my children. And I am not I do not want to be their teacher, or teacher that’s just not good for us.

Timothy
And the way they react to us was as teachers, you know, coaches, you know, somebody telling them what to do is gonna be different than somebody that does as different 30 feet,

Laura
which is why thankfully, especially us, we live in Los Angeles, and there are vendors out there who are passionate, who have that light in their eye who are fired up about whatever it is. I mean, it’s not, right. I mean, if they love writing, that is what they love. And that is what they teach. And that is what they breathe. It’s not part of what they’ve learned how to teach to children. So that that’s a beautiful thing to me.

Timothy
And I think we’ve also experienced in hunters, more traditional education, teachers who we think could be more excited about what they’re doing or who could present a subject in a way that would get him more excited about it. You know, I think there’s, there’s all of that and then we’re but we don’t, there’s not really much we can do about that. Well, and that

Laura
also goes back to my other concern of the hand holding, it’s not everyone is going to present everything and make it all fun for you in life. You know, you need to know how to navigate through that and find your own enthusiasm and your own love for Learning inside. So I mean is that the big lesson of school I’ve always said it’s about connections, it’s about socialization it’s about I mean these these pomp and circumstances right these big and it’s because I had such a great experience in school, you know, I wouldn’t want them to miss out on all the school dances and the school plays and all of these things. But I guess I’m just hearing myself say that, you know, then they’re in, they take theater through with a group and they make friends that way.

Timothy
Well, one thing I mean, Amber mentioned that was surprising is maybe, you know, looking at high school, and that’s more of the socialization around girls and like building those relationships and, you know, learning how to how to, you know, be around girls treat women and, and not having that within they’re not getting that from from homeschooling. Now they’re also very young right now. So it’s not a purse was cific. But yeah, but I’m

Laura
example because they could be in groups with with girls, for sure.

Timothy
Right. So yeah, I don’t I don’t know where that

Unknown Speaker
sounds.

Laura
I don’t know where it leads us either.

Timothy
So yeah, we’ll, we’ll share. I mean, again, this is strange times. And that’s one reason why we’re doing this podcast is because it just, we like to think many other people are, are considering all of our options, and homeschool is just one of them.

Laura
Right? I mean, if, again, we’re all collectively trying to create extraordinary humans. And there’s no judgement, no one’s doing it right or wrong. Every family is unique, every student is unique. And so if we can all come into that with love and understanding, I mean, we’re all going to do so much better and how exciting and beautiful this future will be. That’s true.

Unknown Speaker
All right.

Timothy
All right. Well, we’re going to take the time to compile a lot of these notes show notes. And a lot of great resources for you that that we found that we are exploring and hopefully you’ll find useful as well.

Laura
And please feel free to send us any questions or concerns, anything that we can bounce off other experts or amber So, we’d love to get to the bottom of this and help all of you families choose the best path for you.

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